Punishment is a fruit that unsuspected ripens within the flower of the pleasure which concealed it. Cause and effect, means and ends, seed and fruit, cannot be severed; for the effect already blooms in the cause, the end preexists in the means, the fruit in the seed.

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More from Ralph Waldo Emerson

If a man can write a better book, preach a better sermon or make a better mousetrap than his neighbor, though he build his house in the woods, the world will make a beaten path to his door.

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

We do what we must, and call it by the best names.

We are born believing. A man bears beliefs as a tree bears apples.

"Worship," The Conduct of Life (1860)