Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes


"Misfortunes display the skill of a general, prosperous circumstances conceal his weakness." - Horace, full name Quintus Horatius Flaccus NULL

"Almost every man wastes part of his life in attempts to display qualities which he does not possess, and gain applause which he cannot keep." -

"Whoever interrupts the conversation of others to make a display of his fund of knowledge, makes notorious his own stock of ignorance." -

"If anger be the basis of our political activities, the excitement tends to become an end in itself, at the expense of the object to be achieved. side issues then assume an exaggerated importance, and all gravity of thought and action is lost; such excitement is not an exercise of strength, but a display of weakness." -

"What a man dislikes in his superiors, let him not display in the treatment of his inferiors." -

"There in fact four very significant stumbling-blocks in the way of grasping the truth, which hinder every man however learned, and scarcely allow anyone to win a clear title to wisdom, namely, the example of weak and unworthy authority, long-standing custom, the feeling of the ignorant crowd, and the hiding of our own ignorance while making a display of our apparent knowledge... there are two modes of acquiring knowledge, namely by reasoning and experience." - Roger Bacon, scholastic accolade Doctor Mirabilis meaning "Wonderful Teacher"

"Too great a display of delicacy can and does sometimes infringe upon decency." - Honoré de Balzac

"Those who devote themselves to the peaceful study of nature have but little temptation to launch out upon the tempestuous sea of ambition; they will scarcely be hurried away by the more violent or cruel passions, the ordinary failings of those ardent persons who do not control their conduct; but, pure as the objects of their researches, they will feel for everything about them the same benevolence which they see nature display toward all her productions." - Georges Cuvier, fully Jean Léopold Nicolas Frédéric Cuvier

"To be thrown upon one's own resources, is to be cast into the very lap of fortune; for our faculties then undergo a development and display an energy of which they were previously unsusceptible." - Benjamin Franklin

"The works of nature and the works of revelation display religion to mankind in characters so large and visible that those who are not quite blind may in them see and read the first principles and most necessary parts of it, and from thence penetrate into those infinite depths filled with the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." - John Locke

"Whoever desires to found a state and give it laws, must start with assuming that all men are bad and ever ready to display their vicious nature, whenever they may find occasion for it." - Niccolò Machiavelli, formally Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli

"The display of grief makes more demands than grief itself. How few men are sad in their own company." -

"I have always thought it rather interesting to follow the involuntary movements of fear in clever people. Fools coarsely display their cowardice in all its nakedness, but the others are able to cover it with a veil so delicate, so daintily woven with small plausible lies, that there is some pleasure to be found in contemplating this ingenious work of the human intelligence." - Alexis de Tocqueville, fully Alexis-Charles-Henri Clérel de Tocqueville

"The sage does not display himself, therefore he shines. He does not approve himself therefore he is noted. He does not praise himself, therefore he has merit. He does not glory in himself, therefore he excels." - Lao Tzu, ne Li Urh, also Laotse, Lao Tse, Lao Tse, Lao Zi, Laozi, Lao Zi, La-tsze

"Supported by the authority of all institutions, parenthood has come to amount to little more than a campaign against individuality. Every father and every mother trembles lest an offspring, in act or thought, should be different from his fellows; and the smallest display of uniqueness in a child becomes the signal for the application of drastic measures aimed at stamping out that small fire of noncompliance by which personal distinctness is expressed. In an atmosphere of anxiety, in a climate of apprehension, the parental conspiracy against children is planned." - Robert M. Linder, fully Robert Mitchell Linder

"Ideas are the real substance of human life. Ideas guide our actions and even control our movements. It is just as well to put them in order first and then to display their anatomy." - Jonathan Miller, fully Sir Jonathan Wolfe Miller

"Small kindnesses, small courtesies, small considerations, habitually practiced in our social intercourse, give a greater charm to the character than the display of great talents and accomplishments." - Mary Ann Kelty

"You should display your training in inductive reasoning against a young man, in deductive against an expert." - Aristotle NULL

"What a man is inwardly he will ultimately display outwardly." - Author Unknown NULL

"We are not fond of praising, and never praise any one except from interested motives. Praise is a clever, concealed, and delicate flattery, which gratifies in different ways the giver and the receiver. The one takes it as a recompense of his merit, and the other bestows it to display his equity and discernment." - François de La Rochefoucauld, François VI, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, Prince de Marcillac, Francois A. F. Rochefoucauld-Liancourt

"Morality... must have the more power over the human heart the more purely it is exhibited. Whence it follows that, if the law of morality and the image of holiness and virtue are to exercise any influence at all on our souls, they can do so only so far as they are laid to heart in their purity as motives, unmixed with any view to prosperity, for it is in suffering that they display themselves most nobly." - Immanuel Kant

