Quotations From RALPH WALDO EMERSON

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  • The genius of the Saxon race, friendly to liberty; the enterprise, the very muscular vigor of this nation, are inconsistent with slavery.
    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).
  • All mankind love a lover.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Essays, "Love," First Series (1841).

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  • The civility of the world has reached that pitch that their more moral genius is becoming indispensable, and the quality of this race is to be honored for itself.
    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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  • The intellect is vagabond, and our system of education fosters restlessness. Our minds travel when our bodies are forced to stay at home. We imitate; and what is imitation but the travelling of the mind?
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Self-Reliance," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).

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  • But there are higher secrets of culture, which are not for the apprentices, but for proficients. These are lessons only for the brave. We must know our friends under ugly masks. The calamities are our friends.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Culture," The Conduct of Life (1860).

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  • In rhetoric, this art of omission is a chief secret of power, and, in general, it is proof of high culture to say the greatest matters in the simplest way.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Beauty," The Conduct of Life (1860).

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  • The boy is a Greek; the youth, romantic; the adult, reflective.
    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).

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  • The world is full of judgment-days, and into every assembly that a man enters, in every action he attempts, he is gauged and stamped.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Spiritual Laws," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).

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  • Our housekeeping is mendicant, our arts, our occupations, our marriages, our religion we have not chosen, but society has chosen for us. We are parlor soldiers. We shun the ragged battle of fate, where strength is born.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Self-Reliance," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847). Society.

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  • The rule for hospitality and Irish "help," is, to have the same dinner every day throughout the year. At last, Mrs. O'Shaughnessy learns to cook it to a nicety, the host learns to carve it, and the guests are well served.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Power," The Conduct of Life (1860).
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