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Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882) was an American essayist, lecturer, philosopher, and poet who led the transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century. He was seen as a champion of individualism and a prescient critic of the countervail...

Part I. The Bastille

The French Revolution: A History

Natural Selection; or the Survival of the Fittest

On the Origin of Species

Struggle for Existence

On the Origin of Species

Variation under Nature

On the Origin of Species

Before applying the principles arrived at in the last chapter to organic beings in a state of nature, we must briefly discuss whether these latter are subject to any variation. To treat this subject properly, a long catalogue of dry facts ought to be given; bu...

Variation under Domestication

On the Origin of Species

Book 1: Of the understanding

A Treatise of Human Nature

Part III. The Guillotine

The French Revolution: A History

Part II. The Constitution

The French Revolution: A History

Book III

Sartor Resartus

Nature

The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson Volume I – Nature, Addresses & Lectures

A subtle chain of countless ringsThe next unto the farthest brings;The eye reads omens where it goes,And speaks all languages the rose;And, striving to be man, the wormMounts through all the spires of form. Our age is retrospective. It builds the sepulchr...

Book II

Sartor Resartus

Book I

Sartor Resartus

Volume VIII – Letters and Social Aims

The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson

Volume VII – Society and Solitude

The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson

Volume VI – Conduct of Life

The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson

Volume V – English Traits

The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson

Volume IV – Representative Men

The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson

Laws of Variation

On the Origin of Species

Commodity

The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson Volume I – Nature, Addresses & Lectures

Whoever considers the final cause of the world, will discern a multitude of uses that result. They all admit of being thrown into one of the following classes; Commodity; Beauty; Language; and Discipline. Under the general name of Commodity, I rank all those ...

Volume II – Essays I

The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Method of Nature

The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson Volume I – Nature, Addresses & Lectures

An Oration delivered before the Society of the Adelphi, in Waterville College, Maine, August 11, 1841 GENTLEMEN, Let us exchange congratulations on the enjoyments and the promises of this literary anniversary. The land we live in has no interest so dear, if ...

II. Self-Reliance

The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson Volume II – Essays I

“Ne te quaesiveris extra.” “Man is his own star; and the soul that canRender an honest and perfect man,Commands all light, all influence, all fate;Nothing to him falls early or too late.Our acts our angels are, or good or ill,Our fatal shadows tha...

I. History

The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson Volume II – Essays I

There is no great and no smallTo the Soul that maketh all:And where it cometh, all things are;And it cometh everywhere. I am owner of the sphere,Of the seven stars and the solar year,Of Caesar’s hand, and Plato’s brain,Of Lord Christ’s heart, and Shak...

The Young American

The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson Volume I – Nature, Addresses & Lectures

A Lecture read before the Mercantile Library Association, Boston, February 7, 1844 GENTLEMEN: It is remarkable, that our people have their intellectual culture from one country, and their duties from another. This false state of things is newly in a way to b...

The Transcendentalist

The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson Volume I – Nature, Addresses & Lectures

A Lecture read at the Masonic Temple, Boston,January, 1842 The first thing we have to say respecting what are called "new views" here in New England, at the present time, is, that they are not new, but the very oldest of thoughts cast into the mould of these ...

The Conservative

The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson Volume I – Nature, Addresses & Lectures

A Lecture delivered at the Masonic Temple, Boston, December 9, 1841 The two parties which divide the state, the party of Conservatism and that of Innovation, are very old, and have disputed the possession of the world ever since it was made. This quarrel is t...

Introductory Lecture on the Times

The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson Volume I – Nature, Addresses & Lectures

Read at the Masonic Temple, Boston, December 2, 1841 The times, as we say — or the present aspects of our social state, the Laws, Divinity, Natural Science, Agriculture, Art, Trade, Letters, have their root in an invisible spiritual reality. To appear in th...

Man the Reformer

The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson Volume I – Nature, Addresses & Lectures

A Lecture read before the Mechanics' Apprentices' Library Association, Boston, January 25, 1841 Mr. President, and Gentlemen, I wish to offer to your consideration some thoughts on the particular and general relations of man as a reformer. I shall assume tha...

