Ralph Waldo Emerson

(1803 - 1882 / Boston / United States)

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

  • ''Do not tell me ... of my obligation to put all poor men in good situations. Are they my poor? I tell thee, thou foolish philanthropist, that I grudge the dollar, the dime, the cent, I give to such men as do not belong to me and to whom I do not belong.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Self-Reliance," Essays, First Series (1841).
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  • ''The mind of this country, taught to aim at low objects, eats upon itself.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Oration, August 31, 1837, delivered before the Phi Beta Kappa Society, Cambridge, Massachusetts. "The American Scholar," repr. In Emerson: Essays and Lectures, ed. Joel Porte (1983).
  • ''Every young man is prone to be misled by the suggestions of his own ill-founded ambition which he mistakes for the promptings of a secret genius, and thence dreams of unrivaled greatness.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. The Journals and Miscellaneous Notebooks of Ralph Waldo Emerson, vol. 2 (1960-1978).
  • ''They should own who can administer, not they who hoard and conceal; not they who, the greater proprietors they are, are only the greater beggars, but they whose work carves out work for more, opens a path for all.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Wealth," The Conduct of Life (1860).
  • ''A right rule for a club would be,—Admit no man whose presence excludes any one topic.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Clubs," Society and Solitude (1870).
  • ''Everything good is on the highway.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Experience," Essays, Second Series (1844). Emerson repeats this dictum twice in the essay, articulating the notion that it is not where you end up that is so important, but the quality of the experience of getting there. In other words, it's not the race, it's the ride.
  • ''Children and savages use only nouns or names of things, which they convert into verbs, and apply to analogous mental acts.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Nature, ch. 4 (1836, revised and repr. 1849).
  • ''Nothing is dead: men feign themselves dead, and endure mock funerals and mournful obituaries, and there they stand looking out of the window, sound and well, in some new and strange disguise.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Nominalist and Realist," Essays, Second Series (1844).
  • ''The good judge is not he who does hair-splitting justice to every allegation, but who, aiming at substantial justice, rules something intelligible of the guidance of suitors.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Power," The Conduct of Life (1860).
  • ''When private men shall act with original views, the lustre will be transferred from the actions of kings to those of gentlemen.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Self-Reliance," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).

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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

Nemesis

Already blushes in thy cheek
The bosom-thought which thou must speak;
The bird, how far it haply roam
By cloud or isle, is flying home;
The maiden fears, and fearing runs
Into the charmed snare she shuns;
And every man, in love or pride,
Of his fate is never wide.

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