Sort by:PopularityA - Z
None of us will ever accomplish anything excellent or commanding except when he listens to this whisper which is heard by him alone.
All conservatives are such from personal defects. They have been effeminated by position or nature, born halt and blind, through luxury of their parents, and can only, like invalids, act on the defensive.
By the rude bridge that arched the flood,Their flag to April's breeze unfurled,Here once the embattled farmers stood,And fired the shot heard round the world.
I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do or any kindness that I can show for any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.
Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.
Life is eating us up. We shall be fables presently. Keep cool it will be all one a hundred years hence.
Tell them dear, that if eyes were made for seeing,Then beauty is its own excuse for beingWhy thou wert there, O rival of the roseI never sought to ask, I never knewBut, in my simple ignorance supposeThe selfsame power that brought me there brought you.
They can conquer who believe they can. He has not learned the first lesson in life who does not every day surmount a fear.
The glory of friendship is not the outstreched hand, nor the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when he discovers that someone else believes in him and is willing to trust him.
Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could some blunders and absurdities have crept in forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.
A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesman and philosophers and divines.
Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. What if they are a little course, and you may get your coat soiled or torn What if you do fail, and get fairly rolled in the dirt once or twice. Up again, you shall never be so afraid of a tumble.
He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day who allows it to be invated by worry, fret and anxiety.
If a man knows the law, find out, though he live in a pine shanty, and resort to him. And if a man can pipe or sing, so as to wrap the imprisoned soul in an elysium; or can paint a landscape, and convey into souls and ochres all the enchantments of Spring or Autumn; or can liberate and intoxicate all people who hear him with delicious songs and verses; it is certain that the secret cannot be kept; the first witness tells it to a second, and men go by fives and tens and fifties to his doors.
Is not marriage an open question, when it is alleged, from the beginning of the world, that such who are in the institution wish to get out and such as are out wish to get in.
All our progress is an unfolding, like a vegetable bud. You have first an instinct, then an opinion, then a knowledge as the plant has root, bud, and fruit. Trust the instinct to the end, though you can render no reason.
The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you with a friendship.
One man's justice is another's injustice one man's beauty another's ugliness one man's wisdom another's folly.
To laugh often and much to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others to leave the world a little better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is the meaning of success.
Whoever is open, loyal, true of humane and affable demeanour honourable himself, and in his judgement of others faithful to his word as to law, and faithful alike to God and man....such a man is a true gentleman.
A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do.
All great masters are chiefly distinguished by the power of adding a second, a third, and perhaps a fourth step in a continuous line. Many a man had taken the first step. With every additional step you enhance immensely the value of you first.
Do not say things. What you are stands over you the while and thunders so that I cannot hear what you say to the contrary.
Each man takes care that his neighbor shall not cheat him. But a day comes when he begins to care that he does not cheat his neighbor. Then all goes well. He has changed his market-cart into a chariot of the sun.
For everything you have missed, you have gained something else and for everything you gain, you lose something.
Men are conservatives when they are least vigorous, or when they are most luxurious. They are conservatives after dinner.
A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us "like the fabled specter-ships," which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind.
A man builds a fine house and now he has a master, and a task for life he is to furnish, watch, show it, and keep it in repair, the rest of his days.
A man of genius is privileged only as far as he is genius. His dullness is as insupportable as any other dullness.
A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam that flashes across his mind from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages. Yet he dismisses without notice his own thought, because it is his. In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts they come back to us with a sort of alienated majesty.
A painter told me that nobody could draw a tree without in some sort becoming a tree or draw a child by studying the outlines of its form merely . . . but by watching for a time his motions and plays, the painter enters into his nature and can then draw him at every attitude . . .
All men are in some degree impressed by the face of the world; some men even to delight. This love of beauty is taste. Others have the same love in such success that, not content with admiring, they seek to embody it in new forms. The creation of beauty is art.
Be as beneficent as the sun or the sea, but if your rights as a rational being are trenched on, die on the first inch of your territory.
By necessity, by proclivity, and by delight, we all quote. In fact, it is as difficult to appropriate the thoughts of others as it is to invent.
Conversation is an art in which a man has all mankind for his competitors, for it is that which all are practising every day while they live.
Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. What if they are a little course, and you may get your coat soiled or torn? What if you do fail, and get fairly rolled in the dirt once or twice. Up again, you shall never be so afraid of a tumble.
Don't be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.
Each man has his own vocation his talent is his call. There is one direction in which all space is open to him.
Each man takes care that his neighbor shall not cheat him. But a day comes when he begins to care that he does not cheat his neighbor. Then all goes well -- he has changed his market-cart into a chariot of the sun.
Every burned book or house enlightens the world every suppressed or expunged word reverberates through the earth from side to side.
Far or forgot to me is nearShadow and sunlight are the sameThe vanished gods to me appearAnd one to me are shame and fame.They reckon ill who leave me outWhen me they fly, I am the wingsI am the doubter and the doubt,And I the hymn the Brahmin sings.
Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in, forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day, you shall begin it well and serenely...
