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
Be faithful to your genius.—Journal, 20 December 1851
Circumstances are not rigid and unyielding, but our habits are rigid.—Thoreau to H. G. O. Blake, 17 March 1848
Compliments and flattery oftenest excite my contempt by the pretension they imply, for who is he that assumes to flatter me? To compliment often implies an assumption of superiority in the complimenter. It is, in fact, a subtle detraction.—Journal, 27 March 1857
Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but him who does it for love.—"Life without Principle"