Literary Ethics

The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson Volume I – Nature, Addresses & Lectures

An Oration delivered before the Literary Societies of Dartmouth College, July 24, 1838 GENTLEMEN, The invitation to address you this day, with which you have honored me, was so welcome, that I made haste to obey it. A summons to celebrate with scholars a lit...

Beauty

The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson Volume I – Nature, Addresses & Lectures

A nobler want of man is served by nature, namely, the love of Beauty. The ancient Greeks called the world [kosmos], beauty. Such is the constitution of all things, or such the plastic power of the human eye, that the primary forms, as the sky, the mountain, t...

Divinity School Address

The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson Volume I – Nature, Addresses & Lectures

Delivered before the Senior Class in Divinity College, Cambridge, Sunday Evening, July 15, 1838 In this refulgent summer, it has been a luxury to draw the breath of life. The grass grows, the buds burst, the meadow is spotted with fire and gold in the tint of...

The American Scholar

The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson Volume I – Nature, Addresses & Lectures

An Oration delivered before the Phi Beta Kappa Society, at Cambridge, August 31, 1837 Mr. President and Gentlemen, I greet you on the re-commencement of our literary year. Our anniversary is one of hope, and, perhaps, not enough of labor. We do not meet for ...

Prospects

The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson Volume I – Nature, Addresses & Lectures

In inquiries respecting the laws of the world and the frame of things, the highest reason is always the truest. That which seems faintly possible — it is so refined, is often faint and dim because it is deepest seated in the mind among the eternal verities. ...

Spirit

The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson Volume I – Nature, Addresses & Lectures

It is essential to a true theory of nature and of man, that it should contain somewhat progressive. Uses that are exhausted or that may be, and facts that end in the statement, cannot be all that is true of this brave lodging wherein man is harbored, and where...

Idealism

The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson Volume I – Nature, Addresses & Lectures

Thus is the unspeakable but intelligible and practicable meaning of the world conveyed to man, the immortal pupil, in every object of sense. To this one end of Discipline, all parts of nature conspire. A noble doubt perpetually suggests itself, whether this e...

Discipline

The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson Volume I – Nature, Addresses & Lectures

In view of the significance of nature, we arrive at once at a new This use of the world includes the preceding uses, as parts of itself. Space, time, society, labor, climate, food, locomotion, the animals, the mechanical forces, give us sincerest lessons, day...

Language

The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson Volume I – Nature, Addresses & Lectures

Language is a third use which Nature subserves to man. Nature is the vehicle, and threefold degree. Words are signs of natural facts. Particular natural facts are symbols of particular spiritual facts. Nature is the symbol of spirit. 1. Words are signs o...

Volume III – Essays II

The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson

Volume I – Nature, Addresses & Lectures

The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thomas Carlyle

Thomas Carlyle (4 December 1795 – 5 February 1881) was a Scottish philosopher, satirical writer, essayist, translator, historian, mathematician, and teacher. Considered one of the most important social commentators of his time, he presented many lectures dur...

William James

William James (January 11, 1842 – August 27, 1910) was an American philosopher and psychologist, and the first educator to offer a psychology course in the United States. James was a leading thinker of the late nineteenth century, one of the most influential...

W. B. Yeats

William Butler Yeats (13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939) was an Irish poet, dramatist, prose writer and one of the foremost figures of 20th-century literature. A pillar of the Irish literary establishment, he helped to found the Abbey Theatre, and in his later ...

Sir William Jones

A renowned Enlightenment polymath, Sir William Jones (1746–94) was a lawyer, translator and poet who wrote authoritatively on politics, comparative linguistics and oriental literature. Known initially for his Persian translations and political radicalism, Jo...

William Hazlitt

William Hazlitt (10 April 1778 – 18 September 1830) was an English essayist, drama and literary critic, painter, social commentator, and philosopher. He is now considered one of the greatest critics and essayists in the history of the English language, place...

Herman Melville

Herman Melville (born Melvill; August 1, 1819 – September 28, 1891) was an American novelist, short story writer, and poet of the American Renaissance period. Among his best-known works are Typee (1846), a romantic account of his experiences of Polynesian li...

