Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo

American Lecturer, Essayist and Poet, Leader of the Transcendentalist Movement, Champion of Individualism

Author Quotes

Beauty is the mark God sets upon virtue.

As a man thinketh so is he, and as a man chooseth so is he.

A strenuous soul hates cheap success. It is the ardor of the assailant that makes the vigor of the defendant.

All the mistakes I make arise from forsaking my own station and trying to see the object from another person's point of view.

All the physicians I have ever seen call themselves believers, but are materialists; they believe only in the existence of matter, and not in matter as an appearance, but as substance, and do not consider template a cause. Their idea of spirit is a chemical agent.

A man... makes his inferiors his superiors by heat [anger].

A man is a pair of hands, pretty dangerous tools, able to subdue the world or to un-build and destroy much faster than others can build.

A man is known by the books he reads, by the company he keeps, by the praise he gives, by his dress, by his tastes, by his distastes, by the stories he tells, by his gait, by the motion of his eye, by the look of his house, of his chamber; for nothing on earth is solitary, but everything hath affinities infinite.

A man is a little thing while he works by and for himself; but when he gives voice to the rules of love and justice, he is godlike.

A man is a method, a progressive arrangement; a selecting principle, gather his like unto him wherever he goes. What you are comes to you.

A good intention clothes itself with sudden power.

A man cannot utter two or three sentences without disclosing to intelligent ears precisely where he stands in life and thought, whether in the kingdom of the senses and the understanding, or in that of ideas and imagination, or in the realm of intuitions and duty.

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. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words and tomorrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict everything you said today.

A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature.

[People] measure their esteem of each other by what each has, and not by what each is... Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.

A cynic can chill and dishearten with a single word.

'Tis curious that we only believe as deeply as we live.

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Ralph Waldo
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American Lecturer, Essayist and Poet, Leader of the Transcendentalist Movement, Champion of Individualism