Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

Tell them dear, that if eyes were made for seeing,Then beauty is its own excuse for beingWhy thou wert there, O rival of the roseI never sought to ask, I never knewBut, in my simple ignorance supposeThe selfsame power that brought me there brought you.
By the rude bridge that arched the flood,Their flag to April's breeze unfurled,Here once the embattled farmers stood,And fired the shot heard round the world.
What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.
All life is an experiment.
It is not length of life, but depth of life.
The years teach much which the days never knew.
All mankind love a lover.
Men are what their mothers made them.
We aim above the mark to hit the mark.
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.
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
People only see what they are prepared to see.
He who has a thousand friendsHas not a friend to spare,While he who has one enemyShall meet him everywhere.
Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life, that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.
Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could some blunders and absurdities have crept in forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.
A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do.
The only way to have a friend is to be one.
Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.
To laugh often and much to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others to leave the world a little better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is the meaning of success.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies with in us.
Far or forgot to me is nearShadow and sunlight are the sameThe vanished gods to me appearAnd one to me are shame and fame.They reckon ill who leave me outWhen me they fly, I am the wingsI am the doubter and the doubt,And I the hymn the Brahmin sings.
So of cheerfulness, or a good temper, the more it is spent, the more it remains.
The wise man in the storm prays God, not for safety from danger, but for deliverance from fear.
One man's justice is another's injustice one man's beauty another's ugliness one man's wisdom another's folly.
Great men are they who see that the spiritual is stronger than any material force, that thoughts rule the world.
Be as beneficent as the sun or the sea, but if your rights as a rational being are trenched on, die on the first inch of your territory.
For everything you have missed, you have gained something else and for everything you gain, you lose something.
Four snakes gliding up and down a hollow for no purpose that I could see -- not to eat, not for love, but only gliding.
To the dull mind all nature is leaden. To the illumined mind the whole world sparkles with light.
Can anybody remember when the times were not hard and money not scarce
This world we live in is but thickened light.
Life is eating us up. We shall be fables presently. Keep cool it will be all one a hundred years hence.
To fill the hour-that is happiness.
Skill to do comes of doing.
A man is related to all nature.
Only those books come down which deserve to last . All the gilt edges, vellum and morocco, all the presentation copies to all the libraries will not preserve a book in circulation beyond its intrinsic date.
I have heard with admiring submission the experience of the lady who declared that the sense of being well-dressed gives a feeling of inward tranquillity which religion is powerless to bestow.
Every revolution was first a thought in one man's mind.
Finish each day before you begin the next, and interpose a solid wall of sleep between the two. This you cannot do without temperance.
Ideas must work through the brains and the arms of good and brave men, or they are no better than dreams.
Is not marriage an open question, when it is alleged, from the beginning of the world, that such who are in the institution wish to get out and such as are out wish to get in.
It seems to me that perfection of means and confusion of goals seems to characterize our age.
The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.
There are always those who think they know what is your responsibility better than you do.
Money often costs too much.
Never read a book that is not a year old.
Go often to the house of thy friend, for weeds choke the unused path.
A chief event in life is the day in which we have encountered a mind that startled us.
Every man is a divinity in disguise, a God playing the fool.
Life is a festival only to the wise.
The less government we have the better.
We find delight in the beauty and happiness of children that makes the heart too big for the body.
The angels are so enamoured of the language that is spoken in heaven, that they will not distort their lips with the hissing and unmusical dialects of men, but speak their own, whether there be any who understand it or not.
The silence that accepts merit as the most natural thing in the world is the highest applause.
Do not say things. What you are stands over you the while and thunders so that I cannot hear what you say to the contrary.
Be and not seem.
Character is what can do without success.
Each man takes care that his neighbor shall not cheat him. But a day comes when he begins to care that he does not cheat his neighbor. Then all goes well. He has changed his market-cart into a chariot of the sun.
What is the hardest thing in the world To think.
Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. What if they are a little course, and you may get your coat soiled or torn What if you do fail, and get fairly rolled in the dirt once or twice. Up again, you shall never be so afraid of a tumble.
The reliance on property is...the want of self-reliance. Men measure the esteem of each other by what each has, and not by what each is. But a cultivated man becomes ashamed of his property...(Essays)
What I must do is all that concerns me. This rule, equally arduous in actual and intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness. It is harder because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it.
The sky is the daily bread of the eyes.
Truth is beautiful, without doubt but so are lies.
I like the silent church before the service begins, better than any preaching.
To the poet, to the philosopher, to the saint, all things are friendly and sacred, all events profitable, all days holy, all men divine.
Tobacco, coffee, alcohol, hashish, prussic acid, strychnine, are weak dilutions the surest poison is time.
Those who cannot tell what they desire or expect, still sigh and struggle with indefinite thoughts and vast wishes.
They say the cows laid out Boston. Well, there are worse surveyors.
