Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

The soul circumscribes all things.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "The Over-Soul," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).
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Amidst the downward tendency and proneness of things, when every voice is raised for a new road or another statute or a subscription of stock; for an improvement in dress, or in dentistry; for a new house or a larger business; for a political party, or the division of an estate;Mwill you not tolerate one or two solitary voices in the land, speaking for thoughts and principles not marketable or perishable?
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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The sea is masculine, the type of active strength. Look, what egg-shells are drifting all over it, each one, like ours, filled with men in ecstasies of terror, alternating with cockney conceit, as the sea is rough or smooth. Is this sad-colored circle an eternal cemetery?
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Voyage to England," English Traits (1856).
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The machine unmakes the man. Now that the machine is perfect, the engineer is nobody. Every new step in improving the engine restricts one more act of the engineer,—unteaches him.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Works and Days," Society and Solitude (1870).
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When at last in a race a new principle appears, an idea—that conserves it; ideas only save races.
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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Give a boy address and accomplishments and you give him the mastery of palaces and fortunes where he goes.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Behavior," The Conduct of Life (1860).
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For you, o broker, there is no other principle but arithmetic. For me, commerce is of trivial import; love, faith, truth of character, the aspiration of man, these are sacred; nor can I detach one duty, like you, from all other duties, and concentrate my forces mechanically on the payment of moneys.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Circles," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).
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Nature turns all malfaisance to good.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Considerations by the Way," The Conduct of Life (1860).
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I, in my pleached garden, watched the pomp, Forgot my morning wishes, hastily Took a few herbs and apples, and the Day Turned and departed silent. I, too late, Under her solemn fillet saw the scorn.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Days," May-Day and Other Pieces (1867).
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To finish the moment, to find the journey's end in every step of the road, to live the greatest number of good hours, is wisdom. It is not the part of men, but of fanatics, or of mathematicians, if you will, to say, that, the shortness of life considered, it is not worth caring whether for so short a duration we were sprawling in want, or sitting high. Since our office is with moments, let us husband them.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Experience," Essays, Second Series (1844). Emerson's solution to the Heroklitean dilemma of the succession of time is to give up the search for an overarching theme or undergirding transcendent substance, but to leap from moment to moment in a creative, fanciful frenzy.
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