Ralph Waldo Emerson

(1803 - 1882 / Boston / United States)

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

  • ''For Nature is the noblest engineer, yet uses a grinding economy, working up all that is wasted to-day into to-morrow's creation;Mnot a superfluous grain of sand, for all the ostentation she makes of expense and public works.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Speech, February 7, 1844, the Mercantile Library Association, Boston, Massachusetts. "The Young American," Nature, Addresses, and Lectures (1849).
    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • ''There is also this benefit in brag, that the speaker is unconsciously expressing his own ideal. Humor him by all means, draw it all out, and hold him to it.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Wealth," English Traits (1856).
  • ''The universal soul is the alone creator of the useful and the beautiful; therefore to make anything useful or beautiful, the individual must be submitted to the universal mind.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Art," Society and Solitude (1870).
  • ''Fear is cruel and mean. The political reigns of terror have been reigns of madness and malignity,—a total perversion of opinion; society is upside down, and its best men are thought too bad to live.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Courage," Society and Solitude (1870).
  • ''People disparage knowing and the intellectual life, and urge doing. I am content with knowing, if only I could know.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Experience," Essays, Second Series (1844).
  • ''Heroism works in contradiction to the voice of mankind, and in contradiction, for a time, to the voice of the great and the good.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Heroism," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847). Emerson also says "... every heroic act measures itself by its contempt of some external good." See Kierkegaard's essay "Fear and Trembling" for an elaboration of this idea that the hero may be called to undermine common standards of morality.
  • ''Whatever games are played with us, we must play no games with ourselves, but deal in our privacy with the last honesty and truth.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Illusions," The Conduct of Life (1860).
  • ''Everything is beautiful seen from the point of the intellect, or as truth. But all is sour, if seen as experience.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Love," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).
  • ''Every experiment, by multitudes or by individuals, that has a sensual and selfish aim, will fail.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Napoleon; or, the Man of the World," Representative Men (1850).
  • ''Philosophically considered, the universe is composed of Nature and the Soul.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Nature, Introduction (1836, revised and repr. 1849). Emerson goes on to explain that by "nature" he means everything that is "not me," hence not only the trees and the sun and the moon, but other people, art, as well as one's own body. This formulation with its Cartesian echoes becomes articulated in more acrimonious (and ironic) terms in the essay "Self-Reliance," when Emerson writes: "Man is timid and apologetic; he is no longer upright; he dares not say 'I think,' 'I am,' but quotes some saint or sage." The saint or sage is, of course, Descartes.

Read more quotations »
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

Alphonso Of Castile

I Alphonso live and learn,
Seeing nature go astern.
Things deteriorate in kind,
Lemons run to leaves and rind,
Meagre crop of figs and limes,
Shorter days and harder times.
Flowering April cools and dies
In the insufficient skies;
Imps at high Midsummer blot

[Report Error]