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Ralph Waldo Emerson (Writer)

Place yourself in the middle of the stream ofandwhich animates all whom it floats, and you are without effort impelled to , to right and a perfect contentment.
Ralph Waldo Emerson men
Only thegeneralizations .
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The sublime is excited in me by the doctrine, Obey thyself.
Ralph Waldo Emerson self
The man who renounces himself, comes to himself.
Ralph Waldo Emerson self
None believeth in theof man, but only in some man or person old and departed.
Ralph Waldo Emerson art
The imitator dooms himself to hopeless mediocrity. The inventor did it because it was natural to him, and so in him it has a charm. In the imitator something else is natural, and he bereaves himself of his own beauty, to come short of another man's.
Ralph Waldo Emerson hope
He who is inisand is becoming wiser, sees newly every time he looks at the object beloved, drawing from it with his eyes and his mind those virtues which it possesses.
Ralph Waldo Emerson love
Place yourself in the middle of the stream of power and wisdom which animates all whom it floats, and you are without effort impelled to truth, to right and a perfect contentment.
Ralph Waldo Emerson truth
I fancy I need more than another to speak (rather than write), with such a formidable tendency to the lapidary style. I build my house of boulders.
Ralph Waldo Emerson need
Yet a man may love a paradox, without losing either his wit or his honesty.
Ralph Waldo Emerson love
Literature is the effort of man to indemnify himself for the wrongs of his condition.
Ralph Waldo Emerson self
There is always a certain meanness in the argument of conservatism, joined with a certain superiority in its fact.
Ralph Waldo Emerson men
The two parties which divide the State, the party of Conservatism and that of Innovation are very old, and have disputed the possession of the world ever since it was made ... Now one, now the other gets the day, and still the fight renews itself as if for the first time, under new names and hot personalities ... Innovation is the salient energy; Conservatism the pause on the last movement.
Ralph Waldo Emerson time
Self-reliance, the height and perfection of man, is reliance on God.
Ralph Waldo Emerson man
The thing done avails, and not what is said about it. An original sentence, a step forward, is worth more than all the censures.
Ralph Waldo Emerson war
Classics which at home are drowsily read have a strange charm in a country inn, or in the transom of a merchant brig.
Ralph Waldo Emerson strange
I find the Englishman to be him of all men who stands firmest in his shoes. They have in themselves what they value in their horses, — mettle and bottom.
Ralph Waldo Emerson men
Solvency is maintained by means of a national debt, on the principle, "If you will not lend me the money, how can I pay you?"
Ralph Waldo Emerson money
Nothing can be preserved that is not good.
Ralph Waldo Emerson good
Never read any book that is not a year old.
Ralph Waldo Emerson book
If the colleges were better, if they ... had the power of imparting valuable thought, creative principles, truths which become powers, thoughts which become talents, — if they could cause that a mind not profound should become profound, — we should all rush to their gates: instead of contriving inducements to draw students, you would need to set police at the gates to keep order in the in-rushing multitude.
Ralph Waldo Emerson truth
Only the great generalizations survive. The sharp words of the Declaration of Independence, lampooned then and since as 'glittering generalities,' have turned out blazing ubiquities that will burn forever and ever.
Ralph Waldo Emerson words
A mollusk is a cheap edition [of man] with a suppression of the costlier illustrations, designed for dingy circulation, for shelving in an oyster-bank or among the seaweed.
Ralph Waldo Emerson man
Poetry teaches the enormous force of a few words, and, in proportion to the inspiration, checks loquacity.
Ralph Waldo Emerson inspiration
There are two classes of poets — the poets by education and practice, these we respect; and poets by nature, these we love.
Ralph Waldo Emerson love
What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have yet to be discovered.
Ralph Waldo Emerson virtue
I hung my verse in the wind Time and tide their faults will find.
Ralph Waldo Emerson will
Sunshine cannot bleach the snow, Nor time unmake what poets know.
Ralph Waldo Emerson time
The bitterest tragic element in life to be derived from an intellectual source is the belief in a brute Fate or Destiny.
