What are the natural features which make a township handsome? A river, with its waterfalls and meadows, a lake, a hill, a cliff or individual rocks, a forest, and ancient trees standing singly. Such things are beautiful; they have a high use which dollars and cents never represent. If the inhabitants of a town were wise, they would seek to preserve these things, though at a considerable expense; for such things educate far more than any hired teachers or preachers, or any at present recognized system of school education.—Journal, 3 January 1861
What everybody echoes or in silence passes by as true to-day may turn out to be falsehood to-morrow, mere smoke of opinion, which some had trusted for a cloud that would sprinkle fertilizing rain on their fields.—Walden
What exercise is to the body, employment is to the mind and morals.—Thoreau to H.G.O Blake, 27 March 1848
What force has a multitude? They only can force me who obey a higher law than I.—"Resistance to Civil Government"
What is the value of any political freedom, but as a means to moral freedom?—Journal, 16 February 1851
What is the value of his esteem who does not justly esteem another?—Journal, 15 February 1851
What is wanted is men of principle, who recognize a higher law than the decision of the majority. The marines and the militia whose bodies were used lately were not men of sense nor of principle; in a high moral sense they were not men at all.—Journal, 9 June 1854
What is wanted is men, not of policy, but of probity—who recognize a higher law than the Constitution, or the decision of the majority.—"Slavery in Massachusetts"
What men call social virtues, good fellowship, is commonly but the virtue of pigs in a litter which lie close together to keep each other warm. It brings men together in crowds and mobs in bar-rooms and elsewhere, but it does not deserve the name of virtue.—Journal, 23 October 1852
What we want is not mainly to colonize Nebraska with free men, but to colonize Massachusetts with free men-to be free ourselves. As the enterprise of a few individuals, that is brave and practical; but as the enterprise of the State, it is cowardice and imbecility. What odds where we squat, or bow much ground we cover? It is not the soil that we would make free, but men.—Journal, 18 June 1854
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