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Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes (1444 Quotes)


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  • A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere. Before him, I may think aloud.
    (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

  • Evermore in the world is this marvelous balance of beauty and disgust, magnificence and rats.
    (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

  • A man in debt is so far a slave.
    (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

  • A character is like an acrostic or Alexandrian stanza read it forward, backward, or across, it still spells the same thing.
    (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

  • O Day of days when we can read! The reader and the book, either without the other is naught.
    (Ralph Waldo Emerson)


  • Every spirit makes its house, and we can give a shrewd guess from the house to the inhabitant.
    (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

  • To the poet, to the philosopher, to the saint, all things are friendly and sacred, all events profitable, all days holy, all men divine.
    (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

  • In the hands of the discoverer, medicine becomes a heroic art . . wherever life is dear he is a demigod.
    (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

  • Culture implies all that which gives the mind possession of its own powers as languages to the critic, telescope to the astronomer.
    (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

  • There is no beautifier of complexion or form of behavior like the wish to scatter joy, and not pain, around us.
    (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

  • 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.
    (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

  • It is a fact often observed, that men have written good verses under the inspiration of passion, who cannot write well under other circumstances.
    (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

  • Infancy conforms to nobody all conform to it, so that one babe commonly makes four or five out of the adults who prattle and play to it.
    (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

  • Shall we then judge a country by the majority, or by the minority By the minority, surely. 'Tis pedantry to estimate nations by the census, or by square miles of land, or other than by their importance to the mind of the time.
    (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

  • Difference of opinion is the one crime which kings never forgive
    (Ralph Waldo Emerson)


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