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

The only way to have a friend is to be one.

Essays: First Series (1841), "Friendship"

Thought is the blossom; language the bud; action the fruit behind it.

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.