Great Throughts Treasury

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

John Christian Bovee

American Author and Lawyer

"A failure establishes only this, that our determination to succeed was not strong enough."

"A sound discretion is not so much indicted by never making a mistake, as by never repeating it."

"The beauty seen, is partly in him who sees it."

"Books are embalmed minds."

"Dignity of position adds to dignity of character, as well as to dignity of carriage. Give us a proud position, and we are impelled to act up to it."

"Dishonesty is a forsaking of permanent for the temporary advantages."

"Earnestness is the devotion of all the faculties. It is the cause of patience; gives endurance; overcome pain; strengthens weakness; braves dangers; sustains hope; make light of difficulties, and lessens the sense of weariness in overcoming them."

"Imitation belittles."

"In one important respect a man is fortunate in being poor. His responsibility to God is so much the less."

"Intellectually, as well as politically, the direction of all true progress is toward greater freedom, and along an endless succession of ideas."

"It is only an error of judgment to make a mistake, but it argues an infirmity of character to adhere to it when discovered. The Chinese say, "The glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time you fall.""

"Kindness is a language the dumb can speak, and the deaf can hear and understand."

"Mind unemployed is mind unenjoyed."

"Music is the fourth great material want of our nature, first is food, then raiment, then shelter, then music."

"The busiest of living agents are certain dead men's thoughts; they are forever influencing the opinions and destinies of men."

"The greatest events of an age are its best thoughts. It is the nature of thought to find its way into action."

"Fame - a few words upon a tombstone, and the truth of those not to be depended on."

"The greatest obstacle to progress is prejudice."

"The use we make of our fortune determines as to its sufficiency. A little is enough if used wisely, and too much if expended foolishly."

"There is great beauty in going through life without anxiety or fear. Half our fears are baseless, and the other half discreditable."

"To quote copiously and well requires taste, judgment and erudition, a feeling for the beautiful, an appreciation of the noble, and a sense of the profound."

"We degrade life by our follies and vices, and then complain that the unhappiness which is only their accompaniment is self-distrust is the cause of most of our failures. In the assurance of strength there is strength; and they are the weakest, however strong, who have no faith in themselves or their powers."

"We should not so much esteem our poverty as a misfortune, were it not that the world treats it so."

"We trifle when we assign limits to our desires, since nature hath set none."

"What man knows should find expression in what he does. The chief value of superior knowledge is that it leads to a performing manhood."

"Words of praise, indeed, are almost as necessary to warm a child into congenial life as acts of kindness and affection. Judicious praise is to children what the sun is to flowers."

"The grandest of all laws is the law of progressive development. Under it, in the wide sweep of things, men grow wiser as they grow older, and societies better."

"Tranquil pleasures last the longest; we are not fitted to bear the burden of great joys."

"The method of the enterprising is to plan with audacity and execute with vigor."