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

Samuel Johnson, aka Doctor Johnson

To hear complaints is wearisome to the wretched and the happy alike.

Cause | Evil | Poverty | Sorrow | Wrong |

Simone Weil

Wrongly or rightly you think that I have a right to the name of Christian. I assure you that when in speaking of my childhood and youth I use the words vocation, obedience, spirit of poverty, purity, acceptance, love of one's neighbor, and other expressions of the same kind, I am giving them the exact signification they have for me now. Yet I was brought up by my parents and my brother in a complete agnosticism, and I never made the slightest effort to depart from it; I never had the slightest desire to do so, quite rightly, I think. In spite of that, ever since my birth, so to speak, not one of my faults, not one of my imperfections really had the excuse of ignorance. I shall have to answer for everything on that day when the Lamb shall come in anger.

Misfortune | Sorrow | Misfortune |

Arthur Helps, fully Sir Arthur Helps

No man has ever praised to persons equally--and pleased them both.

Doubt | Growth | Plenty | Sin | Sorrow | System | Work |

Arthur Conan Doyle, fully Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle

Gregory: Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention? Holmes: To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time. Gregory: The dog did nothing in the night-time. Holmes: That was the curious incident

Abstinence | Joy | Sorrow | Will |

Thérèse de Lisieux, fully Saint Thérèse of Lisieux. born Marie-Françoise-Thérèse Martin NULL

God would not make me wish for something impossible and so, in spite of my littleness, I can aim at being a saint. It is impossible for me to grow bigger, so I put up with myself as I am, with all my countless faults. But I will look for some means of going to heaven by a little way which is very short and very straight, a little way that is quite new[...] It is your arms, Jesus, which are the lift to carry me to heaven, And so there is no need for me to grow up. In fact, just the opposite: I must stay little and become less and less.

Father | Gratitude | Love | Prayer | Sorrow | Soul | Worth |

Isidore of Seville, fully Saint Isidore of Seville NULL

The more you devote yourself to study of the sacred utterances, the richer will be your understanding of them, just as the more the soil is tilled, the richer the harvest.

Joy | Sorrow | Will |

Anselm of Canterbury, aka Saint Anselm or Archbishop of Canterbury NULL

Since we believe that God is truth,2 and since we say that truth is in many other things, I would like to know whether in whatever things it is said to be we ought to affirm that truth is God. For in your Monologion, by appealing to the truth of a statement, you too demonstrate that the Supreme Truth has no beginning and no end.

Comfort | Despair | Gentleness | Hope | Life | Life | Sorrow |

John Climacus, fully Saint John Climacus, aka John of the Ladder, John Scholasticus and John Sinaites

Prayer is the mother and daughter of tears. It is an expiation of sin, a bridge across temptation, a bulwark against affliction. It wipes out conflict, is the work of angels, and is the nourishment of all bodiless beings. Prayer is future gladness, action without end, wellspring of virtues, source of grace, hidden progress, food of the soul, enlightenment of the mind, an axe against despair, hope demonstrated, sorrow done away with. It is wealth for monks, treasure of hermits, anger diminished. It is a mirror of progress, a demonstration of success, evidence of one’s condition, the future revealed, a sign of glory. For the man who really prays it is the court, the judgment hall, the tribunal of the Lord — and this prior to the judgment that is to come.

Evidence | Future | Sorrow | Wealth |

John Climacus, fully Saint John Climacus, aka John of the Ladder, John Scholasticus and John Sinaites

Pride is utter poverty of soul disguised as riches, imaginary light where in fact there is darkness.

Action | Anger | Daughter | Enlightenment | Evidence | Future | Hope | Judgment | Lord | Man | Mother | Prayer | Sorrow | Wealth | Work |

Stefan Zweig

Whatever a woman's reason may say, her feelings tell her the truth.

Comfort | Fate | History | Joy | Nothing | Price | Reality | Sorrow | Terror | Time | Fate | Old |

Theodore T. Munger

The unrest of this weary world is its unvoiced cry after God.

Sadness | Sorrow | Tears | Loss | Learn |

Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt

There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy and its charm.

