Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Attributed.
Remark made referring to the criticism by Rufus Choate of the Declaration of Independence in a letter to the Maine Whig Central Committee, August 9, 1856: "Its constitution the glittering and sounding generalities of natural right which make up the Declaration of Independence." Published in The Works of Rufus Choate with a Memoir of his Life, vol. 1, ed. S.G. Brown (1862).