Quotations From RALPH WALDO EMERSON

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  • 61.
    The tendency of things runs steadily to this point, namely, to put every man on his merits, and to give him so much power as he naturally exerts,—no more, no less.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Address Delivered in Concord on the Anniversary of the Emancipation of the Negroes in the British West Indies, August 1, 1884," Miscellanies (1883, repr. 1903).

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  • 62.
    Our spontaneous action is always the best. You cannot, with your best deliberation and heed, come so close to any question as your spontaneous glance shall bring you.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Intellect," Essays, First Series (1841).
  • 63.
    Let it suffice that in the light of these two facts, namely, that the mind is One, and that nature is its correlative, history is to be read and written.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "History," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).

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  • 64.
    Friendship demands a religious treatment. We talk of choosing our friends, but friends are self-elected. Reverence is a great part of it.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Friendship," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).
  • 65.
    'Tis weak and vicious people who cast the blame on Fate. The right use of Fate is to bring up our conduct to the loftiness of nature.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Fate," The Conduct of Life (1860).

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  • 66.
    And in cases where profound conviction has been wrought, the eloquent man is he who is no beautiful speaker, but who is inwardly drunk with a certain belief. It agitates and tears him, and perhaps almost bereaves him of the power of articulation.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Eloquence," Society and Solitude (1870).

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  • 67.
    How the imagination is piqued by anecdotes of some great man passing incognito, as a king in gray clothes.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Culture," The Conduct of Life (1860).

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  • 68.
    Men seek to be great; they would have offices, wealth, power, and fame. They think that to be great is to possess one side of nature,—the sweet, without the other side,—the bitter.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Compensation," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).

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  • 69.
    Those who live to the future must always appear selfish to those who live to the present.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Character," Essays, Second Series (1844).

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  • 70.
    An answer in words is delusive; it is really no answer to the questions you ask.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "The Over-Soul," Essays, First Series (1847).
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