Finish each day before you begin the next, and interpose a solid wall of sleep between the two. This you cannot do without temperance.
Four snakes gliding up and down a hollow for no purpose that I could see -- not to eat, not for love, but only gliding.
Great men are they who see that the spiritual is stronger than any material force, that thoughts rule the world.
Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life.
He then learns that in going down into the secrets of his own mind he has descended into the secrets of all minds.
He who has a thousand friendsHas not a friend to spare,While he who has one enemyShall meet him everywhere.
He who is in love is wise and is becoming wiser, sees newly every time he looks at the object beloved, drawing from it with his eyes and his mind those virtues which it possesses.
Heaven always bears some proportion to earth. The god of the cannibal will be a cannibal, of the crusades a crusader, and of the merchants a merchant.
Here is the world, sound as a nut, perfect, not the smallest piece of chaos left, never a stitch nor an end, not a mark of haste, or botching, or second thought; but the theory of the world is a thing of shreds and patches.
I am sure of this, that by going much alone a man will get more of a noble courage in thought and word than from all the wisdom that is in books.
I have heard with admiring submission the experience of the lady who declared that the sense of being well-dressed gives a feeling of inward tranquillity which religion is powerless to bestow.
I like to have a man's knowledge comprehend more than one class of topics, one row of shelves. I like a man who likes to see a fine barn as well as a good tragedy.
I look on that man as happy, who, when there is question of success, looks into his work for a reply.
I pack my trunk, embrace my friends, embark on the sea, and at last wake up in Naples, and there beside me is the Stern Fact, the Sad Self, unrelenting, identical, that I fled from.
I see her not dispirited, not weak, but well, remembering that she has seen dark times before, indeed with a kind of instinct that she sees a little better in a cloudy day.
I used to always think that I'd look back on us crying and laugh, but, I never thought I'd look back on us laughing and cry.
Ideas must work through the brains and the arms of good and brave men, or they are no better than dreams.
If a man knew anything, he would sit in a corner and be modest; but he is such an ignorant peacock, that he goes bustling up and down, and hits on extraordinary discoveries.
If man has good corn, or wood, or boards, or pigs to sell, or can make better chairs or knives, crucibles, or church organs, than anybody else, you will find a broad, hard-beaten road to his house, though it be in the woods.
If there is any period one would desire to be born in, is it not the age of Revolution when the old and the new stand side by side...when the glories of the old can be compensated by the rich possibilities of the new era This time...is a very good one...
If you can not find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it Dogen Belief consists in accepting the affirmations of the soul unbelief, denying them.
Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it, we go nowhere. Words to definitely think about.
Immortality. I notice that as soon as writers broach this question they begin to quote. I hate quotation. Tell me what you know.
In the highest civilization, the book is still the highest delight. He who has once known its satisfactions is provided with a resource against calamity.
In the matter of religion, people eagerly fasten their eyes on the difference between their own creed and yours whilst the charm of the study is in finding the agreements and identities in all the religions of humanity.
Insist on yourself never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life's cultivation but of the adopted talent of another you have only an extemporaneous half possession... Do that which is assigned to you, and you cannot hope too much or dare too much.
It is commonly observed that a sudden wealth, like a prize drawn in a lottery or a large bequest to a poor family, does not permanently enrich. They have served no apprenticeship to wealth, and with the rapid wealth come rapid claims which they do not know how to deny, and the treasure is quickly dissipated.
It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life, that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.
Light is the first of painters. There is no object so foul that intense light will not make it beautiful.
Men cease to interest us when we find their limitations. The only sin is limitation. As soon as you once come up with a man's limitations, it is all over with him.
Men's actions are too strong for them. Show me a man who has acted, and who has not been the victim and slave of his action.
Money, which represents the prose of life, and which is hardly spoken of in parlors without an apology, is, in its effects and laws, as beautiful as roses.
No facts are to me sacred none are profane I simply experiment, an endless seeker with no Past at my back.
None of us will ever accomplish anything excellent or commanding except when he listens to this whisper which is heard by him alone.
One of the illusions of life is that the present hour is not the critical, decisive hour. Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year.
Only those books come down which deserve to last . All the gilt edges, vellum and morocco, all the presentation copies to all the libraries will not preserve a book in circulation beyond its intrinsic date.
Proverbs are the literature of reason, or the statements of absolute truth, without qualification. Like the sacred books of each nation, they are the sanctuary of its intuitions.
Science does not know its debt to imagination. Goethe did not believe that a great naturalist could exist without this faculty.
So much of our time is preparation, so much is routine, and so much retrospect, that the path of each man's genius contracts itself to a very few hours.
Sooner of later that which is now life shall be poetry, and every fair and manly trait shall add a richer strain to the song.
Speak what you think to-day in words as hard as cannon-balls and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day.
The adventitious beauty of poetry may be felt in the greater delight with a verse given in a happy quotation than in the poem.
The angels are so enamoured of the language that is spoken in heaven, that they will not distort their lips with the hissing and unmusical dialects of men, but speak their own, whether there be any who understand it or not.
The bitterest tragic element in life to be derived from an intellectual source is the belief in a brute Fate or Destiny.
