He sketches first, with strong, practical English pencil, the essential features in outline, black on white, more faithfully that Dryasdust would have done, telling us wisely whom and what to mark, to save time, and then with a brush of camel's hair, or sometimes with more expeditious swab, he lays on the bright and fast colors of his humor everywhere. — "Thomas Carlyle and His Works"—"Thomas Carlyle and His Works"
How admirably the artist is made to accomplish his self-culture by devotion to his art! The wood-sawyer, through his effort to do his work well, becomes not merely a better wood-sawyer, but measurably a better man. — Thoreau to H.G.O. Blake, 19 December 1853—Thoreau to H.G.O. Blake, 19 December 1853
How important is a constant intercourse with nature and the contemplation of natural phenomena to the preservation of moral and intellectual health! The discipline of the schools or of business can never impart such serenity to the mind.—Journal, 6 May 1851
I am still a learner, not a teacher, feeding somewhat omnivorously, browsing both stalk and leaves—but I shall perhaps be enabled to speak with the more precision and authority by and by—if philosophy and sentiment are not buried under a multitude of details.—Thoreau to H. G. O. Blake, 21 May 1856
I do not know that this higher knowledge amounts to anything more definite than a novel and grand surprise on a sudden revelation of the insufficiency of all that we called Knowledge before—a discovery that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of in our philosophy. — "Walking"—"Walking"