"History is the display of the supposed advantages of power and intelligence which some men possess over others, of the struggle for existence hypocritically described by ideologists as the struggle for justice and freedom, of the ebb and flow of old and new forms of human righteousness, each vying with the rest in the solemnity and triviality... Yet one drop of eternity is of greater weight than a vast ocean of finite things." - Karl Barth

"The wise carry their knowledge, as they do their watches, not for display, but for their own use." -

"So long as the laws remain such as they are today, employ some discretion: loud opinion forces us to do so; but in privacy and silence let us compensate ourselves for that cruel chastity we are obliged to display in public." - Marquis de Sade, born Donatien Alphonse François de Sade

"In the conservative view human communication and interaction is limited to our sensory channels ... [but] we are linked by more subtle and encompassing connections as well...The connections that bind 'my' consciousness to the consciousness of others... are rediscovered today in controlled experiments with thought and image transference, and the effect of the mind of one individual on the body of another... Native tribes seem able to communicate beyond the range of eye and ear... In the laboratory also, modern people display a capacity for spontaneous transference of impressions and images, especially when they are emotionally close to each other... transpersonal contact includes the ability to transmit thoughts and images, and ... it is given to many if not all people... this is the finding of recent experiments... Reliable evidence is becoming available that the conscious mind of one person can produce repeatable and measurable effects on the body of another... [also] Intercessory prayer and spiritual healing, together with other mind- and intention-based experiments and practices, yield impressive evidence regarding the effectiveness of telepathic and telesomatic information- and energy-transmission. The pertinent practices produce real and measurable effects on people, and they are more and more widespread. But mainstream science has no explanation for them. Could it be that our consciousness is linked with other consciousnesses through an interconnecting Akashic Field, much as galaxies are linked in the cosmos, quanta in the microworld, and organisms in the world of the living?" - Ervin László

"Although Freedom is, primarily, an undeveloped idea, the means it uses are external and phenomenal; presenting themselves in History to our sensuous vision. The first glance at History convinces us that the actions of men proceed from their needs, their passions, their characters and talents; and impresses us with the belief that such needs, passions and interests are the sole springs of action — the efficient agents in this scene of activity. Among these may, perhaps, be found aims of a liberal or universal kind — benevolence it may be, or noble patriotism; but such virtues and general views are but insignificant as compared with the World and its doings. We may perhaps see the Ideal of Reason actualized in those who adopt such aims, and within the sphere of their influence; but they bear only a trifling proportion to the mass of the human race; and the extent of that influence is limited accordingly. Passions, private aims, and the satisfaction of selfish desires, are on the other hand, most effective springs of action. Their power lies in the fact that they respect none of the limitations which justice and morality would impose on them; and that these natural impulses have a more direct influence over man than the artificial and tedious discipline that tends to order and self-restraint, law and morality. When we look at this display of passions, and the consequences of their violence; the Unreason which is associated not ,only with them, but even (rather we might say especially) with good designs and righteous aims; when we see the evil, the vice, the ruin that has befallen the most flourishing kingdoms which the mind of man ever created, we can scarce avoid being filled with sorrow at this universal taint of corruption: and, since this decay is not the work of mere Nature, but of the Human Will — a moral embitterment — a revolt of the Good Spirit (if it have a place within us) may well be the result of our reflections." - Georg Hegel, fully Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

"When teachers are at their best they display a common orientation: they do not believe in the power of pontification. They neither preach nor moralize. They give no guilt and demand no promises... are not preoccupied with the child's past history or distant future, they deal with the present. What matters to them is the here and now of the child in distress." - Haim Ginott, fully Haim G. Ginott, orignially Ginzburg

"He who knows enough of things to value them at their true worth never says too much; for he can also judge of the attention bestowed on him and the interest aroused by what he says. People who know little are usually great talkers, while men who know much say little. It is plain that an ignorant person thinks everything he does know important, and he tells it to everybody. But a well-educated man is not so ready to display his learning; he would have too much to say, and he sees that there is much more to be said, so he holds his peace." -

"He who knows enough of things to value them at their true worth never says too much; for he can also judge of the attention bestowed on him and the interest aroused by what he says. People who know little are usually great talkers, while men who know much say little. It is plain that an ignorant person thinks everything he does know important, and he tells it to everybody. But a well-educated man is not so ready to display his learning; he would have too much to say, and he sees that there is much more to be said, so he holds his peace. " - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

""Knowledge," in the sense of information, means the working capital, the indispensable resources, of further inquiry; of finding out, or learning, more things. Frequently it is treated as an end in itself, and then the goal becomes to heap it up and display it when called for. This static, cold-storage ideal of knowledge is inimical to educative development. It not only lets occasions for thinking go unused, but it swamps thinking. No one could construct a house on ground cluttered with miscellaneous junk. Pupils who have stored their "minds" with all kinds of material which they have never put to intellectual uses are sure to be hampered when they try to think. They have no practice in selecting what is appropriate, and no criterion to go by; everything is on the same dead static level." - John Dewey

