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RALPH WALDO EMERSON
American essayist and poet
(1803 - 1882)
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In skating over thin ice, our safety is our speed.
      - [Safety : Speed]

In the highest civilization the book is still the highest delight.
      - [Books]

In the true mythology, Love is an immortal child, and Beauty leads him as a guide; nor can we express a deeper sense than when we say, Beauty is the pilot of the young soul.
      - [Beauty : Cupid]

In the woods, too, a man casts off his years, as the snake his slough, and at what period soever of life, is always a child. In the woods is perpetual youth. Within these plantations of God a decorum and sanctity reign, a perennial festival is dressed, and the guest sees not how he should tire of them in a thousand years. In the woods we return to reason and faith.
      - [Woods]

In this great society wide lying around us, a critical analysis would find very few spontaneous actions. It is almost all custom and gross sense.
      - [Society]

Insist on yourself; never imitate.
      - [Imitation]

Intellect annuls fate. So far as a man thinks, he is free.
      - [Intellect]

Intellectual tasting of life will not supersede muscular activity.
      - [Intellect]

Inwardly drunk with a certain belief.
      - [Zeal]

It happened once that a youth and a maiden beheld each other in a public assembly for the first time. . . . The youth gazed with great delight upon the beautiful face until he caught the maiden's eye. . . . The mysterious communication that is established across a house between two entire strangers, by this means moves all the springs of wonder.
      - [Love]

It is a cold, lifeless business, when you go to the shops to buy something, which does not represent your life and talent, but a goldsmith's.
      - [Gifts]

It is a rule in games of chance that "the cards beat all the players;" and revolutions disconcert and outwit all the insurgents.
      - [Revolution]

It is a rule of manners to avoid exaggeration.
      - [Manners]

It is always hard to go beyond your public. If they are satisfied with cheap performance, you will not easily arrive at better. If they know what is good, and require it, you will aspire and burn until you achieve it. But from time to time, in history, men are born a whole age too soon.
      - [Progress]

It is as difficult to appropriate the thoughts of others as it is to invent.
      - [Quotations]

It is dainty to be sick, if you have leisure and convenience for it.
      - [Sickness]

It is defeat which educates us.
      - [Defeat]

It is frivolous to fix pedantically the date of particular inventions. They have all been invented over and over fifty times. Man is the arch machine, of which all these shifts drawn from himself are toy models. He helps himself on each emergency by copying or duplicating his own structure, just so far as then need is.
      - [Invention]

It is greatest to believe and to hope well of the world, because he who does so, quits the world of experience, and makes the world he lives in.
      - [World]

It is hard to mesmerize ourselves, to whip our own top; but through sympathy we are capable of energy and endurance. Concert fires people to a certain fury of performance they can rarely reach alone.
      - [Associates]

It is in the stomach of plants that development begins, and ends in the circles of the universe. 'Tis a long scale from the gorilla to the gentleman,--from the gorilla to Plato, Newton, Shakespeare,--to the sanctities of religion, the refinements of legislation, the summit of science, art, and poetry. The beginnings are slow and infirm, but it is an always accelerated march.
      - [Progress]

It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.
      - [Friends]

It is only the finite that has wrought and suffered; the infinite lies stretched in smiling repose.
      - [Infinite]

It is the fine souls who serve us, and not what is called fine society. Fine society is only a self-protection against the vulgarities of the street and the tavern.
      - [Society]

It is the property of the religious spirit to be the most refining of all influences. No external advantages, no culture of the tastes, no habit of command, no association with the elegant, or even depth of affection, can bestow that delicacy and that grandeur of bearing which belong only to the mind accustomed to celestial conversation,--all else is but gilt and cosmetics, beside this, as expressed in every look and gesture.
      - [Religion]


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