Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Father

"The best thing to give your enemy is forgiveness; to an opponent, tolerance; to a friend, your heart; to your child, a good example; to a father, deference; to your mother, conduct that will make her proud of you; to yourself, respect; to all men, charity." -

"The best thing to give to your enemy is forgiveness; to an opponent, tolerance; to a friend, your heart; to your child, a good example; to a father, deference; to your mother, conduct that will make her proud of you; to yourself, respect; to all men, charity." - Clara Lucas Balfour

"Ostentation is the signal flag of hypocrisy. The charlatan is verbose and assumptive; the Pharisee is ostentatious, because he is a hypocrite. Pride is the master sin of the Devil; and the Devil is the father of lies." - Edwin Hubbell Chapin

"The meaning of man's life lies in his perfecting the universe. He has to distinguish, father and redeem the sparks of holiness scattered throughout the darkness of the world. This service is the motive of all precepts and good deeds." - Abraham Joshua Heschel

"We deem those happy who, from the experience of life, have learned to bear its ills, without being overcome by them. A father may turn his back on his child, brothers and sisters may become inveterate enemies, husbands may desert their wives, wives their husbands. But a mother’s love endures through all; in good repute, in bad repute, in the face of the world’s condemnation, a mother still loves on and still hopes that her child may turn from his evil ways, and repent; still she remembers the infant smiles that once filled her bosom with rapture, the merry laugh, the joyful shout of his childhood, the opening promise of his youth; and she can never be brought to think him all unworthy." - Juvenal, fully Decimus Junius Juvenalis NULL

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

"Life is a well of joy; but for those out of whom an upset stomach speaks, which is the father of melancholy, all wells are poisoned." -

"It behooves a father to be virtuous if he expects his son to be more virtuous than he has been." - Plautus, full name Titus Maccius Plautus NULL

"My father had always said that there are four things a child needs - plenty of love, nourishing food, regular sleep, and lots of soap and water - and after those, what he needs most is some intelligent neglect." - Ivy Baker Priest

"If thou desire to see thy child virtuous, let him not see his father’s vices; thou canst not rebuke that in children that they behold practiced in thee; till reason be ripe, examples direct more than precepts; such as thy behavior is before they children’s faces, such commonly is theirs behind their parents backs." - Francis Quarles

"What a father says to his children is not heard by the world, but it will be heard by posterity." -

"For he who has acquired the habit of lying or deceiving his father, will do the same with less remorse to others. I believe that it is better to bind your children to you by a feeling of respect, and by gentleness, then by fear." -

"In democratic countries, however opulent a man is supposed to be, he is almost always discontented with his fortune because he finds that he is less rich than his father was, and he fears that his sons will be less rich than himself. Most rich men in democracies are therefore constantly haunted by the desire of obtaining wealth, and they naturally turn their attention to trade and manufactures, which appear to offer the readiest and most efficient means of success. In this respect they share the instincts of the poor without feeling the same necessities; say, rather, they feel the most imperious of all necessities, that of not sinking in the world." -

"If choosing freely for oneself is the highest value, the free choice to wear red socks is as valuable as the free choice to murder one’s father or sacrifice oneself for one’s friend. Such a belief is ridiculous." - Mary Warnock, fully Helen Mary Warnock, Baroness Warnock

"Toscanini's eightieth birthday, someone asked his son, Walter, what his father ranked as his most important achievement. The son replied, "For him there can be no such thing. Whatever he happens to be doing at the moment is the biggest thing in his life - whether it is conducting a symphony or peeling an orange."" - Ardis Whitman, fully Ardis Rumsey Whitman

"Honest work bears a lovely face for it is the father of pleasure and the mother of good fortune. It is the keystone of prosperity and the sire of fame. And best of all, work is relief from sorrow and the handmaiden of happiness." - Eugene P. Bertin, fully Eugene Peter Bertin

"One of the favorite maxims of my father was the distinction between the two sorts of truths, profound truths recognized by the fact that the opposite is also a profound truth, in contrast to trivialities where opposites are obviously absurd." - Niels Bohr, fully Aage Niels Bohr

"If poverty is the mother of crimes, want of sense is the father of them." - Jean de La Bruyère

"The lack of emotional security of our American young people is due, I believe, to their isolation from the larger family unit. No two people - no mere father and mother - as I have often said, are enough to provide emotional security for a child. He needs to feel himself one in a world of kinfolk, persons of variety in age and temperament, and yet allied to himself by an indissoluble bond which he cannot break if he could, for nature has welded him into it before he was born." - Pearl S. Buck, fully Pearl Sydenstricker Buck, also known by her Chinese name Sai Zhenzhu

"Death to a good man is but passing through a dark entry, out of one little dusky room of his Father’s house into another that is fair and large, light-some and glorious, and divinely entertaining." - Adam Clarke

"Nature is exhaustessly reproductive... Mother Earth cares for her children. The landscape of the farm is full of divine feeling and rich in suggestion that inspire calm and quicken industry. It throbs with the tender heart of God. It is alive. In its simple and steady processes it reveals the Father’s care for His children." -

"Can any man or woman choose duties? No more that they can choose their birthplace, or their father or mother." - George Eliot, pen name of Mary Ann or Marian Evans

"True prayer is only another name for the love of God. Its excellence does not consist in the multitude of our words; for our Father knoweth what things we have need of before we ask Him. The true prayer is that of the heart, and the heart prays only for what it desires. To pray, then, is to desire - but to desire what God would have us desire." - François Fénelon, fully Francois de Salignac de la Mothe-Fénelon

