Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Helen Hayes

American Radio, Television and Motion Picture Actress

"Marriage is like a war. There are moments of chivalry and gallantry that attend the victorious advances and strategic retreats, the birth or death of children, the momentary conquest of loneliness, the sacrifice that ennobles him who makes it. But mostly there are the long dull sieges, the waiting, the terror and boredom. Women understand this better than men; they are better able to survive attrition."

"Reality was such a jungle - with no signposts, landmarks, or boundaries."

"The truth [is] that there is only one terminal dignity - love. And the story of a love is not important - what is important is that one is capable of love. It is perhaps the only glimpse we are permitted in eternity."

"This is the day of instant genius. Everybody starts at the top, and then has the problem of staying there. Lasting accomplishment, however, is still achieved through a long, slow climb and self-discipline."

"Relationships, casual or intimate, are frequently played out as they might be in a theatre, heightened, dramatized, staged with echoes of past dialogue and gestures that corrupt the spontaneity."

"The story of love is not important - what is important is that one is capable of love. It is perhaps the only glimpse we are permitted of eternity."

"Every human being on this earth is born with a tragedy, and it isn't original sin. They are born with the tragedy that they have to grow up . . . a lot of people don't have the courage to do it."

"One has to grow up with good talk in order to form the habit of it."