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
tagged: language, reading

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More from Ralph Waldo Emerson

A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere. Before him, I may think aloud.

Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.

Essays, First Series, "Self-Reliance"

Men achieve a certain greatness unawares, when working to another aim.

The reward of a thing well done is to have done it.

Essays: Second Series, New England Reformers (1844)

The measure of a master is his success in bringing all men round to his opinion twenty years later.

The Conduct of Life (1860)