Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Age

"The will to power, as the modern age from Hobbes to Nietzsche understood it, far from being a characteristic of the strong, is, like envy and greed, among the vices of the weak, and possibly even their most dangerous one. Power corrupts indeed when the weak band together in order to ruin the strong, but not before." -

"Dissimulation in youth is the forerunner of perfidy in old age; its first appearance is the fatal omen of growing depravity and future shame. It degrades parts and learning obscures the luster of every accomplishment and sinks us into contempt. The path of falsehood is a perplexing maze. After the first departure from sincerity, it is not in our power to stop; one artifice unavoidably leads on to another, till, as the intricacy of the labyrinth increases, we are left entangled in our snare." - 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." - Hugh Blair

"The voice of the Devil. All Bibles or sacred codes have been the causes of the following errors: 1. That man has two real existing principles; vis; a body and a soul. 2. That energy, called evil, is alone from body, and that reason, called good, is alone from the soul. 3. That God will torment man in eternity for the following energies. But the following contraries to these are true: 1. Man has no body distinct from his soul; for that called body is a portion of soul discerned by the five senses, the chief inlets of the soul in this age. 2. Energy is the only life, and is from the body; and reason is bound or outward circumference of energy. 3. Energy is eternal delight." - William Blake

"The confirmed prejudices of a thoughtful life are as hard to change as the confirmed habits of an indolent life; and as some must trifle away age because they trifled away youth, others must labor on in a maze of error because they have wandered there too long to find their way out." - Henry St John, Lord Bolingbroke, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke

"To resist the frigidity of old age one must combine the body, the mind, and the heart. And to keep these in parallel vigor one must exercise, study and love." - Charles Victor de Bonstetten

"We hope to grow old, and yet we fear old age; that is, we are willing to live, and afraid to die." - Jean de La Bruyère

"It is noticeable how intuitively in age we go back with strange fondness to all that is fresh in the earliest dawn of youth. If we never cared for little children before, we delight to see them roll in the grass over which we hobble on crutches. The grandsire turns wearily from his middle-aged, care-worn son, to listen with infant laugh to the prattle of an infant grandchild. It is the old who plant young trees; it is the old who are most saddened by the autumn, and feel most delight in the returning spring." -

"Man arrives as a novice at each age of his life." -

"Fiction is no longer a mere amusement; but transcendent genius, accommodating itself to the character of the age, has seized upon this province of literature, and turned fiction from a toy into a mighty engine." - William Ellery Channing

"The more discussion the better, if passion and personality be eschewed; and discussion, even if stormy, often winnows truth from error - a good never to be expected in an uninquiring age." - William Ellery Channing

"The golden age is not in the past, but in the future: not in the origin of human experience, but in its consummate flower: not opening in Eden, but out from Gethsemane." - Edwin Hubbell Chapin

"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." - Albert Einstein

"It is a welcome symptom in an age which is commonly denounced as materialistic, that it makes heroes of men whose goals lie wholly in the intellectual and moral sphere. This proves that knowledge and justice are ranked above wealth and power by a large section of the human race." - Albert Einstein

"We live in an age to which self-restraint is hateful. Our emphasis is placed on achievement. Restraint without achievement is nothing, but achievement without restraint is worse." - Ralph Tyler Flewelling

"The blackout of images of women or men visibly over sixty-five, engaged in any vital or productive adult activity, and their replacement by the ‘problem’ of age, is our society’s very definition of age. Age is perceived only as a decline or deterioration from youth." - Betty Friedan

"Whatever may be true of men’s creed, nothing is clearer than the fact that the personality and the sovereignty of God are not a large factor in the practical life and thought of our age." - Charles W. Garman

"Self-interest, that leprosy of the age, attacks us from infancy, and we are startled to observe little heads calculate before knowing how to reflect." - Madame Émile de Girardin, Delphine de Girardin, née Gay

"There was once a golden age because golden hearts beat in it. If it comes again, it will scarcely be through scientific progress." - Louise Imogen Guiney

"Why do we look old? Because we remember the weight of the burden of last year's experiences. There is no other reason. Instead of lifting our faces, we should discover that the thing to lift is our thought. It is the mind, not the physical body, which has the stamp of age and reflects it in the body." - Ernest Shurtleff Holmes

"Patience is the guardian of faith, the preserver of peace, the cherisher of love, the teacher of humility; patience, governs the flesh, strengthens the spirit, sweetens the temper, stifles anger, extinguishes envy, subdues the hand, tramples upon temptation, endures persecutions, consummates martyrdom; patience produces unity in the church, loyalty in the state, harmony in families and societies; she comforts the poor and moderates the rich; she makes us humble in prosperity, cheerful in adversity, unmoved by calumny and reproach; she teaches us to forgive those who have injured us, and to be the first in asking forgiveness of those whom we have injured; she delights the faithful, and invites the unbelieving; she adorns the woman, and approves the man; is loved in a child, praised in a young man, admired in an old man; she is beautiful in either sex and every age." - George Horne

