Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

Talents differ; all is well and wisely put; If I cannot carry forests on my back, Neither can you crack a nut.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. poet, essayist. The Mountain and the Squirrel (l. 17-19). . . Oxford Book of American Light Verse, The. William Harmon, ed. (1979) Oxford University Press.
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These temples grew as grows the grass; Art might obey, but not surpass. The passive Master lent his hand To the vast soul that o'er him planned.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "The Problem," Poems (1847).
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It is easy to carp at colleges, and the college, if he will wait for it, will have its own turn. Genius exists there also, but will not answer a call of a committee of the House of Commons. It is rare, precious, eccentric, and darkling.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Universities," English Traits (1856).
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Who liveth by the ragged pine Foundeth a heroic line; Who liveth in the palace hall Waneth fast and spendeth all.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Woodnotes II," Poems (1847).
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The Frenchman invented the ruffle; the Englishman added the shirt.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Ability," English Traits (1856).
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If I could put my hand on the north star, would it be as beautiful? The sea is lovely, but when we bathe in it the beauty forsakes all the near water. For the imagination and senses cannot be gratified at the same time.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Beauty," The Conduct of Life (1860).
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Character repudiates intellect, yet excites it; and character passes into thought, is published so, and then is ashamed before new flashes of moral worth.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Character," Essays, Second Series (1844).
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Punishment is a fruit that unsuspected ripens within the flower of the pleasure which concealed it. Cause and effect, means and ends, seed and fruit, cannot be severed; for the effect already blooms in the cause, the end preexists in the means, the fruit in the seed.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Compensation," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).
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Life is very narrow. Bring any club or company of intelligent men together again after ten years, and if the presence of some penetrating and calming genius could dispose them to frankness, what a confession of insanities would come up!
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Culture," The Conduct of Life (1860).
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To be great is to be misunderstood.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Essays, "Self-Reliance," First Series (1841).
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