A broad margin of leisure is as beautiful in a man's life as in a book.—Journal, 28 December 1852
A man at work on the Ledum Pool, draining it, says that, when they had ditched about six feet deep, or to the bottom, near the edge of this swamp, they came to old flags, and he thought that the whole swamp was ounce a pond and the flag grew by the edge of it.—Journal, 22 October 1858
Ask me for a certain number of dollars if you will, but do not ask me for my afternoons.—Journal, 16 September 1859
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
Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but him who does it for love.—"Life without Principle"
Do your work, and finish it. If you know how to begin, you will know when to end.—"A Plea for Captain John Brown"
Every important worker will report what life there is in him.—Journal, 6 May 1854
Fishermen, hunters, woodchoppers, and others, spending their lives in the fields and woods, in a peculiar sense a part of Nature themselves, are often in a more favorable mood for observing her, in the intervals of their pursuits, than philosophers or poets even, who approach her with expectation.—Walden
For myself I found that the occupation of a day-laborer was the most independent of any, especially as it required only thirty or forty days in a year to support one. The laborer’s day ends with the going down of the sun, and he is then free to devote himself to his chosen pursuit, independent of his labor; but his employer, who speculates from month to month, has no respite from one end of the year to the other.—Walden
Here and there a pilot-boat was towing its little boat astern toward some distant foreigner who had just fired a gun, the echo of which along the shore sounded like the caving of the bank.—Cape Cod