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

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.

Attributed

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not.

Essays: First Series (1841) Essay XII, "Art"

The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.

The Conduct of Life, "Worship," (1870)