TIME Quotations


A man will not need to study history to find out what is best for his own culture.—Walden
After walking by night several times, I now walk by day, but I am not aware of any crowning advantage in it.—Journal, 15 June 1851
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 Rivers
As for your high towers and monuments, there was a crazy fellow once in this town who undertook to dig through to China, and he got so far that, as he said, he heard the Chinese pots and kettles rattle; but I think that I shall not go out of my way to admire the hole which he made. Many are concerned about the monuments of the West and the East—to know who built them. For my part, I should like to know who in those days did not build them—who were above such trifling.—Walden
Ask me for a certain number of dollars if you will, but do not ask me for my afternoons.—Journal, 16 September 1859
By my intimacy with nature I find myself withdrawn from man. My interest in the sun and the moon, in the morning and the evening, compels me to solitude.—Journal, 26 July 1851
Early in the morning I worked barefooted, dabbling like a plastic artist in the dewy and crumbling sand, but later in the day the sun blistered my feet.—Walden
For if Herodotus carried his history to Olympia to read, after the cestus and the race, have we not heard such histories recited there, which since our countrymen have read, as made Greece sometimes to be forgotten?—A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
For more than five years I maintained myself thus solely by the labor of my hands, and I found that, by working about six weeks in a year, I could meet all the expenses of living.—Walden
History has neither the venerableness of antiquity, nor the freshness of the modern. It does as if it would go to the beginning of things, which natural history might with reason assume to do; but consider the Universal History, and then tell us,—when did burdock and plantain sprout first?—A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
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