I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life… I wanted to live so sturdily and so Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life… to drive life into a corner to know it by experience and be able to give an account of it in my next excursion.
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- However mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names. It is not so bad as you are. It looks poorest when you are the richest.
- He who is only a traveler learns things at second-hand and by the halves, and is poor authority. We are most interested when science reports what those men already know practically or instinctively, for that alone is a true humanity, or account of human experience.
- Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.
- If I shall sell both my forenoons and afternoons to society, as most appear to do, I’m sure that, for me, there would be nothing left worth living for.
- How could youths better learn to live than by at once trying the experiment of living?
- Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify, simplify! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb-nail.