Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.


"You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty." -

"Gossip is always a personal confession either of malice or imbecility; it is a low, frivolous, and too often a dirty business. There are neighborhoods where it rages like a pest; churches are split in pieces by it, and neighbors made enemies for life. Let the young avoid or cure it while they may." - Josiah Gilbert Holland, also Joshua Gilbert Holland

"Never throw mud. You may miss your mark; but you must have dirty hands." - Joseph Parker

"I learned long ago never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it." - Cyrus S. Ching

"Gossip is always a personal confession of malice or imbecility; it is a low, frivolous, and too often a dirty business. There are neighborhoods where it rages like a pest; churches are split in pieces by it, and neighbor made enemies for life. Let the young avoid or cure it while they may." - Jack Holland

"A lot of history is just dirty politics cleaned up for the consumption of children and other innocents." - Richard Reeves

"There is no lie too improbable, no distortion too great, no smear campaign too dirty for the State Department and the media to embrace." - Jesse Helms, fully Jesse Alexander Helms, Jr.

"With your votes you are working for your future. It is not a holiday; it is the most serious day of work since you were born. Better to come in clothing dirty from work than with your soul filthy from having sold your right to justice." - Luis Muñoz Marín

"Indecision is like a stepchild: if he does not wash his hands, he is called dirty, if he does, he is wasting water." - African Proverbs

"Indecision is like a stepchild: if he does not wash his hands, he is called dirty, if he does, he is wasting water." -

"If you want to help pull a friend out of the mire, don't hesitate to get a little dirty." -

"Humilities are piled on a soldier... so in order that he may, when the time comes, be not too resentful of the final humility - a meaningless and dirty death." - John Steinbeck, fully John Ernst Steinbeck

"Politics is the life blood of democracy. To call politics “dirty” is to call democracy “dirty.”" - Nelson Rockefeller, fully Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller

"If you want to help pull a friend out of the mire, don't hesitate to get a little dirty." - Baal Shem Tov, given name Yisroel ben Eliezer

"Becoming responsible adults is no longer a matter of whether children hang up there pajamas or put dirty towels in the hamper, but whether they care about themselves and others -- and whether they see everyday chores as related to how we treat this planet." - Eda J. LeShan

"We have become too civilized to grasp the obvious. For the truth is very simple. To survive you often have to fight, and to fight you have to dirty yourself. War is evil, and it is often the lesser evil. Those who take the sword perish by the sword, and those who don't take the sword perish by smelly diseases." - George Orwell, pen name of Eric Arthur Blair

"Don't walk in my head with your dirty feet." - Leo Busacaglia

"The dirty truth is that the rich are the great cause of poverty." - Michael Parenti

"Maintaining silence about a dirty truth is another way of lying, a common practice in high places." - Michael Parenti

"If one looks into the genealogies of many 'old families,' one discovers episodes of slave trafficking, bootlegging, gun running, opium trading, falsified land claims, violent acquisition of water and mineral rights, the extermination of indigenous peoples, sales of shoddy and unsafe goods, public funds used for private speculations, crooked deals in government bonds and vouchers, and payoffs for political favors. One finds fortunes built on slave labor, indentured labor, prison labor, immigrant labor, female labor, child labor, and scab labor -- backed by the lethal force of gun thugs and militia. 'Old money' is often little more than dirty money laundered by several generations of possession." - Michael Parenti

"I prefer the spagyric chemical physicians, for they do not consort with loafers or go about gorgeous in satins, silks and velvets, gold rings on their fingers, silver daggers hanging at their sides and white gloves on their hands, but they tend their work at the fire patiently day and night. They do not go promenading, but seek their recreation in the laboratory, wear plain learthern dress and aprons of hide upon which to wipe their hands, thrust their fingers amongst the coals, into dirt and rubbish and not into golden rings. They are sooty and dirty like the smiths and charcoal burners, and hence make little show, make not many words and gossip with their patients, do not highly praise their own remedies, for they well know that the work must praise the master, not the master praise his work. They well know that words and chatter do not help the sick nor cure them... Therefore they let such things alone and busy themselves with working with their fires and learning the steps of alchemy. These are distillation, solution, putrefaction, extraction, calcination, reverberation, sublimination, fixation, separation, reduction, coagulation, tinction, etc. " - Paracelsus, aka 'Paracelsus the Great', born Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim NULL

"Great teams do not hold back with one another. They are unafraid to air their dirty laundry. They admit their mistakes, their weaknesses, and their concerns without fear of reprisal." - Patrick Lencioni

"A good movie can take you out of your dull funk and the hopelessness that so often goes with slipping into a theatre; a good movie can make you feel alive again, in contact, not just lost in another city. Good movies make you care, make you believe in possibilities again. If somewhere in the Hollywood-entertainment world someone has managed to break through with something that speaks to you, then it isn’t all corruption. The movie doesn’t have to be great; it can be stupid and empty and you can still have the joy of a good performance, or the joy in just a good line. An actor’s scowl, a small subversive gesture, a dirty remark that someone tosses off with a mock-innocent face, and the world makes a little bit of sense." - Pauline Kael

"I think I should be active politically. Because I look upon myself as a politician. That's not a dirty work you know. Some people think that there are something wrong with politicians. Of course, something wrong with some politicians." - Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

"Like sex in Victorian England, the reality of Big Business today is our big dirty secret." - Ralph Nader

"What did it matter where you lay once you were dead? In a dirty sump or in a marble tower on top of a high hill? You were dead, you were sleeping the big sleep, you were not bothered by things like that. Oil and water were the same as wind and air to you." - Raymond Chandler, fully Raymond Thornton Chandler

