Quotes by Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803 April 27, 1882) was a famous American essayist and one of America's most influential thinkers and writers. more

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The two parties which divide the state, the party of Conservatism and that of Innovation, are very old, and have disputed the possession of the world ever since it was made.

Mr. Emerson visited Thoreau at the jail, and the meeting between the two philosophers must have been interesting and somewhat dramatic. The account of the meeting was told me by Miss Maria Thoreau [Henry Thoreaus aunt]Henry, why are you here? Waldo, why are you not here?
Englands genius filled all measureOf heart and soul, of strength and pleasure,Gave to the mind its emperor,And life was larger than before:Nor sequent centuries could hitOrbit and sum of Shakespeares wit. The men who lived with him becamePoets, for the air was fame.
Dont say things. What you are stands over you the while, and thunders so that I cannot hear what you say to the contrary.
Is not every man sometimes a radical in politics? Men are conservatives when they are least vigorous, or when they are most luxurious. They are conservatives after dinner, or before taking their rest; when they are sick, or aged. In the morning, or when their intellect or their conscience has been aroused; when they hear music, or when they read poetry, they are radicals.
Europe extends to the Alleghenies; America lies beyond.
O friend, never strike sail to a fear! Come into port greatly, or sail with God the seas.
For nonconformity, the world whips you with its displeasure.
Some men's words I remember so well that I must often use them to express my thought. Yes, because I perceive that we have heard the same truth, but they have heard it better.
It is one of the blessings of our friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.
Spirit, that made those heroes dare To die, and leave their children free, Bid Time and Nature gently spare The shaft we raise to them and thee.
Yet America is a poem in our eyes; its ample geography dazzles the imagination, and it will not wait long for metres.
We grant no dukedoms to the few, We hold like rights and shall;--Equal on Sunday in the pew, On Monday in the mall. For what avail the plough or sail, Or land or life, if freedom fail? The noble craftsman we promote, Disown the knave and fool Each honest man shall have his vote, Each child shall have his school. A union then of honest men, Or union nevermore again.
I awoke this morning with a devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new. Shall I not call God the Beautiful, who daily showeth himself to me in his gifts?
But it is a cold, lifeless business when you go to the shops to buy something, which does not represent your life and talent, but a goldsmith's.
Success treads on every right step.
Friends are self-elected. Reverence is a great part of it.
Happy is the house that shelters a friend!
Traveling is a fool’s paradise. Our first journeys discover to us the indifference of places.
A man builds a fine house; and now he has a master, and a task for life: he is to furnish, watch, show it, and keep it in repair, the rest of his days.
A man’s years should not be counted until he has nothing else to count.
A little integrity is better than any career.
The great object of Education should be commensurate with the object of life. It should be a moral one; to teach self-trust: to inspire the youthful man with an interest in himself; with a curiosity touching his own nature; to acquaint him with the resources of his mind, and to teach him that there is all his strength, and to inflame him with a piety towards the Grand Mind in which he lives. Thus would education conspire with the Divine Providence.
Colleges . . . have their indispensable office,--to teach elements. But they can highly serve us when they aim not to drill, but to create; when they gather from far every ray of various genius to their hospitable halls, and by the concentrated fires, set the hearts of their youth on flame.
The April winds are magical, And thrill our tuneful frames; The garden-walks are passional To bachelors and dames.
For thou, O Spring! canst renovate All that high God did first create. Be still his arm and architect, Rebuild the ruin, mend defect; Chemist to vamp old worlds with new, Coat sea and sky with heavenlier blue.
Announced by all the trumpets of the sky, Arrives the snow, and, driving o'er the fields, Seems nowhere to alight: the whited air Hides hills and woods, the river, and the heaven, And veils the farm-house at the garden's end.
Respect the child. Wait and see the new product of Nature. Nature loves analogies, but not repetitions. Respect the child. Be not too much his parent. Trespass not on his solitude.
Dear Ellen, many a golden year May ripe, then dim, thy beauty's bloom But never shall the hour appear In sunny joy, in sorrow's gloom, When aught shall hinder me from telling My ardent love, all loves excelling.
Everything good is on the highway.

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