The first in time and the first in importance of the influences upon the mind is that of nature. Every day, the sun; and after sunset, night and her stars. Ever the winds blow; ever the grass grows.

Oration, August 31, 1837

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More from Ralph Waldo Emerson

I should as soon think of swimming across Charles River when I wish to go to Boston, as of reading all my books in originals when I have them rendered for me in my mother tongue.

Books

The majority of men are bundles of beginnings.

Artists must be sacrificed to their art. Like bees, they must put their lives into the sting they give.

"Inspiration," Letters and Social Aims (1876)

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. No man has learned anything rightly until he knows that every day is Doomsday.

"Works and Days," Society and Solitude (1870)

Who you are speaks so loudly I cannot hear what you say.

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