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Quotations From RALPH WALDO EMERSON

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  • 1311.
    A divine person is the prophecy of the mind; a friend is the hope of the heart.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Character," Essays, Second Series (1844).

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  • 1312.
    I like that every chair should be a throne, and hold a king.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Manners," Essays, Second Series (1844).
  • 1313.
    The first in time and the first in importance of the influences upon the mind is that of nature. Every day, the sun; and after sunset, night and her stars. Ever the winds blow; ever the grass grows.
    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).

    Read more quotations about / on: sunset, sun, night, nature, time
  • 1314.
    Passion, though a bad regulator, is a powerful spring.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Considerations by the Way," The Conduct of Life (1860).

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  • 1315.
    Preaching is the expression of the moral sentiment in application to the duties of life.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Address, July 15, 1838, delivered before the senior class in Divinity College, Cambridge. "The Divinity School Address," repr. in The Portable Emerson, ed. Carl Bode (1946, repr. 1981).

    Read more quotations about / on: life
  • 1316.
    I cannot go to the houses of my nearest relatives, because I do not wish to be alone. Society exists by chemical affinity, and not otherwise.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Society and Solitude," Society and Solitude (1870).

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  • 1317.
    We must not inquire too curiously into the absolute value of literature. Enough that it amuses and exercises us. At least it leaves us where we were. It names things, but does not add things.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Books," Society and Solitude (1870). Quoted by Edward Emerson in a footnote from Emerson's notebook entitled "Literature" under the heading "Skeptical."
  • 1318.
    We find a delight in the beauty and happiness of children that makes the heart too big for the body.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Illusions," The Conduct of Life (1860).

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  • 1319.
    The uses of travel are occasional, and short; but the best fruit it finds, when it finds it, is conversation; and this is a main function of life.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Considerations by the Way," The Conduct of Life (1860).

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  • 1320.
    We early arrive at the great discovery that there is one mind common to all individual men: that what is individual is less than what is universal ... that error, vice and disease have their seat in the superficial or individual nature.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Quoted in Robert D. Richardson Jr., Emerson: The Mind on Fire, ch. 42 (1995). This is an essential articulation of Emersonian individualism. It comes from the first of a series of 12 lectures delivered in Boston beginning in December 1836.

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