Quotations by Emerson, Ralph Waldo


Every artist was first an amateur.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Progress of Culture,” Letters and Social Aims (1876)

Full text.

Added on 14-Jul-09 | Last updated 28-Feb-14
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

How cunningly nature hides every wrinkle of her inconceivable antiquity under roses and violets and morning dew!

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Progress of Culture,” Letters and Social Aims (1876)
Added on 5-Apr-10 | Last updated 28-Feb-14
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

By necessity, by proclivity and by delight, we all quote.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Quotation & Originality,” Letters and Social Aims (1876)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 28-Feb-14
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Next to the originator of a good sentence is the first quoter of it.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Quotation & Originality,” Letters and Social Aims (1876)
Added on 26-Feb-04 | Last updated 28-Feb-14
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Nothing astonishes men so much as common sense and plain dealing.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Art,” Essays: First Series (1841)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 28-Feb-14
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Art,” Essays: First Series (1841)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 28-Feb-14
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

What we have learned from others becomes our own by reflection.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Blotting Book 1,” (1826-1827)
Added on 27-Jan-16 | Last updated 27-Jan-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

We grant no dukedoms to the few,
We hold like rights and shall; —
Equal on Sunday in the pew,
On Monday in the mall.
For what avail the plough or sail,
Or land or life, if freedom fail?

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Boston” (1873)

Written and read for the 100th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party.
Added on 9-Jan-08 | Last updated 9-Jan-08
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

We boast our emancipation from many superstitions; but if we have broken any idols, it is through a transfer of idolatry. What have I gained, that I no longer immolate a bull to Jove or to Neptune, or a mouse to Hecate; that I do not tremble before the Eumenides, or the Catholic Purgatory, or the Calvinistic Judgment-day, — if I quake at opinion, the public opinion as we call it; or at the threat of assault, or contumely, or bad neighbors, or poverty, or mutilation, or at the rumor of revolution, or of murder? If I quake, what matters it what I quake at?

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Character,” Essays: Second Series (1844)
    (Source)
Added on 13-Nov-18 | Last updated 13-Nov-18
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

The religion of one age is the literary entertainment of the next.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Character,” Lectures and Biographical Sketches (1883)
Added on 28-Feb-14 | Last updated 28-Feb-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

The virtues of society are the 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 (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Circles,” Essays: First Series (1841)
    (Source)
Added on 6-Sep-13 | Last updated 27-Feb-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

No facts are to me sacred; none are profane; I simply experiment, an endless seeker, with no Past at my back.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Circles,” Essays: First Series (1841)
    (Source)
Added on 13-Feb-17 | Last updated 13-Feb-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

People wish to be settled; only as far as they are unsettled is there is any hope for them.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Circles,” Essays: First Series (1841)
    (Source)
Added on 20-Feb-17 | Last updated 20-Feb-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Friendship, like the immortality of the soul, is too good to be believed.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Compensation,” Essays: First Series (1841)
Added on 24-Mar-04 | Last updated 28-Feb-14
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Experienced men of the world know very well that it is best to pay scot and lot as they go along, and that a man often pays dear for a small frugality.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Compensation,” Essays: First Series (1841)
    (Source)
Added on 9-Jan-17 | Last updated 9-Jan-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

In general, every evil to which we do not succumb is a benefactor. As the Sandwich Islander believes that the strength and valor of the enemy he kills passes into himself, so we gain the strength of the temptation we resist.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Compensation,” Essays: First Series (1841)
    (Source)
Added on 22-May-17 | Last updated 22-May-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

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.

Emerson - chief want in life - wist_info quote

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Considerations by the Way,” The Conduct of Life (1860)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 15-Jan-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

We learn geology the morning after the earthquake.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Considerations by the Way,” The Conduct of Life (1860)
Added on 20-Jul-10 | Last updated 20-Jul-10
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

We acquire the strength we have overcome.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Considerations by the Way,” The Conduct of Life (1860)
Added on 7-Oct-14 | Last updated 7-Oct-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Domestic Life,” Society and Solitude (1870)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 28-Feb-14
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

The opium of custom, whereof all drink and many go mad.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Education,” Lectures and Biographical Sketches (1883)
Added on 15-Jun-09 | Last updated 15-Jun-09
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

If you would lift me, you must be on higher ground.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Eloquence,” Atlantic Monthly (Sep 1858)
Added on 15-May-13 | Last updated 15-May-13
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Eloquence is the power to translate a truth into language perfectly intelligible to the person to whom you speak.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Eloquence,” Letters and Social Aims (1876)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 28-Feb-14
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Eloquence is the power to translate a truth into language perfectly intelligible to the person to whom you speak.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Eloquence,” Letters and Social Aims (1876)
Added on 17-Dec-09 | Last updated 17-Dec-09
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