Every man alone is sincere. At the entrance of a second person, hypocrisy begins.
The world is emblematic. Parts of speech are metaphors because the whole of nature is a metaphor of the human mind.
The truth, the hope of any time, must always be sought in minorities.
Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss.
Don't be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.
Thought is the blossom language the bud action the fruit behind it.
In skating over thin ice our safety is in our speed.
Life is a progress, and not a station.
Real friendship is shown in times of trouble prosperity is full of friends.
All life is an experiment. The more experiments yoiu make the better.
A painter told me that nobody could draw a tree without in some sort becoming a tree or draw a child by studying the outlines of its form merely . . . but by watching for a time his motions and plays, the painter enters into his nature and can then draw him at every attitude . . .
Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life.
The god of the cannibals will be a cannibal, of the crusaders a crusader, and of the merchants a merchant.
Some have been thought brave because they were afraid to run away.
What greater pain could mortals have than this To see their children dead before their eyes
It is not death or pain that is to be dreaded, but the fear of pain or death.
My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.
Each man has his own vocation his talent is his call. There is one direction in which all space is open to him.
The moment we indulge our affections, the earth is metamorphosed there is no winter and no night all tragedies, all ennuis, vanish,-all duties even.
Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.
What is a weed A plant whose virtues have never been discovered.
A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam that flashes across his mind from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages. Yet he dismisses without notice his own thought, because it is his. In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts they come back to us with a sort of alienated majesty.
Thought is the seed of action.
Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.
Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist.
A friend is one before whom I may think aloud.
There is no beautifier of complexion, or form, or behavior, like the wish to scatter joy and not pain around us.
All great masters are chiefly distinguished by the power of adding a second, a third, and perhaps a fourth step in a continuous line. Many a man had taken the first step. With every additional step you enhance immensely the value of you first.
All our progress is an unfolding, like a vegetable bud. You have first an instinct, then an opinion, then a knowledge as the plant has root, bud, and fruit. Trust the instinct to the end, though you can render no reason.
When it is darkest, men see the stars.
Every burned book or house enlightens the world every suppressed or expunged word reverberates through the earth from side to side.
The wise man always throws himself on the side of his assailants. It is more his interest than it is theirs to find his weak point.
We know better than we do. We do not yet possess ourselves.
Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.
They can conquer who believe they can. He has not learned the first lesson in life who does not every day surmount a fear.
Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.
If there is any period one would desire to be born in, is it not the age of Revolution when the old and the new stand side by side...when the glories of the old can be compensated by the rich possibilities of the new era This time...is a very good one...
He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life.
Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding.
Truth is the summit of being justice is the application of it to affairs.
Better to be a nettle in the side of your friend than his echo.
A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere. Before him I may think aloud.
A true friend is somebody who can make us do what we can.
It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.
Love and you shall be loved.
No facts are to me sacred none are profane I simply experiment, an endless seeker with no Past at my back.
It is commonly observed that a sudden wealth, like a prize drawn in a lottery or a large bequest to a poor family, does not permanently enrich. They have served no apprenticeship to wealth, and with the rapid wealth come rapid claims which they do not know how to deny, and the treasure is quickly dissipated.
The man is only half himself, the other half is his expression.
What we call results are beginnings.
This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.
Knowledge exists to be imparted.
Insist on yourself never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life's cultivation but of the adopted talent of another you have only an extemporaneous half possession... Do that which is assigned to you, and you cannot hope too much or dare too much.
People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of their character.
To know how to suggest is the great art of teaching.
A friend might well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature.
One of the illusions of life is that the present hour is not the critical, decisive hour. Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year.
The things taught in colleges and schools are not an education, but the means of education.
We are born believing. A man bears beliefs, as a tree bears beauty.
Belief consists in accepting the affirmations of the soul unbelief, in denying them.
Our chief want in life is somebody who shall make us do what we can.
Love is the essence of God.
A good intention clothes itself with power.
Fate is nothing but the deeds committed in a prior state of existence.
Light is the first of painters. There is no object so foul that intense light will not make it beautiful.
Adopt the pace of nature, her secret is patience.
I awoke with devout thanksgiving for my friends.
The wise through excess of wisdom is made a fool.
The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you with a friendship.
We do not quite forgive a giver. The hand that feeds us is in some danger of being bitten.
It is very hard to be simple enough to be good.
In England every man you meet is some man's son in America, he may be some man's father.
Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis.
Intellect annuls fate. So far as a man thinks, he is free.
Spiritual force is stronger than material force thoughts rule the world.
The reason why all men honor love is because it looks up, and not down aspires and not despairs.
I am sure of this, that by going much alone a man will get more of a noble courage in thought and word than from all the wisdom that is in books.
I like to have a man's knowledge comprehend more than one class of topics, one row of shelves. I like a man who likes to see a fine barn as well as a good tragedy.
