Truth & Wisdom Quotations


A familiar name cannot make a man less strange to me.—Journal, 21 May 1851
A man is not to be measured by the virtue of his described actions or the wisdom of his expressed thoughts merely, but by that free character he is, and is felt to be, under all circumstances.—"Sir Walter Raleigh"
A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.—Walden
Ancient history has an air of antiquity. It should be more modern. It is written as if the spectator should be thinking of the backside of the picture on the wall, or as if the author expected that the dead would be his readers, and wished to detail to them their own experience. — A Week on the Concord and Merrimack RiversA Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
As for the complex ways of living, I love them not, however much I practice them. In as many places as possible, I will get my feet down to the earth.—Journal, 22 October 1853
Falsehoods that glare and dazzle are sloped toward us, reflecting full in our faces even the light of the sun. Wait till sunset, or go round them, and the falsity will be apparent. — Journal, 11 February 1840—Journal, 11 February 1840
How insufficient is all wisdom without love.—Journal, 25 March 1842
How often are we wise as serpents without being harmless as doves!—Journal, 9 February 1851
I am sorry to think that you do not get a man’s most effective criticism until you provoke him. Severe truth is expressed with some bitterness.—Journal, 15 March 1854
I aspire to be acquainted with wiser men than this our Concord soil has produced, whose names are hardly known here. Or shall I hear the name of Plato and never read his book? As if Plato were my townsman and I never saw him—my next neighbor and I never heard him speak or attended to the wisdom of his words. — WaldenWalden
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