Courage Quotations


Fear creates danger, and courage dispels it.

Journal, 12 November 1859

Men die of fright and live of confidence.

Journal, 1850

A man sits as many risks as he runs.


Nothing is so much to be feared as fear.

Journal, 7 September 1851

The monster is never just there where we think he is. What is truly monstrous is our cowardice and sloth.

Thoreau to H. G. O. Blake, 19 December 1854

If a man were to place himself in an attitude to bear manfully the greatest evil that can be inflicted on him, he would find suddenly that there was no such evil to bear; his brave back would go a-begging.

Thoreau to H. G. O. Blake, 19 December 1854

Whatever your sex or position, life is a battle in which you are to show your pluck, and woe be to the coward.

Journal, 21 March 1853

In the long run men hit only what they aim at. Therefore, though they should fail immediately, they had better aim at something high.


Most things are strong in one direction, a straw longitudinally, a board in the direction of its edge, but he brave man is a perfect sphere, which cannot fall on its flat side and is equally strong every way.

“The Service”

Not to grieve long for any action, but to go immediately and do freshly and otherwise, subtracts so much from the wrong.

Journal, 9 January 1842

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