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Ralph Waldo Emerson

(1803 - 1882 / Boston / United States)

Quotations

  • ''There is no one who does not exaggerate. In conversation, men are encumbered with personality, and talk too much.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. :"Nominalist and Realist," Essays, Second Series (1844).
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  • ''Those who have ruled human destinies, like planets, for thousands of years, were not handsome men.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Beauty," The Conduct of Life (1860).
  • ''The covetousness or the malignity, which saddens me, when I ascribe it to society, is my own. I am environed by my self.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Character," Essays, Second Series (1844).
  • ''No performance is worth loss of geniality. 'Tis a cruel price we pay for certain fancy goods called fine arts and philosophy.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Culture," The Conduct of Life (1860).
  • ''In skating over thin ice, our safety is in our speed.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Essays, "Prudence," First Series (1841).
  • ''It should never fall into something usual and settled, but should be alert and inventive, and add rhyme and reason to what was drudgery.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Friendship," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).
  • ''For the most part, the town has deserved the name it wears. I find our annals marked with a uniform good sense. I find no ridiculous laws, no eavesdropping legislators, no hanging of witches, no whipping of Quakers, no unnatural crimes.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Speech, September 12, 1835, on the occasion of the second centennial anniversary of the town of Concord. "Historical Discourse at Concord," Miscellanies (1883, repr. 1903).
  • ''But I shall hear without pain, that I play the courtier very ill, and talk of that which I do not well understand.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Manners," Essays, Second Series (1844).
  • ''The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Nature, ch. 8 (1836, revised and repr. 1849).
  • ''If the tongue had not been framed for articulation, man would still be a beast in the forest.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Plato; or, the Philosopher," Representative Men (1850).

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Terminus

It is time to be old,
To take in sail:--
The god of bounds,
Who sets to seas a shore,
Come to me in his fatal rounds,
And said: "No more!
No farther shoot
Thy broad ambitious branches, and thy root.
Fancy departs; no more invent;

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