Robert Southey

Robert Southey (12 August 1774 – 21 March 1843) was an English poet of the Romantic school, one of the Lake Poets along with William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and England's Poet Laureate for 30 years from 1813 until his death in 1843. Although ...

Joseph von Hammer-Purgstall

Baron Joseph Freiherr von Hammer-Purgstall (9 June 1774 in Graz – 23 November 1856 in Vienna) was an Austrian orientalist and historian.

Matthew Arnold

Matthew Arnold (24 December 1822 – 15 April 1888) was an English poet and cultural critic who worked as an inspector of schools. He was the son of Thomas Arnold, the famed headmaster of Rugby School, and brother to both Tom Arnold, literary professor, and Wi...

Thucydides

Thucydides (c.  460 – c.  400 BC) was an Athenian historian and general. His History of the Peloponnesian War recounts the fifth-century BC war between Sparta and Athens until the year 411 BC. Thucydides has been dubbed the father of "scientific history"...

The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

Author
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Essays
Philosophy
Literature

Charles Sanders Peirce

Charles Sanders Peirce (September 10, 1839 – April 19, 1914) was an American philosopher, logician, mathematician, and scientist who is sometimes known as "the father of pragmatism". He was educated as a chemist and employed as a scientist for thirty years. ...

John Dryden

John Dryden (19 August [O.S. 9 August] 1631 – 12 May [O.S. 1 May] 1700) was an English poet, literary critic, translator, and playwright who was made England's first Poet Laureate in 1668.

Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Alban, PC QC (22 January 1561 – 9 April 1626) was an English philosopher and statesman who served as Attorney General and as Lord Chancellor of England. His works are credited with developing the scientific method and remained ...

Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman (May 31, 1819 – March 26, 1892) was an American poet, essayist, and journalist. A humanist, he was a part of the transition between transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. Whitman is among the most influential poets...

Charles Darwin

Charles Robert Darwin, (12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English naturalist, geologist and biologist, best known for his contributions to the science of evolution. His proposition that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestor...

Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau (July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862) was an American essayist, poet, and philosopher. A leading transcendentalist, Thoreau is best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay "Civil Disobedie...

David Hume

David Hume (born David Home; 7 May 1711 NS (26 April 1711 OS) – 25 August 1776) was a Scottish Enlightenment philosopher, historian, economist, and essayist, who is best known today for his highly influential system of philosophical empiricism, scepticism, a...

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Percy Bysshe Shelley was one of the major English Romantic poets. American literary critic Harold Bloom describes him as "a superb craftsman, a lyric poet without rival, and surely one of the most advanced sceptical intellects ever to write a poem."

On Heroes, Hero-worship, and the Heroic in History

On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History, is a collection of six essays by Thomas Carlyle, published in 1841, based on a series of lectures he delivered in 1840. The lectures, which glorified great men throughout history, were enormously popular. In ...

Author
Thomas Carlyle
Philosophy
History

Lectures on the English Poets

This book collects together lectures on English poetry Hazlitt delivered at London’s Surrey Institution in 1818, ranging from ‘On Poetry in General’, through acknowledged classics such as Chaucer, Spenser and Shakespeare, and on to ‘The Living Poets’...

Author
William Hazlitt
Literature

History of the Peloponnesian War

The History of the Peloponnesian War (Greek: Ἱστορίαι, "Histories") is a historical account of the Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC), which was fought between the Peloponnesian League (led by Sparta) and the Delian League (led by Athens). It was writte...

Author
Thucydides
History
Ancient
History
War
History
Greece
Original Language
Greek
Translated

Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall-Street

"Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street" is a short story by the American writer Herman Melville, first serialized anonymously in two parts in the November and December 1853 issues of Putnam's Magazine, and reprinted with minor textual alterations in ...

Author
Herman Melville
Literature
Fiction
Literature
Short Story

The Life of Horatio, Lord Nelson

Having entered the British Navy at the age of twelve, Horatio Lord Nelson achieved the rank of captain at the age of twenty. As captain, he was quickly recognized as a magnetic and controversial figure. He triumphed at Cape St. Vincent and the Nile, but failed...