Achievement | Business | Duty | Fighting | Kill | Life | Life | Pleasure | Sorrow | Success | Worth | Business | Happiness |

Thich Nhất Hanh

When you begin to see that your enemy is suffering, that is the beginning of insight.

Anxiety | Anxiety | Earth | Peace | Serenity | Sorrow |

Thich Nhất Hanh

Preventing war is much better than protesting against the war. Protesting the war is too late.

Care | Future | Mind | Smile | Sorrow | Will | Think |

Thomas Campbell

And muse on Nature with a poet's eye.

Heart | Pity | Sorrow |

Thomas Dekker

Do but consider what an excellent thing sleep is...that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together. Who complains of want? of wounds? of cares? of great men's oppressions? of captivity? whilst he sleepeth? Beggars in their beds take as much pleasure kings: can we therefore surfeit on this delicate Ambrosia? Can we drink too much of that whereof to taste too little tumbles us into a churchyard, and to use it but indifferently throws us into Bedlam? No, no, look upon Endymion, the moon's minion, who slept three score and fifteen years, and was not a hair the worse for it.

Fortune | Money | Sorrow | Will |

Thomas Merton

Our willingness to take an alternative approach to a problem will perhaps relax the obsessive fixation of the adversary on his view, which he believes is the only reasonable possibility and which he is determined to impose on everyone else by coercion…This mission of humility in social life is not merely to edify, but to keep minds open to many alternatives. The rigidity of a certain type of thought has seriously impaired this capacity, which nonviolence must recover.

Attention | Bible | Cost | Fidelity | God | Labor | Means | Mystery | Reality | Responsibility | Risk | Sacrifice | Sorrow | Truth | Work | God | Bible |

Thomas Merton

God utters me like a word containing a partial thought of him. A word will never be able to comprehend the voice that utters it. But if I am true to the concept that God utters in me, if I am true to the thought of Him that I was meant to embody, I shall be full of his actuality and find him everywhere in myself, and find myself nowhere.

God | Heart | Sorrow | Trust | Truth | God |

Thomas Paine

An army of principles will penetrate where an army of soldiers cannot. Neither the Channel nor the Rhine will arrest its progress. It will march on the horizon of the world and it will conquer.

Folly | Good | Happy | Heart | Language | Nothing | Object | Property | Resentment | Sorrow | Suffering | War |

William Blake

Who is this, that with unerring step dares tempt the wilds, where only Nature’s foot hath trod? ’Tis Contemplation, daughter of the grey Morning! Majestical she steppeth, and with her pure quill on every flower writeth Wisdom’s name; now lowly bending, whispers in mine ear, ‘O man, how great, how little, thou! O man, slave of each moment, lord of eternity! seest thou where Mirth sits on the painted cheek? doth it not seem ashamed of such a place, and grow immoderate to brave it out? O what an humble garb true Joy puts on! Those who want Happiness must stoop to find it; it is a flower that grows in every vale. Vain foolish man, that roams on lofty rocks, where, ’cause his garments are swoln with wind, he fancies he is grown into a giant! Lo, then, Humility, take it, and wear it in thine heart; lord of thyself, thou then art lord of all. Clamour brawls along the streets, and destruction hovers in the city’s smoke; but on these plains, and in these silent woods, true joys descend: here build thy nest; here fix thy staff; delights blossom around; numberless beauties blow; the green grass springs in joy, and the nimble air kisses the leaves; the brook stretches its arms along the velvet meadow, its silver inhabitants sport and play; the youthful sun joys like a hunter roused to the chase, he rushes up the sky, and lays hold on the immortal coursers of day; the sky glitters with the jingling trappings. Like a triumph, season follows season, while the airy music fills the world with joyful sounds.’ I answered, ‘Heavenly goddess! I am wrapped in mortality, my flesh is a prison, my bones the bars of death; Misery builds over our cottage roofs, and Discontent runs like a brook. Even in childhood, Sorrow slept with me in my cradle; he followed me up and down in the house when I grew up; he was my schoolfellow: thus he was in my steps and in my play, till he became to me as my brother. I walked through dreary places with him, and in church-yards; and I oft found myself sitting by Sorrow on a tomb-stone.’

Earth | Light | Sorrow | Will |