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Endless Wisdom of Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, February 18, 2005
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SOCIETY IS ALWAYS TAKEN BACK BY ANY NEW EXAMPLE OF COMMON SENSE



beautiful form is better than a beautiful face; it gives a higher pleasure than statues or pictures; it is the finest of the fine arts.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

A chief event of life is the day in which we have encountered a mind that startled us.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

A child is a curly, dimpled lunatic.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

A fly is as untamable as a hyena.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

A good indignation brings out all one's powers.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

A great man is always willing to be little.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

A great part of courage is the courage of having done the thing before.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

A man finds room in the few square inches of his face for the traits of all his ancestors; for the expression of all his history, and his wants.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

A man in debt is so far a slave.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

A man is usually more careful of his money than he is of his principles.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

A man is what he thinks about all day long.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

A man's growth is seen in the successive choirs of his friends.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Adhere to your own act, and congratulate yourself if you have done somethingstrange and extravagant, and broken the monotony of a decorous age.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

All conservatives are such from personal defects. They have been effeminated by position or nature, born halt and blind, through luxury of their parents, and can only, like invalids, act on the defensive.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

All diseases run into one, old age.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

All great masters are chiefly distinguished by the power of adding a second, a third, and perhaps a fourth step in a continuous line. Many a man had taken the first step. With every additional step you enhance immensely the value of you first.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

All I have seen teaches me to trust the creator for all I have not seen.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

All life is an experiment.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

All mankind love a lover.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

All our progress is an unfolding, like the vegetable bud, you have first an instinct, then an opinion, then a knowledge, as the plant has root, bud and fruit. Trust the instinct to the end, though you can render no reason.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

All sensible people are selfish, and nature is tugging at every contract to make the terms of it fair.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Always do what you are afraid to do.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ambition is the germ from which all growth of nobleness proceeds.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

America is another name for opportunity.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Art is a jealous mistress, and if a man has a genius for painting, poetry, music, architecture or philosophy, he makes a bad husband and an ill provider.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

As a cure for worrying, work is better than whiskey.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

As soon as there is life there is danger.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

As we grow old, the beauty steals inward.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Be an opener of doors.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Be true to your own act and congratulate yourself if you have done something strange and extravagant to break the monotony of a decorous age.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Beauty is an outward gift, which is seldom despised, except by those to whom it has been refused.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Beauty without expression is boring.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Beauty without grace is the hook without the bait.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Between eighteen and twenty, life is like an exchange where one buys stocks, not with money, but with actions. Most men buy nothing.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

By necessity, by proclivity, and by delight, we all quote.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Can anything be so elegant as to have few wants, and to serve them one's self?
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Cards were at first for benefits designed, sent to amuse, not to enslave the mind.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Character is higher than intellect. A great soul will be strong to live as well as think.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Children are all foreigners.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Commerce is of trivial import; love, faith, truth of character, the aspiration of man, these are sacred.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Commit a crime, and the earth is made of glass.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Common sense is genius dressed in its working clothes.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Concentration is the secret of strengths in politics, in war, in trade, in short in all management of human affairs.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Courage consists in the power of self-recovery.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Culture is one thing and varnish is another.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Curiosity is lying in wait for every secret.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Death comes to all, but great achievements build a monument which shall endure until the sun grows cold.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do the thing we fear, and death of fear is certain.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Doing well is the result of doing good. That's what capitalism is all about.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Don't be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Each man takes care that his neighbor shall not cheat him. But a day comes when he begins to care that he does not cheat his neighbor. Then all goes well - he has changed his market-cart into a chariot of the sun.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Each of the arts whose office is to refine, purify, adorn, embellish and grace life is under the patronage of a muse, no god being found worthy to preside over them.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Earth laughs in flowers.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Enthusiasm is the leaping lightning, not to be measured by the horse-power of the understanding.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Enthusiasm is the mother of effort, and without it nothing great was ever achieved.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every actual State is corrupt. Good men must not obey laws too well.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every artist was first an amateur.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every burned book enlightens the world.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every great institution is the lengthened shadow of a single man. His character determines the character of the organization.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every hero becomes a bore at last.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every man has his own courage, and is betrayed because he seeks in himself the courage of other persons.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every man has his own vocation, talent is the call.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every man I meet is in some way my superior.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every man is a quotation from all his ancestors.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every man supposes himself not to be fully understood or appreciated.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every mind must make its choice between truth and repose. It cannot have both.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every natural fact is a symbol of some spiritual fact.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every principle is a war-note. Whoever attempts to carry out the rule of right and love and freedom must take his life in his hand.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every violation of truth is not only a sort of suicide in the liar, but is a stab at the health of human society.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Everybody keeps telling me how surprised they are with what I've done. But I'm telling you honestly that it doesn't surprise me. I knew I could do it.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Everything in Nature contains all the powers of Nature. Everything is made of one hidden stuff.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fate is nothing but the deeds committed in a prior state of existence.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fear is an instructor of great sagacity, and the herald of all revolutions.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Few people know how to take a walk. The qualifications are endurance, plain clothes, old shoes, an eye for nature, good humor, vast curiosity, good speech, good silence and nothing too much.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fiction reveals truth that reality obscures.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fine manners need the support of fine manners in others.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Flowers... are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

