Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882) was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet who led the transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century. He was seen as a champion of individualism and a prescient critic of the countervailing pressures of society, and he disseminated his thoughts through dozens of published essays and more than 1,500 public lectures across the United States.

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There is more difference in the quality of our pleasures than in the amount.

Manners require time and nothing is more vulgar than haste.

Truth is handsomer than the affectation of love. Your goodness must have some edge to it else it is none.

A man is what he thinks about all day long.

It was high counsel that I once heard given to a young person 'always do what you are afraid to do.'

A great part of courage is the courage of having done the thing before.

Flowers... are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world.

Every man I meet is in some way my superior.

We see God face to face every hour and know the savor of Nature.

A man is a god in ruins. When men are innocent life shall be longer and shall pass into the immortal as gently as we awake from dreams.

Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.

Fate is nothing but the deeds committed in a prior state of existence.

Let us be silent that we may hear the whispers of the gods.

The martyr cannot be dishonored. Every lash inflicted is a tongue of fame, every prison a more illustrious abode.

We are wiser than we know.

Do not go where the path may lead go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

If a man can... make a better mousetrap the world will make a beaten path to his door.

Everything in Nature contains all the powers of Nature. Everything is made of one hidden stuff.

I have thought a sufficient measure of civilization is the influence of good women.

A good indignation brings out all one's powers.

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