Great Throughts Treasury

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

Gilbert Burnet

Scottish Theologian, Historian, Bishop of Salisbury, Cleric, Preacher, Academic, Writer and Historian

"That is not the best sermon which makes the hearers go away talking to one another, and praising the speaker, but which makes them go away thoughtful and serious, and hastening to be alone."

"For the most part the worst instructed, and the least knowing of any of their rank, I ever went amongst."

"It a great error to waste young gentlemen's years so long in learning Latin by so tedious a grammar."

"Learning chiefly in mathematical sciences can so swallow up and fix one's thought, as to possess it entirely for some time; but when that amusement is over, nature will return, and be where it was, being rather diverted than overcome by such speculations."

"One of the strangest catastrophes that is in any history. A great king, with strong armies and mighty fleets, a great treasure and powerful allies, fell all at once, and his whole strength, like a spider's web, was . . . irrecoverably broken at a touch."

"The Duke of Buckingham gave me once a short but severe character of the two brothers. It was the more severe, because it was true: the King (he said) could see things if he would, and the Duke would see things if he could."

"Was apt to suffer things to run on till there was a great heap of papers laid before him, so then he signed them a little too precipitately."