Ralph Waldo Emerson life
Characters and talents are complemental and suppletory. The world stands by balanced antagonisms. The more the peculiarities are pressed the better the result. The air would rot without lightning; and without the violence of direction that men have, without bigots, without men of fixed idea, no excitement, no efficiency.The novelist should not make any character act absurdly, but only absurdly as seen by others. For it is so in life. Nonsense will not keep its unreason if you come into the humorist's point of view, but unhappily we find it is fast becoming sense, and we must flee again into the distance if we would laugh.
Ralph Waldo Emerson humor
What strength belongs to every plant and animal in nature. The tree or the brook has no duplicity, no pretentiousness, no show. It is, with all its might and main, what it is, and makes one and the same impression and effect at all times. All the thoughts of a turtle are turtles, and of a rabbit, rabbits. But a man is broken and dissipated by the giddiness of his will ; he does not throw himself into his judgments; his genius leads him one way but 't is likely his trade or politics in quite another.
Ralph Waldo Emerson politics
Every man is a new method.
Ralph Waldo Emerson man
A mind does not receive truth as a chest receives jewels that are put into it, but as the stomach takes up food into the system. It is no longer food, but flesh, and is assimilated. The appetite and the power of digestion measure our right to knowledge. He has it who can use it. As soon as our accumulation overruns our invention or power to use, the evils of intellectual gluttony begin,— congestion of the brain, apoplexy and strangulation.
Ralph Waldo Emerson truth
Every man I meet is in some way my superior; and in that I can learn of him.
Ralph Waldo Emerson man
You must read . But you must hold him at arm's length and say, 'Plato, you have delighted and edified mankind for two thousand years. What have you to say to me?'
Ralph Waldo Emerson light
I read your piece on Plato. Holmes, when you strike at a king, you must kill him.
Ralph Waldo Emerson you
I regard it as the irresistible effect of the Copernican astronomy to have made the theological scheme of redemption absolutely incredible
Ralph Waldo Emerson logic
What is there in 'Paradise Lost' to elevate and astonish like Herschel or Somerville?
Ralph Waldo Emerson lost
The horseman serves the horse, The neatherd serves the neat, The merchant serves the purse, The eater serves his meat; 'T is the day of the chattel, Web to weave, and corn to grind; Things are in the saddle, And ride mankind.
Ralph Waldo Emerson sad
Money often costs too much.
Ralph Waldo Emerson money
People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
Ralph Waldo Emerson world
Leave this hypocritical prating about the masses. Masses are rude, lame, unmade, pernicious in their demands and influence, and need not to be flattered, but to be schooled. I wish not to concede anything to them, but to tame, drill, divide, and break them up, and draw individuals out of them.
Ralph Waldo Emerson man
Respect the child. Be not too much his parent. Trespass not on his solitude.
Ralph Waldo Emerson solitude
I wish to write such rhymes as shall not suggest a restraint, but contrariwise the wildest freedom.
Ralph Waldo Emerson freedom
To different minds, the same world is a hell, and a heaven.
Ralph Waldo Emerson mind
When a whole nation is roaring Patriotism at the top of its voice, I am fain to explore the cleanness of its hands and purity of its heart.
Ralph Waldo Emerson art
The Religion that is afraid of science dishonours God and commits suicide. It acknowledges that it is not equal to the whole of truth, that it legislates, tyrannizes over a village of God's empires but is not the immutable universal law. Every influx of atheism, of skepticism is thus made useful as a mercury pill assaulting and removing a diseased religion and making way for truth.
Ralph Waldo Emerson truth
A sect or party is an elegant incognito devised to save a man from the vexation of thinking.
Ralph Waldo Emerson art
Four snakes gliding up and down a hollow for no purpose that I could see — not to eat, not for love, but only gliding.
Ralph Waldo Emerson love
We are always getting ready to live, but never living.
Ralph Waldo Emerson living
Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis.
Ralph Waldo Emerson time
The sky is the daily bread of the eyes.
Ralph Waldo Emerson eyes
Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.
Ralph Waldo Emerson dream
Children are all foreigners.
Ralph Waldo Emerson children
The best effect of fine persons is felt after we have left their presence.
