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

H. L. Mencken, fully Henry Louis Mencken

I believe in the capacity of man to conquer his world, and to find out what it is made of, and how it is run.

Future | Right | Will |

Gustave Flaubert

We must laugh and cry, enjoy and suffer, in a word, vibrate to our full capacity... That's what being really human means.

Day | People | Rest | Right |

H. L. Mencken, fully Henry Louis Mencken

Every contribution to human progress on record has been made by some individual who differed sharply from the general, and was thus, almost, superior to the general. Perhaps the palpably insane must be excepted here, but I can think of no others. Such exceptional individuals should be permitted, it seems to me, to enjoy every advantage that goes with their superiority... The rest are as negligible as the race of cockroaches, who have gone unchanged for a million years.

Man | Wise |

Gustave Flaubert

The smooth folds of her dress concealed a tumultuous heart, and her modest lips told nothing of her torment. She was in love.

Power | Right |

H. L. Mencken, fully Henry Louis Mencken

No married man is genuinely happy if he has to drink worse whisky than he used to drink when he was single.

Men | Wise |

H. L. Mencken, fully Henry Louis Mencken

The seasick passenger on an ocean liner detests the good sailor who stalks past him 265 times a day grandly smoking a large, greasy cigar. In precisely the same way the democrat hates the man who is having a better time in the world. This is the origin of democracy. It is also the origin of Puritanism.

Man | Wise |

H. L. Mencken, fully Henry Louis Mencken

The real charm of the United States is that it is the only comic country ever heard of.

Man | Wise |

H. L. Mencken, fully Henry Louis Mencken

The scientific impulse seems to me to be the very opposite of the religious impulse. When a man seeks knowledge he is trying to gain means of fighting his own way in the world, but when he prays he confesses that he is unable to do so. .... The feeling of abasement, of incapacity, is inseparable from the religious impulse, but against that feeling all exact knowledge makes war. The efficient man does not cry out "Save me, O God". On the contrary, he makes diligent efforts to save himself. But suppose he fails? Doesn't he throw himself, in the end, on the mercy of the gods? Not at all. He accepts his fate with philosophy, buoyed up by the consciousness that he has done his best. Irreligion, in a word, teaches men how to die with dignity, just as it teaches them how to live with dignity.

Man | Wise |

Haile Selassie

I assert that the problem submitted to the Assembly today is a much wider one. It is not merely a question of the settlement of Italian aggression.

Language |

H. L. Mencken, fully Henry Louis Mencken

No matter how long he lives, no man ever becomes as wise as the average woman of forty-eight.

Better | Business | Man | Wise | Business |

H. L. Mencken, fully Henry Louis Mencken

No man of genuinely superior intelligence has ever been an actor. Even supposing a young man of appreciable mental powers to be lured upon the stage, as philosophers are occasionally lured into bordellos, his mind would be inevitably and almost immediately destroyed by the gaudy nonsense issuing from his mouth every night.

Man | Wise |

H. L. Mencken, fully Henry Louis Mencken

No man is ever too old to look at a woman, and no woman is ever too fat to hope that he will look.

Man | Wise |

H. L. Mencken, fully Henry Louis Mencken

The truth is that Christian theology, like every other theology, is not only opposed to the scientific spirit; it is also opposed to all other attempts at rational thinking. Not by accident does Genesis 3 make the father of knowledge a serpent - slimy, sneaking and abominable. Since the earliest days the church, as an organization, has thrown itself violently against every effort to liberate the body and mind of man. It has been, at all times and everywhere, the habitual and incorrigible defender of bad governments, bad laws, bad social theories, bad institutions. It was, for centuries, an apologist for slavery, as it was the apologist for the divine right of kings.

Wise |

Hannah Arendt

The point, as Marx saw it, is that dreams never come true.

Wise |

Hans K√ľng

However, if the religions in essence merely repeat statements from the United Nations Human Rights Declaration, such a Declaration becomes superfluous; an ethic is more than rights.

Man | Wise |

Hans Rosling

When I have an argument with someone, even with someone I am not very close with, I can't sleep at night thinking about it. It's terrible. But I still manage speak out frankly because I have also been gifted with the ability to read people. I can sense when they start to get irritated with me, and then, I shift.

Beginning | Right | Will |

Hans Hoffman

Just as counterpoint and harmony follow their own laws, and differ in rhythm and movement, both formal tensions and color tensions have a development of their own in accordance with the inherent laws from which they are separately derived. Both, however, aim toward the realization of the same image. And both deal with the depth problem.

Wise |

Hannah Arendt

The greatest evil perpetrated is the evil committed by nobodies, that is, by human beings who refuse to be persons

Thought | Wise | Thought |

Hannah Arendt

There are many great authors of the past who have survived centuries of oblivion and neglect, but it is still an open question whether they will be able to survive an entertaining version of what they have to say.

Wise |

Italian Proverbs

Skip the enjoyment that you will regret.

Ideas | Right |