Great Throughts Treasury

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

Thomas Haliburton, fully Thomas Chandler Haliburton, pseudonym "Sam Slick"

Canadian Politician, Judge and Author known for his humorist sketches and essays

"Puritans, whether in or out of church make more sinners than they save by a long chalk. They ain't content with real sin."

"Put him to the PLOUGH - the most natural, the most happy, the most innocent and the most healthy employment in the world."

"Reforms are not applicable to reformers, for those who liberate others must themselves be free."

"Rich gals and handsome gals are seldom good for nothin' else but their cash or their looks."

"Sarve the public nine hundred and ninety-nine times, and the thousandth, if they don't agree with you, they desart and abuse you."

"See what an empire is here, surely the best in climate, soil, mineral, and other productions in the world, and peopled by such a race, as no other country under heaven can produce. No, Sir, here are the bundle of sticks; all they want is to be united."

"Seein' is believin'."

"Sleep on it."

"Some people have a perfect genius for doing nothing, and doing it assiduously."


"Support what is right, oppose what is wrong; what you think, speak; try to satisfy yourself, and not others; and if you are not popular, you will at least be respected; popularity lasts but a day, respect will descend as a heritage to your children."

"Suppose we take the rule about the press. Be free, but not personal; free, but decent; free, but not treasonable to each other; free, but not licentious."

"That which made Amsterdam ought to make Halifax."

"The bee, though it finds every rose has a thorn, comes back loaded with honey from his rambles; and why should not other tourists do the same?"

"The electric force of the brain."

"The French thought building a fortress was colonization, and the English that blowing it up was the right way to settle the country."

"The great secret is speedy justice."

"The great secret of life is never to be in the way of others."

"The great secret of life is to hear lessons, and not to teach them."

"The great secret of life is to learn to earn one's bread."

"The greater the sinner the greater the saint."

"The happiness of every country depends upon the character of its people, rather than the form of its government."

"The higher the polish the more indurated you will find the substance."

"The houses hope builds are castles in the air."

"The mechanism of the human heart, when you thoroughly understand it, is, like all the other works of nature, very beautiful, very wonderful, but very simple. When it does not work well, the fault is not in the machinery, but in the management."

"The misfortun' is, we are all apt to think Scriptur' intended for our neighbors, and not for ourselves."

"The moment a feller has a woman's secret he is that woman's master."

"The moment a man takes to a pipe he becomes a philosopher; - it's the poor man's friend; it calms the mind, soothes the temper, and makes a man patient under trouble."

"The ocean's surfy, slow, deep, mellow voice, full of mystery and awe, moaning over the dead it holds in its bosom, or lulling them to unbroken slumbers in the chambers of its vasty depths."

"The only way to reform some people is to chloroform them"

"The poor are everywhere more liberal, more obligin' and more hospitable, according to their means, than the rich are."

"The silent pig is the best feeder, but it remains a pig still, and hastens its death by growing too fat."

"The sun has scarcely set behind the dark, wavy outline of the western hills, ere the Aurora Borealis mimics its setting beams, and revels with wild delight in the heavens, which it claims as its own, now ascending with meteor speed to the zenith, - then dissolving into a thousand rays of variegated light, that vie with each other which shall first reach the horizon; now flashing bright, brilliant and glowing, as emanations of the sun, then slowly retreating from view pale and silvery white. - Canadian humorist, 1849 Old Judge"

"The sun never sets on it."

"The upper-crust folks."

"Then look at the beeowells of the airth; only think of the coal; and it's no use a-talkin - that's the only coal to supply us that we can rely on. Why, there ain't nothin' like it. It extends all the way from Bay of Fundy"

"There are stranger things in reality than can be found in romances."

"There is a private spring to everyone's affection; if you can find that, and touch it, the door will fly open, tho' it was a miser's heart."

"There is an hypocrisy in vice as well as religion."

"There is music wherever there is harmony, order, or proportion."

"There is no field for ambition, no room for the exercise of distinguished talent in the provinces."

"There is roguery in all trades but our own."

"There is the kiss of welcome and of parting; the long, lingering, loving, present one; the stolen, or the mutual one; the kiss of love, of joy, and of sorrow; the seal of promise, and the receipt of fulfilment. Is it strange, therefore, that a woman is invincible, whose armory consists of kisses, smiles, and tears?"

"There's many a mistake made on purpose."

"There's no tyranny on airth equal to the tyranny of a majority."

"There's nothin' like leavin' all's well alone."

"They are always in love or in liquor, or else in a row; they are the merriest shavers I ever seed."

"They have the ten commandments at their fingers' end."

"This life ain't all beer and skittles."

"This place (that is, Nova Scotia) is as fertile as Illanoy or Ohio, as healthy as any part of the Globe, and right alongside of salt water; but the folks want three things, Industry, Enterprise, Economy."