Nature hates monopolies and exceptions.
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.
The love that you withhold is the pain that you carry.
There is no beautifier of complexion, or form, or behavior, like the wish to scatter joy and not pain around us.
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.
Want is a growing giant whom the coat of Have was never large enough to cover.
The meaning of good and bad, of better and worse, is simply helping or hurting.
An original sentence, a step forward, is worth more than all the censures.
He who has put forth his total strength in fit actions, has the richest return of wisdom.
The eyes indicate the antiquity of the soul.
Shall we then judge a country by the majority, or by the minority? By the minority, surely.
No matter how you seem to fatten on a crime, there can never be good for the bee which is bad for the hive.
Do not believe that possibly you can escape the reward of your action.
A cynic can chill and dishearten with a single word.
Violence is not power, but the absence of power.
Each of us sees in others what we carry in our own hearts.
Each man is a hero and an oracle to somebody.
Thought is the seed of action.
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.
The wise through excess of wisdom is made a fool.
Do the thing and you will have the power.
A man is a god in ruins.
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.
Live well, learn plenty, laugh often, love much.
Valor consists in the power of self recovery.
Life is our dictionary.
Life is a journey, not a destination.
We become what we think about all day long.
Our strength grows out of our weakness.
You shall have joy, or you shall have power, said God; you shall not have both.
We walk alone in the world. Friends, such as we desire, are dreams and fables.
He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.
Thought is the blossom; language the bud; action the fruit behind it.
If the stars should appear but one night every thousand years how man would marvel and adore.
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.
Solitude, the safeguard of mediocrity, is to genius the stern friend.
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.
A man must consider what a rich realm he abdicates when he becomes a conformist.
Good luck is another name for tenacity of purpose.
Beware what you set your heart upon. For it surely shall be yours.
Life is a progress, and not a station.
People wish to be settled; only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them.
The essence of greatness is the perception that virtue is enough.
Character is higher than intellect.
Character is higher than intellect. A great soul will be strong to live as well as think.
Self-command is the main elegance.
Every wall is a door.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
A nobler want of man is served by nature, namely, the love of beauty.
Everything in nature goes by law, and not by luck.
The sun illuminates only the eye of the man, but shines into the eye and the heart of the child.
There I feel that nothing can befall me.
Nature never hurries. Atom by atom, little by little, she achieves her work.
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.
Envy is ignorance, imitation is suicide.
Each man has his own vocation; his talent is his call. There is one direction in which all space is open to him.
If you cannot be free be as free as you can.
Patience and fortitude conquer all things.
Tell them dear, that if eyes were made for seeing, then beauty is its own excuse for being.
Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true.
Our distrust is very expensive.
Self-trust is the first secret of success.
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.
Self-trust is the essence of heroism.
Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.
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.
If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.
What we fear of doing most is usually what we most need to do.
The world belongs to the energetic.
This new day is too dear, with its hopes and invitations, to waste a moment on the yesterdays.
The imitator dooms himself to hopeless mediocrity.
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.
Be silly. Be honest. Be kind.
Frankness invites frankness.
Truth, and goodness, and beauty are but different faces of the same all.
Our faith comes in moments; our vice is habitual.
The reason why men do not obey us, is because they see the mud at the bottom of our eye.
The search after the great men is the dream of youth, and the most serious occupation of manhood.
We do not yet possess ourselves, and we know at the same time that we are much more.
Men admire the man who can organize their wishes and thoughts in stone and wood and steel and brass.
Friendship, like the immortality of the soul, is too good to be believed.
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.
It is the quality of the moment, not the number of days, or events, or of actors, that imports.
O Day of days when we can read! The reader and the book, either without the other is naught.
Each age, it is found, must write its own books; or rather, each generation for the next succeeding.
The wave of evil washes all our institutions alike.
Why need I volumes, if one word suffice?
There is more difference in the quality of our pleasures than in the amount.
There is an optical illusion about every person we meet.
Great men or men of great gifts you shall easily find, but symmetrical men never.
There is always safety in valor.
Words are also actions, and actions are a kind of words.
Society is always taken by surprise at any new example of common sense.
The ancestor of every action is a thought.
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.
We acquire the strength we have overcome.
Nature hates calculators.
Wisdom has its root in goodness, not goodness its root in wisdom.
Genius always finds itself a century too early.
Children are all foreigners.
Great hearts steadily send forth the secret forces that incessantly draw great events.
Reality is a sliding door.
This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.
No man ever prayed heartily without learning something.
A chief event of life is the day in which we have encountered a mind that startled us.
A great man is always willing to be little.
Trust men and they will be true to you; treat them greatly and they will show themselves great.
Some books leave us free and some books make us free.
No great man ever complains of want of opportunity.
Fiction reveals truth that reality obscures.
There is a tendency for things to right themselves.
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.
People that seem so glorious are all show; underneath they are like everyone else.
We are rich only through what we give, and poor only through what we refuse.
Quotes by Ralph Waldo Emerson are featured in:
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