Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Absence

"Cheerfulness is the friend and helper of all good graces, and the absence of it is certainly a vice." - Arthur Aughey

"There is no surer mark of the absence of the highest moral and intellectual qualities than a cold reception of excellence." - Gamaliel Bailey

"Absence makes the heart grow fonder." - T. H. Bayly, fully Thomas Haynes Bayly

"The simple truth is, that there has lived on the earth, “appearing at intervals,” for thousands of years among ordinary men, the first faint beginnings of another race; walking the earth and breathing the air with us, but at the same time walking another earth and breathing another air of which we know little or nothing, but which is, all the same, our spiritual life, as its absence would be our spiritual death. This new race is in act of being born from us, and in the near future it will occupy and possess the earth." - Richard Maurice Bucke, often called Maurice Bucke

"Dogma does not mean the absence of thought, but the end of thought." - G. K. Chesterton, fully Gilbert Keith Chesterton

"Virtue is not the absence of vices or the voidance of moral dangers; virtue is a vivid and separate thing, like pain or a particular smell." - G. K. Chesterton, fully Gilbert Keith Chesterton

"We communicate happiness to others not often by great acts of devotion and self-sacrifice, but by the absence of fault-finding and censure, by being ready to sympathize with their notions and feelings, instead of forcing them to sympathize with ours." - William Newton Clarke

"The very nearest approach to domestic happiness on earth is in the cultivation on both sides of absolute unselfishness. Never both be angry at once. Never talk at one another, either alone or in company. Never speak loud to one another unless the house is on fire. Let each; one strive to yield oftenest to the wishes of the other. Let self-denial be the daily aim and practice of each. Never find fault unless it is perfectly certain that a fault has been committed, and always speak lovingly. Never taunt with a past mistake. Neglect the whole world besides rather than one another. Never allow a request to be repeated. Never make a remark at the expense of each other, it is a meanness. Never part for a day without loving words to think of during absence. Never meet without a loving welcome. Never let the sun go down upon any anger or grievance. Never let any fault you have committed go by until you have frankly confessed it and asked forgiveness. Never forget the happy hours of early love. Never sigh over what might have been, but make the best of what is. Never forget that marriage is ordained of God, and that His blessing alone can make it what it should ever be. Never be contented till you know you are both walking in the narrow way. Never let your hopes stop short of the eternal home." - Edward Watke, Jr.

"We recognize the good only in its absence." - Alberico Gentili

"The absence of temptation is the absence of virtue." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"For... what liberty is; there can no other proof be offered but every man’s own experience, by reflection on himself, and remembering what he useth in his mind, that is, what he himself meaneth when he saith an action... is free. Now he that reflecteth so on himself, cannot but be satisfied... that a free agent is he that can do if he will, and forbear if he will; and that liberty is the absence of external impediments. But to those that out of custom speak not what they conceive, but what they heard, and are not able, or will not take the pains to consider what they think when they hear such words, no argument can be sufficient, because experience and matter of fact are not verified by other men’s arguments, but by every man’s own sense and memory." - Thomas Hobbes

"Faith is one of the forces by which men live, and the total absence of it means collapse." - William James

"Courage, contrary to popular belief, is not the absence of fear. Courage is the wisdom to act in spite of fear." - John-Roger & Peter McWilliams NULL

"Friendship like love, is destroyed by long absence, thought it may be increased by short intermissions." -

"Desire is the uneasiness a man finds in himself upon the absence of anything whose present enjoyment carries the idea of delight with it." - Johann Kaspar Lavater

"Peace of mind is essential for obtaining many virtues. Its absence leads to all types of shortcomings. When you have peace of mind, you can use your mind constructively. Lack of peace of mind breeds anger and resentment. The quality of one’s prayers and blessings is dependent on the mastery of one’s thoughts... Only when a person has peace of mind can he really feel love for humanity. Lack of peace of mind leads to animosity towards others. Peace of mind leads to love." - Yeruchem Levovitz, aka The Mashgiach

"It is not the absence, but the mastery, of our passions which affords happiness." - Madame de Maintenon, Françoise d'Aubigné, Marquise de Maintenon, formerly Madame Scarron

"All is wholesome in the absence of excess." - Molière, pen name of Jean Baptiste Poquelin NULL

"Judicious absence is a weapon." - Charles Reade

"Sorrow causes more absence of mind and confusion than so-called levity." -

"Virtue does not consist in the absence of the passions, but in the control of them." -

"Strength is not the absence of weaknesses but how we wrestle with our weaknesses." - Noah benShea

"To be rich in admiration and free from envy; to rejoice greatly in the good of others; to love with such generosity of heart that your love is still a dear possession in absence; these are the gifts of fortune which money cannot buy and without which money can buy nothing. He who has such a treasury of riches, being happy and valiant himself, in his own nature, will enjoy the universe as if it were his own estate; and help the man to whom he lends a hand to enjoy it with him." - Robert Louis Stevenson, fully Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson

"Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear. Except a creature be part coward it is not a compliment to say it is brave." - Mark Twain, pen name of Samuel Langhorne Clemens

"I believe that courage is all too often mistakenly seen as the absence of fear... Courage is seeing your fear, in a realistic perspective, defining it, considering alternatives and choosing to function in spite of risks." - Leonard M. Zunin

