Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

The Americans have many virtues, but they have not Faith and Hope. I know no two words whose meaning is more lost sight of.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Speech, January 25, 1841, before the Mechanics' Apprentices' Library Association, Boston, Massachusetts. "Man the Reformer," Nature, Addresses, and Lectures (1849).
(0) (0)
What angels invented these splendid ornaments, these rich conveniences, this ocean of air above, this ocean of water beneath, this firmament of earth between? this zodiac of lights, this tent of dropping clouds, this striped coat of climates, this fourfold year?
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Nature, ch. 2 (1836, revised and repr. 1849).
(0) (0)
Dear to us are those who love us, the swift moments we spend with them are a compensation for a great deal of misery; they enlarge our life;Mbut dearer are those who reject us as unworthy, for they add another life: they build a heaven before us, whereof we had not dreamed, and thereby supply to us new powers out of the recesses of the spirit, and urge us to new and unattempted performances.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Lecture, March 3, 1884, in Amory Hall, Boston, Massachusetts. "New England Reformers," Essays, Second Series (1844).
(1) (0)
The Same, the Same: friend and foe are of one stuff; the ploughman, the plough, and the furrow, are of one stuff; and the stuff is such, and so much, that the variations of form are unimportant.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Plato; or, the Philosopher," Representative Men (1850).
(0) (0)
For, truly speaking, whoever provokes me to a good act or thought has given me a pledge of his fidelity to virtue,—he has come under the bonds to adhere to that cause to which we are jointly attached.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Quoted in Notes to "The Lord's Supper," Miscellanies (1883, repr. 1903). Part of this passage from Emerson's farewell letter to his congregation was later used in "The Divinity School Address." See the quotation under the subject "Conversation."
(0) (0)
Whenever a mind is simple and receives an old wisdom, old things pass away,—means, teachers, texts, temples fall; it lives now, and absorbs past and future into present hour. All things are made sacred by relation to it,—one as much as another.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Self-Reliance," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).
(0) (0)
All the terrors of the French Republic, which held Austria in awe, were unable to command her diplomacy. But Napoleon sent to Vienna M. de Narbonne, one of the old noblesse, with the morals, manners, and name of that interest, saying, that it was indispensable to send to the old aristocracy of Europe men of the same connection, which, in fact, constitutes a sort of free- masonry. M. de Narbonne, in less than a fortnight, penetrated all the secrets of the imperial cabinet.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Spiritual Laws," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).
(0) (0)
I am primarily engaged to myself to be a public servant of all the gods, to demonstrate to all men that there is intelligence and good will at the heart of all things, and even higher and yet higher leadings. These are my engagements; how can your law further or hinder me in what I shall do to men?
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Speech, December 9, 1841, at the Masonic Temple, Boston, Massachusetts. "The Conservative," Nature, Addresses, and Lectures (1849).
(0) (0)
And this, because the heart in thee is the heart of all; not a valve, not a wall, not an intersection is there anywhere in nature, but one blood rolls uninterruptedly an endless circulation through all men, as the water of the globe is all one sea, and, truly seen, its tide is one.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "The Over-Soul," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).
(0) (0)
In a tumultuous privacy of storm.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "The Snow-Storm," Poems (1847).
(0) (0)