The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson

A digital edition of the Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Volume I – Nature, Addresses & Lectures

Nature

A subtle chain of countless ringsThe next unto the farthest brings;The eye reads omens where it...

Commodity

Whoever considers the final cause of the world, will discern a multitude of uses that result. The...

Beauty

A nobler want of man is served by nature, namely, the love of Beauty. The ancient Greeks called ...

Language

Language is a third use which Nature subserves to man. Nature is the vehicle, and threefold degre...

Discipline

In view of the significance of nature, we arrive at once at a new This use of the world includes ...

Idealism

Thus is the unspeakable but intelligible and practicable meaning of the world conveyed to man, th...

Spirit

It is essential to a true theory of nature and of man, that it should contain somewhat progressiv...

Prospects

In inquiries respecting the laws of the world and the frame of things, the highest reason is alwa...

The American Scholar

An Oration delivered before the Phi Beta Kappa Society, at Cambridge, August 31, 1837 Mr. Presid...

Divinity School Address

Delivered before the Senior Class in Divinity College, Cambridge, Sunday Evening, July 15, 1838 ...

Literary Ethics

An Oration delivered before the Literary Societies of Dartmouth College, July 24, 1838 GENTLEMEN...

The Method of Nature

An Oration delivered before the Society of the Adelphi, in Waterville College, Maine, August 11, ...

Man the Reformer

A Lecture read before the Mechanics' Apprentices' Library Association, Boston, January 25, 1841 ...

Introductory Lecture on the Times

Read at the Masonic Temple, Boston, December 2, 1841 The times, as we say — or the present aspec...

The Conservative

A Lecture delivered at the Masonic Temple, Boston, December 9, 1841 The two parties which divide...

The Transcendentalist

A Lecture read at the Masonic Temple, Boston,January, 1842 The first thing we have to say respec...

The Young American

A Lecture read before the Mercantile Library Association, Boston, February 7, 1844 GENTLEMEN: I...

Volume II – Essays I

Volume III – Essays II

Volume IV – Representative Men

Volume V – English Traits

Chapter I. First Visit to England

I have been twice in England. In 1833, on my return from a short tour in Sicily, Italy, and Franc...

Chapter II. Voyage to England

The occasion of my second visit to England was an invitation from some Mechanics’ Institutes in L...

Chapter III. Land

Alfieri thought Italy and England the only countries worth living in; the former, because there n...

Chapter IV. Race

An ingenious anatomist has written a book (*) to prove that races are imperishable, but nations a...

Chapter V. Ability

The saxon and the Northman are both Scandinavians. History does not allow us to fix the limits of...

Chapter VI. Manners

I find the Englishman to be him of all men who stands firmest in his shoes. They have in themselv...

Chapter VII. Truth

The teutonic tribes have a national singleness of heart, which contrasts with the Latin races. Th...

Chapter VIII. Character

The English race are reputed morose. I do not know that they have sadder brows than their neighbo...

Chapter IX. Cockayne

The English are a nation of humorists. Individual right is pushed to the uttermost bound compatib...

Chapter X. Wealth

There is no country in which so absolute a homage is paid to wealth. In America, there is a touch...

Chapter XI. Aristocracy

The feudal character of the English state, now that it is getting obsolete, glares a little, in c...

Chapter XII. Universities

Of British universities, Cambridge has the most illustrious names on its list. At the present day...

Chapter XIII. Religion

No people, at the present day, can be explained by their national religion. They do not feel resp...

Chapter XIV. Literature

A strong common sense, which it is not easy to unseat or disturb, marks the English mind for a th...

Chapter XV. The “Times”

The power of the newspaper is familiar in America, and in accordance with our political system. I...

Chapter XVI. Stonehenge

It had been agreed between my friend Mr. Carlyle and me, that before I left England, we should ma...

Chapter XVII. Personal

In these comments on an old journey now revised after seven busy yearse much changed men and thin...

Chapter XVIII. Result

England is the best of actual nations. It is no ideal framework, it is an old pile built in diffe...

Chapter XIX. Speech at Manchester

A few days after my arrival at Manchester, in November, 1847, the Manchester Athenaeum gave its a...

Volume VI – Conduct of Life

Volume VII – Society and Solitude

Volume VIII – Letters and Social Aims

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