Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

All our progress is an unfolding, like a 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.




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

The glory of friendship is not the outstreched hand, nor the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when he discovers that someone else believes in him and is willing to trust him.







Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could some blunders and absurdities have crept in forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.


What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies with in us.

Tell them dear, that if eyes were made for seeing,Then beauty is its own excuse for beingWhy thou wert there, O rival of the roseI never sought to ask, I never knewBut, in my simple ignorance supposeThe selfsame power that brought me there brought you.

Make yourself necessary to somebody. Do not make life hard to any.







Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air

If a man knows the law, find out, though he live in a pine shanty, and resort to him. And if a man can pipe or sing, so as to wrap the imprisoned soul in an elysium; or can paint a landscape, and convey into souls and ochres all the enchantments of Spring or Autumn; or can liberate and intoxicate all people who hear him with delicious songs and verses; it is certain that the secret cannot be kept; the first witness tells it to a second, and men go by fives and tens and fifties to his doors.

In the woods is perpetual youth.

A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer.

The best effect of fine persons is felt after we have left their presence.

Every sweet has its sour every evil its good.

As soon as there is life there is danger.

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.

To laugh often and much to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others to leave the world a little better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is the meaning of success.

Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.

Adopt the pace of nature, her secret is patience.

All mankind love a lover.

I like the silent church before the service begins, better than any preaching.

The things taught in colleges and schools are not an education, but the means of education.

Life is a festival only to the wise.

To the dull mind all nature is leaden. To the illumined mind the whole world sparkles with light.

Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air…

Conversation is an art in which a man has all mankind for competitors.

Conversation is an art in which a man has all mankind for his competitors, for it is that which all are practising every day while they live.

Here is the world, sound as a nut, perfect, not the smallest piece of chaos left, never a stitch nor an end, not a mark of haste, or botching, or second thought; but the theory of the world is a thing of shreds and patches.

What would be the use of immortality to a person who cannot use well a half an hour.

To the poet, to the philosopher, to the saint, all things are friendly and sacred, all events profitable, all days holy, all men divine.


A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam that flashes across his mind from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages. Yet he dismisses without notice his own thought, because it is his. In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts they come back to us with a sort of alienated majesty.

Never read a book that is not a year old.

What I must do is all that concerns me. This rule, equally arduous in actual and intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness. It is harder because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it.

Life is eating us up. We shall be fables presently. Keep cool it will be all one a hundred years hence.

The best lightning rod for your protection is your own spine.

What you are shouts so loud in my ears I cannot hear what you say.

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

The key to every man is his thought. Sturdy and defying though he look, he has a helm which he obeys, which is the idea after which all his facts are classified. He can only be reformed by showing him a new idea which commands his own.

He who has a thousand friendsHas not a friend to spare,While he who has one enemyShall meet him everywhere.

Every sweet has its sour; every evil its good.

Trust men and they will be true to you treat them greatly, and they will show themselves great.

What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.

I see her not dispirited, not weak, but well, remembering that she has seen dark times before, indeed with a kind of instinct that she sees a little better in a cloudy day.



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