For every benefit you receive a tax is levied.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Genius always finds itself a century too early.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Getting old is a fascination thing. The older you get, the older you want to get.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Go oft to the house of thy friend, for weeds choke the unused path.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

God enters by a private door into every individual.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

God offers to every mind its choice between truth and repose. Take which you please - you can never have both.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

God screens us evermore from premature ideas.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Good men must not obey the laws too well.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Great geniuses have the shortest biographies.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Great hearts steadily send forth the secret forces that incessantly draw great events.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

He builded better than he knew; the conscious stone to beauty grew.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

He that can heroically endure adversity will bear prosperity with equal greatest of the soul; for the mind that cannot be dejected by the former is not likely to be transported without the latter.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

He who has a thousand friends has not a friend to spare, while he who has one enemy shall meet him everywhere.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Hitch your wagon to a star.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

How cunningly nature hides every wrinkle of her inconceivable antiquity under roses and violets and morning dew!
Ralph Waldo Emerson

I dip my pen in the blackest ink, because I'm not afraid of falling into my inkpot.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

I hate the giving of the hand unless the whole man accompanies it.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

I like the silent church before the service begins, better than any preaching.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

I suppose every old scholar has had the experience of reading something in a book which was significant to him, but which he could never find again. Sure he is that he read it there, but no one else ever read it, nor can he find it again, though he buy the book and ransack every page.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

If a man can... make a better mousetrap, the world will make a beaten path to his door.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

If a man has good corn, or wood, or boards, or pigs to sell, or can make better chairs or knives, crucibles, or church organs, than anybody else, you will find a broad, hard-beaten road to his house, tho it be in the woods.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

If a man write a better book, preach a better sermon, or make a better mouse-trap than his neighbor, tho' he build his house in the woods, the world will make a beaten path to his door.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

If the riches of the Indies, or the crowns of all the kingdom of Europe, were laid at my feet in exchange for my love of reading, I would spurn them all.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

If the Stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown! But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you would lift me up you must be on higher ground.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

In art, the hand can never execute anything higher than the heart can imagine.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts; they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

In skating over thin ice our safety is in our speed.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

In the morning a man walks with his whole body; in the evening, only with his legs.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

In the vaunted works of art, the master-stroke is nature's part.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Intellect annuls Fate. So far as a man thinks, he is free.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Is not marriage an open question, when it is alleged, from the beginning of the world, that such as are in the institution wish to get out, and such as are out wish to get in?
Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion, it is easy in solitude to live after your own; but the great man is he who, in the midst of the world, keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is not length of life, but depth of life.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life, that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is the privilege of any human work which is well done to invest the doer with a certain haughtiness.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

It was high counsel that I once heard given to a young person, 'always do what you are afraid to do.'
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Judge of your natural character by what you do in your dreams.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Knowledge is knowing that we cannot know.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Let every man shovel out his own snow and the whole city will be passable.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Let the stoics say what they please, we do not eat for the good of living, but because the meat is savory and the appetite is keen.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Let us be silent, that we may hear the whispers of the gods.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Life consists in what a man is thinking of all day.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Make yourself necessary to somebody.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Manners require time, and nothing is more vulgar than haste.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Meek young men grow up in libraries, believing it their duty to accept the views which Cicero, which Locke, which Bacon, have given, forgetful that Cicero, Locke, and Bacon were only young men in libraries, when they wrote these books.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Men achieve a certain greatness unawares, when working to another aim.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Men are conservatives when they are least vigorous, or when they are most luxurious. They are conservatives after dinner.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Men are what their mothers made them.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Men love to wonder, and that is the seed of science.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Men's actions are too strong for them. Show me a man who has acted, and who has not been the victim and slave of his action.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Money is the representative of a certain quantity of corn or other commodity. It is so much warmth, so much bread.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Money often costs too much.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Money, which represents the prose of life, and which is hardly spoken of in parlors without an apology, is, in its effects and laws, as beautiful as roses.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Music takes us out of the actual and whispers to us dim secrets that startle our wonder as to who we are, and for what, whence, and whereto.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nature and books belong to the eyes that see them.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nature hates calculators.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nature is a mutable cloud which is always and never the same.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

