The impression made on a wise man is that of universal innocence. Poison is not poisonous after all, nor are any wounds fatal. Compassion is a very untenable ground. It must be expeditious. Its pleadings will not bear to be stereotyped.
Says I to myself should be the motto of my journal. It is fatal to the writer to be too much possessed by his thought. Things must lie a little remote to be described.
Here is life, an experiment to a great extent untried by me.
More than love, than money, than faith, than fame, than fairness ... Give me the truth.
When you right or extricate a ducking businessman (take him out of chancery) and set him before the wind again, it is worth the while to look and see if he has any seed of success under him. Such a one you may know afar. He floats more slowly and steadily, carrying weight--and of his enterprise, expect results.
When we consider what, to use the words of the catechism, is the chief end of man, and what are the true necessaries and means of life, it appears as if men had deliberately chosen the common mode of living because they preferred it to any other. Yet they honestly think there is no choice left.
When we are unhurried and wise, we perceive that only great and worthy things have any permanent and absolute existence, that petty fears and petty pleasures are but the shadow of the reality.
When the subject has refused allegiance and the officer has resigned his office, then the revolution is accomplished.
When sometimes I am reminded that the mechanics and shopkeepers stay in their shops not only all the forenoon, but all the afternoon too, sitting with crossed legs, so many of them—as if the legs were made to sit upon, and not to stand or walk upon—I think that they deserve some credit for not having all committed suicide long ago.
When it is time to die, let us not discover that we never lived.
When I wrote the following pages, or rather the bulk of them, I lived alone, in the woods, a mile from any neighbor, in a house which I had built myself, on the shore of Walden Pond, in Concord, Massachusetts, and earned my living by the labor of my hands only. I lived there two years and two months.
When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times, and to the latest.
When he has obtained those things which are necessary to life, there is another alternative than to obtain the superfluities; and that is, to adventure on life now, his vacation from humbler toil having commenced.
When formerly I was looking about to see what I could do for a living... I thought often and seriously of picking huckleberries; that surely I could do.
When a man is warmed by the several modes which I have described, what does he want next? Surely not more warmth of the same kind, as more and richer food, larger and more splendid houses, finer and more abundant clothing, more numerous, incessant, and hotter fires, and the like.
Whatever sentence will bear to be read twice we may be sure was thought twice.
Whatever my own practice may be, I have no doubt that it is part of the destiny of the human race, in its gradual improvement, to leave off eating animals, as surely as the savage tribes have left off eating each other when they came in contact with the more civilized.
Whatever have been thy failures hitherto, "be not afflicted, my child, for who shall assign to thee what thou hast left undone?" We.
What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.
What we will call beautiful Knowledge, a knowledge useful in a higher sense: for what is most of our boated so-called knowledge but a conceit that we know something, which robs us of the advantage of our actual ignorance?
Justice is sweet and musical; but injustice is harsh and discordant.