Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

Daughters of Time, the hypocritic Days, Muffled and dumb like barefoot dervishes,
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. poet, essayist. Days (l. 1-2). . . Norton Anthology of Poetry, The. Alexander W. Allison and others, eds. (3d ed., 1983) W. W. Norton & Company.
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Let us treat the men and women well: treat them as if they were real: perhaps they are.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Experience," Essays, Second Series (1844). A sly articulation of Emersonian skepticism.
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So far as man thinks, he is free.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Fate," The Conduct of Life (1860).
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Cling with life to the maid; But when the surprise, First vague shadow of surmise Flits across her bosom young, Of a joy apart from thee, Free be she, fancy-free; Nor thou detain her vesture's hem, Nor the palest rose she flung From her summer diadem.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. poet, essayist. Give All to Love (l. 34-42). . . Oxford Book of English Verse, The, 1250-1918. Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. (New ed., rev. and enl., 1939) Oxford University Press.
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There is nothing but is related to us, nothing that does not interest us,—kingdom, college, tree, horse, or iron show,—the roots of all things are in man.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "History," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).
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When he has seen, that it is not his, nor any man's, but it is the soul which made the world, and that it is all accessible to him, he will know that he, as its minister, may rightfully hold all things subordinate and answerable to it.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Literary Ethics," Nature, Addresses, and Lectures (1849). "He" is the Emersonian scholar. This quotation is interesting in that in one sentence Emerson juxtaposes the individual mind, the universe, and the universal soul. It is these three elements in dialectical dance that constitute Emerson's concept of connected individualism.
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The nonconformist and the rebel say all manner of unanswerable things against the existing republic, but discover to our sense no plan of house or state of their own.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Montaigne; or, the Skeptic," Representative Men (1850).
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Nature is a setting that fits equally well a comic or a mourning piece. In good health, the air is a cordial of incredible virtue. Crossing a bare common, in snow puddles, at twilight, under a clouded sky, without having in my thoughts any occurrence of special good fortune, I have enjoyed a perfect exhilaration. I am glad to the brink of fear.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Nature, ch. 1 (1836, revised and repr. 1849). The last word "fear" invokes Kant's notion of the sublime in his essay "Anthropology from a Pragmatic Viewpoint," in which he defines the sublime as "that greatness in size and degree which arouses reverence. It invites us to approach it ... but it deters (for instance, the thunder above our head, or mountains towering and savage) by causing us to fear that in comparison with it we are like nothing in our own estimation" (translated by Walter Cerf). See Kant's Critique of Judgment, especially the second book, "Analytic of the Sublime."
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We are students of words: we are shut up in schools, and colleges, and recitation-rooms, for ten or fifteen years, and come out at last with a bag of wind, a memory of words, and do not know a thing.
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).
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Personal rights, universally the same, demand a government framed on the ratio of the census: property demands a government framed on the ratio of owners and of owning.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Politics," Essays, Second Series (1844).
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