Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Agony

"Love masters agony; the soul that seemed forsaken feels her present God again and in her Father’s arms contented dies away." - John Keble

"The smallest atom of truth represents some man’s bitter toil and agony; for every ponderable chunk of it there is a brave truth-seeker’s grave upon some lonely ash-dump and a soul roasting in hell." - H. L. Mencken, fully Henry Louis Mencken

"There is something in meanness which excites a species of resentment that never subsides, and something in cruelty which stirs up the heart to the highest agony of human hatred." - Thomas Paine

"In that fearful loneliness of spirit, when those who should have been his friends and counselors only frown upon his misgivings... and everything seems wrapped in hideous uncertainty, I know but one way in which a man may come forth from his agony scathless: it is by holding fast to those things which are certain still - the grand, simple landmarks of morality. In the darkest hour through which a human soul can pass, whatever is doubtful, this at least is certain. If there be no God and no future state, yet even then, it is better to be generous than selfish, better to be chaste than licentious, better to be true than false, better to be brave than to be a coward. Blessed beyond all earthly blessedness is the man who in the tempestuous darkness of the soul has dared to hold fast to these venerable landmarks." -

"The exhibition of real strength is never grotesque. Distortion is the agony of weakness. It is the dislocated mind whose movements are spasmodic." - Robert Aris Willmott

"It’s easier to succeed because failure exacts a high price in terms of time when you have to do a job over. It’s easier to succeed because success eliminates the agony and frustration of defeat. It’s easier to succeed because money spent to fail must be spent again to succeed. It’s easier to succeed because a person’s credibility decreases with each failure, making it harder to succeed the second time. And it’s easier to succeed because joy and expressions of affirmation come from succeeding, whereas feelings of discouragement and discontent accompany failure." - S. Truett Cathy

"One often learns more from ten days of agony than ten years of contentment." - Merle Shain

"I have always preferred the agony of losing a certain destiny in order to find my true self. Shipwrecked in a hollow, unauthentic world, I prefer to advance staggeringly toward the authenticity of life, even though it might lead me only toward the authenticity of my own death." -

"Grief is the agony of an instant; the indulgence of grief the blunder of a life." -

"Grief is the agony of an instant: the indulgence of grief the blunder of a life." - Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield

"No woman has ever told the truth of her life. The autobiographies of most famous women are a series of accounts of the outward existence, of petty details and anecdotes which give no realization of their real life. For the great moments of joy or agony they remain strangely silent." - Isadora Duncan

"The grief of parting and the agony of separation are the ways of the world." - Japanese Proverbs

"Accumulation of wealth at one pole is... at the same time accumulation of misery, agony of toil, slavery, ignorance, brutality, mental degradation, at the opposite pole, i.e., on the side of the class that produces its own product in the form of capital." - Karl Marx

"No true work since the world began was ever wasted; no true life since the world began has ever failed. Oh, understand those two perverted words "failure" and "success." and measure them by the eternal, not by the earthly standard. When after thirty obscure, toilsome, unrecorded years in the shop of the village carpenter, one came forth to be preeminently the man of sorrows, to wander from city to city in homeless labors, and to expire in lonely agony upon the shameful cross — was that a failure? Nay, my brethren.it was the death of Him who lived that we might follow His footsteps, it was the life, it was the death of the Son of" - Frederick William Farrar

"I maintain that the agony of contemporary man is the agony of the spiritually stunted man." - Abraham Joshua Heschel

"The workers of the nation were tired of waiting for corporate industry to right their economic wrongs, to alleviate their social agony and to grant them their political rights. Despairing of fair treatment, they resolved to do something for themselves. " - John L. Lewis, fully John Llewellyn Lewis

"The workers of the nation were tired of waiting for corporate industry to right their economic wrongs, to alleviate their social agony and to grant them their political rights. Despairing of fair treatment, they resolved to do something for themselves." - John L. Lewis, fully John Llewellyn Lewis

"There is an internal landscape, a geography of the soul; we search for its outlines all our lives. Those who are lucky enough to find it ease like water over a stone, onto its fluid contours, and are home. Some find it in the place of their birth; others may leave a seaside town, parched, and find themselves refreshed in the desert. There are those born in rolling countryside who are really only at ease in the intense and busy loneliness of the city. For some, the search is for the imprint of another; a child or a mother, a grandfather or a brother, a lover, a husband, a wife, or a foe. We may go through our lives happy or unhappy, successful or unfulfilled, loved or unloved, without ever standing cold with the shock of recognition, without ever feeling the agony as the twisted iron in our soul unlocks itself and we slip at last into place." - Josephine Hart, Lady Saatchi

