Great Throughts Treasury

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

James Beattie

Scottish Poet

"Let us cherish sympathy. By attention and exercise it may be improved in every man. It prepares the mind for receiving the impressions of virtue; and without it there can be no true politeness. Nothing is more odious than that insensibility which wraps a man up in himself and his own concerns, and prevents his being moved with either the joys or the sorrows of another."

"What is a law, if those who make it become the forwardest to break it?"

"Common sense is nature’s gift, but reason is an art."

"From labor, health; from health, contentment springs."

"How sweet the words of truth breathed from the lips of love!"

"The aim of education should be to teach us rather how to think, than what to think - rather to improve our minds, so as to enable us to think for ourselves, than to load the memory with the thoughts of other men."

"To think everything disputable is a proof of a weak mind and a captious temper."

"Ah, who can tell how hard it is to climb the steep where Fame's proud temple shines afar?"

"Ah! when shall it dawn on the night of the grave!"

"All such fooleries are quite inconsistent with that manly simplicity of manners which is so honorable to the national character."

"And beauty immortal awakes from the tomb."

"And from the prayer of Want, and plaint of Woe, O never, never turn away thine ear! Forlorn, in this bleak wilderness below, Ah! what were man, should Heaven refuse to hear!"

"And lo! In the dark east, expanded high, the rainbow brightens to the setting sun."

"And none speaks false, when there is none to hear."

"Aristotle?s moral, rhetorical, and political writings, in which his excellent judgment is very little warped by logical subtleties, are far the most useful part of his philosophy."

"All I can do is keep my head down and I will keep working hard and if I get the call it would be brilliant. I have put in a lot of hard work and I have had loads of support from the lads and from the fans as well."

"At the close of the day when the hamlet is still, and mortals the sweets of forgetfulness prove, when naught but the torrent is heard on the hill, and naught but the nightingale's song in the grove."

"Be ignorance thy choice where knowledge leads to woe."

"Borne on the swift, tho' silent wings of time, old age comes on apace, to ravage all the clime."

"But when shall spring visit the mouldering urn? Oh when shall it dawn on the night of the grave?"

"By the glare of false science betrayed, that leads to bewilder and dazzles to blind."

"Contentment opes the source of every joy."

"Dreadful is their doom, whom doubt has driven to censure fate, and pious hope forego."

"Duncan can definitely play a part in the second half of the season. Duncan's had a tremendous career and he's a legend here. We would not want to see him call it a day. We will be trying to persuade him in every way we can, and I'd like to see him stay on."

"From labor health, from health contentment spring; contentment opes the source of every joy."

"He thought as a sage, though he felt like a man."

"In all instances where our experience of the past has been extensive and uniform, our judgment concerning the future amounts to moral certainty."

"Inflexible in faith, invincible in arms."

"Is there a heart that music cannot melt? Alas! how is that rugged heart forlorn."

"It does not, however, appear that in things so intimately connected with the happiness of life as marriage and the choice of an employment, parents have any right to force the inclinations of their children."

"It is strange to observe the callousness of some men, before whom all the glories of heaven and earth pass in daily succession without touching their hearts, elevating their fancy, or leaving any durable remembrance. Even of those who pretend to sensibility, how many are there to whom the lustre of the rising or setting sun, the sparkling concave of the midnight sky, the mountain forest tossing and roaring to the storm, or warbling with all the melodies of a summer evening; the sweet interchange of hill and dale, shade and sunshine, grove, lawn, and water, which an extensive landscape offers to the view; the scenery of the ocean, so lovely, so majestic, and so tremendous, and the many pleasing varieties of the animal and vegetable kingdoms, could never afford so much real satisfaction as the steam and noise of a ball-room, the insipid fiddling and squeaking of an opera, or the vexations and wranglings of a card-table!"

"Laws, as we read in ancient sages, have been like cobwebs in all ages: cobwebs for little flies are spread, and laws for little folks are made; but if an insect of renown, hornet or beetle, wasp or drone, be caught in quest of sport or plunder, the flimsy fetter flies in sunder."

"Let those deplore their doom, whose hope still grovels in this dark sojourn; but lofty souls, who look beyond the tomb, can smile at Fate, and wonder how they mourn."

"Mine be the breezy hill that skirts the down, Where a green grassy turf is all I crave, With here and there a violet bestrewn, Fast by a brook or fountain's murmuring wave; And many an evening sun shine sweetly on my grave!"

"No jealousy their dawn of love o'ercast, nor blasted were their wedded days with strife; each season look'd delightful as it past, to the fond husband, and the faithful wife."

"Observe the effect of argumentation in poetry: we have too much of it in Milton; it transforms the noblest thoughts into drawling inferences, and the most beautiful language into prose."

"Obviously we're bottom and not doing very well but we showed what we're made of today. Chelsea had a lot of possession, probably 70 per cent but we sucked it up at the back and I thought we did really well today."

"Old age comes on apace to ravage all the clime."

"Or merry swains, who quaff the nut-brown ale, and sing enamored of the nut-brown maid."

"Perish the lore that deadens young desire!"

"Silent when glad; affectionate, though shy."

"That [responsibility] has been the case since I got here and I haven't been able to show anybody that I can handle it."

"The captious turn of a habitual wrangler deadens the understanding, sours the temper, and hardens the heart."

"The gaffer brought me in to score goals and I have always said that is what I can do. One goal, or two or three could set it off and hopefully we can progress from there and not undo what we did last year."

"The love of God ought continually to predominate in the mind, and give to every act of duty grace and animation."

"The man is to be pitied who, in matters of moment, has to do with a staunch metaphysician: doubts, disputes, and conjectures will be the plague of his life."

"The only poet, modern or ancient, who in the variety of his characters can vie with Homer, is our great English dramatist."

"There is not a book on earth so favorable to all the kind and to all the sublime affections, or so unfriendly to hatred and persecution, to tyranny, injustice, and every sort of malevolence, as the Gospel."

"They who, by speech or writing, present to the ear or eye of modesty any of the indecencies I allude to, are pests of society."

"This happy sensibility to the beauties of nature should be cherished in young persons. It engages them to contemplate the Creator in his wonderful works; it purifies and harmonizes the soul, and prepares it for moral and intellectual discipline; it supplies a never-failing source of amusement; it contributes even to bodily health; and, as a strict analogy subsists between material and moral beauty, it leads the heart by an easy transition from the one to the other, and thus recommends virtue for its transcendent loveliness, and makes vice appear the object of contempt and abomination. An intimate acquaintance with the best descriptive poets?Spenser, Milton, and Thomson, but above all with the divine Georgic?joined to some practice in the art of drawing, will promote this amiable sensibility in early years; for then the face of nature has novelty superadded to its other charms, the passions are not pre-engaged, the heart is free from care, and the imagination warm and romantic."