"Men come tamely home at night only from the next field or street, where their household echoes haunt, and their life pines becauseit breathes its own breath over again; their shadows, morning and evening, reach farther than their daily steps. We should come home from far, from adventures, and perils, and discoveries every day, with new experience and character."
"Of all the characters I have known, perhaps Walden wears best, and best preserves its purity. Many men have been likened to it, but few deserve that honor. Though the woodchoppers have laid bare first this shore and then that, and the Irish have built their sties by it, and the railroad has infringed on its border, and the ice-men have skimmed it once, it is itself unchanged, the same water which my youthful eyes fell on; all the change is in me."
"Have you not budged an inch, then? Such is the daily news. Its facts appear to float in the atmosphere.... We should wash ourselves clean of such news. Of what consequence, though our planet explode, if there is no character involved in the explosion? In health we have not the least curiosity about such events. We do not live for idle amusement. I would not run round a corner to see the world blow up."
"I often accuse my finest acquaintances of an immense frivolity; for, while there are manners and compliments we do not meet, we donot teach one another the lessons of honesty and sincerity that the brutes do, or of steadiness and solidity that the rocks do. The fault is commonly mutual; however, for we do not habitually demand any more of each other."
"It is the vice, but not the excellence of manners, that they are continually being deserted by the character; they are cast- off clothes or shells, claiming the respect which belonged to the living creature."
"My father was a gentleman of many virtues,--but he had a strong spice of that in his temper which might, or might not, add to thenumber.--'Tis known by the name of perseverance in a good cause,--and of obstinacy in a bad one."
"There are a thousand unnoticed openings ... which let a penetrating eye at once into a man's soul; and I maintain ... that a man of sense does not lay down his hat in coming into a room,--or take it up in going out of it, but something escapes, which discovers him."