Ralph Waldo EmersonRalph Waldo Emerson, (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, and poet

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quote

“The history of persecution is a history of endeavors to cheat nature, to make water run up hill, to twist a rope of sand.”

Ralph Waldo EmersonRalph Waldo Emerson
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Essays, 1841

Ratings and Comments

Anonymous, Reston, VA US

Nice thought, but it has to reach too far for those analogies...

me again
  • Reply
    me again    9/5/06

    Emerson is a great writer but this quote makes no sense to me.

    Ken, Allyn, WA

    I suppose free thought and the free interchange of ideas are as natural in human society as a stream running downhill. Persecution is the attempt to control the free thoughts of men to protect the rest of society from the heretical thoughts. It is much like damming a stream to protect a valley from floods. It takes a massive dam to stop a small stream.

    • Reply
      Anonymous    5/13/09

      This doesn't make sense to me. Then again, maybe that's the point. Persecution is pointless.


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