"Some of a man's praise may be sung in his presence, all of it in his absence." - Elazar ben Azariah, alt. spelling Eleazar

"The heart may think it knows better: the senses know that absence blots people out. We have really no absent friends." - Elizabeth Bowen, Full name Elizabeth Dorothea Cole Bowen

"The very nearest approach to domestic happiness on earth is in the cultivation on both sides of absolute unselfishness. Never both be angry at once. Never talk at one another, either alone or in company. Never speak loud to one another unless the house is on fire. Let each; one strive to yield oftenest to the wishes of the other. Let self-denial be the daily aim and practice of each. Never find fault unless it is perfectly certain that a fault has been committed, and always speak lovingly. Never taunt with a past mistake. Neglect the whole world besides rather than one another. Never allow a request to be repeated. Never make a remark at the expense of each other, it is a meanness. Never part for a day without loving words to think of during absence. Never meet without a loving welcome. Never let the sun go down upon any anger or grievance. Never let any fault you have committed go by until you have frankly confessed it and asked forgiveness. Never forget the happy hours of early love. Never sigh over what might have been, but make the best of what is. Never forget that marriage is ordained of God, and that His blessing alone can make it what it should ever be. Never be contented till you know you are both walking in the narrow way. Never let your hopes stop short of the eternal home." -

"Absence of occupation is not rest, a mind quite vacant is a mind distressed." - William Cowper

"The fundamental defect in the present state of democracy is the assumption that political and economic freedom can be achieved without first freeing the mind. Freedom of mind is not something that spontaneously happens. It is not achieved by mere absence of obvious restraints. It is a product of constant unremitting nurture of right habits of observation and reflection." - John Dewey

"We live in a spelling bee culture where the demand is factual accuracy and everybody overlooks the absence of art or meaning in what's said. Too many people sent letters to Nero telling him he was fingering his fiddle wrong. This passion for data is a way of avoiding coming to terms with things." - Mark Harris

"Friendship, like love, is destroyed by long absence, through it may be increased by short intermissions. What we have missed long enough to want it, we value more when it is regained; but that which has been lost till it is forgotten will be found at last with little gladness, and with still less if a substitute has supplied the place." -

"The joy of life is variety; the tenderest love requires to be renewed by intervals of absence." -

"I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizens Councilor or the Ku Klux Klanner but the white moderate who is more devoted to order than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Not merely an absence of noise, Real Silence begins when a reasonable being withdraws form the noise in order to find peace and order in his inner sanctuary. The exodus from slavery toward the possession of the Kingdom." - Peter Minard

"Whoever preaches absence of discipline is an enemy of progress." - Max Nordau, fully Max Simon Nordau, born Simon Maximilian Südfeld

"The longest absence is less perilous to love than the terrible trials of incessant proximity." - Ouida, pseudonym of Maria Louise Ramé, preferred to be called Marie Louise de la Ramée NULL

"Absence doth sharpen love, presence strengthens it; the one brings fuel, the other blowes it till it burnes cleare." - Thomas Overbury, fully Sir Thomas Overbury

"Absence makes the heart grow fonder." - Propertius, fully Sextus Propertius NULL

"Never part without loving words to think of during your absence. It may be that you will not meet again in life." -

"Tact is one of the first of mental virtues, the absence of which is frequently fatal to the best of talents. Without denying that it is a talent o itself, it will suffice if we admit that it supplies the place of many talents." - William Gilmore Simms

"Peace is not absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice." -

"Death is not anything... death is not... It's the absence of presence, nothing more... the endless time of never coming back... a gap you can't see, and when the wind blows through it, it makes no sound." - Tom Stoppard, fully Sir Tom Stoppard, born Tomáš Straüssler

"Perception is based, to a very large extent, on conceptual models - which are always inadequate, often incomplete and sometimes profoundly wrong. This complex situation arose because signals from the environment itself can be inadequate. The sort of information we need is not always available. And so, knowledge from the past, mixed up with assumptions about that knowledge which may be more or less appropriate, are used to augment information provided by the senses. Which means that our perception of any situation depends only partly on sensory signals being received at that time. And it is only a very short step from there, to perception which occurs in the absence of all immediate signals and has to be labeled “extrasensory”." - Lyall Watson

"It is remarkable that great affectation and great absence of it (unconsciousness) are at first sight very similar; they are both apt to produce singularity." - Richard Whately

"Peace is more than simply the absence of aggression and war. Peace transcends the end of a conflict or a statement of policy. While we may force the outward appearance of peace upon a people or a nation, it is the underlying thinking that must change to create a true and lasting peace." - Gregg Braden

"In youth the absence of pleasure is pain; in old age the absence of pain is pleasure." - Farmer’s Almanac NULL

"Could the mind have an existence entirely independent of the central nervous system?... Scientific evidence that not only was her brain not working, it specifically demonstrated the absence of all cortical activity when these conversations actually took place. So where could these brand-new memories have been created?... Imagine the implications of the notion that quanta of conscious energy could exist independently in the Universe, able to enter from anywhere, at any time." - Allan J Hamilton

"Persecution always acts as a gel for members of cults; it proves to them, in the absence of history, liturgy, tradition, and doctrine that they are God’s chosen." - Barbara Grizzuti Harrison