But we have aimed at a swift and petty benefit, to suck a sudden sweetness.
In a sentiment that John Steinbeck would come to echo a century later in the context of love, writing to his teenage son that “the main thing is not to hurry [for] nothing good gets away,” Emerson argues that to be impatient in friendship is to mistrust the depth of the relationship and to deny the resilience and immutability of the friend’s affections: Our impatience is thus sharply rebuked.
Everything that is his, — his name, his form, his dress, books and instruments, — fancy enhances.
Our own thought sounds new and larger from his mouth.
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Emerson Essay Prudence
“We live in succession, in division, in parts, in particles.
I am not very wise; my moods are quite attainable; and I respect thy genius; it is to me as yet unfathomed; yet dare I not presume in thee a perfect intelligence of me, and so thou art to me a delicious torment. Our friendships hurry to short and poor conclusions, because we have made them a texture of wine and dreams, instead of the tough fiber of the human heart.
The laws of friendship are great, austere, and eternal, of one web with the laws of nature and of morals.
He was an ordained minister, renowned orator, and beloved author and poet whose ideas on nature, philosophy, and religion influenced authors such as Henry David Thoreau and Walt Whitman.
Through his writings, Emerson ardently professed the importance of being an individual, resisting the comfort of conformity, and creating an art of living in harmony with nature.