Quotations From RALPH WALDO EMERSON

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  • 51.
    The university must be retrospective. The gale that gives direction to the vanes on all its towers blows out of antiquity.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Universities," English Traits (1856).
  • 52.
    The sea, washing the equator and the poles, offers its perilous aid, and the power and empire that follow it.... "Beware of me," it says, "but if you can hold me, I am the key to all the lands."
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Wealth," The Conduct of Life (1860).

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  • 53.
    Things admit of being used as symbols, because nature is a symbol, in the whole, and in every part.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "The Poet," Essays, Second Series (1844).

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  • 54.
    The martyr cannot be dishonored. Every lash inflicted is a tongue of fame; every prison a more illustrious abode.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Compensation," Essays, First Series (1841).

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  • 55.
    The stars awaken a certain reverence, because though always present, they are inaccessible.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Nature, ch. 1 (1836, revised and repr. 1849).
  • 56.
    Every known fact in natural science was divined by the presentiment of somebody, before it was actually verified.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Nature," Essays, Second Series (1844).
  • 57.
    The astonishment of life, is, the absence of any appearance of reconciliation between the theory and the practice of life.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Montaigne; or, the Skeptic," Representative Men (1850).

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  • 58.
    You sir, will bring down that renowned chair in which you sit into infamy if your seal is set to this instrument of perfidy; and the name of this nation, hitherto the sweet omen of religion and liberty, will stink to the world.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Letter, April 23, 1838, written as a protest against the removal of the Cherokee from Georgia. "Letter to Martin Van Buren, President of the United States," Miscellanies (1883, repr. 1903).

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  • 59.
    I can reason down or deny everything, except this perpetual Belly: feed he must and will, and I cannot make him respectable.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Montaigne, or the Skeptic," Representative Men (1850).
  • 60.
    The sensual man conforms thoughts to things; the poet conforms things to his thoughts. The one esteems nature as rooted and fast; the other, as fluid, and impresses his being thereon.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Nature, ch. 6 (1836, revised and repr. 1849).

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