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The Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

28 of the best book quotes from The Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson
  1. #1
    “God has armed youth and puberty and manhood no less with its own piquancy and charm, and made it enviable and gracious and its claims not to be put by, if it will stand by itself.”
  2. #2
    “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.”
  3. #3
    “He who would gather immortal palms must not be hindered by the name of goodness, but must explore if it be goodness. Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind.”
  4. #4
    “I cannot consent to pay for a privilege where I have intrinsic right.”
  5. #5
    “A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the luster of the firmament of bards and sages. Yet he dismisses without notice his thought, because it is his. In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts: they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty.”
  6. #6
    “For nonconformity the world whips you with its displeasure.”
  7. #7
    “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.”
  1. #8
    “It seems to be a rule of wisdom never to rely on your memory alone, scarcely even in acts of pure memory, but to bring the past for judgment into the thousand-eyed present, and live ever in a new day.”
  2. #9
    “Men imagine that they communicate their virtue or vice only by overt actions, and do not see that virtue or vice emit a breath every moment.”
  3. #10
    “There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till.”
  4. #11
    “Accept the place the divine providence has found for you, the society of your contemporaries, the connection of events. Great men have always done so, and confided themselves childlike to the genius of their age, betraying their perception that the absolutely trustworthy was seated at their heart, working through their hands, predominating in all their being.”
  5. #12
    “Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.”
  6. #13
    “No law can be sacred to me but that of my nature. Good and bad are but names very readily transferable to that or this; the only right is what is after my constitution, the only wrong what is against it.”
  7. #14
    “Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of everyone of its members. Society is a joint-stock company, in which the members agree, for the better securing of his bread to each shareholder, to surrender the liberty and culture of the eater. The virtue in most request is conformity. Self-reliance is its aversion. It loves not realities and creators, but names and customs.”

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  1. #15
    “In this pleasing, contrite wood-life which God allows me, let me record day by day my honest thought without prospect or retrospect, and, I cannot doubt, it will be found symmetrical, though I mean it not, and see it not.”
  2. #16
    “I am ashamed to think how easily we capitulate to badges and names, to large societies and dead institutions.”
  3. #17
    “Virtues are, in the popular estimate, rather the exception than the rule.”
  4. #18
    “My life is for itself and not for a spectacle. I much prefer that it should be of a lower strain, so it be genuine and equal, than that it should be glittering and unsteady.”
  5. #19
    “Do your work, and you shall reinforce yourself.”
  6. #20
    “Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood?”
  7. #21
    “Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not.”
  1. #22
    “I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.”
  2. #23
    “We are students of words: we are shut up in schools, and colleges, and recitation -rooms, for ten or fifteen years, and come out at last with a bag of wind, a memory of words, and do not know a thing.”
  3. #24
    “We are immersed in beauty, but our eyes have no clear vision.”
  4. #25
    “Every violation of truth is not only a sort of suicide in the liar, but is a stab at the health of human society.”
  5. #26
    “The life of truth is cold.”
  6. #27
    “There is no great and no small
    To the Soul that maketh all:
    And where it cometh, all things are
    And it cometh everywhere.”
  7. #28
    “Every man is an impossibility until he is born; every thing impossible until we see a success.”

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