Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Madame Swetchine, fully Anne Sophie Swetchine née Sophia Petrovna Soïmonov or Soymanof

Russian Mystic

"He who has never denied himself for the sake of giving, has but glanced at the joys of charity."

"Our faults afflict us more than our good deeds console. Pain is ever uppermost in the conscience as in the heart."

"Our vanity is the constant enemy of our dignity."

"Pride dries the tears of anger and vexation; humility, those of grief. The one is indignant that we should suffer; the other calms us by the reminder that we deserve nothing else."

"Real sorrow is almost as difficult to discover as real poverty. An instinctive delicacy hides the rays of the one and the wounds of the other."

"The heart has always the pardoning power."

"The only true method of action in this world is to be in it, but not of it."

"The world has no sympathy with any but positive griefs. It will pity you for what you lose; never for what you lack."

"There are not good things enough in life to indemnify us for the neglect of a single duty."

"We are amused through the intellect, but it is the heart that saves us from ennui."

"We are rich only through what we give; and poor only through what we refuse and keep."

"We deceive ourselves when we fancy that only weakness needs support. Strength needs it far more. A straw or a feather sustains itself long in the air."

"We do not judge men by what they are in themselves, but by what they are relatively to us."

"We expect everything, and are prepared for nothing."

"I study much, and the more I study, the oftener I go back to those first principles which are so simple that childhood itself can lisp them."

"It would seem that by our sorrows only we are called to a knowledge of the Infinite. Are we happy? The limits of life constrain us on all sides."

"Old age is not one of the beauties of creation, but it is one of its harmonies. The law of contrasts is one of the laws of beauty. Under the conditions of our climate, shadow gives light its worth; sternness enhances mildness; solemnity, splendor. Varying proportions of size support and subserve one another."

"Truth only is prolific. Error, sterile in itself, produces only by means of the portion of truth which it contains. It may have offspring, but the life which it gives, like that of the hybrid races, cannot be transmitted."

"As we advance in life the circle of our pains enlarges, while that of our pleasure contracts."

"Everybody has enemies. to have an enemy is quite another thing. One must be somebody to have an enemy. One must be a force before he can be resisted by another force."

"How easy it is to be amiable in the midst of happiness and success."

"The best advice on the art of being happy is about as easy to follow as advice to be well when one is sick."

"The world has no sympathy with any but positive griefs; it will pity you for what you lose, but never for what you lack."

"To have ideas is to gather flowers; to think, is to weave them into garlands."

"Those who make us happy are always thankful to us for being so; their gratitude is the reward of their benefits."

"There are times when it would seem as if God fished with a line, and the devil with a net."

"We deceive ourselves when we fancy that only weakness needs support. Strength needs it far more."

"In youth we feel richer for every new illusion; in maturer years, for every one we lose."