We boil at different degrees.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Eloquence,” Silence and Solitude (1870)
Added on 19-Jul-13 | Last updated 15-Jul-13
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Put the argument into a concrete shape, into an image — some hard phrase, round and solid as a ball, which they can see and handle and carry home with them — and the cause is half-won.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Eloquence,” Society and Solitude (1870)
Added on 20-Nov-08 | Last updated 28-Feb-14
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own. But the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Ethics,” Lecture, Masonic Temple, Boston (17 Feb 1837)
Added on 19-Sep-14 | Last updated 19-Sep-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Let us treat men and women well; treat them as if they were real; perhaps they are.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Experience,” Essays: Second Series (1844)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 28-Feb-14
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Nature, as we know her, is no saint.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Experience,” Essays: Second Series (1844)
Added on 22-Dec-11 | Last updated 22-Dec-11
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

That which we call sin in others, is experiment for us.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Experience,” Essays: Second Series (1844)
    (Source)
Added on 4-Sep-18 | Last updated 4-Sep-18
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

To finish the moment, to find the journey’s end in every step of the road, to live the greatest number of good hours, is wisdom.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Experience,” Essays: Second Series (1844)
    (Source)
Added on 2-Oct-18 | Last updated 2-Oct-18
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

We do what we must, and call it by the best names we can, and would fain have the praise of having intended the result which ensues.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Experience,” Essays: Second Series (1844)
    (Source)
Added on 2-Feb-19 | Last updated 2-Feb-19
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere. Before him, I may think aloud.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Friendship,” Essays: First Series (1841)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 28-Feb-14
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

The only way to have a friend is to be one.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Friendship,” Essays: First Series (1841)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 28-Feb-14
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Better be a nettle in the side of your friend than his echo.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Friendship,” Essays: First Series (1841)
Added on 7-Sep-10 | Last updated 7-Sep-10
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere. Before him, I may think aloud.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Friendship,” Essays: First Series (1841)
Added on 14-Sep-10 | Last updated 14-Sep-10
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

The only reward of virtue is virtue.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Friendship,” Essays: First Series (1841)
Added on 23-Jan-17 | Last updated 23-Jan-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

It was a high counsel that I once heard given to a young person,

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Heroism,” Essays: First Series (1841)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 28-Feb-14
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Be true to your own act, and congratulate yourself if you have done something strange and extravagant, and broken the monotony of a decorous age. It was a high counsel that I once heard given to a young person, “Always do what you are afraid to do.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Heroism” (1841)

See also Schmich.
Added on 13-Aug-13 | Last updated 11-Aug-14
Link to this post | 1 comment
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Every man is a divinity in disguise, a god playing the fool. It seems as if heaven had sent its insane angels into our world as to an asylum, and here they will break out into their native music and utter at intervals the words they have heard in heaven; and then the mad fit returns, and they mope and wallow like dogs.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“History,” Essays: First Series (1841)
    (Source)
Added on 16-Jan-17 | Last updated 16-Jan-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Whatever games are played with us, we must play no games with ourselves, but deal in our privacy with the last honesty and truth.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Illusions,” The Conduct of Life (1860)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 28-Feb-14
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

God offers to every mind its choice between truth and repose.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Intellect,” Essays: First Series (1841)
Added on 26-Feb-04 | Last updated 28-Feb-14
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

God offers to every mind its choice between truth and repose. Take which you please — you can never have both.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Intellect,” Essays: First Series (1841)
    (Source)
Added on 11-Nov-16 | Last updated 11-Nov-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

There comes now and then a bolder spirit, I should rather say, a more surrendered soul, more informed and led by God, which is much in advance of the rest, quite beyond their sympathy, but predicts what shall soon be the general fullness; as when we stand by the seashore, whilst the tide is coming in, a wave comes up the beach far higher than any foregoing one, and recedes; and for a long while none comes up to that mark; but after some time the whole sea is there and beyond it.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Lecture on the Times,” Boston (2 Dec 1841)
    (Source)
Added on 17-Oct-17 | Last updated 17-Oct-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Let our affection flow out to our fellows; it would operate in a day the greatest of all revolutions.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Man the Reformer,” lecture, Boston (25 Jan 1841)
Added on 2-Jul-13 | Last updated 2-Jul-13
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Love would put a new face on this weary old world in which we dwell as pagans and enemies too long.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Man the Reformer,” lecture, Boston (25 Jan 1841)
    (Source)
Added on 24-Oct-17 | Last updated 24-Oct-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