"When the rabbis speak of paradise and hell...these are only metaphors for the agony of sin and the happiness of virtue." - Kaufmann Kohler

"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." - Maya Angelou, born Marguerite Annie Johnson

"My friends, if we tend to the things that are important in life, if we are right with those we love and behave in line with our faith, our lives will not be cursed with the aching throb of unfulfilled business. Our words will always be sincere, our embraces tight. We will never wallow in agony of ‘I could have, I should have.’ We can sleep in a storm. And when it’s time, our good-byes will be complete." - Mitch Albom, fully Mitchell David "Mitch" Albom

"If we tend to the things that are important in life, if we are right with those we love, and behave in line with our faith, our lives will not be cursed with the aching throb of unfulfilled business. Our words will always be sincere, our embraces will be tight. We will never wallow in the agony of ‘I could have, I should have’. We can sleep in a storm. And when its time, our goodbyes will be complete. " - Mitch Albom, fully Mitchell David "Mitch" Albom

"The great crisis of Sensate culture is here in all its stark reality. Before our very eyes this culture is committing suicide. If it does not die in our lifetime, it can hardly recover from the exhaustion of its creative forces and from the wounds of self-destruction. Half-alive and half-dead, it may linger in its agony for decades; but its spring and summer are definitely over….I hear distinctly the requiem that the symphony of history is playing in its memory." - Pitirim A. Sorokin, fully Pitirim Alexandrovich (Alexander) Sorokin

"It's been agony but I couldn't have done it any other way." - Quentin Crisp, born Denis Charles Pratt

"It is not possible that a just God should forgive people who are wicked because another person who was good endured agony by being nailed to a cross." - Rebecca West, pen name of Mrs. Cicily Maxwell Andrews, born Fairfield, aka Dame Rebecca West

"Another example might be suppose you take the argument in favor of abortion up until the baby was one year old, if a baby was one year old and turned out to have some horrible incurable disease that meant it was going to die in agony in later life, what about infanticide? Strictly morally I can see no objection to that at all, I would be in favor of infanticide but I think i would worry about/I think I would wish at least to give consideration to the person who says 'where does it end?'" - Richard Dawkins

"The Trial By Existence - Even the bravest that are slain Shall not dissemble their surprise On waking to find valor reign, Even as on earth, in paradise; And where they sought without the sword Wide fields of asphodel fore’er, To find that the utmost reward Of daring should be still to dare. The light of heaven falls whole and white And is not shattered into dyes, The light for ever is morning light; The hills are verdured pasture-wise; The angel hosts with freshness go, And seek with laughter what to brave;— And binding all is the hushed snow Of the far-distant breaking wave. And from a cliff-top is proclaimed The gathering of the souls for birth, The trial by existence named, The obscuration upon earth. And the slant spirits trooping by In streams and cross- and counter-streams Can but give ear to that sweet cry For its suggestion of what dreams! And the more loitering are turned To view once more the sacrifice Of those who for some good discerned Will gladly give up paradise. And a white shimmering concourse rolls Toward the throne to witness there The speeding of devoted souls Which God makes his especial care. And none are taken but who will, Having first heard the life read out That opens earthward, good and ill, Beyond the shadow of a doubt; And very beautifully God limns, And tenderly, life’s little dream, But naught extenuates or dims, Setting the thing that is supreme. Nor is there wanting in the press Some spirit to stand simply forth, Heroic in its nakedness, Against the uttermost of earth. The tale of earth’s unhonored things Sounds nobler there than ’neath the sun; And the mind whirls and the heart sings, And a shout greets the daring one. But always God speaks at the end: ’One thought in agony of strife The bravest would have by for friend, The memory that he chose the life; But the pure fate to which you go Admits no memory of choice, Or the woe were not earthly woe To which you give the assenting voice.’ And so the choice must be again, But the last choice is still the same; And the awe passes wonder then, And a hush falls for all acclaim. And God has taken a flower of gold And broken it, and used therefrom The mystic link to bind and hold Spirit to matter till death come. ‘Tis of the essence of life here, Though we choose greatly, still to lack The lasting memory at all clear, That life has for us on the wrack Nothing but what we somehow chose; Thus are we wholly stripped of pride In the pain that has but one close, Bearing it crushed and mystified." - Robert Frost

"A generous friend gives life for a friend let's rise above this animalistic behavior and be kind to one another." - Rumi, fully Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rumi NULL

"The angel is free because of his knowledge, the beast because of his ignorance. Between the two remains the son of man to struggle." - Rumi, fully Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rumi NULL

