Making no complaint, offering no encouragement, one human being is made aware of the neighboring and contemporaneous existence of another.—Journal, 1837-47
Many brave men have there been, thank Fortune, but I shall never grow brave by comparison.—Journal, 29 November 1839
Men die of fright and live of confidence.—Journal, 1850
Most things are strong in one direction, a straw longitudinally, a board in the direction of its edge, but he brave man is a perfect sphere, which cannot fall on its flat side and is equally strong every way.—"The Service"
Not to grieve long for any action, but to go immediately and do freshly and otherwise, subtracts so much from the wrong.—Journal, 9 January 1842
Nothing is so much to be feared as fear.—Journal, 7 September 1851
One moment of serene and confident life is more glorious than a whole campaign of daring. We should be ready for all issues, not daring to die but daring to live.—Journal, 1839
Science is always brave, for to know, is to know good; doubt and danger quail before her eyes. What the coward overlooks in his hurry, she calmly scrutinizes, breaking ground like a pioneer for the array of arts that follow her train.—"Natural History of Massachusetts"
The Brahman never proposes courageously to assault evil, but patiently to starve it out. His active faculties are paralyzed by the idea of cast, of impassable limits, of destiny and the tyranny of time.—A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
The monster is never just there where we think he is. What is truly monstrous is our cowardice and sloth.—Thoreau to H. G. O. Blake, 19 December 1854