Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes from joe-ks.com
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Never read a book that is not a year old.

With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future. I live now.

A day is a miniature eternity.

Man is a god in ruins.

With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do.
Essays: Self-Reliance (1841)

Bad times have a scientific value. We learn geology the morning after the earthquake.

Men love to wonder, and that is the seed of our science.

No dignity, no learning, no force of character, can make any stand against good wit.

The first farmer was the first man, and all historic nobility rests on possession and use of land.

Infancy conforms to nobody; all conform to it.

We are always getting ready to live, but never living.

Enthusiasm is the mother of effort, and without it nothing great was ever achieved.

A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature.

Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.

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

What lies behind you and what lies before you pales in comparison to what lies within you.

For everything you have missed, you have gained something else. For everything you gain, you lose something else.

Man is only half himself, the other half is his expression.

The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.

Live in the sunshine
Swim in the sea
Drink the wild air

Give all to love; obey thy heart.

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

It is not length of life, but depth of life.

It is a happy talent to know how to play.

There is creative reading as well as creative writing.

Adopt the pace of nature. Her secret is patience.

If the stars would appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore, and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown!
Nature

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.

None but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried.

The power which resides in him is new in nature.
Self-Reliance

Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true.

It is not the length of life, but the depth.

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

The fox has many tricks. The hedgehog has but one. But that is the best of all.

One of the illusions of life is that the present hour is not the critical, decisive hour. Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.

A child is a curly dimpled lunatic.

There was never a child so lovely but his mother was glad to get him to sleep.

If we take the good we find, asking no questions, we shall have heaping measures.

Win as if you were used to it. Lose as if you enjoyed it for a change.

Every book is a quotation; and every house is a quotation out of all forests, and mines, and stone quarries; and every man is a quotation from all his ancestors.

A man finds room in the few square inches of the face for the traits of all his ancestors; for the expression of all his history, and his wants.

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, ... and they constitute the variety of notes for that new piece of music which his life is.

How shall a man escape from his ancestors, or draw off from his veins the black drop which he drew from his father’s or mother's life?

Man is physically as well as metaphysically a thing of shreds and patches, borrowed unequally from good and bad ancestors, and a misfit from the start.

The reverence for the deeds of our ancestors is a treacherous sentiment. Their merit was not to reverence the old, but to honor the present moment; and we falsely make them excuses of the very habit which they hated and defied.

We are the children of many sires, and every drop of blood in us in its turn ... betrays its ancestor.

Some people will tell you there is a great deal of poetry and fine sentiment in a chest of tea.
Letters and Social Aims

When you strike at a king, you must kill him.

When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.

The only reward of virtue is virtue; the only way to have a friend is to be one.

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