Title Image - Quotes by Author Ralph Waldo Emerson

Speech is better than silence; silence is better than speech.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Skepticism? Yes, but a saint is a skeptic once in twenty-four hours.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

The man in the street does not know a star in the sky.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

A man is a hero, not because he is braver than anyone else, but because he is brave for ten minutes longer.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Stay at home in your mind. Don't recite other people's opinions.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tragedy is in the eye of the observer, and not in the heart of the sufferer.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

The key to every man is his thought.

--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.


There is hope in extravagance, there is none in routine.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

The person who can make hard things easy is the educator.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

The only true gifts are a portion of yourself.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

The rain has spoiled the farmer's day;
Shall sorrow put my books away?
Thereby are two days lost.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

The influence of fine scenery, the presence of mountains, appeases our irritations and elevates our friendships.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

We want but two or three friends, but these we cannot do without, and they serve us in every thought we think.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

There are always two parties; the establishment and the movement.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Allow yourself to trust joy and embrace it. You will find you dance with everything.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Great conversation ... requires an absolute running of two souls into one.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

We sell the thrones of angels for a short and turbulent pleasure.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

When believers and unbelievers live in the same manner -- I distrust the religion.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Under every deep a lower deep opens.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our prejudices are our robbers, they rob us valuable things in life. People only see what they are prepared to see.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

We have more than we use.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

A walk in the woods is only an exalted dream.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

You see, it's all clear, we were meant to be here from the beginning.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Make yourself necessary to the world, and mankind will give you bread.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

For nonconformity the world will whip you with its displeasure.

--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.


Find the journey's end in every step.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

To live the greatest number of good hours is wisdom.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wit makes its own welcome, and levels all distinctions.

--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.


In the vaunted works of Art, The master-stroke is Nature's part.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

All the world loves a lover.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

All the world loves a lover, but how it does laugh at his love letters.


He who would be a great soul in the future, must be a great soul now.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

If we meet no gods, it is because we harbor none.

--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.


A great teacher makes hard things easy.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

The advantage of riches remains with him who procured them, not with the heir.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

The first thing a great person does is make us realize the insignificance of circumstance.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Astronomy taught us our insignificance in Nature.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

The lover of nature is he whose inward and outward senses
are still truly adjusted to each other.

--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.


In a tavern everybody puts on airs except the landlord.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

A little fact is worth a whole limbo of dreams.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

The highest compact we can make with our fellow is -
Let there be truth between us two forevermore.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Neither is life long enough for friendship. That is a serious and majestic affair.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

The imaginative faculty of the soul must be fed with objects immense and eternal.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Practice radical humility. He (or she) who masters the art of humility cannot be humiliated.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

This knot of nature is so well tied that nobody was ever cunning enough to find the two ends.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Consistency is the bugbear that frightens little minds.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

The ancient precept, Know thyself, and the modern precept, Study nature, become at last one maxim.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

There is an intimate interdependence of intellect and morals.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Man exists for his own sake and not to add a laborer to the State.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

The lord is the peasant that was,
The peasant is the lord that shall be.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

The mind does not create what it perceives, any more than the eye creates the rose.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

God is Unity, but always works in variety.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

A day is a miniature eternity.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

No hope so bright but is the beginning of its own fulfilment.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

In all my lectures, I have taught one doctrine, namely, the infinitude of the private man.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sugar is not so sweet to the palate as sound to the healthy ear.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Black men built the railroads, not blue eyes.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

The last change in our point of view gives the whole world a pictorial air.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our age is retrospective. It builds the sepulchres of the fathers. It writes biographies, histories and criticism.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Speak the affirmative; emphasize your choice by utter ignoring of all that you reject.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you tax too high, the revenue will yield nothing.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is about your outlook towards life. You can either regret or rejoice.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

It seems as if the day was not wholly profane in which we have given heed to some natural object.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

What is indispensable to inspiration? ...sound sleep and the provocation of a good book or a companion.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

An institution is the lengthened shadow of one man.

--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.


No one can cheat you out of ultimate success but yourself.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nature suffers nothing to remain in her kingdom which cannot help itself.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

The basis of good manners is self-reliance.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

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


No law can be sacred to me but that of my nature.

--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.


The masses have no habit of self-reliance or original action.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Discontent is want of self-reliance; it is infirmity of will.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

My life is for itself and not for a spectacle.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Life is an ecstasy. Life is sweet as nitrous oxide.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Stand guard at the portal of your mind.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

For the resolute and determined, there is time and opportunity.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sitting back in the evening, stargazing and stroking your dog, is an infallible remedy.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nature is good, but intellect is better, as the law-giver is before the law-receiver.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our thinking is a pious reception.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

No man acquires property without acquiring with it a little arithmetic also.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

We must set up a strong present tense against all rumors of wrath, past and to come.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

There is guidance for each of us, and by lowly listening we shall hear the right word.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

There is no calamity that right words will not begin to redress.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

No one has a prosperity so high and firm that two or three words can't dishearten it.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you believe in the soul, do not clutch at sensual sweetness before it is ripe on the slow tree of cause and effect.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is he who has done the deed once who does not shrink from attempting again.

--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.


Writing should be the settlement of dew on the leaf.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Foolish consistencies are the hobgoblins of small minds!

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

The need for a rational consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Man sheds grief as his skin sheds rain.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

As picture teaches the colouring, so sculpture the anatomy of form.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

We live amid surfaces, and the true art of life is to skate well on them.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nature is no spendthrift, but takes the shortest way to her ends.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Everything is beautiful seen from the point of the intellect, or as truth. But all is sour if seen as experience.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

The babe in arms is a channel through which the energies we call fate, love, and reason visibly stream.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

The most tedious of all discourses are on the subject of the Supreme Being.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Be not the slave of your own past.

--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.


The objection to conforming to usages that have become dead to you is, that it scatters your force.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

There are no days in life so memorable as those which vibrate to some stroke of the imagination.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

A true man belongs to no other time or place, but is the center of things.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

All vigor is contagious.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

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