"The only way to be loved is to be and to appear lovely; to possess and display kindness, benevolence, tenderness; to be free from selfishness and to be alive to the welfare of others. " - John Jay

"Much of the weird behavior kids display is a function of the aperiodic reinforcement schedule. And the endless confinement and inactivity slowly drives children out of their minds. Trapped children, like trapped rats, need close management. Any rat psychologist will tell you that." - John Taylor Gatto

"Make no display of your talents or attainments; for every one will clearly see, admire, and acknowledge them, so long as you cover them with the beautiful veil of modesty." - Nathanael Emmons, also Nathaniel Emmons

"If far-reaching discoveries regarding the nature of matter and energy and the laws which govern the Universe have been made and worked on by civilizations that have disappeared, and if some of them have been preserved throughout the ages (which is by no means certain) this could only have been done by people of superior intelligence and in a language necessarily incomprehensible to the ordinary man. If, however, we reject this hypothesis we can nevertheless imagine, from one age to another, a succession of beings of exceptional gifts able to communicate with one another. Such beings are well aware that it is not in their interests to display their powers openly." - Louis Pauwels

"Action is purposive conduct. It is not simply behavior, but behavior begot by judgments of value, aiming at a definite end and guided by ideas concerning the suitability or unsuitability of definite means. . . . It is conscious behavior. It is choosing. It is volition; it is a display of the will." - Ludwig von Mises, fully Ludwig Heinrich Edler von Mises

"[paraphrase] Of the three goods, the Mohists' concept of “order” (zhi) calls for special attention. This is a complex good comprising a variety of conditions the Mohists probably regard as constitutive of the good social life. From passages in which the Mohists characterize zhi (order) and its opposite, luan (disorder, turmoil), we find that the elements of “order” include at least four sorts of conditions. All levels of society conform to unified moral standards, and incentives and disincentives based on these standards are administered fairly by virtuous leaders, as described in Mohist political theory. Peace and social harmony prevail, characterized negatively as the absence of crime, deceit, harassment, injury, conflict, and military aggression. Members of society manifest virtues constitutive of the proper performance of their relational social roles as ruler or subject, father or son, and elder or younger brother. Order obtains only when the ruler is benevolent, his subjects are loyal, fathers are kind, sons are filial, and elder and younger brothers display brotherly love and respect. (Like much ancient thought, Mohism has a sexist bias, and with few exceptions the texts disregard the social roles of women.) Community members habitually engage in reciprocal assistance and charity, sharing information, labor, education, and surplus goods and aiding the destitute and unfortunate. In summary, “benefit to the world” is a general conception of welfare comprising social harmony and public security; economic prosperity and a thriving population and family; reciprocal cooperation among neighbors and charity for the needy; and good social relations, manifested in the exercise of virtues corresponding to the fundamental social roles." - Mozi or Mo-tze, Mocius or Mo-tzu, original name Mo Di, aka Master Mo NULL

"The purpose of the soul entering this body is to display her powers and actions in this world, for she needs an instrument. By descending to this world, she increases the flow of her power to guide the human being through the world. Thereby she perfects herself above and below, attaining a higher state by being fulfilled in all dimensions. If she is not fulfilled both above and below, she is not complete. Before descending to this world, the soul is emanated from the mystery of the highest level. While in this world, she is completed and fulfilled by this lower world. Departing this world, she is filled with the fullness of all the worlds, the world above and the world below. At first, before descending to this world, the soul is imperfect; she is lacking something. By descending to this world, she is perfected in every dimension." - Moses de León, known in Hebrew as Moshe ben Shem-Tov NULL

"Make no display of your talents or attainments; for every one will clearly see, admire, and acknowledge them, so long as you cover them with the beautiful veil of modesty." - Nathaniel Emmons

"Show class, have pride, and display character. If you do, winning takes care of itself. " - Bear Bryant, fully Paul William "Bear" Bryant

"From the time of Aristotle it had been said that man is a social animal: that human beings naturally form communities. I couldn't accept it. The whole of history and pre-history is against it. The two dreadful world wars we have recently been through, and the gearing of our entire economy today for defensive war belie it. Man's loathsome cruelty to man is his most outstanding characteristic; it is explicable only in terms of his carnivorous and cannibalistic origin. Robert Hartmann pointed out that both rude and civilised peoples show unspeakable cruelty to one another. We call it inhuman cruelty; but these dreadful things are unhappily truly human, because there is nothing like them in the animal world. A lion or tiger kills to eat, but the indiscriminate slaughter and calculated cruelty of human beings is quite unexampled in nature, especially among the apes. They display no hostility to man or other animals unless attacked. Even then their first reaction is to run away. " - Raymond Dart, fully Raymond Arthur Dart

