Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Despise

"Despise not any man, and do not spurn anything; for there is no man that has not his hour, nor is there anything that has not its place." - Simeon ben Azai, sometimes Ben Azai

"It is when we detect our own weaknesses that we come to pity or despise mankind. The human nature from which we then turn away is the human nature we have discovered in the depths of our own being. The evil is so well screened, the secret so universally kept, that in this case each individual is the dupe of all: however severely we may profess to judge other men, at bottom we think them better than ourselves. On this happy illusion much of our social life is grounded." - Henri Bergson, aka Henri-Louis Bergson

"Those who despise fame seldom deserve it. We are apt to undervalue the purchase we cannot reach, to conceal our poverty the better. It is a spark which kindles upon the best fuel, and burns brightest in the bravest breast." - Jeremy Collier

"'Tis more noble to forgive, and more manly to despise, than to revenge an injury." - Benjamin Franklin

"Greatness of soul is not so much mounting high and pressing forward, as knowing how to put oneself in order and circumscribe oneself. It regards as great all that is enough and shows its elevation by preferring moderate things to eminent ones. There is nothing so beautiful and just as to play the man well and fitly, nor any knowledge so arduous as to know how to live this life well and naturally; and of all our maladies the most barbarous is to despise our being." - Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

"In truth, knowledge is a great and very useful quality; those who despise it give evidence enough of their stupidity. But yet I do not set its value at that extreme measure that some attribute to it, like Herillus the philosopher, who placed in it the sovereign good, and held that it was in its power to make us wise and content. That I do not believe, nor what others have said, that knowledge is the mother of all virtue, and all vice is produced by ignorance. If that is true, it is subject to a long interpretation." - Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

"We ought, in humanity, no more to despise a man for the misfortunes of the mind that for those of the body, when they are such as he cannot help; were this thoroughly considered we should no more laugh at a man for having his brains cracked than for having his brain broke." - Alexander Pope

"Despise death and you have conquered every fear." - Publius Syrus

"Do not despise your situation; in it you must act, suffer, and conquer. From every point on earth we are equally near heaven and to the infinite." -

"Despise not any man, and do not spurn anything; for there is no man that has not his hour, nor is there anything that has not its place." -

"There is no life so humble that, if it be true and genuinely human and obedient to God, it may not hope to shed some of His light. There is no life so meager that the greatest and wisest of us can afford to despise it. We cannot know at what moment it may flash forth with the life of God." - Phillips Brooks

"The way to check slander is to despise it; attempt to overtake and refute it, and it will outrun you." - Alexandre Dumas, born Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie

"Do not despise the world, for the world too is God." -

"Inquiry is human; blind obedience brutal. Truth never loses by the one but often suffers by the other... O God, help us not to despise or oppose what we do not understand." - William Penn

"A spark is a molecule of matter, yet may it kindle the world; vast is the mighty ocean, but drops have made it vast. Despise not thou small things, either for evil or for good; for a look may work thy ruin, or a word create thy wealth." -

"It is poverty in a rich man to despise the poor and ignorance in a wise man to despise the ignorant." - Constance C. Vigil

"I must despise the world which does not know that music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy." - Ludwig van Beethoven

"The advantage of a classical education is that it enables you to despise the wealth that it prevents you from achieving." - Russell Green

"We have grown literally afraid to be poor. We despise anyone who elects to be poor in order to simplify and save his inner life. If he does not join the general scramble and pant with the money-making street, we deem him spiritless and lacking in ambition. We have lost the power even of imagining what the ancient idealization of poverty could have meant: the liberation from material attachments, the unbribed soul." - William James

"As nearly as I can see, all the new isms – Socialism, Communism, Fascism, and especially the late but not lamented Technocracy – outdo even Capitalism itself in their preoccupation with one thing: The distribution of more machine-made commodities to more people. They all proceed on the theory that if we can all keep warm and full, and all own a Ford and a radio, the good life will follow. Their programs differ only in ways to mobilize machines to this end. Though they despise each other, they are all, respect of this objective, as identically alike as peas in a pod. They are competitive apostles of a single creed: salvation by machinery." - Aldo Leopold

"He despises me because he does not know me, and I despise his accusations because I know myself." - Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

"Profound but contradictory ideas may exist side by side, if they are constructed from different materials and methods and have different purposes. Each tells us something important about where we stand in the universe, and it is foolish to insist that they must despise each other." - Neil Postman

"No one has the right to despise the rich until, like Our Lord, he has proven himself free from the passion to possess… and then he will not wish to despise any one." - Fulton Sheen, fully Archbishop Fulton John Sheen

"We often despise what is most useful to us." - Aesop NULL

"It is easy to despise what you cannot get." - Aesop NULL

"We often despise what is most useful to us." -

"It is easy to despise what you cannot get." -

"We often despise what is most useful to us." -

"It is easy to despise what you cannot get." -

"It is a just observation that the people commonly intend the public good. This often applies to their very errors. But their good sense would despise the adulator who should pretend that they always reason right about the means of promoting it. They known from experience that they sometimes err; and the wonder is that they so seldom err as they do, beset, as they continually are, by the wiles of parasites and sycophants, by the snares of the ambitious, the avaricious, the desperate, by the artifices of men who possess their confidence more then they deserve it, and of those who seek to possess rather than to deserve it." - Alexander Hamilton

