Inspirational quotes to feed your soul and brighten your day.

840 Transcendent Quotes by Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • Last updated Jun 28 2021

Welcome to our quotes collection of the 501 best Ralph Waldo Emerson quotes. We hope you enjoy them!

Wikipedia Summary for Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882), who went by his middle name Waldo, was an American essayist, lecturer, philosopher, abolitionist and poet who led the transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century. He was seen as a champion of individualism and a prescient critic of the countervailing pressures of society, and he disseminated his thoughts through dozens of published essays and more than 1,500 public lectures across the United States.

Emerson gradually moved away from the religious and social beliefs of his contemporaries, formulating and expressing the philosophy of transcendentalism in his 1836 essay "Nature". Following this work, he gave a speech entitled "The American Scholar" in 1837, which Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. considered to be America's "intellectual Declaration of Independence."Emerson wrote most of his important essays as lectures first and then revised them for print. His first two collections of essays, Essays: First Series (1841) and Essays: Second Series (1844), represent the core of his thinking. They include the well-known essays "Self-Reliance", "The Over-Soul", "Circles", "The Poet", and "Experience." Together with "Nature", these essays made the decade from the mid-1830s to the mid-1840s Emerson's most fertile period.

Emerson wrote on a number of subjects, never espousing fixed philosophical tenets, but developing certain ideas such as individuality, freedom, the ability for mankind to realize almost anything, and the relationship between the soul and the surrounding world. Emerson's "nature" was more philosophical than naturalistic: "Philosophically considered, the universe is composed of Nature and the Soul." Emerson is one of several figures who "took a more pantheist or pandeist approach by rejecting views of God as separate from the world."He remains among the linchpins of the American romantic movement, and his work has greatly influenced the thinkers, writers and poets that followed him. "In all my lectures," he wrote, "I have taught one doctrine, namely, the infinitude of the private man." Emerson is also well known as a mentor and friend of Henry David Thoreau, a fellow transcendentalist. in 1867, he was elected as a member to the American Philosophical Society.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Men are what their mothers made them. You may as well ask a loom which weaves huckabuck why it does not make cashmere as to expect poetry from this engineer or a chemical discovery from that jobber.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Happy is the house that shelters a friend! It might well be built, like a festal bower or arch, to entertain him a single day. Happier, if he know the solemnity of that relation, and honor its law! He offers himself a candidate for that covenant comes up, like an Olympian, to the great games, where the first- born of the world are the competitors.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

The ancestor of every action is thought; when we understand that we begin to comprehend that our world is governed by thought and that everything without had its counterpart originally within the mind.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

People only see what they are prepared to see. If you look for what is good and what you can be grateful for you will find it everywhere.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Science does not know its debt to imagination. Goethe did not believe that a great naturalist could exist without this faculty.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

The secret of education lies in respecting the pupil. It is not for you to choose what he shall know, what he shall do. It is chosen and foreordained and he only holds the key to his own secret.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string. Accept the place the divine providence has found for you, the society of your contemporaries, the connection of events. Great men have always done so, and confided themselves childlike to the genius of their age, betraying their perception that the absolutely trustworthy was seated at their heart, working through their hands, predominating in all their being.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Tis the good reader that makes the good book; in every book he finds passages which seem confidences or asides hidden from all else and unmistakenly meant for his ear; the profit of books is according to the sensibility of the reader; the profoundest thought or passion sleeps as in a mine, until it is discovered by an equal mind and heart.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

We are always getting ready to live, but never living... The wave moves onward but the particles of which it is composed do not... It cannot be but that at intervals throughout society there are real men intermixed . . . as the carpenter puts one iron bar in his bannister for every five or six wooden ones.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

America is another name for opportunity. Our whole history appears like a last effort of divine providence on behalf of the human race.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

The characteristic of genuine heroism is its persistency. All men have wandering impulses, fits and starts of generosity. But when you have resolved to be great, abide by yourself, and do not weakly try to reconcile yourself with the world. The heroic cannot be the common, nor the common the heroic.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

We aim above the mark, to hit the mark. Every act hath some falsehood of exaggeration in it.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety. Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in. Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense. This new day is too dear, with its hopes and invitations, to waste a moment on the yesterdays.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Nature and books belong to the eyes that see them. It depends on the mood of the man, whether he shall see the sunset or the fine poem. There are always sunsets, and there is always genius; but only a few hours so serene that we can relish nature or criticism. The more or less depends on structure or temperament. Temperament is the iron wire on which the beads are strung. Of what use is fortune or talent to a cold and defective store?