Ralph Waldo Emerson person
He needs no library, for he has not done thinking; no church, for he is himself a prophet; no statute book, for he hath the Lawgiver; no money, for he is value itself; no road, for he is at home where he is.
Ralph Waldo Emerson money
If I made laws for Shakers or a school, I should gazette every Saturday all the words they were wont to use in reporting religious experience, as “spiritual life,” “God,” “soul,” “cross,” etc., and if they could not find new ones next week, they might remain silent.
Ralph Waldo Emerson life
It is easy to live for others; everybody does. I call on you to live for yourselves.
Ralph Waldo Emerson live
You shall have joy, or you shall have power, said God; you shall not have both.
Ralph Waldo Emerson power
Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.
Ralph Waldo Emerson life
Immortality. I notice that as soon as writers broach this question they begin to quote. I hate quotation. Tell me what you know.
Ralph Waldo Emerson quote
Poetry must be new as foam, and as old as the rock.
Ralph Waldo Emerson poetry
I owed a magnificent day to the . It was the first of books; it was as if an empire spoke to us, nothing small or unworthy, but large, serene, consistent, the voice of an old intelligence which in another age and climate had pondered and thus disposed of the same questions which exercise us.
Ralph Waldo Emerson books
Blessed are those who have no talent!
Ralph Waldo Emerson talent
The word liberty in the mouth of Mr. Webster sounds like the word love in the mouth of a courtesan.
Ralph Waldo Emerson love
I trust a good deal to common fame, as we all must. If a man has good corn, or wood, or boards, or pigs, to sell, or can make better chairs or knives, crucibles or church organs, than anybody else, you will find a broad hard-beaten road to his house, though it be in the woods.
Ralph Waldo Emerson trust
The blazing evidence of immortality is our dissatisfaction with any other solution.
Ralph Waldo Emerson action
I have been writing & speaking what were once called novelties, for twenty five or thirty years, & have not now one disciple. Why? Not that what I said was not true; not that it has not found intelligent receivers but because it did not go from any wish in me to bring men to me, but to themselves. I delight in driving them from me. What could I do, if they came to me? — they would interrupt and encumber me. This is my boast that I have no school & no follower. I should account it a measure of the impurity of insight, if it did not create independence.
Ralph Waldo Emerson writing
If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore, and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown!
Ralph Waldo Emerson men
Our age is retrospective. It builds the sepulchres of the fathers. It writes biographies, histories, and criticism. The foregoing generation beheld God and nature face to face; we, through their eyes. Why should not we also enjoy an original relation to the universe. Why should not we have a poetry and philosophy of insight and not of tradition, and a religion by revelation to us, and not the history of theirs?
Ralph Waldo Emerson philosophy
Undoubtedly we have no questions to ask which are unanswerable. We must trust the perfection of the creation so far, as to believe that whatever curiosity the order of things has awakened in our minds, the order of things can satisfy. Every man's condition is a solution in hieroglyphic to those inquiries he would put. He acts it as life, before he apprehends it as truth.
Ralph Waldo Emerson life
If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore, and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown! But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile.
Ralph Waldo Emerson beauty
The stars awaken a certain reverence, because though always present, they are inaccessible; but all natural objects make a kindred impression, when the mind is open to their influence. Nature never wears a mean appearance. Neither does the wisest man extort her secret, and lose his curiosity by finding out all her perfection. Nature never became a toy to a wise spirit. The flowers, the animals, the mountains, reflected the wisdom of his best hour, as much as they had delighted the simplicity of his childhood.
Ralph Waldo Emerson wisdom
The stars awaken a certain reverence, because though always present, they are inaccessible; but all natural objects make a kindred impression, when the mind is open to their influence. Nature never wears a mean appearance.
Ralph Waldo Emerson mind
The charming landscape which I saw this morning, is indubitably made up of some twenty or thirty farms. Miller owns this field, Locke that, and Manning the woodland beyond. But none of them owns the landscape. There is a property in the horizon which no man has but he whose eye can integrate all the parts, that is, the poet. This is the best part of these men's farms, yet to this their warranty-deeds give no title. To speak truly, few adult persons can see nature. Most persons do not see the sun. At least they have a very superficial seeing. The sun illuminates only the eye of the man, but shines into the eye and the heart of the child. The lover of nature is he whose inward and outward senses are still truly adjusted to each other; who has retained the spirit of infancy even into the era of . His intercourse with heaven and earth, becomes part of his daily food.
