As in geology, so in social institutions, we may discover the causes of all past changes in the present invariable order of society.
It is too late to be studying Hebrew; it is more important to understand even the slang of to-day.
That man is rich whose pleasures are the cheapest.
There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root, and it may be that he who bestows the largest amount of time and money on the needy is doing the most by his mode of life to produce that misery which he strives in vain to relieve.
I have never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude. We are for the most part more lonely when we go abroad among men than when we stay in our chambers. A man thinking or working is always alone, let him be where he will.
I have found that hollow, which even I had relied on for solid.
The rarest quality in an epitaph is truth.
I have a great deal of company in my house; especially in the morning, when nobody calls.
In my afternoon walk I would fain forget all my morning occupations and my obligations to society.
To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.
Ignorance and bungling with love are better than wisdom and skill without.
Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life so. Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something.
Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.
Shall I not have intelligence with the earth? Am I not partly leaves and vegetable mould myself.
The fibers of all things have their tension and are strained like the strings of an instrument.
If a man walks in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer. But if he spends his days as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making the earth bald before her time, he is deemed an industrious and enterprising citizen.
There is no odor so bad as that which arises from goodness tainted.
There is no rule more invariable than that we are paid for our suspicions by finding what we suspect.
As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.
It is only when we forget all our learning that we begin to know.
I was more independent than any farmer in Concord, for I was not anchored to a house or farm, but could follow the bent of my genius, which is a very crooked one, every moment.
I never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude.
Aim above morality. Be not simply good, be good for something.
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 woodshed with them.
The squirrel that you kill in jest, dies in earnest.