The only sin in the world is ignorance.

Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau

Profession: Author
Nationality: American

The only sin in the world is ignorance. Henry David Thoreau

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We are wont to imagine rare and delectable places in some remote and more celestial corner of the system, behind the constellation of Cassiopeia's Chair, far from noise and disturbance. I discovered that my house actually had its site in such a withdrawn, but forever new and unprofaned, part of the universe.

We hate the kindness which we understand.

We should impart our courage, and not our despair, our health and ease, and not our disease, and take care that this does not spread by contagion ...

Hard and steady and engrossing labor with the hands, especially out of doors, is invaluable to the literary man and serves him directly.

The doctrines of despair, of spiritual or political tyranny or servitude, were never taught by such as shared the serenity of nature.

What we call knowledge is often our positive ignorance; ignorance our negative knowledge.

Most men have learned to read to serve a paltry convenience, as they have learned to cipher in order to keep accounts and not be cheated in trade; but of reading as a noble intellectual exercise they know little or nothing.

Say what you have to say, not what you ought.

We have the St. Vitus' dance, and cannot possibly keep our heads still.

The Vedas say, "All intelligences awake with the morning." Poetry and art, and the fairest and most memorable of the actions of men, date from such an hour. All poets and heroes, like Memnon, are the children of Aurora, and emit their music at sunrise.

I like sometimes to take rank hold on life and spend my day more as the animals do.

They can do without architecture who have no olives nor wines in the cellar.

The moose will perhaps one day become extinct; but how naturally then, when it exists only as a fossil relic, and unseen as that, may the poet or sculptor invent a fabulous animal with similar branching and leafy horns, — a sort of fucus or lichen in bone, — to be the inhabitant of such a forest as this!

If you would convince a man that he does wrong, do right. Men will believe what they see.