Ralph Waldo Emerson
Quotations


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.

We do not quite forgive a giver. The hand that feeds us is in some danger of being bitten.

There is this to be said in favor of drinking, that it takes the drunkard first out of society, then out of the world.

Hitch your wagon to a star. Let us not fag in paltry works which serve our pot and bag alone.

The intellectual man requires a fine bait; the sots are easily amused. But everybody is drugged with his own frenzy, and the pageant marches at all hours, with music and banner and badge.

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.

'Tis very certain that each man carries in his eye the exact indication of his rank in the immense scale of men, and we are always learning to read it. A complete man should need no auxiliaries to his personal presence.

I can reason down or deny everything, except this perpetual Belly: feed he must and will, and I cannot make him respectable.

The silence that accepts merit as the most natural thing in the world is the highest applause.

The aristocrat is the democrat ripe, and gone to seed.

If I cannot brag of knowing something, then I brag of not knowing it; at any rate, brag.

Belief consists in accepting the affirmations of the soul; unbelief, in denying them.

We are born believing. A man bears beliefs as a tree bears apples.

The death of a dear friend, wife, brother, lover, which seemed nothing but privation, somewhat later assumes the aspect of a guide or genius; for it commonly operates revolutions in our way of life, terminates an epoch of infancy or of youth which was waiting to be closed, breaks up a wonted occupation, or a household, or style of living, and allows the formation of new ones more friendly to the growth of character.

There is properly no history, only biography.

Great geniuses have the shortest biographies.



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