‘Tis healthy to be sick sometimes.—Journal, 10 January 1851
A book should be so true as to be intimate and familiar to all men as the sun to their faces. Such a word as is occasionally uttered to a companion in the woods in summer, and both are silent.—Journal, 4 September 1841
A book should contain pure discoveries, glimpses of terra firma, though by shipwrecked mariners, and not the art of navigation by those who have never been out of sight of land.—A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
A broad margin of leisure is as beautiful in a man’s life as in a book.—Journal, 28 December 1852
A fact stated barely is dry. It must be the vehicle of some humanity in order to interest us . . . A man has not seen a thing who has not felt it.—Journal, 23 February 1860
A familiar name cannot make a man less strange to me.—Journal, 21 May 1851
A Friend is one who incessantly pays us the compliment of expecting from us all the virtues, and who can appreciate them in us.—A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
A government which deliberately enacts injustice, and persists in it, will at length ever become the laughingstock of the world.—"Slavery in Massachusetts"
A healthy man, indeed, is the complement of the seasons, and in winter, summer is in his heart.—"A Winter Walk"
A history of animated nature must itself be animated.—Journal, 18 February 1860
A lady once offered me a mat, but as I had no room to spare within the house, nor time to spare within or without to shake it, I declined it, preferring to wipe my feet on the sod before my door. It is best to avoid the beginnings of evil.—Walden
A living dog is better than a dead lion. Shall a man go and hang himself because he belongs to the race of pigmies, and not be the biggest pigmy that he can? Let every one mind his own business, and endeavor to be what he was made.—Walden
A man at work on the Ledum Pool, draining it, says that, when they had ditched about six feet deep, or to the bottom, near the edge of this swamp, they came to old flags, and he thought that the whole swamp was ounce a pond and the flag grew by the edge of it.—Journal, 22 October 1858
A man can never say of any landscape that he has exhausted it.—Journal, 19 April 1850
A man cannot be said to succeed in this life who does not satisfy one friend.—Journal, 19 February 1857
A man does best when he is most himself.—Journal, 21 January 1852
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
A man may esteem himself happy when that which is his food is also his medicine.—A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
A man may use as simple a diet as the animals, and yet retain health and strength.—Walden