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Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882)


American philosopher, essayist, and poet.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
Emerson quotes
"If you would rule the world quietly, you must keep it amused." I notice too, that the ground on which eminent public servants urge the claims of popular education is fear: `This country is filling up with thousands and millions of voters, and you must educate them to keep them from our throats.'
Emerson
Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door.




Emerson Ralph Waldo quotes
Self-reliance, the height and perfection of man, is reliance on God.
Emerson Ralph Waldo
What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have yet to be discovered.
Ralph Waldo Emerson quotes
Act, if you like,—but you do it at your peril. 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. What they have done commits and enforces them to do the same again. The first act, which was to be an experiment, becomes a sacrament. The fiery reformer embodies his aspiration in some rite or covenant, and he and his friends cleave to the form, and lose the aspiration. The Quaker has established Quakerism, the Shaker has established his monastery and his dance; and, although each prates of spirit, there is no spirit, but repetition, which is anti-spiritual.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The true test of civilization is, not the census, nor the size of the cities, nor the crops - no, but the kind of man the country turns out.
Emerson Ralph Waldo quotes
To-day unbind the captive,
So only are ye unbound;
Lift up a people from the dust,
Trump of their rescue, sound!
Emerson
It may be a question whether machinery does not encumber; whether we have not lost by refinement some energy, by a Christianity entrenched in establishments and forms, some vigor of wild virtue. For every Stoic was a Stoic; but in Christendom where is the Christian?
Emerson Ralph Waldo
A masterpiece of art has in the mind a fixed place in the chain of being, as much as a plant or a crystal.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
We boil at different degrees.




Ralph Waldo Emerson quotes
Life only avails, not the having lived. Power ceases in the instant of repose; it resides in the moment of transition from a past to a new state, in the shooting of the gulf, in the darting to an aim
Ralph Waldo Emerson
I am ashamed to see what a shallow village tale our so-called History is.
Emerson quotes
Only the great generalizations survive. The sharp words of the Declaration of Independence, lampooned then and since as 'glittering generalities,' have turned out blazing ubiquities that will burn forever and ever.
Emerson Ralph Waldo
You will hear every day the maxims of a low prudence. You will hear, that the first duty is to get land and money, place and name. "What is this Truth you seek? What is this Beauty?" men will ask, with derision. If, nevertheless, God have called any of you to explore truth and beauty, be bold, be firm, be true. When you shall say, "As others do, so will I. I renounce, I am sorry for it, my early visions; I must eat the good of the land, and let learning and romantic expectations go, until a more convenient season." — then dies the man in you; then once more perish the buds of art, and poetry, and science, as they have died already in a thousand thousand men. The hour of that choice is the crisis of your history; and see that you hold yourself fast by the intellect. ... Bend to the persuasion which is flowing to you from every object in Nature, to be its tongue to the heart of man, and to show the besotted world how passing fair is wisdom.
Emerson Ralph Waldo quotes
Some of your hurts you have cured,
And the sharpest you still have survived,
But what torments of grief you endured
From evils which never arrived!
Ralph Waldo Emerson
When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.
Ralph Waldo Emerson quotes
Power is in nature the essential measure of right. Nature suffers nothing to remain in her kingdoms which cannot help itself. The genesis and maturation of a planet, its poise and orbit, the bended tree recovering itself from the strong wind, the vital resources of every animal and vegetable, are demonstrations of the self-sufficing, and therefore self-relying soul.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Can anybody remember when the times were not hard and money not scarce?
Emerson Ralph Waldo
I wiped away the weeds and foam,
And fetched my sea-born treasures home;
But the poor, unsightly, noisome things
Had left their beauty on the shore
With the sun, and the sand, and the wild uproar.


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