New York is a sucked orange.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Next to the originator of a good sentence is the first quoter of it.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Night hovers all day in the boughs of the fir tree.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

No change of circumstances can repair a defect of character.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

No great man ever complains of want of opportunity.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

No man ever prayed heartily without learning something.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nobody can bring you peace but yourself.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

None of us will ever accomplish anything excellent or commanding except when he listens to this whisper which is heard by him alone.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nothing astonishes men so much as common sense and plain dealing.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Often a certain abdication of prudence and foresight is an element of success.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

One must be an inventor to read well. There is then creative reading as well as creative writing.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our best thoughts come from others.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our fear of death is like our fear that summer will be short, but when we have had our swing of pleasure, our fill of fruit, and our swelter of heat, we say we have had our day.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

People only see what they are prepared to see.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

People that seem so glorious are all show; underneath they are like everyone else.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

People with great gifts are easy to find, but symmetrical and balanced ones never.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Perpetual modernness is the measure of merit in every work of art.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Pictures must not be too picturesque.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Plants are the young of the world, vessels of health and vigor; but they grope ever upward towards consciousness; the trees are imperfect men, and seem to bemoan their imprisonment, rooted in the ground.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Poverty, Frost, Famine, Rain, Disease, are the beadles and guardsmen that hold us to Common Sense.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Property is an intellectual production. The game requires coolness, right reasoning, promptness, and patience in the players.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Reality is a sliding door.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Remarkable trait in the American Character is the union, not very infrequent, of Yankee cleverness with spiritualism.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Revolutions go not backward.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Science does not know its debt to imagination.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sculpture and painting have the effect of teaching us manners and abolishing hurry.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Self-truth is the essence of heroism.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

So much of our time is spent in preparation, so much in routine, and so much in retrospect, that the amount of each person's genius is confined to a very few hours.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Society is always taken by surprise at any new example of common sense.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Some books leave us free and some books make us free.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Some men are born to own, and can animate all their possessions. Others cannot: their owning is not graceful; it seems to be a compromise of their character: they seem to steal their own dividends.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Speak what you think to-day in words as hard as cannon-balls and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The age of a woman doesn't mean a thing. The best tunes are played on the oldest fiddles.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The ancestor of every action is a thought.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The art of getting rich consists not in industry, much less in saving, but in a better order, in timeliness, in being at the right spot.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The believing we do something when we do nothing is the first illusion of tobacco.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The best effort of a fine person is felt after we have left their presence.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The civilized man has built a coach, but has lost the use of his feet.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The days come and go like muffled and veiled figures sent from a distant friendly party, but they say nothing, and if we do not use the gifts they bring, they carry them as silently away.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The desire of gold is not for gold. It is for the means of freedom and benefit.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The finest and noblest ground on which people can live is truth; the real with the real; a ground on which nothing is assumed.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The first wealth is health.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The fox has many tricks. The hedgehog has but one. But that is the best of all.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when he discovers that someone else believes in him and is willing to trust him.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The god of the cannibals will be a cannibal, of the crusaders a crusader, and of the merchants a merchant.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The greatest gift is a portion of thyself.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The louder he talked of his honor the faster we counted our spoons.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The lover of nature is he whose inward and outward senses are still truly adjusted to each other; who has retained the spirit of infancy even into the era of manhood.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The maker of a sentence launches out into the infinite and builds a road into Chaos and old Night, and is followed by those who hear him with something of wild, creative delight.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The man of genius inspires us with a boundless confidence in our own powers.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The method of nature: who could ever analyze it?
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The miracles of genius always rest on profound convictions which refuse to be analyzed.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The only way to have a friend is to be one.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The prayer of the farmer kneeling in his field to weed it, the prayer of the rower kneeling with the stroke of his oar, are true prayers heard throughout nature.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The profit of books is according to the sensibility of the reader. The profoundest thought or passion sleeps as in a mine, until an equal mind and heart finds and publishes it.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The revelation of thought takes men out of servitude into freedom.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The reward of a thing well done is having done it.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The secret of drunkeness is, that it insulates us in thought, whilst it unites us in feeling.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The senses collect the surface facts of matter... It was sensation; when memory came, it was experience; when mind acted, it was knowledge; when mind acted on it as knowledge, it was thought.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The sky is the daily bread of the eyes.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The sum of wisdom is that time is never lost that is devoted to work.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The torpid artist seeks inspiration at any cost, by virtue or by vice, by friend or by fiend, by prayer or by wine.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The true test of civilization is, not the census, nor the size of the cities, nor the crops, but the kind of man that the country turns out.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

