Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

We fetch fire and water, run about all day among the shops and markets, and get our clothes and shoes made and mended, and are the victims of these details, and once in a fortnight we arrive perhaps at a rational moment.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Nominalist and Realist," Essays, Second Series (1844).
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We might as easily reprove the east wind, or the frost, as a political party, whose members, for the most part, could give no account of their position, but stand for the defence of those interests in which they find themselves.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Politics," Essays, Second Series (1844).
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God, who gave to him the lyre, Of all mortals the desire, For all breathing men's behoof, Straitly charged him, "Sit aloof;" Annexed a warning, poets say, To the bright premium,— Ever, when twain together play, Shall the harp be dumb.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Saadi," Poems (1847).
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Solitude is impractical, and society fatal. We must keep our head in the one and our hands in the other. The conditions are met, if we keep our independence, yet do not lose our sympathy.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Society and Solitude," Society and Solitude (1870).
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But genius looks forward: the eyes of man are set in his forehead, not in his hindhead: man hopes: genius creates. Whatever talents may be, if man create not, the pure efflux of the Deity is not his;Mcinders and smoke there may be, but not yet flame.
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).
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If a man is at heart just, then in so far is he God; the safety of God, the immortality of God, the majesty of God do enter into that man with justice.
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).
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The soul knows only the soul; the web of events is the flowing robe in which she is clothed.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "The Over-Soul," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).
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You think me the child of circumstance; I make my circumstance.
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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It is the privilege of any human work which is well done to invest the doer with a certain haughtiness. He can well afford not to conciliate, whose faithful work will answer for him.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Wealth," The Conduct of Life (1860).
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Religion must always be a crab fruit: it cannot be grafted and keep its wild beauty.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Worship," The Conduct of Life (1860).
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