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Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes


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Sanity is very rare; every man almost, and every woman, has a dash of madness.
 

Scepticism is slow suicide.
 

Science corrects the old creeds, sweeps away, with every new perception, our infantile catechisms, and necessitates a faith commensurate with the grander orbits and universal laws which it discloses.
[Science]
 

Science does not know its debt to imagination. Goethe did not believe that a great naturalist could exist without this faculty.
[Science]
 

Science surpasses the old miracles of mythology.
[Science]
 

Self-command is the main elegance.
[Politeness]
 

Self-love is, in almost all men, such an overweight that they are incredulous of a man's habitual preference of the general good to his own; but when they see it proved by sacrifices of ease, wealth, rank, and of life itself, there is no limit to their admiration.
 

Self-reliance, the height and perfection of man, is reliance on God.
 

Self-trust is the essence of heroism
[Confidence]
 

Self-trust is the first secret of success.
[Self Confidence]
 

Shall I tell you the secret of the true scholar? It is this: Every man I meet is my master in some point, and in that I learn of him.
 

Shall we judge a country by the majority, or by the minority? By the minority, surely.
[Minorities]
 

Shallow men believe in luck, believe in circumstances...Strong men believe in cause and effect.
[Luck]
 

Skill to do comes of doing.
[Positive]
 

Sleep takes off the costume of circumstance, arms us with terrible freedom, so that every will rushes to deed. A skillful man reads his dreams for his self-knowledge; yet not the details, but the quality. What part does he play in them - a cheerful, manly part, or a poor, drivelling part? However monstrous and grotesque their apparitions, they have a substantial truth.
[Weariness]
 

So nigh is grandeur to our dust, So near is God to man. When Duty whispers low, Thou must, The youth replies, I can.
[Duty]
 

So of cheerfulness, or a good temper, the more it is spent, the more it remains.
 

Society is always taken by surprise at any new example of common sense.
 

Society undergoes continual changes; it is barbarous, it is civilized, it is Christianized, it is rich, it is scientific; but this change is not amelioration. For everything that is given something is taken. Society acquires new arts, and loses old instincts. The civilized man has built a coach, but has lost the use of his feet; he has a fine Geneva watch, but cannot tell the hour by the sun.
[Society]
 

Solitude, the safeguard of mediocrity, is to genius the stern friend, the cold, obscure shelter where moult the wings which will bear it farther than suns and stars. He who would inspire and lead his race must be defended from traveling with the souls of other men, from living, breathing, reading, and writing in the daily, time-worn yoke of their opinions.
[Solitude]
 


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