The value of a dollar is social, as it is created by society.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The value of a principle is the number of things it will explain.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The whole secret of the teacher's force lies in the conviction that man are convertible.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The wise man always throws himself on the side of his assailants. It is more his interest than it is theirs to find his weak point.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The wise skeptic does not teach doubt but how to look for the permanent in the mutable and fleeting.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The world is all gates, all opportunities, strings of tension waiting to be struck.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The world is full of judgment-days, and into every assembly that a man enters, in every action he attempts, he is gauged and stamped.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The years teach much which the days never knew.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Then beauty is its own excuse for being.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

There are no days in life so memorable as those which vibrated to some stroke of the imagination.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

There are people who have an appetite for grief; pleasure is not strong enough and they crave pain. They have mithridatic stomachs which must be fed on poisoned bread, natures so doomed that no prosperity can sooth their ragged and dishevelled desolation.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

There are two classes of poets - the poets by education and practice, these we respect; and poets by nature, these we love.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

There is a tendency for things to right themselves.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance: that imitation is suicide: that he must take himself for better, or for worse.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

There is creative reading as well as creative writing.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

There is no beautifier of complexion, or form, or behavior, like the wish to scatter joy and not pain around us.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

There was never a child so lovely but his mother was glad to get him to sleep.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

They can conquer who believe they can. He has not learned the first lesson in life who does not every day surmount a fear.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Things are pretty, graceful, rich, elegant, handsome, but, until they speak to the imagination, not yet beautiful.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Think, and be careful what thou art within; For there is sin in the desire of sin; Think, and be thankful, in a different case; For there is grace in the desire of grace.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

This body, full of faults, Has yet one great quality: Whatever it encounters in this temporal life Depends upon one's actions.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Those who stay away from the election think that one vote will do no good: 'Tis but one step more to think one vote will do no harm.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thoughts come into our minds by avenues which we never left open, and thoughts go out of our minds through avenues which we never voluntarily opened.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

'Tis the good reader that makes the good book; a good head cannot read amiss: in every book he finds passages which seem confidences or asides hidden from all else and unmistakeably meant for his ear.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

To be great is to be misunderstood.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men - that is genius.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

To speak truly, few adult persons can see nature. Most persons do not see the sun. At least they have a very superficial seeing. The sun illuminates only the eye of the man, but shines into the eye and heart of the child.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

To the dull mind nature is leaden. To the illumined mind the whole world burns and sparkles with light.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

To the poet, to the philosopher, to the saint, all things are friendly and sacred, all events profitable, all days holy, all men divine.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tobacco, coffee, alcohol, hashish, prussic acid, strychnine, are weak dilutions; the surest poison is time.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Traveling is a fool's paradise... I pack my trunk, embrace my friends, embark on the sea and at last wake up in Naples, and there besides me is the stern fact, the sad self, unrelenting, identical, that I fled from.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Trust men and they will be true to you; treat them greatly and they will show themselves great.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Trust the instinct to the end, though you can render no reason.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Trust your instinct to the end, though you can render no reason.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Truth is beautiful, without doubt; but so are lies.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Truth is the property of no individual but is the treasure of all men.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Use what language you will, you can never say anything but what you are.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Washington, where an insignificant individual may trespass on a nation's time.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

We acquire the strength we have overcome.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

We aim above the mark to hit the mark.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

We are always getting ready to live but never living.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

We are rich only through what we give, and poor only through what we refuse.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

We are symbols, and inhabit symbols.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

We are too civil to books. For a few golden sentences we will turn over and actually read a volume of 4 or 500 pages.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

We are wiser than we know.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

We ascribe beauty to that which is simple; which has no superfluous parts; which exactly answers its end; which stands related to all things; which is the mean of many extremes.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

We do what we must, and call it by the best names.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

We find delight in the beauty and happiness of children that makes the heart too big for the body.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

We gain the strength of the temptation we resist.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

We must be our own before we can be another's.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have never been discovered.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

What would be the use of immortality to a person who cannot use well a half an hour.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

What you do speak so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

When a resolute young fellow steps up to the great bully, the world, and takes him boldly by the beard, he is often surprised to find it comes off in his hand, and that it was only tied on to scare away the timid adventurers.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

When nature has work to be done, she creates a genius to do it
Ralph Waldo Emerson

When the eyes say one thing and the tongue another, the practiced person relies on the language of the first.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

When we quarrel, how we wish we had been blameless.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Who you are speaks so loudly I can't hear what you're saying.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Win as if you were used to it, lose as if you enjoyed it for a change.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wisdom has its root in goodness, not goodness its root in wisdom.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future. I live now.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

You send your child to the schoolmaster, but 'tis the schoolboys who educate him.
Ralph Waldo Emerson