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Ralph Waldo Emerson quotes page 1

May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882; Emerson was the son of a Utilitarian minister. He received a classical education at Boston Latin School and Harvard College, of which he enrolled at the age of 14. After a number of deaths in the family, including his beloved young wife, he began to question traditional Christian beliefs. He reassigned his pulpit in 1832 and moved to Concord. He spent the next few years studying and traveling in Europe. After visiting a Paris botanical exhibition, Emerson proclaimed to be a naturalist. When he returned to the United States in 1834, he brought some controversial beliefs with him. He became a lecturer and began writing essays on his opinions, including Nature, a pamphlet repudiating both materialism and conventional religion. He believed nature was the divine inspiration and the source of boundless possibilities for humanity's fulfillment. In an address delivered before Harvard's Phi Beta Kappa Society, he attacked American dependence on European thought. He began publishing some of his poems, including his best known work, "Concord Hymn." In the 1840s, he identified with the Transcendental movement as a spokesman and co-founder of the quarterly periodical, The Dial. Emerson had a number of strong opinions, and was often criticized for putting dangerous ideas in the minds of young men and women. He openly denounced slavery and championed women's education and economic freedom. His health began to decline in 1871, at the age of 68, though he continued to lecture until two years before his death in 1882 from pneumonia. 

Make your own Bible. Select and collect all the words and sentences that in all your
readings have been to you like the blast of a trumpet.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is the wounded oyster that mends its shell with pearl.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The only way to have a friend is to be one.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always
someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you
to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end
requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes
brave men and women to win them.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

I like the silent church before the service begins better than any preaching.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The reward of a thing well done is to have done it.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you would know what nobody knows, read what everybody reads, just one year afterward.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

None of us will ever accomplish anything excellent or commanding except when he listens to
this whisper which is heard by him alone.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every man is a divinity in disguise, a God playing the fool.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

I like to have a man's knowledge comprehend more than one class of topics, one row of
shelves. I like a man who likes to see a fine barn as well as a good tragedy.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Always do what you are afraid to do.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

I cannot remember the books I've read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they
have made me.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Trust your instinct to the end, though you can render no reason.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile, nor the joy of
companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when you discover that
someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you with a friendship.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Don't waste yourself in rejection, nor bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of the
good.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The religion that is afraid of science dishonors God and commits suicide.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

In skating over thin ice, our safety is in our speed.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

If the stars should appear just one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and
adore!
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our fear of death is like our fear that summer will be short, but when we have had our swing
of pleasure, our fill of fruit, and our swelter of heat, we say we have had our day.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Self-trust is the essence of heroism.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

No one can cheat you out of ultimate success but yourself.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting some on yourself.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Shallow men believe in luck or in circumstance. Strong men believe in cause and effect.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of
principles.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day who allows it to be invaded by worry,
fret and anxiety.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

We are reformers in the spring and summer, but in autumn we stand by the old. Reformers in
the morning, and conservers at night.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is one of the most beautiful compensations in life that no man can sincerely try to help
another without helping himself.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Astronomy to the selfish becomes astrology.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

We sometimes meet an original gentleman, who, if manners had not existed, would have
invented them.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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