Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes (1444 Quotes)


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


    It is so easy to give a naughty boy a slap, overpower him in an instant, and make him obey, that in this world of hurry and distraction, who can possibly spend time to wait for the slow return of his reason and the conquest of himself in the uncertai






    The colleges, while they provide us with libraries, furnish no professors of books and I think no chair is so much needed.

    One lesson we learn early, that in spite of seeming difference, men are all of one pattern. We readily assume this with our mates, and are disappointed and angry if we find that we are premature, and that their watches are slower than ours.

    Condense some daily experience into a glowing symbol, and an audience is electrified.


    I do then with my friends as I do with my books. I would have them where I can find them, but I seldom use them.


    To fill the hour, that is happiness to fill the hour, and leave no crevice for a repentance or an approval.

    Men admire the man who can organize their wishes and thoughts in stone and wood and steel and brass.


    The whole course of things goes to teach us faith. We need only obey. There is guidance for each of us, and by lowly listening we shall hear the right word.... Place yourself in the middle of the stream of power and wisdom which flows into you as life, place yourself in the full center of that flood, then you are without effort impelled to truth, to right, and a perfect contentment.


    Your genuine action will explain itself and will explain your other genuine actions. Your conformity explains nothing. Act singly, and what you have already done single will justify you now.

    Coal is a portable climate. It carries the heat of the tropics to Labrador and the polar circle and it is the means of transporting itself whithersoever it is wanted. Watt and Stephenson whispered in the ear of mankind their secret, that a half-ounce of coal will draw two tons a mile, and coal carries coal, by rail and by boat, to make Canada as warm as Calcutta, and with its comfort brings its industrial power.


    Thoughts come into our minds by avenues which we never left open, and thoughts go out of our minds through avenues which we never voluntarily opened.



    Liberty is slow fruit. It is never cheap it is made difficult because freedom is the accomplishment and perfectness of man.




    The book written against fame and learning has the author's name on the title-page.

    But I cannot recite, even thus rudely, laws of the intellect, without remembering that lofty and sequestered class of men who have been its prophets and oracles, the high-priesthood of the pure reason, the Trismegisti, the expounders of the principles of thought from age to age.


    Related Authors


    William Blake - Dante Alighieri - William Congreve - Robert Service - Max Jacob - Lucretius - Geoffrey Chaucer - Edmund Spenser - Aristophanes - Andrew Lang


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