I see nothing permanent in the society around me, and am not quite committed to any of its ways.—Journal, 1850
I thrive best on solitude. If I have had a companion only one day in a week, unless it were one or two I could name, I find that the value of the week to me has been seriously affected. It dissipates my days, and often it takes me another week to get over it.—Journal, 28 December 1856
I was describing the other day my success in solitary and distant woodland walking outside the town. I do not go there to get my dinner, but to get that sustenance which dinners only preserve me to enjoy, without which dinners are a vain repetition.—Journal, 11 January 1857
I wish to speak a word for Nature, for absolute Freedom and Wildness, as contrasted with a Freedom and Culture merely civil,—to regard man as an inhabitant, or a part and parcel of Nature, rather than a member of society.—"Walking"
I would that I were worthy to be any man's Friend.—A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
If I shall sell both my forenoons and afternoons to society, as most appear to do, I am sure that for me there would be nothing left worth living for. I trust that I shall never thus sell my birthright for a mess of pottage.—"Life Without Principle"
If we did not hear, however, we did listen, not without a reasonable expectation; that at least I have to tell, - only some utterly uncivilized, big-throated owl hooted loud and dismally in the drear and boughy wilderness, plainly not nervous about his solitary life, not afraid to hear the echoes of his voice there. — The Maine Woods—The Maine Woods
In obedience to an instinct of their nature men have pitched their cabins, and planted corn and potatoes within speaking distance of one another, and so formed towns and villages, but they have not associated, they have only assembled, and society has signified only a convention of men.—Journal, 14 March 1838
In society you will not find health, but in nature.—"Natural History of Massachusetts"