Quotation by Ralph Waldo Emerson

It has come to be practically a sort of rule in literature, that a man, having once shown himself capable of original writing, is entitled thenceforth to steal from the writings of others at discretion. Thought is the property of him who can entertain it; and of him who can adequately place it. A certain awkwardness marks the use of borrowed thoughts; but, as soon as we have learned what to do with them, they become our own.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Shakspeare; or, the Poet," Representative Men (1850).
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