Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

We permit all things to ourselves, and that which we call sin in others, is experiment for us.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Experience," Essays, Second Series (1844).
'Tis weak and vicious people who cast the blame on Fate. The right use of Fate is to bring up our conduct to the loftiness of nature.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Fate," The Conduct of Life (1860).
Let it suffice that in the light of these two facts, namely, that the mind is One, and that nature is its correlative, history is to be read and written.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "History," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).
A man is a god in ruins. When men are innocent, life shall be longer, and shall pass into the immortal, as gently as we awake from dreams.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Nature, ch. 8 (1836, revised and repr. 1849). Emerson says that a "certain poet" sang this to him. Gay Wilson Allen and others have speculated that this poet could have been Bronson Alcott, Plotinus, or Emerson himself.
Only by obedience to his genius; only by the freest activity in the way constitutional to him, does an angel seem to arise before a man, and lead him by the hand out of all the wards of the prison.
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).
The best nations are those most widely related; and navigation, as effecting a world-wide mixture, is the most potent advancer of nations.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Race," English Traits (1856).
The greatest genius is the most indebted man.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Shakspeare; or, the Poet," Representative Men (1850).
Life is comic or pitiful as soon as the high ends of being fade out of sight, and man becomes near-sighted, and can only attend to what addresses the senses.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Address, July 15, 1838, delivered before the senior class in Divinity College, Cambridge. "The Divinity School Address," repr. in The Portable Emerson, ed. Carl Bode (1946, repr. 1981).
The great poet makes us feel our own wealth, and then we think less of his compositions. His best communication to our mind is to teach us to despise all he has done.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "The Over-Soul," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).
The eye repeats every day the first eulogy on things—"He saw that they were good."
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Uses of Great Men," Representative Men (1850).