May 18, 2008

The unknown friend

Ralph Waldo Emerson A man must be in sympathy with society about him, or else, not wish to be in in sympathy with it. If neither of these two, he must be wretched.

Happy is he who looks only into his work to know if it will succed, never into the times or the public opinion; and who writes from the love of imparting certain thoughts & not from the necessity of sale—who writes always to be the unknown friend.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson [from his journals, March-April 1848], in EMERSON IN HIS JOURNALS, selected and edited by Joel Porte, Harvard University Press, Cambridge (Massachusetts) - London (England), 1982.