Great Throughts Treasury

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

Edwin Way Teale

American Teacher, Editor, Writer, Naturalist

"You can prove almost anything with the evidence of a small enough segment of time. How often, in any search for truth, the answer of the minute is positive, the answer of the hour qualified, the answers of the year contradictory!"

"The long fight to save wild beauty represents democracy at its best. It requires citizens to practice the hardest of virtues - self-restraint."

"It is easier to accept the message of the stars than the message of the salt desert. The stars speak of man's insignificance in the long eternity of time; the desert speaks of his insignificance right now."

"All of the animals except for man know that the principle business of life is to enjoy it."

"Animals are my friends, and I don't eat my friends."

"Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms"

"Any fine morning a power saw can fell a tree that took a thousand years to grow."

"Better a thousand times even a swiftly fading, ephemeral moment of life than the epoch-long unconsciousness of the stone."

"For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together. For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad."

"For the mind disturbed, the still beauty of dawn is nature's finest balm."

"Freedom from worries and surcease from strain are illusions that always inhabit the distance."

"Change is a measure of time and, in the autumn, time seems speeded up. What was is not and never again will be; what is change."

"How many beautiful trees gave their lives that today's scandal should, without delay, reach a million readers!"

"In nature, there is less death and destruction than death and transmutation."

"Commonly we stride through the out-of-doors too swiftly to see more than the most obvious and prominent things. For observing nature, the best pace is a snail's pace."

"How vivid is the suffering of the few when the people are few and how the suffering of nameless millions in two world wars is blurred over by numbers."

"How sad would be November if we had no knowledge of the spring!"

"It is morally as bad not to care whether a thing is true or not, so long as it makes you feel good, as it is not to care how you got your money as long as you have got it."

"It is those who have compassion for all life who will best safeguard the life of man. Those who become aroused only when man is endangered become aroused too late. We cannot make the world uninhabitable for other forms of life and have it habitable for ourselves. It is the conservationist who is concerned with the welfare of all the land and life of the country, who, in the end, will do most to maintain the world as a fit place for human existence."

"Noise is evolving not only the endurers of noise but the needers of noise."

"It is not races but individuals that are noble and courageous or ignoble and craven or considerate or persistent or philosophical or reasonable. The race gets credit when the percentage of noble individuals is high."

"Our minds, as well as our bodies, have need of the out-of-doors. Our spirits, too, need simple things, elemental things, the sun and the wind and the rain, moonlight and starlight, sunrise and mist and mossy forest trails, the perfumes of dawn and the smell of fresh-turned earth and the ancient music of wind among the trees."

"Love the animals: God has given them the rudiments of thought and joy untroubled"

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated"

"Reduce the complexity of life by eliminating the needless wants of life and the labors of life reduce themselves."

"The city man, in his neon-and-mazda glare, knows nothing of nature's midnight. His electric lamps surround him with synthetic sunshine. They push back the dark. They defend him from the realities of the age-old night."

"The difference between utility and utility plus beauty is the difference between telephone wires and the spider web."

"The world's favorite season is the spring. All things seem possible in May."

"Those who wish to pet and baby wild animals "love" them. But those who respect their natures and wish to let them live normal lives, love them more."

"Time and space — time to be alone, space to move about — these may well become the great scarcities of tomorrow."