Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

The Soul rules over matter. Matter may pass away like a mote in the sunbeam, may be absorbed into the immensity of God, as a mist is absorbed into the heat of the Sun—but the soul is the kingdom of God, the abode of love, of truth, of virtue.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Journal entry, March, 1831. Quoted in the Notes to "The Lord's Supper," Miscellanies (1883, repr. 1903).
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It has come to be practically a sort of rule in literature, that a man, having once shown himself capable of original writing, is entitled thenceforth to steal from the writings of others at discretion. Thought is the property of him who can entertain it; and of him who can adequately place it. A certain awkwardness marks the use of borrowed thoughts; but, as soon as we have learned what to do with them, they become our own.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Shakspeare; or, the Poet," Representative Men (1850).
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The rain has spoiled the farmer's day; Shall sorrow put my books away? Thereby are two days lost.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Suum Cuique," Poems (1847).
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Let me admonish you, first of all, to go alone; to refuse the good models, even those which are sacred in the imagination of men, and dare to love God without mediator or veil.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "The Divinity School Address," repr. in The Portable Emerson, ed. Carl Bode (1946, repr. 1981). Delivered before the senior class in Divinity College, Cambridge, Sunday evening, July 15, 1838.
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There is, in all great poets, a wisdom of humanity which is superior to any talents they exercise.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "The Over-Soul," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).
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But genius is the power to labor better and more availably. Deserve thy genius: exalt it.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Speech, January 1842, at the Masonic Temple in Boston, repr. In The Dial (1843) and Nature, Addresses, and Lectures (1849). "The Transcendentalist," repr. in The Portable Emerson, ed. Carl Bode (1946, repr. 1981).
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Nature never sends a great man onto the planet, without confiding the secret to another soul.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Uses of Great Men," Representative Men (1850).
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'Tis the old secret of the gods that they come in low disguises. 'Tis the vulgar great who come dizened with gold and jewels. Real kings hide away their crowns in their wardrobes, and affect a plain and poor exterior.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Works and Days," Society and Solitude (1870).
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The tendency of things runs steadily to this point, namely, to put every man on his merits, and to give him so much power as he naturally exerts,—no more, no less.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Address Delivered in Concord on the Anniversary of the Emancipation of the Negroes in the British West Indies, August 1, 1884," Miscellanies (1883, repr. 1903).
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There are eyes, to be sure, that give no more admission into the man than blueberries.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Behavior," The Conduct of Life (1860).
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