Representative Men

Representative Men
Seven Lectures

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Representative Men by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Published:

1850

Pages:

160

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4,055

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Representative Men
Seven Lectures

By

0
(0 Reviews)
Essays on Plato, Swedenborg, Montaigne, Shakespeare, Napoleon, and Goethe.

Book Excerpt

sually cramped and obstructed, runs, also, much higher, and is the secret of the reader's joy in literary genius. Nothing is kept back. There is fire enough to fuse the mountain of ore. Shakspeare's principal merit may be conveyed, in saying that he, of all men, best understands the English language, and can say what he will. Yet these unchoked channels and floodgates of expression are only health or fortunate constitution. Shakspeare's name suggests other and purely intellectual benefits.

Senates and sovereigns have no compliment, with their medals, swords, and armorial coats, like the addressing to a human being thoughts out of a certain height, and presupposing his intelligence. This honor, which is possible in personal intercourse scarcely twice in a lifetime, genius perpetually pays; contented, if now and then, in a century, the proffer is accepted. The indicators of the values of matter are degraded to a sort of cooks and confectioners, on the appearance of the indicators of ideas. Genius is the natu

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