The essence of all jokes, of all comedy, seems to be an honest or well intended halfness; a non performance of that which is pretended to be performed, at the same time that one is giving loud pledges of performance. The balking of the intellect, is comedy and it announces itself in the pleasant spasms we call laughter.
The god of the cannibals will be a cannibal, of the crusaders a crusader, and of the merchants a merchant.
The key to every man is his thought. Sturdy and defying though he look, he has a helm which he obeys, which is the idea after which all his facts are classified. He can only be reformed by showing him a new idea which commands his own.
The life of man is the true romance, which when it is valiantly conduced, will yield the imagination a higher joy than any fiction.
The measure of a master is his success in bringing all men around to his opinion twenty years later.
The moment we indulge our affections, the earth is metamorphosed there is no winter and no night all tragedies, all ennuis, vanish,-all duties even.
The peril of every fine faculty is the delight of playing with it for pride. Talent is commonly developed at the expense of character, and the greater it grows, the more is the mischief. Talent is mistaken for genius, a dogma or system for truth, ambition for greatest, ingenuity for poetry, sensuality for art.
The reliance on property is...the want of self-reliance. Men measure the esteem of each other by what each has, and not by what each is. But a cultivated man becomes ashamed of his property...(Essays)
The sea, washing the equator and the poles, offers its perilous aid, and the power and empire that follow it... Beware of me, it says, but if you can hold me, I am the key to all the lands.
The thirst for adventure is the vent which Destiny offers a war, a crusade, a gold mine, a new country, speak to the imagination and offer swing and play to the confined powers.
The wise man always throws himself on the side of his assailants. It is more his interest than it is theirs to find his weak point.
The world is emblematic. Parts of speech are metaphors because the whole of nature is a metaphor of the human mind.
There are two classes of poets - the poets by education and practice, these we respect; and poets by nature, these we love.
There is no beautifier of complexion, or form, or behavior, like the wish to scatter joy and not pain around us.
There is no den in the wide world to hide a rogue. Commit a crime and the earth is made of glass. Commit a crime, and it seems as if a coat of snow fell on the ground, such as reveals in the woods the track of every partridge, and fox, and squirrel.
There is nothing capricious in nature and the implanting of a desire indicates that its gratification is in the constitution of the creature that feel it.
Those who cannot tell what they desire or expect, still sigh and struggle with indefinite thoughts and vast wishes.
To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men-that is genius.
To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a little better; whether by a healthy child, a garden patch of a redeemed social condition; to know that one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is the meaning of success.
To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.
To the poet, to the philosopher, to the saint, all things are friendly and sacred, all events profitable, all days holy, all men divine.
Tobacco, coffee, alcohol, hashish, prussic acid, strychnine, are weak dilutions the surest poison is time.
Universities are of course hostile to geniuses, which, seeing and using ways of their own, discredit the routine as churches and monasteries persecute youthful saints.
We are shut up in schools and college recitation rooms for ten or fifteen years, and come out at last with a bellyful of words and do not know a thing.
We are students of words: we are shut up in schools, and colleges, and recitation-rooms, for ten or fifteen years, and come out at last with a bag of wind, a memory of words, and do not know a thing.
We are students of words; we are shut up in schools, and colleges, and recitation rooms, for ten or fifteen years, and come out at last with a bag of wind, a memory of words, and do not know a thing
We take care of our health, we lay up money, we make our roof tight and our clothing sufficient, but who provides wisely that he shall not be wanting the best property of all -- friends?
What can we see, read, acquire, but ourselves. Take the book, my friend, and read your eyes out, you will never find there what I find.
What I must do is all that concerns me. This rule, equally arduous in actual and intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness. It is harder because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it.
What omniscience has music! So absolutely impersonal, yet every sufferer feels his secret sorrow soothed.
Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.
When a resolute young fellow steps up to the great bully, the world, and takes him boldly by the beard, he is often surprised to find it comes off in his hand, and that it was only tied on to scare away the timid adventurers.
When a whole nation is roaring Patriotism at the top of its voice, I am fain to explore the cleanness of its hands and purity of its heart.
Whoever is open, loyal, true; of humane and affable demeanour; honourable himself, and in his judgement of others; faithful to his word as to law, and faithful alike to God and man....such a man is a true gentleman.
Wit makes its own welcome, and levels all distinctions. No dignity, no learning, no force of character, can make any stand against good wit.
Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. No man has learned anything rightly, until he know that every day is Doomsday.
You must pay for conformity. All goes well as long as you run with conformists. But you, who are honest men in other particulars, know that there is alive somewhere a man whose honesty reaches to this point also, that he shall not kneel to false gods, and, on the day when you meet him, you sink into the class of counterfeits.
Share your thoughts on Ralph Waldo Emerson's quotes with the community:
Would you like us to send you a FREE inspiring quote delivered to your inbox daily?
Use the citation below to add this author page to your bibliography:
"Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes." Quotes.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 19 Sep. 2020. <https://www.quotes.net/authors/Ralph+Waldo+Emerson+Quotes>.