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Quotations From HENRY DAVID THOREAU


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  • Humility like darkness reveals the heavenly lights. The shadows of poverty and meanness gather around us, "and lo! creation widens to our view."
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 362, Houghton Mifflin (1906).

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  • It is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 9, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 114, Houghton Mifflin (1906).

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  • True Friendship can afford true knowledge. It does not depend on darkness and ignorance. A want of discernment cannot be an ingredient in 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, p. 299, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • We have not so good a right to hate any as our Friend.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Wednesday," A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1849).

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  • No man loses ever on a lower level by magnanimity on a higher.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 362, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • To love another ... is, to stand in a true relation to him, so that we give the best to, and receive the best from, him.
    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. 284, Houghton Mifflin (1906).

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  • You know about a person who deeply interests you more than you can be told. A look, a gesture, an act, which to everybody else is insignificant tells you more about that one than words can.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Journals, entry for Feb. 20, 1859 (1906).
  • The laboring man has not leisure for a true integrity day by day.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Economy," Walden (1854).
  • A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Economy," Walden (1854).

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