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Tobacco, coffee, alcohol, hashish, prussic acid, strychnine, are weak dilutions; the surest poison is time. This cup which nature puts to our lips, has a wonderful virtue, surpassing that of any other draught. It opens the senses, adds power, fills us with exalted dreams, which we call hope, love, ambition, science; especially it creates a craving for larger draughts of itself.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood. All is riddle, and the key to a riddle is another riddle.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

There is no beautifier of complexion, or form, or behavior, like the wish to scatter joy and not pain around us. 'Tis good to give a stranger a meal, or a night's lodging. 'Tis better to be hospitable to his good meaning and thought, and give courage to a companion. We must be as courteous to a man as we are to a picture, which we are willing to give the advantage of a good light.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

The most advanced nations are always those who navigate the most. The power which the sea requires in the sailor makes a man of him very fast, and the change of shores and population clears his head of much nonsense of his wigwam.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Thought is the seed of action; but action is as much its second form as thought is its first. It rises in thought, to the end that it may be uttered and acted. Always in proportion to the depth of its sense does it knock importunately at the gates of the soul, to be spoken, to be done.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Nature hates monopolies and exceptions. The waves of the sea do not more speedily seek a level from their loftiest tossing, than the varieties of condition tend to equalize themselves. There is always some leveling circumstance that puts down the overbearing, the strong, the rich, the fortunate, substantially on the same ground with all others.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Every burned book or house enlightens the world; every suppressed or expunged word reverberates through the earth from side to side.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

We but half express ourselves, and are ashamed of that divine idea which each of us represents. It may be safely trusted as proportionate and of good issues, so it be faithfully imparted, but God will not have his work made manifest by cowards.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Beware when the great God lets loose a thinker on this planet. Then all things are at risk. It is as when a conflagration has broken out in a great city, and no man knows what is safe, or where it will end. There is not a piece of science, but its flank may be turned to-morrow; there is not any literary reputation, not the so-called eternal names of fame, that may not be revised and condemned. The very hopes of man, the thoughts of his heart, the religion of nations, the manner and morals of mankind, are all at the mercy of a new generalization. Generalization is always a new influx of the divinity into the mind. Hence the thrill that attends it.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

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
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

A man is a god in ruins. When men are innocent, life shall be longer, and shall pass into the immortal, as gently as we awake from dreams.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Manners are the happy ways of doing things; each one a stroke of genius or of love, now repeated and hardened into usage, they form at last a rich varnish, with which the routine of life is washed, and its details adorned. If they are superficial, so are the dew-drops which give such a depth to the morning meadows.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Wit makes its own welcome, and levels all distinction. No dignity, no learning, no force of character, can make any stand against good wit. It is like ice, on which no beauty of form, no majesty of carriage, can plead any immunity; they must walk gingerly, according to the laws of ice, or down they must go, dignity and all.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

There is a tendency in things to right themselves, and the war or revolution or bankruptcy that shatters rotten system, allows things to take a new and natural order.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

The voyage of the best ship is a zigzag line of a hundred tacks. See the line from a sufficient distance, and it straightens itself to the average tendency. Your genuine action will explain itself, and will explain your other genuine actions. Your conformity explains nothing. Act singly, and what you have already done singly will justify you now. Greatness appeals to the future.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Prayer that craves a particular commodity—anything less than all good, is vicious. Prayer is the contemplation of the facts of life from the highest point of view. It is the soliloquy of a beholding and jubilant soul. It is the spirit of God pronouncing his works good. But prayer as a means to effect a private end is theft and meanness. It supposes dualism and not unity in nature and consciousness. As soon as the man is at one with God, he will not beg.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

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
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

