Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Related Quotes

Archibald Alison

The best principles, if pushed to excess, degenerate into fatal vices. Generosity is nearly allied to extravagance; charity itself may lead to ruin; and the sternness of justice is but one step removed from the severity of oppression.

Character | Charity | Excess | Extravagance | Generosity | Justice | Oppression | Principles |

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 |

Albert Einstein

Exaggerated respect for athletics, an excess of coarse impressions brought about by the technical discoveries of recent years, the increased severity of the struggle for existence due to the economic crisis, the brutalization of political life: all these factors are hostile to the ripening of the character and the desire for real culture, and stamp our age as barbarous, materialistic and superficial.

Age | Athletics | Character | Culture | Desire | Excess | Existence | Life | Life | Respect | Struggle | Respect |

Thomas Mann, fully Paul Thomas Mann

Knowledge is all-knowing, understanding, forgiving; it takes up no position, sets no store by form. It has compassion with the abyss - it is the abyss. So we reject it, firmly, and henceforward our concern shall be with beauty only. And by beauty we mean simplicity, largeness, and renewed severity of discipline; we mean a return to detachment and to form.

Beauty | Compassion | Detachment | Discipline | Knowing | Knowledge | Position | Simplicity | Understanding | Wisdom | Beauty |

Baron de Montesquieu, fully Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu

The severity of laws prevents their execution. When the penalty is excessive, one is forced to prefer impunity.

Wisdom |

John Morley, 1st Viscount Morely of Blackburn, Lord Morley

Excess of severity is not the path to order. On the contrary, it is the path to the bomb.

Excess | Order | Wisdom |

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Nothing comes of severity if there be no leanings towards a change of heart. And if there be natural leanings towards a change of heart, what need for severity?

Change | Heart | Need | Nothing |

Henry David Thoreau, born David Henry Thoreau

Not by constraint or severity shall you have access to true wisdom, but by abandonment, and childlike mirthfulness. If you would know aught be gay before it.

Constraint | Wisdom |

Henry Ward Beecher

It is impossible to indulge in habitual severity of opinion upon our fellow-men without injuring the tenderness and delicacy of our own feelings.

Feelings | Men | Opinion | Tenderness |

Hosea Ballou

That kind of discipline whose pungent severity is in the manifestations of paternal love, compassion, and tenderness is the most sure of its object.

Compassion | Discipline | Love | Object | Tenderness |

Friedrich Nietzsche, fully Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

The most spiritual human beings, as the strongest, find their happiness where others would find their destruction: in the labyrinth, in severity towards themselves and others, in attempting; their joy lies in self-constraint: with them asceticism becomes nature, need, instinct.

Asceticism | Joy | Asceticism | Happiness |

Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

True it is that she who escapeth safe and unpolluted from out the school of freedom, giveth more confidence of herself than she who cometh sound out of the school of severity and restraint.

Confidence | Safe | Sound |

Milton Friedman, fully John Milton Friedman

The stock of money, prices and output was decidedly more unstable after the establishment of the Reserve System than before. The most dramatic period of instability in output was, of course, the period between the two wars, which includes the severe (monetary) contractions of 1920-1, 1929-33, and 1937-8. No other 20 year period in American history contains as many as three such severe contractions. This evidence persuades me that at least a third of the price rise during and just after World War I is attributable to the establishment of the Federal Reserve System and that the severity of each of the major contractions—1920-1, 1929-33 and 1937-8 is directly attributable to acts of commission and omission by the Reserve authorities. Any system which gives so much power and so much discretion to a few men, so that mistakes—excusable or not—can have such far reaching effects, is a bad system. It is a bad system to believers in freedom just because it gives a few men such power without any effective check by the body politic—this is the key political argument against an independent central bank. To paraphrase Clemenceau, money is much too serious a matter to be left to the central bankers.

Argument | Body | Discretion | Evidence | Freedom | History | Instability | Men | Money | Power | Price | Reserve | System | War | World |

Napoleon Bonaparte, Napoleon I

A great reserve and severity of manners are necessary for the command of those who are older than ourselves.

Manners | Reserve |

Pope Pius X, aka Saint Pope Pius X and Pope of the Eucharist, born Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto NULL

Equal diligence and severity are to be used in examining and selecting candidates for Holy Orders. For, far from the clergy be the love of novelty! God hateth the proud and obstinate mind.

Diligence | God | Love | God |

Quintilian, fully Marcus Fabius Quintilianus, also Quintillian and Quinctilian NULL

It is worthwhile too to warn the teacher that undue severity in correcting faults is liable at times to discourage a boy's mind from effort.

Mind | Teacher |

Robertson Davies

All severity that does not tend to increase good, or prevent evil, is idle.

Samuel Johnson, aka Doctor Johnson

The use of traveling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.

Parent |