"Heard about the young deaf boy who used sign language? One day he told his mother a dirty joke and she washed his hands out with soap." - Red Skelton, fully Richard Bernard "Red" Skelton

"I reject the cynical view that politics is a dirty business." - Richard Nixon, fully Richard Milhous Nixon

"The word politics causes some people lots of trouble. Let us be very clear - politics is not a dirty word." - Richard Nixon, fully Richard Milhous Nixon

"Take someone who doesn’t keep score, who’s not looking to be richer, or afraid of losing, who has not the slightest interest even in his own personality: he’s free." - Rumi, fully Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rumi NULL

"I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose." - S. I. Hayakawa, fully Samuel Ichiye Hayakawa

"Why should people go out and pay money to see bad films when they can stay at home and see bad television for nothing?" - Samuel Goldwyn

"The point is not for women simply to take power out of men’s hands, since that wouldn’t change anything about the world. It’s a question precisely of destroying that notion of power." - Simone de Beauvoir, fully Simone-Ernestine-Lucie-Marie Bertrand de Beauvoir

"There is what I call the American idea. I so name it, because it seems to me to lie at the basis of all our truly original, distinctive, and American institutions. It is itself a complex idea, composed of three subordinate and more simple ideas, namely: The idea that all men have unalienable rights; that in respect thereof, all men are created equal; and that government is to be established and sustained for the purpose of giving every man an opportunity for the enjoyment and development of all these unalienable rights. This idea demands, as the proximate organization thereof, a democracy, that is, a government of all the people, by all the people, for all the people; of course, a government after the principles of eternal justice, the unchanging law of God; for shortness' sake, I will call it the idea of Freedom." - Theodore Parker

"Let others probe the mystery if they can. Time-harried prisoners of Shall and Will- the right thing happens to the happy man. The bird flies out, the bird flies back again; the hill becomes the valley, and is still; let others delve that mystery if they can. God bless the roots! -Body and soul are one the small become the great, the great the small; the right thing happens to the happy man. Child of the dark, he can out leap the sun, his being single, and that being all: the right thing happens to the happy man. Or he sits still, a solid figure when the self-destructive shake the common wall; takes to himself what mystery he can, and, praising change as the slow night comes on, wills what he would, surrendering his will till mystery is no more: No more he can. The right thing happens to the happy man." - Theodore Roethke

"Ah, souls, you can easily sin as the saints—but can you repent with the saints? Many can sin with David and Peter, that cannot repent with David and Peter—and so must perish forever!" - Thomas Brooks

"I was resolved to sustain and preserve in my college the bite of the mind, the chance to stand face to face with truth, the good life lived in a small, various, highly articulate and democratic society." - Virginia Gildersleeve, fully Virginia Crocheron Gildersleeve

"Abstinence sows sand all over The ruddy limbs and flaming hair, But Desire gratified Plants fruits of life and beauty there. " - William Blake

"In all the thousands of times I have asked other people for advice, I never yet got the advice I wanted." - Wilkie Collins, fully William Wilkie Collins

"What statesmanship! What vision! What power! We have known nothing like it since my ancestor, Peter the Great, broke a window into Europe by overrunning the Baltic states in the 18th Century. Stalin has made Russia great again!" - Whittaker Chambers, born Jay Vivian Chambers, aka Jay David Whittaker Chambers

"Language is the mother, not the handmaiden, of thought; words will tell you things you never thought or felt before." - W. H. Auden, fully Wystan Hugh Auden

"The religious definition of truth is not that it is universal but that it is absolute." - W. H. Auden, fully Wystan Hugh Auden

"A feme may come, leaf-green, whose coming may give revel beyond revelries of sleep, yes, and the blackbird spread its tail, so that the sun may speckle, while it creaks hail." - Wallace Stevens

"That other one wanted to think his way to life, sure that the ultimate poem was the mind, or of the mind, or of the mind in these Elysia, these days, half earth, half mind; half sun, half thinking of the sun; half sky, half desire for indifference about the sky." - Wallace Stevens

"Now begins to rise in me the familiar rhythm; words that have lain dormant now lift, now toss their crests, and fall and rise, and fall and rise again. I am a poet, yes. Surely I am a great poet. Boats and youth passing and distant trees, the falling fountains of the pendant trees. I see it all. I feel it all. I am inspired. My eyes fill with tears. Yet even as I feel this. I lash my frenzy higher and higher. It foams. It becomes artificial, insincere. Words and words and words, how they gallop - how they lash their long manes and tails, but for some fault in me I cannot give myself to their backs; I cannot fly with them, scattering women and string bags. There is some flaw with me - some fatal hesitancy, which, if I pass it over, turns to foam and falsity. Yet it is incredible that I should not be a great poet." - Virginia Woolf, nee Stephen, fully Adeline Virginia Woolf

"To put it in a nutshell, he was afflicted with a love of literature. It was the fatal nature of this disease to substitute a phantom for reality." - Virginia Woolf, nee Stephen, fully Adeline Virginia Woolf

"Be good, be kind, be humane, and charitable; love your fellows; console the afflicted; pardon those who have done you wrong." - Zoroaster, aka Zarathustra or Zarathushtra Spitama NULL

"One should always help the weak, the destitute and the impoverished." - Rig Veda, or The Rigveda

"All the world seems in tune on a spring afternoon, when we're poisoning pigeons in the park. Every Sunday you'll see my sweetheart and me, as we poison the pigeons in the park." - Tom Lehrer, fully Thomas Andrew Lehrer

"All goodness is poison to thy stomach." -