"A tart temper never mellows with age, and a sharp tongue is the only edged tool that grows keener with constant use." - Washington Irving

"In this age when there can be no losers in peace and no victors in war, we must recognize the obligation to match national strength with national restraint." - Lyndon Johnson, fully Lyndon Baines Johnson, aka LBJ

"Among all my patients... over thirty-five... there has not been one whose problem in the last resort was not that of finding a religious outlook on life. It is safe to say that every one of them fell ill because he had lost that which the living religions of every age had given to their followers, and none of them has really been healed who did not regain his religious outlook." - Carl Jung, fully Carl Gustav Jung

"This spectacle of old age would be unendurable if we did not know that our psyche reaches into a region held captive neither by change in time nor by limitation of place. In that form of being our birth is a death and our death is a birth. The scales of the whole hang balanced." - Carl Jung, fully Carl Gustav Jung

"The vices operate like age, bring on disease before its time and in the prime of youth, leave the character broken and exhausted." -

"The heresy of one age becomes the orthodoxy of the next." - Garrison Keillor, fully Gary Edward "Garrison" Keillor

"It is characteristic of our age to endeavour to replace virtues by technology. That is to say, wherever possible we strive to use methods of physical or social engineering to achieve goals which our ancestors thought attainable only by the training of character. Thus we try so far as possible to make contraception take the place of chastity, and anesthetics to take the place of fortitude; we replace resignation by insurance policies and munificence by the Welfare state. It would be idle romanticism to deny that such techniques and institutions are often less painful and more efficient methods of achieving the goods and preventing the evils which unaided virtue once sought to achieve and avoid. But it would be an equal and opposite folly to hope that the take-over of virtue by technology may one day be complete." - Anthony Kenny, fully Sir Anthony John Patrick Kenny

"Each age has its own characteristic depravity. Ours is perhaps not pleasure or indulgence or sensuality, but rather a dissolute pantheistic contempt for the individual man." - Søren Kierkegaard, fully Søren Aabye Kierkegaard

"Nominally a great age of scientific inquiry, ours has actually become an age of superstition about the infallibility of science; of almost mystical faith in its nonmystical methods; above all... of external verities; of traffic-cop morality and rabbit-test truth." - Louis Kronenberger

"He who dies without being corrupted enjoys a good old age." -

"He alone is a man who can resist the genius of the age, the tone of fashion, with vigorous simplicity and modest courage." - Johann Kaspar Lavater

"All thoughts that mould the age begin deep down within the primitive soul." - James Russell Lowell

"Minds are cluttered from the age of six with the values of others - values which bear little relation to their own private capacities, needs and desires." - Marya Mannes

"In the world a man lives in his own age; in solitude, in all the ages." -

"Old age has its pleasures, which, though different, are not less than pleasures of youth." -

"Happiness has little to do with age, circumstances, health, wealth, learning or status. It follows as you become a part of life's solution rather than its problem." - Roy C. McLain

"Age, when it does not harden the heart and sour the temper, naturally returns to the milky disposition of infancy. Time as the same effect upon the mind as on the face. The predominant passion, the strongest feature, becomes more conspicuous from the others retiring." - Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

"Age imprints more wrinkles in the mind, than it does in the face, and souls are never, or very rarely seen, that in growing old do not smell sour and musty. Man moves all together, both towards his perfection and his decay." - Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

"Every period of life has its peculiar prejudice; whoever saw old age that did not applaud the past, and condemn the present times?" - Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

"Old age puts more wrinkles in our minds than on our faces; and we never, or rarely, see a soul that in growing old does not come to smell sour and musty. Man grows and dwindles in his entirety." - Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

"After thirty-five a man begins to have thoughts about women; before that age he has feelings." - Austin O'Malley

"If I were asked to sum up in a single phrase the main purpose of individual life I would express it as the enlargement of personality. Unless an individual can transcend the limits of class, sex, race, age and creed, his personality remains of necessity to that extent incomplete." - Frederick William Pethick-Lawrence, born Frederick Lawrence

"Not by age but by character is wisdom attained." - Plautus, full name Titus Maccius Plautus NULL

"Observation, not old age, brings wisdom." - Publius Syrus

"Age is nothing to a live man." - Edward E. Purington

"The confirmed prejudices of a thoughtful life, are as hard to change as the confirmed habits of an indolent life: and as some must trifle away age, because they trifled away youth, others must labor on in a maze of error, because they have wandered there too long to find their way out." - Henry St John, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke

"To think out in every implication the ethic of love for all creation - this is the difficult task which confronts our age." - Albert Schweitzer

"Man hath a weary pilgrimage, as through the world he wends; on every stage, from youth to age, still discontent attends." - Robert Southey

"When a noble life has prepared old age, it is not the decline that it reveals, but the first days of immortality." -