The following is a selection of short tidbits from volume five of Emerson’s journals. They are too short to make individual posts on this blog, but many of them have been posted to the Ralph_W_Emerson Twitter account. Follow Waldo on Twitter for more of the same.
Life lies behind us as the quarry from whence we get tiles & copestones for the masonry of today.
Strange that any body who ever met another person’s eyes, should doubt that all men have one soul.
_A good style._ Nothing can be added to it neither can anything be taken from it.
The very naming of a subject by a man of genius is the beginning of insight.
A great man must always be willing to be little.
In the present moment all the past is ever represented. The strong roots of ancient trees still bind the soil.
When you are sincerely pleased without any misgiving, you are nourished.
A man may find his words mean more than he thought when he uttered them & be glad to employ them again in a new sense.
It is very hard to be simple enough to be good.
In skating over thin ice our safety is in our speed.
Art seeks not nature but the ideal which nature herself strives after.
A dangler is a man out of place and every man is sometimes a dangler.
It is as hard to get the right tone as to say good things. One indicates character the other intellect.
In the woods this afternoon, the bud on the dry twig appeared to reach out unto & prophesy an eternity to come.
I do not like to see a sword at man’s side. If it threaten man, it threatens me. A company of soldiers is an offensive spectacle.
Love men, and do what you will with them.
Bad to see a row of children looking old.
The Church is a good place to study Theism by comparing the things said with your Consciousness.
Why, since a babe is beautiful, should a man, almost every man, be ugly?
… at church I look through the window at the snowstorm as more beautiful than the speaking man in the house.
In spite of all we can do, every moment is new.
To keep a party conveniently small is the trick of our local politics.