Ralph Waldo Emerson: Eternal public

‘The effect of any writing on the public mind is mathematically measurable by its depth of thought…If it awaken you to think, if it lift you from your feet with a great voice of eloquence, then the effect is to be wide, slow, permanent, over the minds of men; if the pages instruct you not, they will die like flies in the hour. The way to speak and write what shall not go out of fashion is, to speak and write sincerely. The argument which has not power to reach my own practice, I may well doubt, will fail to reach yours. But take Sidney’s maxim:–“Look in thy heart, and write.” He that writes to himself writes to an eternal public.’

—Ralph Waldo Emerson.