August 14, 2008

Understand me when I say, I love you

I see not how we can live except alone. Trenchant manners, a sharp decided way will prove a lasting convenience. Society will coo & claw & caress. You must curse & swear a little. They will remember it, & it will do them good. What if they are wise & fine people. I do not want your silliness, though you be Socrates, and if you indulge them, all people are babyish. Curse them.
Understand me when I say, I love you, it is your genius & not you. I like man, but not men. The genius of humanity is very easily & accurately to be made out by the poet-mind, but it is not in Miss Nancy nor in Adoniram with any sufficiency.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson [from his journals, March 24, 1846], in EMERSON IN HIS JOURNALS, selected and edited by Joel Porte, Harvard University Press, Cambridge (Massachsetts) - London (England), 1982.