The trail of the serpent reaches into all the lucrative professions and practices of man, Each has its own wrongs. Each finds a tender and very intelligent conscience a disqualification for success. Each requires of the practitioner a certain shutting of the eyes, a certain dapperness and compliance, an acceptance of customs, a sequestration from the sentiments of generosity and love, a compromise of private opinion and lofty integrity.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Man the Reformer,” lecture, Boston (25 Jan 1841)
    (Source)
Added on 7-Nov-17 | Last updated 7-Nov-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

When I go into my garden with a spade and dig a bed, I feel such an exhilaration and health, that I discover that I have been defrauding myself all this time in letting others do for me what I should have done with my own hands.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Man the Reformer,” lecture, Boston (25 Jan 1841)
    (Source)
Added on 14-Nov-17 | Last updated 14-Nov-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Keep cool: It will all be one a hundred years hence.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Montaigne,” Representative Men, (1850)
Added on 8-May-09 | Last updated 28-Feb-14
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Life is a perpetual instruction in cause and effect.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Natural Religion” (3 Feb. 1861)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

We must trust the perfection of the creation so far, as to believe that whatever curiosity the order of things has awakened in our minds, the order of things can satisfy.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Nature,” Essays: Second Series (1844)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 28-Feb-14
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

We aim above the mark to hit the mark.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Nature,” Essays: Second Series (1844)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 30-Jun-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

A man is a god in ruins.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Nature,” ch. 8 (1836)
    (Source)
Added on 16-Oct-17 | Last updated 16-Oct-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

In the woods too, a man casts off his years, as the snake his slough, and at what period so ever of life, is always a child. In the woods is a perpetual youth. … In the woods, we return to reason and faith. There I feel that nothing can befall me in life — no disgrace, no calamity, … which nature cannot repair. Standing on the bare ground — my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite space — all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eyeball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or particle of God.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Nature” (1836)
Added on 29-Aug-16 | Last updated 29-Aug-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.

emerson-miraculous-in-the-common-wist_info-quote

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Nature” (1836)
Added on 12-Sep-16 | Last updated 12-Sep-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

The reward of a thing well done, is to have done it.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“New England Reformers,” lecture, Amory Hall (3 Mar 1844)
    (Source)

Reprinted in Essays: Second Series (1844).
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 3-Mar-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Men are conservatives when they are least vigorous, or when they are most luxurious. They are conservatives, after dinner, or before taking their rest; when they are sick, or aged: in the morning, or when their intellect or their conscience have been aroused, when they hear music, or when they read poetry, they are radicals.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“New England Reformers,” lecture, Church of the Disciples, Amory Hall, Boston (3 Mar 1844)
    (Source)
Added on 22-Nov-17 | Last updated 22-Nov-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Value of a Journal. A sentence now; a sentence last year; a sentence yesterday. Tomorrow a question comes that for the first time brings together these three and shows them to be the three fractions of Unit.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Notebook Delta” (1837-1862)
Added on 26-Sep-16 | Last updated 26-Sep-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Here is the secret: A man is a very small thing whilst he works by and for himself but an immense and omnipotent worker as soon as he puts himself right with the law of nature. … It is as when you come to a conflagration with your fire engine — no matter how good the machine, you will make but a feeble spray, whilst you draw from your own tub. But once you get your hose … dipped in the river, or in the harbor, and you can ump as long as the sea holds out.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Notebook WO Liberty” (1855)
Added on 18-Jun-12 | Last updated 18-Jun-12
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Skill to do comes of doing.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Old Age,” Society and Solitude (1870)
Added on 31-Jan-14 | Last updated 31-Jan-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Every actual State is corrupt. Good men must not obey the laws too well.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Politics,” Essays: Second Series (1844)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 28-Feb-14
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

In our flowing affairs a decision must be made — the best, if you can, but any is better than none. There are twenty ways of going to a point, and one is the shortest; but set out at once on one. A man who has that presence of mind which can bring to him the instant all he knows, is worth for action a dozen men who know as much but can only bring it to light slowly.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Power,” The Conduct of Life (1860)
Added on 5-Aug-09 | Last updated 28-Feb-14
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Trust men and they will be true to you; treat them greatly and they will show themselves great.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Prudence,” Essays: First Series (1841)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 28-Feb-14
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

These times of ours are serious and full of calamity, but all times are essentially alike. As soon as there is life there is danger.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Public and Private Education,” lecture, Parker Fraternity, Boston (27 Nov 1864)
Added on 7-Feb-08 | Last updated 28-Feb-14
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