"It was about eleven o'clock in the morning, mid-October, with the sun not shining and a look of hard wet rain in the clearness of the foothills. I was wearing my powder-blue suit, with dark blue shirt, tie and display handkerchief, black brogues, black wool socks with dark little clocks on them. I was neat, clean, shaved and sober, and I didn't care who knew it. I was everything the well-dressed private detective ought to be. I was calling on four million dollars." - Raymond Chandler, fully Raymond Thornton Chandler

"The progress of science depends less than is usually believed on the efforts and performance of the individual genius ... many important discoveries have been made by men of ordinary talents, simply because chance had made them, at the proper time and in the proper place and circumstances, recipients of a body of doctrines, facts and techniques that rendered almost inevitable the recognition of an important phenomenon. It is surprising that some historian has not taken malicious pleasure in writing an anthology of 'one discovery' scientists. Many exciting facts have been discovered as a result of loose thinking and unimaginative experimentation, and described in wrappings of empty words. One great discovery does not betoken a great scientist; science now and then selects insignificant standard bearers to display its banners." - René Dubos, fully René Jules Dubos

"Almost every man wastes part of his life attempting to display qualities which he does not possess." - Robertson Davies

"IT'S WHAT YOU SCATTER I was at the corner grocery store buying some early potatoes... I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily apprising a basket of freshly picked green peas. I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes. Pondering the peas, I couldn't help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller (the store owner) and the ragged boy next to me. 'Hello Barry, how are you today?' 'H'lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus' admirin' them peas. They sure do look good' 'They are good, Barry. How's your Ma?' 'Fine. Gittin' stronger alla' time.' 'Good. Anything I can help you with?' 'No, Sir. Jus' admirin' them peas.' 'Would you like to take some home?' asked Mr. Miller. 'No, Sir. Got nuthin' to pay for 'em with.' 'Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?' 'All I got's my prize marble here.' 'Is that right? Let me see it', said Miller. 'Here 'tis. She's a dandy.' 'I can see that. Hmm mmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?' the store owner asked. 'Not zackley but almost.' 'Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble'. Mr. Miller told the boy. 'Sure will. Thanks Mr. Miller.' Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me. With a smile she said, 'There are two other boys like him in our community, all three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes, or whatever. When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn't like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, when they come on their next trip to the store.' I left the store smiling to myself, impressed with this man. A short time later I moved to Colorado , but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys, and their bartering for marbles. Several years went by, each more rapid than the previous one. Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had died. They were having his visitation that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could. Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts...all very professional looking. They approached Mrs. Miller, standing composed and smiling by her husband's casket. Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket. Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one; each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary awkwardly, wiping his eyes. Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and reminded her of the story from those many years ago and what she had told me about her husband's bartering for marbles. With her eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket. 'Those three young men who just left were the boys I told you about. They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim 'traded' them. Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size....they came to pay their debt.' 'We've never had a great deal of the wealth of this world,' she confided, 'but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho ...' With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband. Resting underneath were three exquisitely shiny red marbles. The Moral: We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds. Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. Today I wish you a day of ordinary miracles ~ A fresh pot of coffee you didn't make yourself... An unexpected phone call from an old friend.... Green stoplights on your way to and from work.... The fastest line at the grocery store.... A good sing-along song on the radio.. Your keys found right where you left them. IF THIS DIDN’T BRING A FEW TEARS, IT MEANS YOU ARE IN WAY TOO MUCH OF A HURRY TO EVEN NOTICE THE ORDINARY MIRACLES WHEN THEY OCCUR. SLOW DOWN… IT'S NOT WHAT YOU GATHER, BUT WHAT YOU SCATTER THAT TELLS WHAT KIND OF LIFE YOU HAVE LIVED!" - Author Unknown NULL

"The Self-revealing of the Word is in every dimension - above, in creation; below, in the Incarnation; in the depth, in Hades; in the breadth, throughout the world. All things have been filled with the knowledge of God." - Saint Athanasius, aka Athanasius of Alexandria, St. Athanasius the Great, St. Athanasius I of Alexandria, St. Athanasius the Confessor, St. Athanasius the Apostolic NULL

"As the memory of fire does not warm the body, so faith without love does not bring about the illumination of knowledge in the soul." - Saint Maximus the Confessor NULL

"Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt." - Samuel Adams

"Always set a high value on spontaneous kindness. He whose inclination prompts him to cultivate your friendship of his own accord, will love you more than one whom you have been at pains to attach to you." - Samuel Johnson, aka Doctor Johnson

"It was all love on my side, and all good comradeship and friendship on hers. When we parted she was a free woman, but I could never again be a free man." - Arthur Conan Doyle, fully Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle