Ralph Waldo Emerson quotes

Speech marksEmerson, Ralph Waldo (1803 – 1882) US essayist & poet

In the highest civilisation, the book is still the highest delight. He who has once known its satisfactions is provided with a resource against calamity.

A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer.

He has not learned the lesson of life who does not every day surmount a fear.

The world belongs to the energetic.

Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.

Insist on yourself; never imitate… Every great man is unique.

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.

A friend is one before whom I may think aloud.

What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.

The measure of a master is his success in bringing all men around to his opinion twenty years later.

As we grow old…the beauty steals inward.

Tis the good reader that makes the good book.

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

The best effect of fine persons is felt after we have left their presence.

Men are conservatives when they are least vigorous, or when they are most luxurious. They are conservatives after dinner.

Speak what you think today in hard words and tomorrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict everything you said today.

Every great and commanding moment in the annals of the world is the triumph of some enthusiasm.

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.

The only gift is a portion of thyself.

Democracy becomes a government of bullies tempered by editors.

To be great is to be misunderstood.

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

Every hero becomes a bore at last.

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

If a man knew anything, he would sit in a corner and be modest; but he is such an ignorant peacock, that he goes bustling up and down, and hits on extraordinary discoveries.

Our knowledge is the amassed thought and experience of innumerable minds.

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist.

People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of their character.

No great man ever complains of want of opportunity.

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

When a whole nation is roaring Patriotism at the top of its voice, I am fain to explore the cleanness of its hands and purity of its heart.

Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.

That which we persist in doing becomes easier, not that the task itself has become easier, but that our ability to perform it has improved.

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could.

Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

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

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

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

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.

Our chief want in life is somebody who shall make us do what we can.

We all boil at different degrees.

This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.

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.

Make yourself necessary to somebody. Do not make life hard to any.

Children are all foreigners.

Beware when the great God lets loose a thinker on this planet.

Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.

The adventitious beauty of poetry may be felt in the greater delight with a verse given in a happy quotation than in the poem.

Wit makes its own welcome, and levels all distinctions. No dignity, no learning, no force of character, can make any stand against good wit.

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.

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

A man of genius is privileged only as far as he is genius. His dullness is as insupportable as any other dullness.

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

Colleges hate geniuses, just as convents hate saints.

Conversation is an art in which a man has all mankind for his competitors, for it is that which all are practising every day while they live.

Every sweet has its sour; every evil its good.

Give all to love; obey thy heart.

I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.

I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.

If I have lost confidence in myself, I have the universe against me.

Let not a man guard his dignity, but let his dignity guard him.

Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air…

None of us will ever accomplish anything excellent or commanding except when he listens to this whisper which is heard by him alone.

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

The ancestor of every action is a thought.

The essence of all jokes, of all comedy, seems to be an honest or well intended halfness; a non performance of that which is pretended to be performed, at the same time that one is giving loud pledges of performance. The balking of the intellect is comedy and it announces itself in the pleasant spasms we call laughter.

The life of man is the true romance, which when it is valiantly conduced, will yield the imagination a higher joy than any fiction.

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

The peril of every fine faculty is the delight of playing with it for pride. Talent is commonly developed at the expense of character, and the greater it grows, the more is the mischief. Talent is mistaken for genius, a dogma or system for truth, ambition for greatest, ingenuity for poetry, sensuality for art.

There are many things of which a wise man might wish to be ignorant.

Those who cannot tell what they desire or expect, still sigh and struggle with indefinite thoughts and vast wishes.

Trust your instinct to the end, though you can render no reason.

Truth is beautiful, without doubt; but so are lies.

When you strike at a king, you must kill him.

Work and acquire, and thou hast chained the wheel of Chance.

In every work of genius we recognise our own rejected thoughts; they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty.

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

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.

Immortality. I notice that as soon as writers broach this question they begin to quote. I hate quotation. Tell me what you know.

Every artist was first an amateur.

The bitterest tragic element in life to be derived from an intellectual source is the belief in a brute Fate or Destiny.

A man builds a fine house; and now he has a master, and a task for life; he is to furnish, watch, show it, and keep it in repair, the rest of his days.

About Melluvahess

My name is Sean Maguire and I am the founder of Maths Made Elementary. I provide expert one-to-one maths tuition within North London to lower and upper secondary level students studying at Key Stages 3 and 4. For more information about me, and the services I offer, please check out my website www.mathsmadeelementary.co.uk
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