photo of Ralph Waldo EmersonPhoto Credit: WikiMedia Commons
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

Men over forty are no judges of a book written in a new spirit.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

The Sun is the sole inconsumable fireAnd God is the sole inexhaustible Giver.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

What is the hardest task in the world? To think.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

Coolness and absence of heat and haste indicate fine qualities.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

The new statement is always hated by the old, and, to those dwelling in the old, comes like an abyss of skepticism.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

The corruption of man is followed by the corruption of language.

--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.


photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

The hero is suffered to be himself.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

It is with a good book as it is with good company.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

Walking has the best value as gymnastics of the mind.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

The household is a school of power. There, within the door, learn the tragi-comedy of human life.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

Very idle is all curiosity concerning other people's estimate of us, and all fear of remaining unknown is not less so.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

Every man is an impossibility until he is born.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

The health of the eye demands a horizon.

--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.


photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

Imitation cannot go above its model.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

Hospitality consists in a little fire, a little food, and an immense quiet.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

Universities are of course hostile to geniuses.

--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.


photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

It makes no difference whether the appeal is to numbers or to one. The faith that stands on authority is not faith.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

Works of the intellect are great only by comparison with each other.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

If a man's eye is on the Eternal, his intellect will grow.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

Everything intercepts us from ourselves.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

The primary wisdom is intuition.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

Love, which is the essence of God, is not for levity, but for the total worth of man.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

Nothing can be colder than his head, when the lightnings of his imagination are playing in the sky.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

He who is in love is wise and is becoming wiser.

--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.


photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

Perpetual modernism is the measure of merit in every work of art.

--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.


photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

The multitude of the sick shall not make us deny the existence of health.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

The poisons are our principal medicines, which kill the disease and save the life.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

All history is a record of the power of minorities, and of minorities of one.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

Miracle comes to the miraculous, not to the arithmetician.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

Men wish to be saved from the mischiefs of their vices, but not from their vices.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

Prayer as a means to effect a private end is theft and meanness.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

Everything in our world, even a drop of dew, is a microcosm of the universe.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

It is very odd that Nature should be so unscrupulous. She is no saint.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

The philosophy of waiting is sustained by all the oracles of the universe.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

All great speakers were bad speakers at first.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

Great men are more distinguished by range and extent than by originality.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

Every noble activity makes room for itself.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

Obedience alone gives the right to command.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

I am a part and parcel of God.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

The world is plentiful with honey, but only the humble bee can collect it.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

Grow angry slowly -- there's plenty of time.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

Persecution readily knits friendship between its victims.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

Love what is simple and beautiful.
These are the essentials.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

All promise outruns performance.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

We prize books, and they prize them most who are themselves wise.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

The love of novels is the preference of sentiment to the senses.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

The eye of prudence may never shut.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

Never self-possessed, or prudent, love is all abandonment.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

Things refuse to be mismanaged for long.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

It is the fault of our rhetoric that we cannot strongly state one fact without seeming to belie some other.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

The riddle of the age has for each a private solution.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

Rectitude is a perpetual victory, celebrated not by cries of joy but by serenity, which is joy fixed or habitual.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

In the sublimest flights of the soul, rectitude is never surmounted, love is never outgrown.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

The restraining grace of common sense is the mark of all valid minds.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

Every reform was once a private opinion.

--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.


photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

Can anybody remember when the times were not hard and money not scarce?

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

My joy in friends, those sacred people, is my consolation.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

O friend, never strike sail to a fear!

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

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


photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

The sanity of society is a balance of a thousand insanity's.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

The stars awaken a certain reverence, because though always present, they are inaccessible.

--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.


photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

He that despiseth small things will perish by little and little.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

God builds his temple in the heart on the ruins of churches and religions.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

A weed is a plant whose virtue is not yet known.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

The virtues of society are the vices of the saints.

--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.


photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

You have first an instinct, then an opinion, then a knowledge, as the plant has root, bud, and fruit.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

Out of sleeping a waking, Out of waking a sleep.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

To make knowledge valuable, you must have the cheerfulness of wisdom.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

Success to the strongest, who are always, at last, the wisest and best.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

Give me truths for I am weary of the surfaces.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

Conversation is the laboratory and workshop of the student.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

Not a ray is dimmed, not an atom worn; nature's oldest force is as good as new.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

In the last analysis, love is only the reflection of a man's own worthiness from other men.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

Within, I do not find wrinkles and used heart, but unspent youth.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

What you persist in doing gets easier. The task hasn't changed, but your ability to do it has increased.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

The affirmative of affirmatives... is love.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

Each man has an aptitude born with him. Do your work.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

Language is the archives of history.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

A strenuous soul hates cheap success.

--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.


photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

My life should be unique; it should be an alms, a battle, a conquest, a medicine.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

The mob is man voluntarily descending to the nature of the beast.

--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.


photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

We are of different opinions at different hours, but we always may be said to be at heart on the side of truth.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

The height of the pinnacle is determined by the breadth of the base.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

A Gothic cathedral affirms that it was done by us and not done by us.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

One of the benefits of a college education is to show the boy its little avail.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

Private, accidental, confidential conversation breeds thought. Clubs produce oftener words.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

Every man is eloquent once in his life.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

The present is an edifice which God cannot rebuild.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

I pay the schoolmaster, but 'tis the schoolboys that educate my son.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

We must be 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
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

The quality of the thought differences the Egyptian and the Roman, the Austrian and the American.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

Nothing is secure but life, transition, the energizing spirit.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

The force of character is cumulative.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

Pain, indolence, sterility, endless ennui have also their lesson for you, if you are great.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

Fear God, and where you go men shall think they walk in hallowed cathedrals.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

Nature arms each man with some faculty which enables him to do easily some feat impossible to any other.

--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.


photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

There is a time when a man distinguishes the idea of felicity from the idea of wealth; it is the beginning of wisdom.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

Add energy, inspire hope, and blow the coals into a useful flame.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

No power of genius has ever yet had the smallest success in explaining existence. The perfect enigma remains.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
purple flower in tilt shift lens

The ancients called beauty the flowering of virtue.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
photo of author Ralph Waldo Emerson with quote

A man often pays dear for a small frugality.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

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