Quotations from Walden

But lo! Men have become the tools of their tools.

We have built for this world a family mansion, and for the next a family tomb.

Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end.

In short, I am convinced, both by faith and experience, that to maintain one’s self on this earth is not a hardship but a pastime. It is not necessary that a man should earn his living by the seat of his brow, unless he sweats easier than I do.

There is no odor so bad as that which arises from goodness tainted.

A man is not a good man to me because he will feed me if I should be starving, or warm me if I should be freezing, or pull me out of a ditch if I should ever fall into one. I can find you a Newfoundland dog that will do as much.

As long as possible live free and uncommitted.

Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.

There are nine hundred and ninety-nine patrons of virtue to one virtuous man, but it is easier to deal with the real possessor of a thing than with the temporary guardian of it.

After the first blush of sin, comes its indifference.

Absolutely speaking, the more money, the less virtue; for money comes between a man and his objects and obtains them for him; and it was certainly no great virtue to obtain them.