"Every individual is a king in the castle of his own mind. As king of his thoughts he can think those thought which will make him an unhappy and fearful monarch, or he can make his reign joyous and harmonious by listening to the Father within himself before making decisions." - Lowell Fillmore

"The Kaddish is not a prayer for the dead, but a mandate for the living... It bids man rise above his sorrow... and fixes his view upon the welfare of mankind. It lifts his hope and vision to a day... when mankind shall at last inhabit the earth as children of the one God and Father, and justice reign supreme in peace." - R. Hertz, fully Rabbi Joseph Herman Hertz

"A father inquires whether his boy can construe Homer, or understand Horace; but how seldom does he ask, or examine, or think whether he can restrain his passions, whether he is grateful, generous, humane, compassionate, just and benevolent." - Lady Hervey, fully Lady Victoria Frederica Isabella Hervey

"The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother." - Theodore M. Hesburgh, fully Theodore Martin Hesburgh

"Some wonder that children should be given to young mothers. But what instruction does the babe bring to the mother! She learns patience, self-control, endurance; her very arm grows strong so that she holds the dear burden longer than the father can." - Thomas Wentworth Higginson

"Father always emphasized being a good sportsman. Lose as if you like it, and win as if you were used to it." - Tommy Hitchcock, fully Thomas "Tommy" Hitchcock, Jr.

"It is mere childishness to expect men to believe as their fathers did; that is, if they have any minds of their own. The world is a whole generation older and wiser than when the father was of his son's age." - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

"You can throw yourselves away. You can become of no use in the universe except for a warning. You can lose your souls. Oh, what a loss is that! The perversion and degradation of every high and immortal power for an eternity! And shall this be true of any one of you? Will you be lost when One has come from heaven, traveling in the greatness of His strength, and with garments dyed in blood, on purpose to guide you home - home to a Father’s house - to an eternal home?" -

"Holiness is religious principle put into motion. It is the love of God sent forth into circulation, on the feet, and with the hands of love to men. It is faith gone to work. It is charity coined into actions, and devotion breathing benediction on human suffering, while it goes up in intercession to the Father of all piety." - Frederick Dan Huntington

"I know that there is one God in heaven, the Father of all humanity, and heaven is therefore one. I know that there is one sun in the sky, which gives light to all the world. As there is unity in God, and unity in the light, so is there unity in the principles of freedom. Whatever it is broken, wherever a shadow is cast upon the sunny rays of the sun of liberty, there is always danger of free principles everywhere in the world." - Louis Kossuth, also Lajos Kossuth, fully Lajos Kossuth de Udvard et Kossuthfalva

"Let every man remember that to violate the law is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own and his children's liberty." - Abraham Lincoln

"My father taught me to work; he did not teach me to love it." - Abraham Lincoln

"Every man is born with a double right. First, a right of freedom to his person, which no other man has a owner over, but the free disposal of it lies in himself. Secondly, a right before any other man, to inherit, with his brethren, his father’s goods." - John Locke

"Judaism looks upon all human beings as children of one Father; thinks of them as all created in the image of God, and insists that a man be judged not by his religion, but his action." - Samuel David Luzzatto, aka by acronym of SHaDaL or SHeDaL

"A father is very miserable who has no other hold on his children's affection than the need they have of his assistance, if that can be called affection." - Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

"He who is taught to live upon little owes more to his father's wisdom than he who has a great deal left him does to his father's care." - William Penn

"God is outside of none, present unperceived to all; we break away from Him, or rather from ourselves; what we turn from we cannot reach; astray ourselves, we cannot go in search of another; a child distraught will not recognize its father; to find ourselves is to know our source." - Plotinus NULL

"Let the greatest part of the news thou hearest be the least part of what thou believest, lest the greater part of what thou believest be the least part of what is true. Where lies are easily admitted, the father of lies will not easily be excluded." - Francis Quarles

"The question is, whether, like the Divine Child I the temple, we are turning knowledge into wisdom, and whether, understanding more of the mysteries of life, we are feeling more of its sacred law; and whether, having left behind the priests and the scribes and the doctors and the fathers, we are about our Father’s business, and becoming wise to God." -

"It doesn't matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was." - Anne Sexton

"This is what a father ought to be about: helping his son to form the habit of doing right on his own initiative, rather than because he's afraid of some serious consequence." - Terence, full Latin name Publius Terentius Afer NULL

"Holy, humble, penitent, believing, earnest, persevering prayer is never lost; it always prevails to the accomplishment of the thing sought, or that with which the suppliant will be better satisfied in the end, according to the superior wisdom of his heavenly father, in which he trusts." - Edward Weeks

"Everyone expects to go further than his father went; everyone expects to be better than he was born and every generation has one big impulse in its heart - to exceed all the other generations of the past in all the things that make life worth living." - William Allen White

"The child is father of the man." - William Wordsworth

"Only mushrooms can grow in the shadow of mighty trees, but shrubs need light in order to grow. If you recognize your father is a tree, you should move away and out of his shadow." - Carl Zimmerer

"The religion of a child depends on what its mother and father are, and not on what they say." - Henri Frédéric Amiel

"A father watched as his son struggled and strained to move a large rock. “Are you using all your strength?” “No, you’re not. You have not asked me to help.”" - Phil Batchelor