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

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 |

Clara Lucas Balfour

The best thing to give to your enemy is forgiveness; to an opponent, tolerance; to a friend, your heart; to your child, a good example; to a father, deference; to your mother, conduct that will make her proud of you; to yourself, respect; to all men, charity.

Character | Charity | Conduct | Deference | Enemy | Example | Father | Forgiveness | Friend | Good | Heart | Men | Mother | Respect | Will |

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 |

Jonah Barrington, Sir Jonah Barrington

Dress has a moral effect upon the conduct of mankind.

Character | Conduct | Mankind |

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 |

Hugh Blair

Graceful, particularly in youth, is the tear of sympathy, and the heart that melts at the tale of woe; we should not permit ease and indulgence to contract our affections, and wrap us up in selfish enjoyment. But we should accustom ourselves to think of the distresses of human life, of the solitary cottage, the dying parent, and the weeping orphan. Nor ought we ever to sport with pain and distress in any of our amusements, or treat even the meanest insect with wanton cruelty.

Amusements | Character | Cruelty | Distress | Enjoyment | Heart | Indulgence | Life | Life | Pain | Sympathy | Woe | Youth | Think |

Margaret Bourke-White

Only by his action can a man make (himself/his life) whole... You are responsible for what you have done and the people whom you have influenced. In the end it is only the work that counts.

Action | Character | Life | Life | Man | People | Work |

Robert Briffault, fully Robert Stephen Briffault

The full-grown modern human being who seeks but refuge finds instead boredom and mental dissolution, unless he can be, even in his withdrawal, creative. He can find the quality of happiness in the strain and travail only of achievement and growth. And he is conscious of touching the highest pinnacle of fulfillment which his life-urges demand when his is consumed in the service of an idea, in the conquest of the goal pursued.

Achievement | Character | Conquest | Fulfillment | Growth | Life | Life | Service | Happiness |

John Albert Broadus

All the sin that has darkened human life an saddened human history began in believing in a falsehood.

Character | Falsehood | History | Life | Life | Sin |

Hugh Blair

The prevailing manners of an age depend, more than we are aware of, or are willing to allow, on the conduct of the women: this is one of the principal things on which the great machine of human society turns.

Age | Character | Conduct | Manners | Society | Society |

Wernher von Braun, fully Wernher Magnus Maximilian, Freiherr von Braun

Part of human nature resents change, loves equilibrium, while another part welcomes novelty, loves the excitement of disequilibrium. There is no formula for the resolution of this tug-of-war, but it is obvious that absolute surrender to either of them invites disaster.

Absolute | Change | Character | Excitement | Human nature | Nature | Novelty | Resolution | Surrender | War |