Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

What is it we heartily wish of each other? Is it to be pleased and flattered? No, but to be convicted and exposed, to be shamed out of our nonsense of all kinds, and made men of, instead of ghosts and phantoms.
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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A party is perpetually corrupted by personality.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Politics," Essays, Second Series (1844).
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Good churches are not built by bad men; at least, there must be probity and enthusiasm somewhere in the society. These minsters were neither built nor filled by atheists.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Religion," English Traits (1856).
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Good manners are made up of petty sacrifices.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Social Aims," Letters and Social Aims (1876).
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This clinches the bargain; Sails out of the bay; Gets the vote in the senate, Spite of Webster and Clay.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Tact," Poems (1847).
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Men have come to speak of the revelation as somewhat long ago given and done, as if God were dead. The injury to faith throttles the preacher; and the goodliest of institutions becomes an uncertain and inarticulate voice.
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). Another Nieztschean echo, except that Emerson is hypothetical and gentle ("as if God were dead"), as opposed to Zarathustra's resounding declaration that "God is dead."
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Man is a stream whose source is hidden. Our being is descending into us from we know not whence. The most exact calculator has no prescience that somewhat incalculable may not balk the very next moment. I am constrained every moment to acknowledge a higher origin for events than the will I call mine.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "The Over-Soul," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).
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As I am, so shall I associate, and so shall I act; Caesar's history will paint out Caesar.
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," The Portable Emerson, ed. Carl Bode (1946, repr. 1981).
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Oblivion here thy wisdom is, Thy thrift, the sleep of cares; For a proud idleness like this Crowns all thy mean affairs.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Waldeinsamkeit," May-Day and Other Pieces (1867).
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As we are, so we do; and as we do, so it is done to us; we are the builders of our fortunes.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Worship," The Conduct of Life (1860).
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