Look not mournfully to the past—it comes not back again; wisely improve the present—it is thine; go forth to meet the shadowy future without fear, and with a manly heart.
There is a persuasion in the soul of man that he is here for a cause, and that he was put down in this place by the Creator to do the work for which He inspired him; that thus he is an over-match for all the antagonists that could contrive against him.
All I have teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.
The best lightning-rod for your own protection is your own spine.
Cause and effect cannot be severed.
If any person have less love of liberty…shall he therefore dictate to you and me?
[The State’s] institutions…are not superior to the citizen…
Man exists for his own sake and not to add a laborer to the State.
[S]tatesmen…are sure to be found befriending liberty with their words, and crushing it with their votes.
We…pay unwilling tribute to governments founded on force…
Every actual State is corrupt. Good men must not obey the laws too well.
[W]hat is the use of constitutions, if all the guaranties…for the protection of liberty are made of no effect, when a bad act of Congress finds a willing commissioner?
Emerson was obviously a Tea Party radical and probably a homophobic racist as well. This is the kind of stuff we used to have to read in our schools. Emerson and Thoreau were writers that used to be quoted enthusiastically by the baby-boomer, anti-establishment hippie freaks that are now running this country and brook no such dissent from the government line.