Author
Robert Southey
History
Biography

The History of the Assassins

Translated from the German by Oswald Charles Wood, M. D.

Author
Joseph von Hammer-Purgstall
History
Middle East
Original Language
German
Translated

Culture and Anarchy: An Essay in Political and Social Criticism

"Culture and Anarchy" is Arnold's most famous piece of writing on culture which established his High Victorian cultural agenda and remained dominant in debate from the 1860s until the 1950s. Arnold's often quoted phrase "culture is the best which has been thou...

Author
Matthew Arnold
Criticism
Political
Criticism
Social

The Essays or Counsels, Civil and Moral

Essayes: Religious Meditations. Places of Perswasion and Disswasion. Seene and Allowed (1597) was the first published book by the philosopher, statesman and jurist Francis Bacon. The Essays are written in a wide range of styles, from the plain and unadorned to...

Author
Francis Bacon
Essays

The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature

The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature is a book by Harvard University psychologist and philosopher William James. It comprises his edited Gifford Lectures on natural theology, which were delivered at the University of Edinburgh in Scot...

Author
William James
Religion
Philosophy

The Will to Believe and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy

In this book, first published in book form in 1897, James ponders such conundrums as... Is life worth living? . The sentiment of rationality . The dilemma of determinism . The moral philosopher and the moral life . Great men and their environment . The importa...

Author
William James
Philosophy
Essays

The Fixation of Belief

Charles Sanders Peirce argues that the aim of inquiry is the fixation of belief, and that the scientific method is the most effective way of so doing.

Author
Charles Sanders Peirce
Philosophy
Pragmatism

Sartor Resartus

Sartor Resartus (meaning 'The tailor re-tailored') is an 1836 novel by Thomas Carlyle, first published as a serial in Fraser's Magazine in November 1833–August 1834. The novel purports to be a commentary on the thought and early life of a German philosopher ...

Author
Thomas Carlyle
Literature
Novel

The Conquest of Granada by the Spaniards

The Conquest of Granada is a Restoration era stage play, a two-part tragedy written by John Dryden that was first acted in 1670 and 1671 and published in 1672. It is notable both as a defining example of the "heroic drama" pioneered by Dryden, and as the subje...

Author
John Dryden
Literature
Tragedy
Literature
Play

Of the Proficience and Advancement of Learning, Divine and Human.

Advancement of Learning, The, by Francis Bacon (1605), the original title being ‘Of the Proficience and Advancement of Learning, Divine and Human.’ This book, received with great favor by the court and by scholars, was afterwards enlarged and published in ...

Author
Francis Bacon
Philosophy

Specimen Days

Specimen Days first appeared in 1882 within a volume entitled Specimen Days & Collect, published by Rees Welsh and Company in Philadelphia. Composed in 1881 largely out of notes, sketches, and essays written at various stages of the poet's life from the Civil ...

Author
Walt Whitman
Literature
Non-fiction
Literature
Civil War

On the Origin of Species

On the Origin of Species (or, more completely, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life), published on 24 November 1859, is a work of scientific literature by Charles Darwin which is...

Author
Charles Darwin
Science
Biology

Anti-Slavery and Reform Papers

This book contains a compilation of Henry David Thoreau's works about slavery and civil reform.

Author
Henry David Thoreau
Essays
Criticism
Social
Criticism
Political

A Treatise of Human Nature

A Treatise of Human Nature (1738–40) is a book by Scottish philosopher David Hume, considered by many to be Hume's most important work and one of the most influential works in the history of philosophy. The Treatise is a classic statement of philosophical em...

Author
David Hume
Philosophy
Empiricism

The French Revolution: A History

The French Revolution: A History was written by the Scottish essayist, philosopher, and historian Thomas Carlyle. The three-volume work, first published in 1837 (with a revised edition in print by 1857), charts the course of the French Revolution from 1789 to ...

Author
Thomas Carlyle
History
Europe

III. Compensation

The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson Volume II – Essays I

The wings of Time are black and white,Pied with morning and with night.Mountain tall and ocean deepTrembling balance duly keep.In changing moon, in tidal wave,Glows the feud of Want and Have.Gauge of more and less through spaceElectric star and pencil plays....