But man's capacities have never been measured; nor are we to judge of what he can do by any precedents, so little have been tried.
The law will never make men free, it is men that have to make the law free.
It appears to be a law that you cannot have a deep sympathy with both man and nature.
The Artist is he who detects and applies the law from observation of the works of Genius, whether of man or Nature. The Artisan is he who merely applies the rules which others have detected.
What is human warfare but just this; an effort to make the laws of God and nature take sides with one party.
Sometimes we are clarified and calmed healthily, as we never were before in our lives, not by an opiate, but by some unconscious obedience to the all-just laws, so that we become like a still lake of purest crystal and without an effort our depths are revealed to ourselves....
The law will never make a man free; it is men who have got to make the law free.
As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.
Whatever the human law may be, neither an individual nor a nation can commit the least act of injustice against the obscurest individual without having to pay the penalty for it
If we knew all the laws of Nature, we should need only fact, or the description of one actual phenomenon, to infer all the particular results at that point.
He is not a true man of science who does not bring some sympathy to his studies, and expect to learn something by behavior as well as by application. It is childish to rest in the discovery of mere coincidences, or of partial and extraneous laws. The study of geometry is a petty and idle exercise of the mind, if it is applied to no larger system than the starry one. Mathematics should be mixed not only with physics but with ethics that is mixed mathematics. The fact which interests us most is the life of the naturalist. The purest science is still biographical.
Talk about slavery It is not the peculiar institution of the South. It exists wherever men are bought and sold, wherever a man allows himself to be made a mere thing or a tool, and surrenders his inalienable rights of reason and conscience. Indeed, this slavery is more complete than that which enslaves the body alone... I never yet met with, or heard of, a judge who was not a slave of this kind, and so the finest and most unfailing weapon of injustice. He fetches a slightly higher price than the black men only because he is a more valuable slave.
If the machine of government is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law.
It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for law, so much as a respect for right.
More Henry David Thoreau Quotations (Based on Topics)
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More Henry David Thoreau Quotations (By Book Titles)
- Walden, or Life in the Woods
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