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(1820-1860) Henry David Thoreau, of French and Scottish descent, was born in Concord, Massachusetts and made it his permanent home. From a poor family, he worked his way through Harvard. Throughout his life, he reduced his needs to the simplest level and managed to live on very little money, thus maintaining his independence. In essence, he made living his career. A nonconformist, he attempted to live his life at all times according to his rigorous principles. This attempt was the subject of many of his writings.

“It is never too late to give up your prejudices.”

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

“Most of the luxuries and many of the so-called comforts of life are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind.”

“Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.”

“All this worldly wisdom was once the amiable heresy of some wise man.”

“I heartily accept the motto, ‘That government is best which governs least;’ and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically.”

“Many go fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.”

“True friendship can afford true knowledge. It does not depend on darkness and ignorance.”

“Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them all.”

“Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.”

“The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.”

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”