Great Throughts Treasury

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

Related Quotes

Archibald Alison

It is in periods of apparent disaster, during the sufferings of whole generations, that the greatest improvement in human character has been effected.

Character | Improvement |

Phillip Adams

When people say to me: "How do you do so many things?" I often answer them, without meaning to be cruel: "How to you do so little?" It seems to me that people have vast potential. Most people can do extraordinary things if they have the confidence or take the risks. Yet most people don't. They sit in front of the telly and treat life as if it goes on forever."

Character | Confidence | Little | Meaning | People |

Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

I have often wondered how it is that every man loves himself more than all the rest of men, but yet sets less value on his own opinion of himself than on the opinion of others.

Character | Man | Men | Opinion | Rest | Value |

Walter Bagehot

The great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.

Character | Life | Life | People | Pleasure | Wisdom |

Henri Bergson, aka Henri-Louis Bergson

It is when we detect our own weaknesses that we come to pity or despise mankind. The human nature from which we then turn away is the human nature we have discovered in the depths of our own being. The evil is so well screened, the secret so universally kept, that in this case each individual is the dupe of all: however severely we may profess to judge other men, at bottom we think them better than ourselves. On this happy illusion much of our social life is grounded.

Better | Character | Despise | Evil | Happy | Human nature | Illusion | Individual | Life | Life | Mankind | Men | Nature | Pity | Think |

J. Beaumont

Interest makes some people blind and others quick-sided. We promise according to our hopes, and perform according to our fears. Virtues are lost in interest, as rivers are swallowed up in the sea.

Character | People | Promise |

Archibald Alison

There is no unmixed good in human affairs; the best principles, if pushed to excess, degenerate into fatal vices. Generosity is nearly allied to extravagance; charity itself may lead to ruin; the sternness of justice is but one step removed from the severity of oppression. It is the same in the political world; the tranquillity of despotism resembles the stagnation of the Dead Sea; the fever of innovation the tempests of the ocean It would seem as if, at particular periods, from causes inscrutable to human wisdom, a universal frenzy seizes mankind; reason, experience, prudence, are alike blinded; and the very classes who are to perish in the storm are the first to raise its fury.

Character | Charity | Excess | Experience | Extravagance | Fury | Generosity | Good | Innovation | Justice | Mankind | Oppression | Principles | Prudence | Prudence | Reason | Tranquility | Wisdom | World |

Honoré de Balzac

Envy lurks at the bottom of the human heart, like a viper in its hole.

Character | Envy | Heart |

Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

To have contemplated human life for forty years is the same as to have contemplated it for ten thousand years. For what more wilt thou see?

Character | Life | Life |

H. B.

I live in the world, but I seem to myself not of it!.. Natural phenomena are but the shadows of the spirit form which they spring, as the human face changes under the influence of love, hatred or fear... When, O when, shall I be able to reveal its poetry? I see everywhere and in ever object unceasing motion, and in that motion a creative force forever and forever repeating and re-repeating the same simple process as to infinity. Through all nature the grand rhythms roll and heaven and earth are filled with the melody. Men are but boys chasing shadows. The spiritual significance of the world none seem to see - the infinite simplicity of its process are none care to understand.

Boys | Care | Character | Earth | Fear | Force | Heaven | Influence | Love | Melody | Men | Nature | Object | Phenomena | Poetry | Simplicity | Spirit | World |

Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

Of human life the time is a point, and the substance is in a flux, and the perception dull, and the composition of the whole body subject to putrefaction, and the soul a whirl, and fortune hard to divine, and fame a thing devoid of judgment. And, to say all in a word, everything which belongs to the body is a stream, and what belongs to the soul is a dream and a vapor, and life is a warfare and a stranger’s sojourn, and after-fame is oblivion.

Body | Character | Fame | Fortune | Judgment | Life | Life | Oblivion | Perception | Soul | Time |

Saul Bellow

In every community there is a class of people profoundly dangerous to the rest. I don't mean the criminals. For them we have punitive sanctions. I mean the leaders. Invariably the most dangerous people seek the power. While in the parlors of indignation the right-thinking citizen brings his heart to a boil. In here, the human bosom -- mine, yours, everybody's -- there isn't just one soul. There's a lot of souls. But there are two main ones, the real soul and a pretender soul. Now! Every man realizes that he has to love something or somebody. He feels that he must go outward. 'If thou canst not love, what art thou?' Are you with me?

Art | Character | Heart | Indignation | Love | Man | People | Power | Rest | Soul | Art |

Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

A rational nature admits of nothing but what is serviceable to the rest of mankind.

Character | Mankind | Nature | Nothing | Rest |

Buddha, Gautama Buddha, or The Buddha, also Gotama Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha and Buddha Śākyamuni NULL

To be idle is a short road to death and to be diligent is a way of life; foolish people are idle, wise people are diligent.

Character | Death | Life | Life | People | Wise |

Abel Bonnard

The moral life of any people rises or falls with the vitality or decay of its religious life.

Character | Life | Life | People |