Good & Evil Quotations
All genuine goodness is original and as free from cant and tradition as the air.—Journal, 16 June 1857
All good things are cheap—all bad are very dear.—Journal, 3 March 1841
At present, in this vicinity, the best part of the land is not private property; the landscape is not owned, and the walker enjoys comparative freedom. But possibly the day will come when it will be partitioned off into so-called pleasure grounds, in which a few will take a narrow and exclusive pleasure only,—when fences shall be multiplied, and man traps and other engines invented to confine men to the public road; and walking over the surface of God’s earth, shall be construed to mean trespassing on some gentleman’s grounds. To enjoy a thing exclusively is commonly to exclude yourself from the true enjoyment of it. Let us improve our opportunities then before the evil days come.—"Walking"
In short, all good things are wild and free.—"Walking"
It is a momentous fact that a man may be good, or he may be bad; his life may be true, or it may be false; it may be either a shame or a glory to him. The good man builds himself up; the bad man destroys himself. But whatever we do we must do confidently (if we are timid, let us, then, act timidly), not expecting more light, but having light enough. If we confidently expect more, then let us wait for it. — Thoreau to H.G.O. Blake, 2 May 1848—Thoreau to H.G.O. Blake, 2 May 1848
It is not so important that many should be as good as you, as that there be some absolute goodness somewhere; for that will leaven the whole lump.—"Resistance to Civil Government"