"The rain-weeping and the sun burning twine together to make us grow. Keep your intelligence white-hot and your grief glistening, so your life will stay fresh. Cry easily like a little child." - Rumi, fully Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rumi NULL

"The undisciplined man doesn't wrong himself alone he sets fire to the whole world." - Rumi, fully Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rumi NULL

"You are the truth from foot to brow. Now what else would you like to know?" - Rumi, fully Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rumi NULL

"Many a secret that cannot be pried out by curiosity can be drawn out by indifference." - Sydney J. Harris

"Gender named literature simply fun hair." - Stephane Mallarme, born Étienne Mallarmé

"Remember that the ruling faculty is invincible, when self-collected it is satisfied with itself, if it does nothing which it does not choose to do, even if it resist from mere obstinacy. What then will it be when it forms a judgment about anything aided by reason and deliberately? Therefore the mind which is free from passions is a citadel, for man has nothing more secure to which he can fly for, refuge and for the future be inexpugnable. He then who has not seen this is an ignorant man; but he who has seen it and does not fly to this refuge is unhappy. [Marcus Aurelius]" - Stoics, The Stoics or Stoicism NULL

"I sit by the restless all the dark night, some are so young, Some suffer so much, I recall the experience sweet and sad, (Many a soldier's loving arms about this neck have cross'd and rested, Many a soldier's kiss dwells on these bearded lips.)" - Walt Whitman, fully Walter "Walt" Whitman

"Nothing is enough for the man to whom enough is too little." - Washington Irving

"The taste of the English in the cultivation of land, and in what is called landscape gardening, is unrivalled. They have studied nature intently, and discover an exquisite sense of her beautiful forms and harmonious combinations. Those charms which in other countries she lavishes in wild solitudes are here assembled round the haunts of domestic life. They seem to have caught her coy and furtive graces, and spread them, like witchery, about their rural abodes." - Washington Irving

"Laugh. Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful though you have considered all the facts." - Wendell Berry

"Vast tribes of savages, who had always been idolaters, who were perfectly incapable, from their low state of civilization, of forming any but anthropomorphic conceptions of the Deity, or of concentrating their attention steadily on any invisible object, and who for the most part were converted not by individual persuasion but by the commands of their chiefs, embraced Christianity in such multitudes that their habits of mind soon became the dominating habits of the Church. From this time the tendency to idolatry was irresistible. The old images were worshipped under new names, and one of the most prominent aspects of the Apostolical teaching was in practice ignored." - W. E. H. Lecky, fully William Edward Hartpole Lecky

"Russians are too kind, they lack the ability to apply determined methods of revolutionary terror." - Vladimir Lenin, fully Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

"There, in front of us, where a broken row of houses stood between us and the harbour, and where the eye encountered all sorts of stratagems, such as pale-blue and pink underwear cakewalking on a clothesline ... it was most satisfying to make out among the jumbled angles of roofs and walls, a splendid ship’s funnel, showing from behind the clothesline as something in a scrambled picture – Find What the Sailor Has Hidden – that the finder cannot unsee once it has been seen. A brilliant, and moving, mixture of perception and reality." - Vladimir Nabokov, fully Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov

"Once conform, once do what other people do because they do it, and a lethargy steals over all the finer nerves and faculties of the soul. She becomes all outer show and inward emptiness; dull, callous, and indifferent." - Virginia Woolf, nee Stephen, fully Adeline Virginia Woolf

"Suffer no anxiety, for he who is a sufferer of anxiety becomes regardless of enjoyment of the world and the spirit, and contraction happens to his body and soul." - Zoroaster, aka Zarathustra or Zarathushtra Spitama NULL

"The mercy we need is self-mercy, which consists of ceasing to behave badly while justifying it." - Vernon Howard, fully Vernon Linwood Howard

"As it is natural to believe many things without proof, so, despite all proof, is it natural to disbelieve others." - Vauvenargues, Luc de Clapiers, Marquis de Vauvenargues NULL

"We shall fight for a universal dominion of right by such a concert of free peoples as shall bring peace and safety to all nations and make the world itself at last free." - Woodrow Wilson, fully Thomas Woodrow Wilson

"There is no need to suppose that human beings differ very much one from another; but it is true that the ones who come out on top are the ones who have been trained in the hardest school." - Thucydides NULL

"CHARMAIN: Be comforted, dear madam. CLEOPATRA: No, I will not. All strange and terrible events are welcome, but comforts we despise; our size of sorrow, proportion'd to our cause, must be as great." -