We cannot overstate our debt to the Past, but the moment has the supreme claim.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Quotations and Originality,” Letters and Social Aims (1876)
Added on 16-May-12 | Last updated 16-May-12
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Next to the originator of a good sentence is the first quoter of it.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Quotations and Originality,” Letters and Social Aims (1876)
Added on 8-Jan-13 | Last updated 8-Jan-13
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Your goodness must have some edge to it, — else it is none.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Self Reliance,” Essays: First Series, (1841)
Added on 28-Aug-07 | Last updated 28-Feb-14
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think to-day in words as hard as cannon-balls and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Self-Reliance,” Essays: First Series (1841)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 28-Jul-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds,
Adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Self-Reliance,” Essays: First Series (1841)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 28-Feb-14
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Self-Reliance,” Essays: First Series (1841)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 28-Feb-14
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Cause and Effect, the chancellors of God.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Self-Reliance,” Essays: First Series (1841)
Added on 19-Jan-09 | Last updated 28-Feb-14
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

You will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Self-Reliance,” Essays: First Series (1841)
Added on 21-Oct-09 | Last updated 27-Feb-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Self-Reliance,” Essays: First Series (1841)
Added on 25-Aug-10 | Last updated 25-Aug-10
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Self-Reliance,” Essays: First Series (1841)
Added on 19-Sep-11 | Last updated 19-Sep-11
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Whoso would be a man, must be a nonconformist.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Self-Reliance,” Essays: First Series (1841)
Added on 27-Oct-11 | Last updated 27-Oct-11
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Insist on yourself; never imitate.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Self-Reliance,” Essays: First Series (1841)
Added on 26-Sep-14 | Last updated 26-Sep-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who, in the midst of the crowd, keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Self-Reliance,” Essays: First Series (1841)
Added on 14-Oct-15 | Last updated 14-Oct-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

If I know your sect, I anticipate your argument.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Self-Reliance,” Essays: First Series (1841)
Added on 6-Feb-17 | Last updated 6-Feb-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Good manners are made up of petty sacrifices.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Social Aims,” Letters and Social Aims (1875)
    (Source)
Added on 2-Nov-17 | Last updated 2-Nov-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Speech is power: speech is to persuade, to convert, to compel.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Social Aims,” Letters and Social Aims (1876)
Added on 19-May-14 | Last updated 19-May-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics:
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Don’t say things. What you are stands over you the while, and thunders so that I cannot hear what you say to the contrary.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Social Aims,” lecture, Boston (4 Dec 1864)

Also cited to his Journal (9 Aug 1840).
Added on 21-Jul-07 | Last updated 4-Jan-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say to the contrary.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Social Aims” (lecture, Boston, 4 Dec 1864), Letters and Social Aims (1876)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 28-Feb-14
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for courtesy.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Social Aims” (lecture, Boston, 4 Dec 1864), Letters and Social Aims (1876)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 28-Feb-14
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Good manners are made up of petty sacrifices.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Social Aims” (lecture, Boston, 4 Dec 1864), Letters and Social Aims (1876)
Added on 26-Feb-04 | Last updated 28-Feb-14
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for courtesy.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Social Aims” (lecture, Boston, 4 Dec 1864), Letters and Social Aims (1876)
Added on 12-May-09 | Last updated 28-Feb-14
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

In good conversation, parties don’t speak to the words, but to the meanings of each other.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Social Aims” (lecture, Boston, 4 Dec 1864), Letters and Social Aims (1876)
Added on 4-Dec-09 | Last updated 28-Feb-14
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

For behavior, men learn it, as they take diseases, one of another.

Emerson - for behavior - wist_info quote

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Solitude and Society,” Atlantic Monthly (Dec 1857)

Paraphrase of Shakespeare, King Henry IV, Part 2, Act 5, sc. 1: "It is certain that either wife bearing or ignorant carriage is caught, as men take diseases, one of another: therefore let men take heed of their company." Sometimes misattributed to Francis Bacon.
Added on 24-May-16 | Last updated 24-May-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Excellence is lost sight of in the hunger for sudden performance and praise.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Success,” Society and Solitude (1870)
Added on 15-Feb-10 | Last updated 15-Feb-10
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Self-trust is the first secret of success.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Success,” Society and Solitude (1870)
Added on 12-Dec-14 | Last updated 12-Dec-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

It is only when they cannot answer your reasons that they wish to knock you down.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“The Assault upon Mr. Sumner,” speech, Concord (26 May 1856)
Added on 2-May-14 | Last updated 2-May-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

