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

Our fear of death is like our fear that summer will be short, but when we have had our swing of pleasure, our fill of fruit and our swelter of heat, we say we have had our day.

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"