How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.
– Henry David Thoreau
There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.
God reigns when we take a liberal view, when a liberal view is presented to us.
There is danger that we lose sight of what our friend is absolutely, while considering what she is to us alone.
Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant?
Generally speaking, a howling wilderness does not howl: it is the imagination of the traveler that does the howling.
Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all.
Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations.
It is remarkable how closely the history of the apple tree is connected with that of man.
In the meanest are all the materials of manhood, only they are not rightly disposed.
Alas! how little does the memory of these human inhabitants enhance the beauty of the landscape!
Night is certainly more novel and less profane than day.
Some are reputed sick and some are not. It often happens that the sicker man is the nurse to the sounder.
Nay, be a Columbus to whole new continents and worlds within you, opening new channels, not of trade, but of thought.
A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.
Nature puts no question and answers none which we mortals ask. She has long ago taken her resolution.
Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.
Men are born to succeed, not to fail.
I was more independent than any farmer in Concord, for I was not anchored to a house or farm, but could follow the bent of my genius, which is a very crooked one, every moment.
What old people say you cannot do, you try and find that you can. Old deeds for old people, and new deeds for new.
The finest workers in stone are not copper or steel tools, but the gentle touches of air and water working at their leisure with a liberal allowance of time.
Thank God men cannot fly, and lay waste the sky as well as the earth.
The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation.
I am sorry to think that you do not get a man’s most effective criticism until you provoke him. Severe truth is expressed with some bitterness.
Front yards are not made to walk in, but, at most, through, and you could go in the back way.
To have done anything just for money is to have been truly idle.
All this worldly wisdom was once the unamiable heresy of some wise man.
To a philosopher all news, as it is called, is gossip, and they who edit and read it are old women over their tea.
It is an interesting question how far men would retain their relative rank if they were divested of their clothes.
Is the babe young? When I behold it, it seems more venerable than the oldest man.