The following are taken from The Heart of Thoreau’s Journals, edited by Odell Shepard, of which I have almost completed my second reading.
When any real progress is made, we unlearn and learn anew what we thought we knew before.
It takes a man to make a room silent.
The words of some men are thrown forcibly against you and adhere like burns.
The wise man is restful, never restless or impatient.
Nature refuses to sympathize with our sorrow.
And this is the art of living, too — to leave our life in a condition to go alone, and not to require a constant supervision.
This lament for a golden age is only a lament for golden men.
Great thoughts hallow any labor.
I am startled that God can make me so rich even with my own cheap stores.
Those who work much do not work hard.
The stars are the apexes of what triangles.
If I should sell both my forenoons and afternoons to society, neglecting my peculiar calling, there would be nothing left worth living for.
The maker of me was improving me.
With all your science can you tell how it is, and whence it is, that light comes into the soul?
It is a rare qualification to be able to state a fact simply and adequately.
Who are you whom the world has disappointed? Have not you rather disappointed the world?
What is the influence of men of principle, or how numerous are they? How many moral teachers has society?
Whatever may befall me, I trust that I may never lose my respect for purity in others.
Any excess — to have drunk too much water, even, the day before — is fatal to the morning’s clarity.
The youth gets together his materials to build a bridge to the moon, or perchance a palace or temple on the earth, and at length the middle-aged man concludes to build a wood-shed with them.