Treasure Island

Henry David Thoreau

(12 July 1817 – 6 May 1862 / Concord, Massachusetts)

Quotations

  • ''For hours, in fall days, I watched the ducks cunningly tack and veer and hold the middle of the pond, far from the sportsman;... but what beside safety they got by sailing in the middle of Walden I do not know, unless they love its water for the same reason that I do.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 262, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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  • ''To anticipate, not the sunrise and the dawn merely, but, if possible, Nature herself! How many mornings, summer and winter, before yet any neighbor was stirring about his business, have I been about mine! No doubt, many of my townsmen have met me returning from this enterprise, farmers starting for Boston in the twilight, or woodchoppers going to their work. It is true, I never assisted the sun materially in his rising, but, doubt not, it was of the last importance only to be present at it.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 19, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''The very simplicity and nakedness of man's life in the primitive ages imply this advantage, at least, that they left him still but a sojourner in nature. When he was refreshed with food and sleep, he contemplated his journey again. He dwelt, as it were, in a tent in this world, and was either threading the valleys, or crossing the plains, or climbing the mountain-tops. But lo! men have become the tools of their tools. The man who independently plucked the fruits when he was hungry is become a farmer; and he stood under a tree for shelter, a housekeeper. We no longer camp as for a night, but have settled down on earth and forgotten heaven.... The best works of art are the expression of man's struggle to free himself from this condition, but the effect of our art is merely to make this low state comfortable and that higher state to be forgotten.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 41, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''This whole earth which we inhabit is but a point in space.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 147, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''We are the subjects of an experiment which is not a little interesting to me.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 149, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Every man looks at his wood-pile with a kind of affection.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 278, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Roads are made for horses and men of business. I do not travel in them much.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Walking" (1862), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 5, p. 213, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''This event advertises me that there is such a fact as death,—the possibility of a man's dying. It seems as if no man had ever died in America before; for in order to die you must first have lived.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "A Plea for Captain John Brown" (1859), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, p. 434, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''My Friend is not of some other race or family of men, but flesh of my flesh, bone of my bone. He is my real brother.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1849), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 1, p. 302, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Such is the never-failing beauty and accuracy of language, the most perfect art in the world; the chisel of a thousand years retouches it.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1849), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 1, pp. 40-41, Houghton Mifflin (1906).

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I Knew A Man By Sight

I knew a man by sight,
A blameless wight,
Who, for a year or more,
Had daily passed my door,
Yet converse none had had with him.

I met him in a lane,
Him and his cane,
About three miles from home,

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