Ralph Waldo Emerson love
Standing on the bare ground, — my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite space, — all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eye-ball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or particle of God.
Ralph Waldo Emerson art
Beauty is the mark God sets upon virtue.
Ralph Waldo Emerson virtue
Give me health and a day, and I will make the pomp of emperors ridiculous.
Ralph Waldo Emerson health
Every natural fact is a symbol of some spiritual fact.
Ralph Waldo Emerson spiritual
We are, like Nebuchadnezzar, dethroned, bereft of reason, and eating grass like an ox.
Ralph Waldo Emerson reason
A man is a god in ruins.
Ralph Waldo Emerson god
In this distribution of functions, the scholar is the delegated intellect. In the right state, he is, Man Thinking. In the degenerate state, when the victim of society, he tends to become a mere thinker, or, still worse, the parrot of other men's thinking.
Ralph Waldo Emerson society
The state of society is one in which the members have suffered amputation from the trunk, and strut about so many walking monsters,—a good finger, a neck, a stomach, an elbow, but never a man.
Ralph Waldo Emerson society
The soul active sees absolute truth; and utters truth, or creates.
Ralph Waldo Emerson truth
Butlooks forward: the eyes of men are set in his forehead, not in his hindhead: man hopes: genius creates.
Ralph Waldo Emerson hope
Genius is always sufficiently the enemy of genius by over influence.
Ralph Waldo Emerson genius
Man Thinking must not be subdued by his instruments.
Ralph Waldo Emerson men
Of course, he who has put forth his total strength in fit actions, has the richest return of wisdom.
Ralph Waldo Emerson wisdom
is our dictionary.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Success treads on every right step. For the instinct is sure, that prompts him to tell his brother what he thinks. He then learns, that in going down into the secrets of his own mind, he has descended into the secrets of all minds. He learns that he who has mastered any law in his private thoughts, is master to that extent of all men whose language he speaks, and of all into whose language his own can be translated.
Ralph Waldo Emerson mind
Wherever Macdonald sits, there is the head of the table.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The soul is subject to dollars.
Ralph Waldo Emerson soul
In how many churches, by how many prophets, tell me, is man made sensible that he is an infinite Soul; that the earth and heavens are passing into his mind; that he is drinking forever the soul of God?
Ralph Waldo Emerson art
The world is nothing, the man is all; in yourself is the law of all nature, and you know not yet how a globule of sap ascends; in yourself slumbers the whole of Reason; it is for you to know all, it is for you to dare all.
Ralph Waldo Emerson nature
I had better never see a book than to be warped by its attraction clean out of my own orbit, and made a satellite instead of a system. The one thing in the world, of value, is the active soul.
Ralph Waldo Emerson war
Character is higher than intellect...A great soul will be strong to live, as well as strong to think.
Ralph Waldo Emerson soul
What would we really know the meaning of? The meal in the firkin; the milk in the pan; the ballad in the street; the news of the boat; the glance of the eye; the form and the gait of the body; — show me the ultimate reason of these matters; show me the sublime presence of the highest spiritual cause lurking, as always it does lurk, in these suburbs and extremities of nature; let me see every trifle bristling with the polarity that ranges it instantly on an eternal law; and the shop, the plough, and the ledger, referred to the like cause by which light undulates and poets sing; — and the world lies no longer a dull miscellany and lumber-room, but has form and order; there is no trifle; there is no puzzle; but one design unites and animates the farthest pinnacle and the lowest trench.
Ralph Waldo Emerson art
Do not yet see, that, if the single man plant himself indomitably on his instincts, and there abide, the huge world will come round to him.
Ralph Waldo Emerson world
We will walk on our own feet; we will work with our own hands; we will speak our own minds...A nation of men will for the first time exist, because each believes himself inspired by the Divine Soul which also inspires all men.
Ralph Waldo Emerson time
Address to the Literary Societes of Dartmouth College (24 July 1838)
Ralph Waldo Emerson art

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