Humankind Quotations


A familiar name cannot make a man less strange to me.—Journal, 21 May 1851
As Anacreon says "the works of men shine," so the sounds of men and birds are musical.—Journal, 8 March 1853
As boys are sometimes required to show an excuse for being absent from school, so it seems to me that men should have to show some excuse for being here.—Journal, 3 January 1861
For one that comes with a pencil to sketch or sing, a thousand come with an axe or rifle.—The Maine Woods
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
How is it that we are impelled to treat our old friends so ill when we obtain new ones?—A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
I exclaim to myself, Surfaces! surfaces! If the outside of a man is so variegated and extensive, what must the inside be?—Journal, 10 March 1859
I expect the Christian not to be superstitious but to be distinguished by the clearness of his knowledge, the strength of his faith, the breadth of his humanity.—Journal, 25 September 1851
I have never felt lonesome, or in the least oppressed by a sense of solitude, but once, and that was a few weeks after I came to the woods, when, for an hour, I doubted if the near neighborhood of man was not essential to a serene and healthy life. To be alone was something unpleasant.—Walden
I love mankind, I hate the institutions of their forefathers.—Journal, 20 June 1846
All quotation categories