The civility of no race can be perfect whilst another race is degraded. It is a doctrine alike of the oldest and of the newest philosophy, that man is one, and that you cannot injure any member, without a sympathetic injury to all the members.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Not the sun or the summer alone, but every hour and season yields its tribute of delight; for every hour and change corresponds to and authorizes a different state of the mind, from breathless noon to grimmest midnight.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Books are the best of things if well used; if abused, among the worst. They are good for nothing but to inspire. I had better never see a book than be warped by its attraction clean out of my own orbit, and made a satellite instead of a system.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

The hearing ear is always found close to the speaking tongue; and no genius can long or often utter anything which is not invited and gladly entertained by men around him.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

A strenuous soul hates cheap success. It is the ardor of the assailant that makes the vigor of the defendant.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it well and serenely, and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense. This day is too dear with its hopes and invitations to waste a moment on the rotten yesterdays.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Our chief want in life, is, someone who shall make us do what we can. This is the service of a friend. With him we are easily great.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Converse with a mind that is grandly simple, and literature looks like word-catching. The simplest utterances are worthiest to bewritten, yet are they so cheap, and so things of course, that, in the infinite riches of the soul, it is like gathering a few pebbles off the ground, or bottling a little air in a phial, when the whole earth and the whole atmosphere are ours.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

It is one light which beams out of a thousand stars. It is one soul which animates all men


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Rings and jewels are not gifts, but apologies for gifts. The only gift is a portion of thyself. Thou must bleed for me. Therefore the poet brings his poem; the shepherd, his lamb; the farmer, corn; the miner, a stone; the painter, his picture; the girl, a handkerchief of her own sewing.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

The best of life is conversation, and the greatest success is confidence, or perfect understanding between sincere people.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

To fill the hour; that is happiness to fill the hour, and leave no crevice for a repentance or an approval.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Nature arms each man with some faculty which enables him to do easily some feat impossible to any other, and thus makes him necessary to society. ... Society can never prosper, but must always be bankrupt, until every man does that which he was created to do.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Nature always wears the colors of the spirit. To a man laboring under calamity the heat of his own fire hath sadness in it. Then there is a kind of contempt of the landscape felt by him who has just lost by death a dear friend. The sky is less grand as it shuts down over less worth in the population.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

The mob is man voluntarily descending to the nature of the beast. Its fit hour of activity is night. Its actions are insane like its whole constitution. It persecutes a principle; it would whip a right; it would tar and feather justice, by inflicting fire and outrage upon the houses and persons of those who have these. It resembles the prank of boys, who run with fire-engines to put out the ruddy aurora streaming to the stars.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Solitude, the safeguard of mediocrity, is to genius, the stern friend, the cold, obscure shelter where moult the wings which will bear it farther than suns and stars.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. What if they are a little coarse and you may get your coat soiled or torn? What if you do fail, and get fairly rolled in the dirt once or twice? Up again, you shall never be so afraid of a tumble.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

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. His intercourse with heaven and earth, becomes part of his daily food. In the presence of nature, a wild delight runs through the man, in spite of real sorrows.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

So shall we come to look at the world with new eyes. It shall answer the endless inquiry of the intellect, — What is truth? and of the affections, — What is good? by yielding itself passive to the educated Will. ... Build, therefore, your own world. As fast as you conform your life to the pure idea in your mind, that will unfold its great proportions. A correspondent revolution in things will attend the influx of the spirit.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

All men are in some degree impressed by the face of the world; some men even to delight. This love of beauty is taste. Others have the same love in such success that, not content with admiring, they seek to embody it in new forms. The creation of beauty is art.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

The basis of good manners is self-reliance. Necessity is the law of all who are not self-possessed.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

The power of a man increases steadily by continuance in one direction. He becomes acquainted with the resistances and with his own tools; increases his skill and strength and learns the favorable moments and favorable accidents.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

I have heard that whoever loves is in no condition old. I have heard that whenever the name of man is spoken, the doctrine of immortality is announced; it cleaves to his constitution. The mode of it baffles our wit, and no whisper comes to us from the other side. But the inference from the working of intellect, hiving knowledge, hiving skill,--at the end of life just ready to be born,--affirms the inspirations of affection and of the moral sentiment.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

If you would lift me you must be on higher ground. If you would liberate me you must be free. If you would correct my false view of facts, — hold up to me the same facts in the true order of thought, and I cannot go back from the new conviction.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Cities force growth and make men talkative and entertaining, but they make them artificial. What possesses interest for us is thenatural of each, his constitutional excellence. This is forever a surprise, engaging and lovely; we cannot be satiated with knowing it, and about it; and it is this which the conversation with Nature cherishes and guards.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

The world is upheld by the veracity of good men: they make the earth wholesome. They who lived with them found life glad and nutritious. Life is sweet and tolerable only in our belief in such society.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

The health of the eye seems to demand a horizon. We are never tired, so long as we can see far enough.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Traveling is a fool's paradise. Our first journeys discover to us the indifference of places. At home I dream that at Naples, at Rome, I can be intoxicated with beauty, and lose my sadness. I pack my trunk, embrace my friends, embark on the sea, and at last wake up in Naples, and there beside me is the stern fact, the sad self, unrelenting, identical, that I fled from. I seek the Vatican, and the palaces. I affect to be intoxicated with sights and suggestions, but I am not intoxicated. My giant goes with me wherever I go.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

The desire of gold is not for gold. It is not the love of much wheat, and wool and household stuff. It is the means of freedom and benefit.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

The law of nature is alternation for evermore. Each electrical state superinduces the opposite. The soul environs itself with friends, that it may enter into a grander self-acquaintance or solitude; and it goes alone for a season, that it may exalt its conversation or society.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

All life is an experiment. Place yourself in the middle of the stream of power and wisdom which animates all whom it floats, and you are without effort impelled to truth, to right and a perfect contentment. I wish to write such rhymes as shall not suggest a restraint, but contrariwise the wildest freedom. Immortality. I notice that as soon as writers broach this question they begin to quote. I hate quotation. Tell me what you know.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

The stars awaken a certain reverence, because though always present, they are inaccessible; but all natural objects make a kindred impression, when the mind is open to their influence. Nature never wears a mean appearance. Neither does the wisest man extort her secret, and lose his curiosity by finding out all her perfection. Nature never became a toy to a wise spirit. The flowers, the animals, the mountains, reflected the wisdom of his best hour, as much as they had delighted the simplicity of his childhood.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

The key to every man is his thought. Sturdy and defying though he look, he has a helm which he obeys, which is the idea after which all his facts are classified. He can only be reformed by showing him a new idea which commands his own.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

The heroic soul does not sell its justice and its nobleness. It does not ask to dine nicely and to sleep warm. The essence of greatness is the perception that virtue is enough. Poverty is its ornament. It does not need plenty, and can very well abide its loss.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

America is a poem in our eyes; its ample geography dazzles the imagination, and it will not wait long for metres.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

The imitator dooms himself to hopeless mediocrity. The inventor did it, because it was natural to him, and so in him it has a charm. In the imitator, something else is natural, and he bereaves himself of his own beauty, to come short of another man's.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Men love to wonder, and that is the seed of our science, and such is the mechanical determination of our age, and so recent are our best contrivances, that use has not dulled our joy and pride in them. These arts open great gates of a future, promising to make the world plastic and to lift human life out of its beggary to a godlike ease and power.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

The frost which kills the harvest of a year, saves the harvests of a century, by destroying the weevil or the locust. Wars, fires, plagues, break up immovable routine, clear the ground of rotten races and dens of distemper, and open a fair field to new men. There is a tendency in things to right themselves, and the war or revolution or bankruptcy that shatters a rotten system, allows things to take a new and natural order. The sharpest evils are bent into that periodicity which makes the errors of planets, and the fevers and distempers of men, self-limiting. Nature is upheld by antagonism. Passions, resistance, danger, are educators. We acquire the strength we have overcome. Without war, no soldier; without enemies, no hero.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Life is a festival only to the wise. Seen from the nook and chimneyside of prudence, it wears a ragged and dangerous front.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Good writing is a kind of skating which carries off the performer where he would not go, and is only right admirable when to all its beauty and speed a subserviency to the will, like that of walking, is added.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Dream delivers us to dream, and there is no end to illusion. Life is like a train of moods like a string of beads, and, as we pass through them, they prove to be many-colored lenses which paint the world their own hue.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

He who is in love is wise and is becoming wiser, sees newly every time he looks at the object beloved, drawing from it with his eyes and his mind those virtues which it possesses.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

The corruption of man is followed by the corruption of language. ... In due time, the fraud is manifest, and words lose all power to stimulate the understanding or the affections.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

The eyes of men converse as much as their tongues, with the advantage that the ocular dialect needs no dictionary, but is understood all the world over.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Universities are of course hostile to geniuses, which, seeing and using ways of their own, discredit the routine: as churches and monasteries persecute youthful saints.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Perpetual modernness is the measure of merit, in every work of art; since the author of it was not misled by anything short- livedor local, but abode by real and abiding traits.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

The compensations of calamity are made apparent to the understanding also, after long intervals of time. A fever, a mutilation, a cruel disappointment, a loss of wealth, a loss of friends, seems at the moment unpaid loss, and unpayable. But the sure years reveal the deep remedial force that underlies all facts.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

We do not quite forgive a giver. The hand that feeds us is in some danger of being bitten. We can receive anything from love, forthat is a way of receiving it from ourselves; but not from any one who assumes to bestow. We sometimes hate the meat which we eat, because there seems something of degrading dependence in living it.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

The pest of society are the egotist, they are dull and bright, sacred and profane, course and fine. It is a disease that like the flu falls on all constitutions.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Self-trust is the first secret of success, the belief that if you are here the authorities of the universe put you here, and for cause, or with some task strictly appointed you in your constitution, and so long as you work at that you are well and successful.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

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


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

One of the illusions of life is that the present hour is not the critical, decisive hour. Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. No man has learned anything rightly, until he knows that every day is Doomsday.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Man is a stream whose source is hidden. Our being is descending into us from we know not whence. The most exact calculator has noprescience that somewhat incalculable may not balk the very next moment. I am constrained every moment to acknowledge a higher origin for events than the will I call mine.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

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


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Nature is upheld by antagonism. Passions, resistance, danger, are educators. We acquire the strength we have overcome.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Friendship, like the immortality of the soul, is too good to be believed. When friendships are real, they are not glass threads or frost work but the solidest things we know.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

For nonconformity the world whips you with its displeasure. And therefore a man must know how to estimate a sour face. The by-standers look askance on him in the public street or in the friend’s parlour. If this aversation had its origin in contempt and resistance like his own, he might well go home with a sad countenance; but the sour faces of the multitude, like their sweet faces, have no deep cause, but are put on and off as the wind blows and a newspaper directs.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

lIf we meet no gods, it is because we harbor none. If there is grandeur in you, you will find grandeur in porters and sweeps.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Magic and all that is ascribed to it is a deep presentiment of the powers of science. The shoes of swiftness, the sword of sharpness, the power of subduing the elements, of using the secret virtues of minerals, of understanding the voices of birds, are the obscure efforts of the mind in a right direction.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Every natural fact is a symbol of some spiritual fact. Every appearance in nature corresponds to some state of the mind, and that state of the mind can only be described by presenting that natural appearance as its picture.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

The life of man is a self-evolving circle, which, from a ring imperceptibly small, rushes on all sides outwards to new and larger circles, and that without end. The extent to which this generation of circles, wheel without wheel, will go, depends on the force or truth of the individual soul.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Money is representative, and follows the nature and fortunes of the owner...The farmer is covetous of his dollar, and with reason. It is no waif to him. He knows how many strokes of labor it represents. His bones ache with the days' work that earned it. He knows how much land it represents - how much rain, frost and sunshine. He knows that, in the dollar, he gives you so much discretion and patience, so much hoeing and threshing. Try to lift his dollar; you must lift all that weight. In the city, where money follows the skit of a pen or a lucky rise in exchange, it comes to be looked on as light.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Happy will that house be in which the relations are formed from character; after the highest, and not after the lowest order; the house in which character marries, and not confusion and a miscellany of unavowable motives.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

O friend, never strike sail to a fear! Come into port greatly, or sail with God the seas.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

God will not have his work made manifest by cowards. Always, always, always, always, always do what you are afraid to do. Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

lEloquence shows the power and possibility of man. There is one of whom we took no note, but on a certain occasion it appears that he has a secret virtue never suspected - that he can paint what has occurred and what must occur, with such clearness to a company, as if they saw it done before their eyes. By leading their thought he leads their will, and can make them do gladly what an hour ago they would not believe that they could be led to do at all.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

lPassion, though a bad regulator, is a powerful spring. Any absorbing passion has the effect to deliver from the little coils and cares of every day: 'tis the heat which sets our human atoms spinning, overcomes the friction of crossing thresholds, and first addresses in society, and gives us a good start and speed, easy to continue, when once it is begun.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

lInsist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life's cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another you have only an extemporaneous half possession. That which each can do best, none but his Maker can teach him.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing do it with all your might. Be active, be energetic, be enthusiastic and faithful, and you will accomplish your objective.
.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Pride ruined the angels, Their shame them restores; And the joy that is sweetest Lurks in stings of remorse.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Society always consists, in greatest part, of young and foolish persons. The old, who have seen through the hypocrisy of the courts and statesmen, die, and leave no wisdom to their sons. They believe their own newspaper, as their fathers did at their age.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

No law can be sacred to me but that of my nature. Good and bad are but names very readily transferable to that or this; the only right is what is after my constitution; the only wrong is what is against it.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Every spirit builds itself a house; and beyond its house a world; and beyond its world, a heaven. Know then, that the world exists for you. For you is the phenomenon perfect. What we are, that only can we see. All that Adam had, all that Caesar could, you have and can do. Adam called his house, heaven and earth; Caesar called his house, Rome; you perhaps call yours, a cobler's trade; a hundred acres of ploughed land; or a scholar's garret. Yet line for line and point for point, your dominion is as great as theirs, though without fine names. Build, therefore, your own world.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Concentration is the secret of strength in politics, in war, in trade, in short in all management of human affairs.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

The virtues of society are vices of the saint. The terror of reform is the discovery that we must cast away our virtues, or what we have always esteemed such, into the same pit that has consumed our grosser vices.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Be not the slave of your own past - plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep, and swim far, so you shall come back with new self-respect, with new power, and with an advanced experience that shall explain and overlook the old.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Man is priest, and scholar, and statesman, and producer, and soldier. In the divided or social state these functions are parcelled out to individuals, each of whom aims to do his stint of the joint work, whilst each other performs his.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Nature never hurries: atom by atom, little by little, she achieves her work. The lesson one learns from yachting or planting is the manners of Nature; patience with the delays of wind and sun, delays of the seasons, bad weather, excess or lack of water.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Every reform was once a private opinion, and when it shall be a private opinion again, it will solve the problem of the age.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

We learn geology the morning after the earthquake, on ghastly diagrams of cloven mountains, upheaved plains, and the dry bed of the sea.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

An institution is the lengthened shadow of one man; as, monachism of the Hermit Anthony, the Reformation of Luther, Quakerism of Fox, Methodism of Wesley, abolition of Clarkson. Scipio, Milton called "the height of Rome;" and all history resolves itself easily into the biography of a few stout and earnest persons. Let a man, then, know his worth, and keep things under his feet.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

A more secret, sweet, and overpowering beauty appears to man when his heart and mind open to the sentiment of virtue. Then he is instructed in what is set above him. He learns that his being is without bound; that to the good, to the perfect, he is born, low as he now lies in evil and weakness.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

Each is liable to panic, which is exactly, the terror of ignorance surrendered to the imagination. Knowledge is the encourager, knowledge that takes fear out of the heart, knowledge and use, which is knowledge in practice. They can conquer who believe they can. It is he who has done the deed once who does not shrink from attempting again.


--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

We welcome your feedback, error reports, feature requests, constructive criticism, and quote submissions here: Contact Us.

Thank you for checking out our selection of quotes by Ralph Waldo Emerson! Please share and also connect with us on social media. Wishing you a wonderful and fortunate day!