"Often we allow ourselves to be upset by small things we should despise and forget. We lose many irreplaceable hours brooding over grievances that, in a year's time, will be forgotten by us and by everybody. No, let us devote our life to worthwhile actions and feelings, to great thoughts, real affections and enduring undertakings." - André Malraux

"Men despise religion; they hate it and fear it is true. To remedy this, we must begin by showing that religion is not contrary to reason; that it is venerable, to inspire respect for it; then we must make it lovable, to make good men hope it is true; finally, we must prove it is true. Venerable, because it has perfect knowledge of man; lovable because it promises the true good." - Blaise Pascal

"Men hate and despise religion, and fear it may be true." - Blaise Pascal

"Throughout our life, our worst weaknesses and meannesses are usually committed for the sake of people whom we most despise." - Charles Dickens, fully Charles John Huffam Dickens

"It has been shrewdly said that when men abuse us, we should suspect ourselves, and when they praise us, them. It is a rare instance of virtue to despise censure which we do not deserve, and still more rare to despise praise, which we do. But that integrity that lives only on opinion would starve without it." - Charles Caleb Colton

"There are two things that declare, as with a voice from heaven, that he that fills that eternal throne must be on side of virtue, and that which he befriends must finally prosper and prevail. The first is that the bad are never completely happy and at ease, although possessed of everything that this world can bestow; and that the good are never completely miserable, although deprived of everything that this world can take away. The second is that we are so framed and constituted that the most vicious cannot but pay a secret though unwilling homage to virtue, inasmuch as the worst men cannot bring themselves thoroughly to esteem a bad man, although he may be their dearest friend, nor can they thoroughly despise a good man, although he may be their bitterest enemy." - Charles Caleb Colton

"We often pretend to fear what we really despise, and more often to despise what we really fear." - Charles Caleb Colton

"From Wakan Tanka, the Great Spirit, there came a great unifying life force that flowed in and through all things - the flowers of the plains, blowing winds, rocks, trees, birds, animals - and was the same force that had been breathed into the first man. Thus all things were kindred, and were brought together by the same Great Mystery. Kinship with all creatures of the earth, sky, and water was a real and active principle. In the animal and bird world there existed a brotherly feeling that kept the Lakota safe among them. And so close did some of the Lakotas come to their feathered and furred friends that in true brotherhood they spoke a common tongue. The animals had rights - the right of man’s protection, the right to live, the right to multiply, and the right to freedom, and the right to man’s indebtedness - and in recognition of these rights the Lakota never enslaved an animal, and spared all life that was not needed for food and clothing. This concept of life and its relations was humanizing, and gave to the Lakota an abiding love. It filled his being with the joy and mystery of living; it gave him reverence for all life; it made a place for all things in the scheme of existence with equal importance to all. The Lakota could despise no creature, for all were of one blood, made by the same hand, and filled with the essence of the Great Mystery. In spirit, the Lakota were humble and meek. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” - this was true for the Lakota, and from the earth they inherited secrets long since forgotten. Their religion was sane, natural, and human." -

"I despise toadies who suck up to their bosses; they are generally the same people who bully their subordinates." - David Ogilvy

"Little minds are too much hurt by little things. Great minds perceive them all, and are not touched by them (and despise them)." - François de La Rochefoucauld, François VI, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, Prince de Marcillac, Francois A. F. Rochefoucauld-Liancourt

"A feeling of utter worthlessness levels a man's attitude toward his fellow beings. He views the whole of humanity as being of one kind. He will despise equally those who love him and those who hate him, those who are noble and those who are mean, those who are compassionate and those who are cruel. It is as if the feeling of worthlessness cuts one off from the rest of mankind. One sees humanity as a foreign species." - Eric Hoffer

"Believe not much them that seem to despise riches, for they despise them who despair of them; and none are worse than they when riches come to them." - Francis Bacon

"Perhaps the only true dignity of man is his capacity to despise himself." - George Santayana

"If a man really knew himself he would utterly despise the ignorant notions others might form on a subject in which he had such matchless opportunities for observation." - George Santayana

"Life moves on, whether we act as cowards or heroes. Life has not other discipline to impose, if we would but realize it, than to accept life unquestioningly. Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate or despise, serves to defeat us in the end. What seems nasty, painful, evil, can become a source of beauty, joy and strength, if faced with an open mind. Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such." - Henry Miller, aka Henry Valentine Miller

"There are two things that declare, as with a voice from heaven, that he that fills that eternal throne must be on the side of virtue, and that which he befriends must finally prosper and prevail. The first is that the bad are never completely happy and at ease, although possessed of everything that this world can bestow; and that the good are never completely miserable, although deprived of everything that this world can take away. The second is that we are so framed and constituted that the most vicious cannot but pay a secret though unwilling homage to virtue, inasmuch as the worst men cannot bring themselves thoroughly to esteem a bad man, although he may be their dearest friend, nor can they thoroughly despise a good man, although he may be their bitterest enemy." - James Bryant Conant

"There are truths which some men despise because they have not examined, and which they will not examine because they despise. There is one signal instance on record where this kind of prejudice was overcome by a miracle; but the age of miracles is past, while that of prejudice remains." - James Bryant Conant

"Look underfoot. You are always nearer to the true sources of your power than you think. The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are. Don't despise your own place and hour. Every place is the center of the world." - John Burroughs