When Carlini was convulsing Naples with laughter, a patient wated on a physician in that city, to obtain some remedy for excessive melancholy, which was rapidly consuming his life. The physician endeavored to cheer his spirits, and advised him to go to the theater and see Carlini. He replied, “I am Carlini.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“The Comic,” closing words, Letters and Social Aims (1876)
Added on 26-Feb-09 | Last updated 26-Feb-09
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Conservatism stands on man’s incontestable limitations; reform on his indisputable infinitiude.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“The Conservative,” lecture, Masonic Temple, Boston (9 Dec 1841)
Added on 14-Apr-09 | Last updated 26-Dec-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

There is always a certain meanness in the argument of conservatism, joined with a certain superiority in its fact.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“The Conservative,” lecture, Masonic Temple, Boston (9 Dec 1841)
Added on 26-Dec-16 | Last updated 26-Dec-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

To aim to convert a man by miracles is a profanation of the soul.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“The Divinity School Address” (1838)
Added on 3-Oct-16 | Last updated 3-Oct-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Nature works in immense time and spends individuals and races prodigally to prepare new individuals and races.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“The Fortune of the Republic,” lecture, Old South Church, Boston (30 Mar 1878)
Added on 15-Dec-11 | Last updated 15-Dec-11
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Divine Providence sends the chiefest benefits under the mask of calamities.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“The Fortune of the Republic,” lecture, Old South Church, Boston (9 Mar 1878)
Added on 24-Mar-09 | Last updated 24-Mar-09
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

In a virtuous community men of sense and principle will always be placed at the head of affairs. In a declining state of public morals men will be so blinded to their true interests as to put the incapable and unworthy at the helm. It is therefore vain to complain of the follies or crimes of a government. We must lay the hands on our own hearts and say, Here is the sin that makes the public sin.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“The Individual and the State,” sermon, Second Church of Boston (8 Apr 1830)
Added on 13-Jul-12 | Last updated 3-Feb-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

There is no unemployed force in Nature. All decomposition is recomposition.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“The Man of Letters,” Lectures and Biographical Sketches (1883)
Added on 8-Dec-11 | Last updated 8-Dec-11
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

The one condition coupled with the gift of truth is its use.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“The Method of Nature,” speech, Waterville College, Maine (11 Aug 1841)
    (Source)
Added on 12-Dec-17 | Last updated 12-Dec-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

The faith that stands on authority is not faith.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“The Over-Soul,” Essays: First Series (1841)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 28-Feb-14
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

The faith that stands on authority is not faith. The reliance on authority measures the decline of religion, the withdrawal of the soul.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“The Over-Soul,” Essays: First Series (1841)
Added on 27-Dec-13 | Last updated 27-Dec-13
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Once we had wooden chalices and golden priests, now we have golden chalices and wooden priests.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“The Preacher,” Lectures and Biographical Sketches (1883)
Added on 12-Jun-12 | Last updated 12-Jun-12
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

I do not find that the age or country makes the least difference; no, nor the language the actor spoke, nor the religion which they professed, — whether Arab in the desert, or Frenchman in the Academy. I see that sensible men and conscientious men all over the world were of one religion of well-doing and daring.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“The Preacher,” lecture, Cambridge (5 May 1879)
Added on 11-Oct-12 | Last updated 11-Oct-12
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Men run out of one superstition into an opposite superstition.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“The Scholar,” Lectures and Biographical Sketches (1883)
    (Source)
Added on 19-May-17 | Last updated 19-May-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Every observation of history inspires a confidence that we shall not go far wrong; that things will mend.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“The Young American,” lecture, Mercantile Library Association, Boston (7 Feb 1844)
Added on 31-Dec-10 | Last updated 31-Dec-10
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Every observation of history inspires a confidence that we shall not go far wrong; that things will mend.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“The Young American” (1844)
Added on 6-Mar-19 | Last updated 6-Mar-19
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Every observation of history inspires a confidence that we shall not go far wrong; that things will mend.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“The Young American” (lecture), Boston (7 Feb. 1844)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

The Bible is a sealed book to him who has not first heard its laws from his soul.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Trust Yourself,” sermon (1830)
Added on 3-Feb-16 | Last updated 3-Feb-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

How ridiculous is Caesar and Bonaparte wandering from one extreme of civilization to the other to conquer men — himself, the while, unconquered, unexplored, almost wholly unsuspected to himself?

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Trust Yourself,” sermon (1830)
Added on 10-Feb-16 | Last updated 10-Feb-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo