Wealth & Poverty Quotations


I am never rich in money, and I am never meanly poor. — A Week on the Concord and Merrimack RiversA Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
I cannot but regard it as a kindness in those who have the steering of me that, by the want of pecuniary wealth, I have been nailed down to this my native region so long and steadily, and made to study and love this spot of earth more and more. What would signify in comparison a thin and diffused love and knowledge of the whole earth instead, got by wandering? The traveler's is but a barren and comfortless condition. Wealth will not buy a man a home in nature-house nor farm there. The man of business does not by his business earn a residence in nature, but is denaturalized rather.—Journal, 12 November 1853
I do not so much wish to know how to economize time as how to spend it, by what means to grow rich, that the day may not have been in vain.—Journal, 7 September 1851
I hate that my motive for visiting a friend should be that I want society; that it should lie in my poverty and weakness, and not in his and my riches and strength.—Journal, 14 February 1852
I have as much property as I can command and use. — Journal, 26 January 1841—Journal, 26 January 1841
I should like not to exchange any of my life for money.—Thoreau to H. G. O. Blake, 31 December 1856
I want nothing new, if I can have but a tithe of the old secured to me. I will spurn all wealth beside. Think of the consummate folly of attempting to go away from here! When the constant endeavor should be to get nearer and nearer here!—Journal, 1 November 1858
If you mean by hard times, times not when there is no bread, but when there is no cake, I have no sympathy with you. — Journal, 28 January 1852—Journal, 28 January 1852
If you wish to give a man a sense of poverty, give him a thousand dollars. The next hundred dollars he gets will not be worth more than ten that he used to get. Have pity on him; withhold your gifts.—Journal, 20 January 1856
If you would get money as a writer or lecturer, you must be popular, which is to go down perpendicularly. — "Life without Principle"—"Life without Principle"
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