A man's wife has more power over him than the state has.
It is impossible for a man to be cheated by anyone but himself.
The education of the will is the object of our existence.
Be careful what you set your heart on, for it will surely be yours.
Every man I meet is in some way my superior.
Hitch your wagon to a star.
Always do what you are afraid to do.
To be great is to be misunderstood.
Fame is proof that people are gullible.
Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind.
All conservatives are such from personal defects. They have been effeminated by position or nature, born halt and blind, through luxury of their parents, and can only, like invalids, act on the defensive.
We are shut up in schools and college recitation rooms for ten or fifteen years, and come out at last with a bellyful of words and do not know a thing.
In the matter of religion, people eagerly fasten their eyes on the difference between their own creed and yours whilst the charm of the study is in finding the agreements and identities in all the religions of humanity.
The thirst for adventure is the vent which Destiny offers a war, a crusade, a gold mine, a new country, speak to the imagination and offer swing and play to the confined powers.
Men's actions are too strong for them. Show me a man who has acted, and who has not been the victim and slave of his action.
Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.
The Religion that is afraid of science dishonors God and commits suicide.
A sect or party is an elegant incognito devised to save a man from the vexation of thinking.
Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.
Heaven always bears some proportion to earth. The god of the cannibal will be a cannibal, of the crusades a crusader, and of the merchants a merchant.
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.
Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to the end, requires some of the same courage which a soldier needs.
If you can not find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it Dogen Belief consists in accepting the affirmations of the soul unbelief, denying them.
You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.
Character is higher than intellect... A great soul will be strong to live, as well as to think.
If man has good corn, or wood, or boards, or pigs to sell, or can make better chairs or knives, crucibles, or church organs, than anybody else, you will find a broad, hard-beaten road to his house, though it be in the woods.
A weed is just a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.
Often a certain abdication of prudence and foresight is an element of success.
The only reward of virtue is virtue the only way to have a friend is to be one.
What would be the use of immortality to a person who cannot use well a half an hour.
In the woods is perpetual youth.
So much of our time is preparation, so much is routine, and so much retrospect, that the path of each man's genius contracts itself to a very few hours.
Adopt the pace of nature.
To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men-that is genius.
The reward of a thing well done is to have done it.
I used to always think that I'd look back on us crying and laugh, but, I never thought I'd look back on us laughing and cry.
He then learns that in going down into the secrets of his own mind he has descended into the secrets of all minds.
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.
Beware when the great God lets loose a thinker on this planet.
Children are all foreigners.
A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer.
Every hero becomes a bore at last.
Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment.
Don't waste yourself in rejection, nor bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of the good.
If I have lost confidence in myself, I have the universe against me.
I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.
Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air
Let not a man guard his dignity, but let his dignity guard him.
Every sweet has its sour every evil its good.
Insist on yourself never imitate... Every great man is unique.
Give all to love obey thy heart.
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.
I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.
Nature magically suits a man to his fortunes, by making them the fruit of his character.
Make yourself necessary to somebody. Do not make life hard to any.
There are many things of which a wise man might wish to be ignorant.
The world belongs to the energetic.
The only gift is a portion of thyself.
The ancestor of every action is a thought.
The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization.
The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.
There is no den in the wide world to hide a rogue. Commit a crime and the earth is made of glass. Commit a crime, and it seems as if a coat of snow fell on the ground, such as reveals in the woods the track of every partridge, and fox, and squirrel.
Tis the good reader that makes the good book.
We do what we must, and call it by the best names.
When you strike at a king, you must kill him.
Whoever is open, loyal, true of humane and affable demeanour honourable himself, and in his judgement of others faithful to his word as to law, and faithful alike to God and man....such a man is a true gentleman.
Work and acquire, and thou hast chained the wheel of Chance.
Wit makes its own welcome and levels all distinctions.
Next to the originator of a good sentence is the first quoter of it.
Every artist was first an amateur.
Nothing astonishes men so much as common sense and plain dealing.
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.
The best effect of fine persons is felt after we have left their presence.
Immortality. I notice that as soon as writers broach this question they begin to quote. I hate quotation. Tell me what you know.
Trust men and they will be true to you treat them greatly, and they will show themselves great.
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.
Men are conservatives when they are least vigorous, or when they are most luxurious. They are conservatives after dinner.
None of us will every accomplish anything excellent or commanding except when he listens to this whisper which is heard by him alone.
The bitterest tragic element in life to be derived from an intellectual source is the belief in a brute Fate or Destiny.
In the highest civilization, the book is still the highest delight. He who has once known its satisfactions is provided with a resource against calamity.
As we grow oldthe beauty steals inward.
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.
Wit makes its own welcome, and levels all distinctions. No dignity, no learning, no force of character, can make any stand against good wit.
As soon as there is life there is danger.
Twitter Fit