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

"This was my first lesson, that squeamishness and indelicacy are often found united; in short, that in manners, as in other things, extremes meet."

"Thunderin' long words ain't wisdom."

"To bung up a man's eyes ain't the way to enlighten him."

"To carry care to bed is to sleep with a pack on your back."

"To claim superiority is to attempt to pass another on the road, and compel him to take the dust."

"To handle a ship you must know all the ropes."

"To the Nova Scotian, the province is his native place, but North America is his country. The colony may become his home when the provinces become a nation. - It will then have a name, the inhabitants will become a people, and the people have a country and a home. Until that period it would seem as if they were merely comers and goers."

"Vanity is not half a bad principle, if it will but stick to legitimate business."

"Vice makes virtue look well to its anchors."

"Vulgarity is always showy."

"We can do without any article of luxury we have never had; but when once obtained, it is not in human natur to surrender it voluntarily."

"We have an old sayin - Only what I drink is mine'. Canadian humorist, 1853, Sam Slick's Wise Saws, Chapter 23"

"We reckon hours and minutes to be dollars and cents."

"What we hear with pleasure we afterward read with diminished satisfaction."

"When grasshoppers are so plenty as to make pastures poor, gobblers grow fat."

"When pleasure is the business of life it ceases to be pleasure."

"When the Spring comes, and the fields are dry enough to be sowed, they all have to be plowed, cause fall rains wash the lands too much for fall ploughin. Well the ploughs have to be mended and sharpened, cause what's the use of doin that afore its wanted."

"Whenever you make an impression on a man stop; your reasonin' and details may ruin you."

"Where there is much strength, there ain't apt to be much gumption."

"Who the devil cares for a monument that actually deserves one?"

"Why does a Judge's charge have more influence than an Attorney's speech? Because he belongs to no side."

"Wise men, like wine, are best when old; pretty women, like bread, are best when young."

"Wishes, like castles in the air, are inexpensive and not taxable."

"Women forgive injuries, but never forget slights."

"Women will sometimes confess their sins, but I never knew one to confess her faults."

"Women, in a general way, don't look like the same critters when they are spliced, that they do before; matrimony, like sugar and water, has a natural affinity for, and tendency to acidity."

"Wounded pride should be touched lightly. The skin is thin and plagy sensative."

"Write the word down, for partitions have ears."

"Writin' only aggravates your opponents, and never convinces them."

"You are as sharp as a needle."

"You can't get blood out of a stone, you know."

"You cant reform 'em, the only way is to chloriform them."

"You have to cant a little with the world, if you want even common civil usage."

"You hear nothin' but politics, politics, politics, one everlastin' give, give, give."

"You may stop a man's mouth by a crammin' a book down his throat, but you won't convince him."

"You must learn the American language, if you want to understand the American people."

"Your jokes hit, and hit pretty hard, too. They make a man think as well as laugh."