(?)
Quotes are added by the Goodreads community and are not verified by Goodreads. (Learn more)
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“A man must consider what a blindman's-buff is this game of conformity. If I know your sect, I anticipate your argument. I hear a preacher announce for his text and topic the expediency of one of the institutions of his church.
Do I not know beforehand that not possibly can he say a new and spontaneous word? Do I not know that, with all this ostentation of examining the grounds of the institution, he will do no such thing? Do I not know that he is pledged to himself not to look but at one side, — the permitted side, not as a man, but as a parish minister? He is a retained attorney, and these airs of the bench are the emptiest affectation. Well, most men have bound their eyes with one or another handkerchief, and attached themselves to some one of these communities of opinion. This conformity makes them not false in a few particulars, authors of a few lies, but false in all particulars. Their every truth is not quite true. Their two is not the real two, their four not the real four; so that every word they say chagrins us, and we know not where to begin to set them right. Meantime nature is not slow to equip us in the prison-uniform of the party to which we adhere. We come to wear one cut of face and figure, and acquire by degrees the gentlest asinine expression.”


Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance and Other Essays
Read more quotes from Ralph Waldo Emerson


Share this quote:
Share on Twitter

Friends Who Liked This Quote


To see what your friends thought of this quote, please sign up!


This Quote Is From

Self-Reliance and Other Essays Self-Reliance and Other Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson
17,863 ratings, average rating, 437 reviews
Open Preview

Browse By Tag