Great Henry David Thoreau Quotes

That government is best which governs least.


Nature is not made after such a fashion as we would have her. We piously exaggerate her wonders, as the scenery around our home.


Thus the State never intentionally confronts a man’s sense, intellectual or moral, but only his body, his senses. It is not armed with superior wit or honesty, but with superior physical strength. I was not born to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion.


I was not born to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion. Let us see who is the strongest. What force has a multitude? They can only force me who obey a higher law than I…. I do not hear of men being forced to live this way or that by masses of men. What sort of life were that to live?


I quietly declare war with the State, after my fashion, though I will still make use and get advantage of her as I can, as is usual in such cases.


The finest manners in the world are awkwardness and fatuity when contrasted with a finer intelligence. They appear but as the fashions of past days,–mere courtliness, knee-buckles and small- clothes, out of date.


We worship not the Graces, nor the Parka, but Fashion. She spins and weaves and cuts with full authority. The head monkey at Paris puts on a traveller’s cap, and all the monkeys in America do the same.


Books can only reveal us to ourselves, and as often as they do us this service we lay them aside.


It is not all books that are as dull as their readers.


Whatever sentence will bear to be read twice, we may be sure was thought twice.


Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations.


What I began by reading, I must finish by acting.


How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book.


It is never too late to give up our prejudices.


Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.


One is not born into the world to do everything but to do something.


Things do not change; we change.


If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.


If the work is high and far, you must not only aim aright, but draw the bow with all your might.