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RALPH WALDO EMERSON
American essayist and poet
(1803 - 1882)
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We must be our own before we can be another's.
      - [Friends]

We must have kings, we must have nobles; nature is always providing such in every society; only let us have the real instead of the titular. In every society some are born to rule, and some to advise. The chief is the chief all the world over, only not his cap and plume. It is only this dislike of the pretender which makes men sometimes unjust to the true and finished man.
      - [Nobility]

We need only obey. There is guidance for each of us, and by lowly listening we shall hear the right word.
      - [Obedience]

We owe to man higher succors than food and fire. We owe to man, man.
      - [Sympathy]

We say love is blind, and the figure of Cupid is drawn with a bandage around his eyes. Blind--yes, because he does not see what he does not like; but the sharpest-sighted hunter in the universe is Love for finding what he seeks, and only that.
      - [Cupid]

We seek our friend not sacredly, but with an adulterate passion which would appropriate him to ourselves.
      - [Friends]

We shall one day learn to supersede politics by education. What we call our root-and-branch reforms of slavery, war, gambling, intemperance, is only medicating the symptoms. We must begin higher up, namely, in education.
      - [Education]

We sometimes meet an original gentleman, who, if manners had not existed, would have invented them.
      - [Manners]

We sometimes see a change of expression in our companion, and say, his father or his mother comes to the windows of his eyes, and sometimes a remote relative. In different hours, a man represents each of several of his ancestors, as if there were seven or eight of us rolled up in each man's skin,--seven or eight ancestors at least,--and they constitute the variety of notes for that new piece of music which his life is.
      - [Ancestry]

We want a state of things in which crime will not pay, a state of things which allows every man the largest liberty compatible with the liberty of every other man.
      - [Crime]

We want but two or three friends, but these we cannot do without, and they serve us in every thought we think.
      - [Friends]

We write from aspiration and antagonism, as well as from experience. We paint those qualities which we do not possess.
      - [Authorship]

Wealth and poverty are seen for what they are. It begins to be seen that the poor are only they who feel poor, and poverty consists in feeling poor. The rich, as we reckon them, and among them the very rich, in a true scale would be found very indigent and ragged.
      - [Poverty]

Welcome evermore to gods and men is the self-helping man.
      - [Self-reliance]

Welcome to the parents the puny struggler, strong in his weakness, his little arms more irresistible than the soldier's, his lips touched with persuasion which Chatham and Pericles in manhood had not. His unaffected lamentations when he lifts up his voice on high, or, more beautiful, the sobbing child--the face all liquid grief, as he tries to swallow his vexation--soften all hearts to pity and to mirthful and clamorous compassion.
      - [Babies]

What a benefit would the American government, not yet relieved of its extreme need, render to itself, and to every city, village and hamlet in the States, if it would tax whiskey and rum almost to the point of prohibition! Was it Bonaparte who said that he found vices very good patriots? "He got five millions from the love of brandy, and he should be glad to know which of the virtues would pay him as much." Tobacco and opium have broad backs, and will cheerfully carry the load of armies, if you choose to make them pay high for such joy as they give and such harm as they do.
      - [Taxes]

What a searching preacher of self-command is the varying phenomenon of health!
      - [Health]

What art can paint or gild any object in after life with the glow which nature gives to the first baubles of childhood? St. Peter's cannot have the magical power over us that the red and gold covers of our first picture-book possessed.
      - [Children]

What is excellent,
  As God lives, is permanent;
    Hearts are dust, hearts' loves remain,
      Heart's love will meet thee again.
      - [Excellence]

What king has he not taught state, as Talma taught Napoleon? What maiden has not found him finer than her delicacy? What lover has he not outloved? What sage has he not outseen? What gentleman has he not instructed in the rudeness of his behavior?
      - [Shakespeare]

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
      - [Future]

What the tender and poetic youth dreams to-day, and conjures up with inarticulate speech, is to-morrow the vociferated result of public opinion, and the day after is the character of nations.
      - [Dreams]

What torments of grief you endured, from evils that never arrived.
      - [Worry]

What we do not call education is more precious than that which we call so. We form no guess, at the time of receiving a thought, of its comparative value. And education often wastes its effort in attempts to thwart and balk this natural magnetism, which is sure to select what belongs to it.
      - [Education]

What we seek we shall find; what we flee from flees from us.
      - [Seek]


Displaying page 29 of 39 for this author:   << Prev  Next >>  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 [29] 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39

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