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RALPH WALDO EMERSON
American essayist and poet
(1803 - 1882)
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All our progress is an unfolding, like the 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.
      - [Progress]

All persons are puzzles until at last we find in some word or act the key to the man, to the woman; straightway all their past words and actions lie in light before us.
      - [Purpose]

All the elements, whose aid man calls in, will sometimes become big masters.
      - [Power]

All the fairy tales of Aladdin, or the invisible Gyges, or the talisman that opens kings' palaces, or the enchanted halls underground or in the sea, are only fictions to indicated the one miracle of intellectual enlargement.
      - [Fables]

All the great speakers were bad speakers at first.
      - [Orators]

All the thoughts of a turtle are turtle.
      - [Thought : Turtles]

All things are engaged in writing their history. The planet, the pebble, goes attended by its shadow. The rolling rock leaves its scratches on the mountain; the river, its channel in the soil; the animal, its bones in the stratum; the fern and leaf, their modest epitaph in the coal. The falling drop makes its sculpture in the sand or the stone. Not a foot steps into the snow or along the ground, but prints, in characters more or less lasting, a map of its march. Every act of the man inscribes itself in the memories of its fellows, and in his own manners and face. The air is full of sounds, the sky of tokens, the ground is all memoranda and signatures, and every object covered over with hints which speak to the intelligent.
      - [Nature]

All things with which we deal preach to us. What is a farm but a mute gospel? The chaff and the wheat, weeds and plants, blight, rain, insects, sun,--it is a sacred emblem from the first furrow of spring to the last stack which the snow of winter overtakes in the fields.
      - [Preaching]

All violence, all that is dreary and repels, is not power, but the absence of power.
      - [Power]

An actually existing fly is more important than a possibly existing angel.
      - [Importance]

An individual man is a fruit which it cost all the foregoing ages to form and ripen. He is strong, not to do, but to live; not in his arms, but in his heart; not as an agent, but as a fact.
      - [Man]

An institution is the lengthened shadow of one man; as, monachism of the Hermit Anthony, the Reformation of Luther, Quakerism of Fox, Methodism of Wesley, abolition of Clarkson. Scipio, Milton called "the height of Rome;" and all history resolves itself easily into the biography of a few stout and earnest persons. Let a man, then, know his worth, and keep things under his feet.
      - [Individuality]

An original sentence, a step forward, is worth more than all the centuries.
      - [Progress]

And as the eye is the best composer, so light is the first of painters. There is no object so foul that intense light will not make beautiful. And the stimulus it affords to the sense, and a sort of infinitude which it hath like space and time, make all matter gay.
      - [Light]

And so of cheerfulness, or a good temper, the more it is spent, the more of it remains.
      - [Cheerfulness]

And what greater calamity can fall upon a nation than the loss of worship.
      - in an address [Worship]

And what is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not been discovered.
      - [Weeds]

And ye shall succor men;
  'Tis nobleness to serve;
    Help them who cannot help again:
      Beware from right to swerve.
      - [Service]

Art is a jealous mistress, and, if a man have a genius for painting, poetry, music, architecture, or philosophy, he makes a bad husband, and an ill provider, and should be wise in season, and not fetter himself with duties which will imbitter his days, and spoil him for his proper work.
      - [Art]

Art is the path of the creator to his work.
      - [Art]

As long as our civilization is essentially one of property, of fences, of exclusiveness, it will be mocked by delusions.
      - [Civilization]

As men's prayers are a disease of the will, so are their creeds a disease of the intellect.
      - [Creed : Prayer]

As much wisdom may be expended on a private economy as on an empire, and as much wisdom may be drawn from it.
      - [Economy]

As soon as there is life, there is danger.
      - [Danger]

As the gardener, by severe pruning, forces the sap of the tree into one or two vigorous limbs, so should you stop off your miscellaneous activity and concentrate your force on one or a few points.
      - [Concentration]


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