Ask me for a certain number of dollars if you will, but do not ask me for my afternoons.—Journal, 16 September 1859
At present, in this vicinity, the best part of the land is not private property; the landscape is not owned, and the walker enjoys comparative freedom. But possibly the day will come when it will be partitioned off into so-called pleasure grounds, in which a few will take a narrow and exclusive pleasure only,—when fences shall be multiplied, and man traps and other engines invented to confine men to the public road; and walking over the surface of God’s earth, shall be construed to mean trespassing on some gentleman’s grounds. To enjoy a thing exclusively is commonly to exclude yourself from the true enjoyment of it. Let us improve our opportunities then before the evil days come.—"Walking"
Before printing was discovered, a century was equal to a thousand years.—A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations.—Walden
But education ordinarily so called - the learning of trades and professions which is designed to enable men to earn their living, or to fit them for a particular station in life- is servile.—Journal, 8 December 1859
But most men do not know what a house is, and the mass are actually poor all their days because they think they must have such an one as their neighbor's.—Journal, 23 August 1845
But what is the use in trying to live simply, raising what you eat, making what you wear, building what you inhabit, burning what you cut or dig, when those to whom you are allied insanely want and will have a thousand other things which neither you nor they can raise and nobody else, perchance, will pay for?—Journal, 5 November 1855
Buy a farm! What have I to pay for a farm which a farmer will take?—A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
By avarice and selfishness, and a grovelling habit, from which none of us is free, of regarding the soil as property, or the means of acquiring property chiefly, the landscape is deformed, husbandry is degraded with us, and the farmer leads the meanest of lives. He knows Nature but as a robber.—Walden
Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but him who does it for love.—"Life without Principle"