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HENRY DAVID THOREAU
American author and naturalist
(1817 - 1862)
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Nothing more strikingly betrays the credulity of mankind than medicine. Quackery is a thing universal, and universally successful. In this case it becomes literally true that no imposition is too great for the credulity of men.
      - [Quacks]

Only that traveling is good which reveals to me the value of home, and enables me to enjoy it better.
      - [Travel]

Our sadness is not sad, but our cheap joys.
      - [Sadness]

Our science, so called, is always more barren and mixed with error than our sympathies.
      - [Science]

Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.
      - [Dreams]

Our whole life is startlingly moral. There is never an instant's truce between virtue and vice. Goodness is the only investment that never fails.
      - [Goodness]

Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.
      - [Truth]

Severe truth is expressed with some bitterness.
      - [Truth]

Shall not a man have his spring as well as the plants?
      - [Youth]

Simplicity is the law of Nature for man as well as for flowers. When the tapestry (corolla) of the nuptial bed (calyx) is excessive, luxuriant, it is unproductive. The fertile flowers are single, not double.
      - [Simplicity]

Solitude is not measured by the miles of space that intervene between a man and his fellows. The really diligent student in one of the crowded hives of Cambridge college is as solitary as a dervis in the desert.
      - [Solitude]

Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.
      - [Success]

Superfluous wealth can buy superfluities only.
      - [Wealth]

That man is the richest whose pleasures are the cheapest.
      - [Riches]

That virtue we appreciate is as much ours as another's. We see so much only as we possess.
      - [Virtue]

The birds I heard today, which, fortunately, did not come within the scope of my science, sang as freshly as if it had been the first morning of creation.
      - from Thoreau's journal [Sky]

The church is a sort of hospital for men's souls, and as full of quackery as the hospital for their bodies. Those who are taken into it live like pensioners in their Retreat or Sailors' Snug Harbor, where you may see a row of religious cripples sitting outside in sunny weather.
      - [Churches]

The finest qualities of our nature, like the bloom on fruits, can be preserved only by the most delicate handling.
      - [Delicacy]

The friend asks no return but that his friend will religiously accept and wear, and not disgrace, his apotheosis of him.
      - [Friends]

The frontiers are not east or west, north or south, but wherever a man confronts a fact.
      - [Exploration]

The greatest and saddest defect is not credulity, but an habitual forgetfulness that our science is ignorance.
      - [Credulity]

The heavens are as deep as our aspirations are high.
      - [Aspiration]

The highest law gives a thing to him who can use it.
      - [Law]

The law will never make men free; it is men who have got to make the law free.
      - [Law]

The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.
      - [Traveling]


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