Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Amos Bronson Alcott

American Educator, Writer, Philosopher and Reformer

"Enthusiasm imparts itself magnetically and fuses all into one happy and harmonious unity of feeling and sentiment."

"Fine manners are the mantle of fair minds."

"Every sin provides its punishment."

"First find the man in yourself if you will inspire manliness in others."

"Greater is he who is above temptation than he who, being tempted, overcomes."

"Fullness is always quiet: agitation will answer for empty vessels only."

"Good-humor, gay spirits, are the liberators the sure cure for spleen and melancholy. deeper than tears, these irradiate the tophets with their glad heavens. Go laugh, vent the pits, transmuting imps into angels by the alchemy of smiles. The satans flee at the sight of these redeemers."

"Modesty is bred of self-reverence. Find manners are the mantle of fair minds."

"Labor humanizes, exalts."

"None can teach admirably if not loving his task."

"Our bravest and best lessons are not learned through success, but through misadventure."

"Nor do we accept as genuine the person not characterized by this blushing bashfulness, this youthfulness of heart, this sensibility to the sentiment of suavity, and self-respect. Modesty is bred of self-reverence. Fine manners are the mantle of fair minds. None are truly great without his ornament."

"Our bravest lessons are not learned through success, but misadventure."

"Our ideals are our better selves."

"Strengthen me by sympathizing with my strength, not my weakness."

"The surest sign of age is loneliness. While one finds company in himself and his pursuits, he cannot be old, whatever his years may be."

"Thought means life, since those who do not think do not live in any high or real sense. Thinking makes the man."

"The wisest and best are repulsive, if they are characterized by repulsive manners. Politeness is an easy virtue, costs little, and has great purchasing power."

"The true teacher defends his pupils against his own personal influence... He guides their eyes from himself to the spirit that quickens him."

"Civilization degrades the many to exalt the few."

"Truth is inclusive of all the virtues, is older than sects and schools, and, like charity, more ancient than mankind."

"When one becomes indifferent to women, to children, to young people, he may know that he is superannuated, and has withdrawn from whatsoever is sweetest and purest in human existence."

"Truth is sensitive and jealous of the least encroachment upon its sacredness."

"That is a good book which is opened with expectation and closed in profit."

"Time is one's best friend, teaching best of all the wisdom of silence."

"Observation more than books, experience rather than persons, are the prime educators."

"We mount to heaven mostly on the ruins of our cherished schemes, finding our failures were successes."

"To be ignorant of one's ignorance is the malady of the ignorant."

"Travel makes all men countrymen, makes people noblemen and kings, every man tasting of liberty and dominion."

"That is a good book which is opened with expectation, and closed with delight and profit."

"While one finds company in himself and his pursuits, he cannot feel old, no matter what his years may be."

"Many can argue; not many converse."

"Ideas, when vented in a book, carry with them a kind of dignity and certainty which awe many into implicit belief."

"We mount to heaven mostly in the ruins of our cherished schemes, finding our failures were successes."

"Nature is thought immersed in matter."

"Thought means life, since those who do not think so do not live in any high or real sense. Thinking makes the man."

"The less of routine, the more of life."

"Yet the deepest truths are best read between the lines, and, for the most part, refuse to be written."

"The true teacher defends his pupils against his own personal influence."

"Enthusiasm is the glory and hope of the world. "

"Love designs, thought sketches, action sculptures the works of spirit. Love is divine, conceiving, creating, completing, all things. Love is the Genius of Spirit."

"Every man’s ideas, sentiments, senses, are individual revelations of the Infinite and Spiritual. United, these are the Revealed Will and Truth of God. But then, each sees only that which his own being displays to him, and shutteth his eye to the rest."

"Love is a great beautifier. "

"Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead."