Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

A man is a golden impossibility. The line he must walk is a hair's breadth.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Experience," Essays, Second Series (1844).
A friend is Janus-faced: he looks to the past and the future. He is the child of all my foregoing hours, the prophet of those to come, and the harbinger of a greater friend.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Friendship," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).
Unhappily, no man exists who has not in his own person become, to some amount, a stockholder in the sin, and so made himself liable to a share in the expiation.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Heroism," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).
Every sentence spoken by Napoleon, and every line of his writing, deserves reading, as it is the sense of France.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Napoleon; or, the Man of the World," Representative Men (1850).
Empirical science is apt to cloud the sight, and, by the very knowledge of functions and processes, to bereave the student of the manly contemplation of the whole.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Nature, ch. 8 (1836, revised and repr. 1849).
Proverbs, words, and grammar inflections convey the public sense with more purity and precision, than the wisest individual.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Nominalist and Realist," Essays, Second Series (1844).
In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts; they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Self-Reliance," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).
Could Shakespeare give a theory of Shakespeare?
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Spiritual Laws," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847). Emerson's rhetorical answer is, no he could not. This quotation is therefore a gloss on Emerson's theory of action and its dialectical relationship to theory and reflection.
Fear always springs from ignorance.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Oration, August 31, 1837, delivered before the Phi Beta Kappa Society, Cambridge, Massachusetts. "The American Scholar," repr. In Emerson: Essays and Lectures, ed. Joel Porte (1983).
Best masters for the young writer and speaker are the fault- finding brothers and sisters at home who will not spare him, but will pick and cavil, and tell the odious truth.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. The Journals of Ralph Waldo Emerson, vol. 10, ed. Edward Everett Emerson (1909-1914).