I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours…

Our village life would stagnate if it were not for the unexplored forests and meadows which surround it …

After a still winter night I awoke with the impression that some question had been put to me, which I had been endeavoring in vain to answer in my sleep…

Still grows the vivacious lilac a generation after the door and lintel and the sill are gone, unfolding its sweet-scented flowers each spring, to be plucked by the musing traveller…

Still we live meanly, like ants; though the fable tells us that we were long ago changed into men; like pygmies we fight with cranes; it is error upon error, and clout upon clout, and our best virtue has for its occasion a superfluous and evitable wretchedness…

Every morning was a cheerful invitation to make my life of equal simplicity, and I may say innocence, with Nature herself…

We ate in silence, stealing glances, forming questions, abandoning them under the weight of a thousand bad tangents, worse memories, mires and traps…

I took perhaps fifty steps down the sidewalk, and then I stopped…

Death seems the only desirable sequel for a career like this…

It needs scarcely to be told, with what feelings, on the eve of a Nantucket voyage, I regarded those marble tablets, and by the murky light of that darkened, doleful day read the fate of the whalemen who had gone before me…

There he’d been, in extremely cold salty water, his lungs half-full and his heavy legs cramping and his shoulder useless in its socket, and all he would have had to do was nothing…

There was once a villager who was very poor, so poor that he did not have enough money to pay for his daughter’s wedding and had nothing to borrow against…