Quotes by Henry David Thoreau


The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.
– Henry David Thoreau

The question is not what you look at, but what you see.
– Henry David Thoreau

It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?
– Henry David Thoreau
A broad margin of leisure is as beautiful in a man's life as in a book. Haste makes waste, no less in life than in housekeeping. Keep the time, observe the hours of the universe, not of the cars.
– Henry David Thoreau
A kitten is so flexible that she is almost double; the hind parts are equivalent to another kitten with which the forepart plays. She does not discover that her tail belongs to her until you tread on it.
– Henry David Thoreau
A perfectly healthy sentence, it is true, is extremely rare. For the most part we miss the hue and fragrance of the thought; as if we could be satisfied with the dews of the morning or evening without their colors, or the heavens without their azure.
– Henry David Thoreau
A truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint. What I began by reading, I must finish by acting.
– Henry David Thoreau
All endeavor calls for the ability to tramp the last mile, shape the last plan, endure the last hours toil. The fight to the finish spirit is the one... characteristic we must posses if we are to face the future as finishers.
– Henry David Thoreau
All this worldly wisdom was once the unamiable heresy of some wise man.
– Henry David Thoreau
An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.
– Henry David Thoreau
As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.
– Henry David Thoreau
As for doing good; that is one of the professions which is full. Moreover I have tried it fairly and, strange as it may seem, am satisfied that it does not agree with my constitution.
– Henry David Thoreau
As if we could kill time without injuring eternity!
– Henry David Thoreau
Being is the great explainer.
– Henry David Thoreau
Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations.
– Henry David Thoreau
Every creature is better alive than dead, men and moose and pine trees, and he who understands it aright will rather preserve its life than destroy it.
– Henry David Thoreau
Faith keeps many doubts in her pay. If I could not doubt, I should not believe.
– Henry David Thoreau
For what are the classics but the noblest thoughts of man? They are the only oracles which are not decayed, and there are such answers to the most modern inquiry in them as Delphi and Dodona never gave. We might as well omit to study Nature because she is old.
– Henry David Thoreau
Friends... they cherish one another's hopes. They are kind to one another's dreams.
– Henry David Thoreau
Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.
– Henry David Thoreau