Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.

Alexander Pope

English Poet, Satirist

"A brave man thinks no one his superior who does him an injury; for he has it then in his power to make himself superior to the other by forgiving it."

"A man should never be ashamed to own he has been in the wrong, which is but saying in other words, that he is wiser to-day than he was yesterday."

"A noble part of every true life is to learn to undo what has been wrongly done. A man should never be ashamed to own he has been in the wrong, which is but saying in other words that he is wiser to-day that he was yesterday."

"All looks yellow to the jaundiced eye."

"An excuse is worse and more terrible than a lie; for an excuse is a lie guarded."

"An honest man’s the noblest work of God."

"An obstinate man does not hold opinions, but they hold him."

"Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed."

"By mutual confidence and mutual aid great deeds are done, and great discov'ries made."

"Charms strike the sight, but merit wins the soul."

"Conceit is to nature what paint is to beauty; it is not only needless, but it impairs what it would improve."

"Do good by stealth, and blush to find it fame."

"Hope springs eternal in the human breast: man never is, but always to be blest: the soul, uneasy and confin’d from home, rests and expatiates n a life to come."

"Love, hope and joy, fair pleasure’s smiling train, hate fear and grief, the family of pain; these mix’d with art, and to due bounds confin’d, make and maintain the balance of the mind."

"Strength of mind is Exercise, not Rest: The rising tempest puts in act the soul, parts it may ravage, but preserves the whole. On life’s vast ocean diversely we sail. Reason the card, but Passion is the gale... The Mind’s disease, its ruling Passion came."

"The greatest magnifying glasses in the world are a man's own eyes when they look upon his own person."

"The ruling passion conquers reason still."

"The ruling passion, be it what it will, the ruling passion conquers reason still."

"The soul’s calm sunshine, and the heartfelt joy, is virtue’s prize."

"There is no study that is not capable of delighting us after a little application to it."

"There needs but thinking right and meaning well."

"Thus education forms the common mind: just as the twig is bent, the tree’s inclined."

"Time conquers all, and we must Time obey."

"To be angry is to revenge the fault of others upon ourselves."

"To err is human; to forgive, divine!"

"To pardon those absurdities in ourselves which we condemn in others, is neither better nor worse than to be more willing to be fools ourselves than to have others so."

"True politeness consists in being easy one's self, and in making every one about one as easy as one can."

"Trust not yourself; but your defects to know. Make use of every friend - and every foe."

"We ought, in humanity, no more to despise a man for the misfortunes of the mind that for those of the body, when they are such as he cannot help; were this thoroughly considered we should no more laugh at a man for having his brains cracked than for having his brain broke."

"What is it to be wise? 'Tis but to know how little can be known - to see all other's faults and feel our own."

"What thin partitions sense from thought divide."

"When we are young, we are slavishly employed in procuring something whereby we may live comfortably when we grow old; and when we are old, we perceive it is too late to live as we proposed."

"A disputant no more cares for the truth than the sportsman for the hare."

"A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring; their shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, and drink largely sobers us again."

"All are but parts of one stupendous whole, whose body Nature is, and God the soul."

"All nature is but art, unknown to thee; all chance, direction, which thou canst not see; all discord harmony, not understood; all partial evil, universal good: and, spite of pride, in erring reason’s spite, one truth is clear, “Whatever is, is Right.”"

"Amusement is the happiness of those that cannot think."

"At present we can only reason of the divine justice form what we know of justice in man. When we are in other scenes, we may have truer and nobler ideas of it; but while we are in this life, we can only speak from the volume that is laid open before us."

"Every man has just as much vanity as he wants understanding."

"Exercise, temperance, fresh air, and needful rest are the best of all physicians."

"Expression is the dress of thought."

"Fame can never make us lie down contently on a death-bed."

"Fools admire, but men of sense approve."

"Get your enemies to read your works in order to mend them, for your friend is so much your second self that he will judge too like you."

"Go, wiser thou! and in thy scale of sense weigh thy opinion against providence."

"He who tells a lie is not sensible how great a task he undertakes; for he must be forced to invent twenty more to maintain one."

"Hell was built on spite, and heav’n on pride."

"Hope springs eternal in the human breast."

"It is very natural for a young friend and a young lover to think the persons they love have nothing to do but to please them."

"Judge not of actions by their mere effect; dive to the centre, and the cause detect; great deeds from meanest springs may take their course, and smallest virtues from a mighty source."