Ralph Waldo Emerson

(1803 - 1882 / Boston / United States)

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

  • ''Oxford is a little aristocracy in itself, numerous and dignified enough to rank with other estates in the realm; and where fame and secular promotion are to be had for study, and in a direction which has the unanimous respect of all cultivated nations.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Universities," English Traits (1856).
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  • ''Government exists to defend the weak and the poor and the injured party; the rich and the strong can better take care of themselves.''
    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, 1844," Miscellanies (1883, repr. 1903).
  • ''The goitre of egotism is so frequent among notable persons, that we must infer some strong necessity in nature which it subserves; such as we see in the sexual attraction.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Culture," The Conduct of Life (1860).
  • ''A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of Nature.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Essays, "Friendship," First Series (1841).
  • ''The first farmer was the first man, and all historic nobility rests on possession and use of land.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Farming," Society and Solitude (1870).
  • ''A man is the whole encyclopedia of facts.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "History," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).
  • ''The Times are the masquerade of the eternities; trivial to the dull, tokens of noble and majestic agents to the wise; the receptacle in which the Past leaves its history; the quarry out of which the genius of today is building up the Future.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Speech, December 2, 1841, at the Masonic Temple, Boston, Massachusetts. "Introductory Lecture on the Times," Nature, Addresses, and Lectures (1849).
  • ''We must be lovers, and at once the impossible becomes possible.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Speech, January 25, 1841, before the Mechanics' Apprentices' Library Association, Boston, Massachusetts. "Man the Reformer," Nature, Addresses, and Lectures (1849).
  • ''The reality is more excellent than the report.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Nature," Essays, Second Series (1844).
  • ''The sight of a planet through a telescope is worth all the course on astronomy; the shock of the electric spark in the elbow, outvalues all the theories; the taste of the nitrous oxide, the firing of an artificial volcano, are better than volumes of chemistry.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Lecture given on March 3, 1884 in Amory Hall, Boston, Massachusetts. "New England Reformers," Essays, Second Series (1844).

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Best Poem of Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fate

Deep in the man sits fast his fate
To mould his fortunes, mean or great:
Unknown to Cromwell as to me
Was Cromwell's measure or degree;
Unknown to him as to his horse,
If he than his groom be better or worse.
He works, plots, fights, in rude affairs,
With squires, lords, kings, his craft compares,
Till late he learned, through doubt and fear,
Broad England harbored not his peer:
Obeying time, the last to own
The Genius from its cloudy throne.
For the prevision is allied
Unto the thing so signified;
Or say, the foresight that awaits
Is...

Read the full of Fate

Eros

The sense of the world is short, -
Long and various the report, -
To love and be beloved;
Men and gods have not outlearned it;
And, how oft soe'er they've turned it,
'Tis not to be improved.

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