Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Gentleness

"Gentleness in the gait is what simplicity is in the dress. Violent gesture or quick movement inspires involuntary disrespect. One looks for a moment at a cascade; but one sits for hours, lost in thought, and gazing upon the still water of a lake. A deliberate gait, gentle manners, and a gracious tone of voice - all of which may be acquired - give a mediocre man an immense advantage over those vastly superior to him. To be bodily tranquil, to speak little, and to digest without effort are absolutely necessary to grandeur of mind or of presence, or to proper development of genius." - Honoré de Balzac

"Gentleness, which belongs to virtue, is to be carefully distinguished from the mean spirit of cowards and the fawning assent of sycophants." - Hugh Blair

"The spirit of true religion breathes gentleness and affability; it gives a native, unaffected ease to the behavior; it is social, kind, cheerful; far removed from the cloudy and illiberal disposition which clouds the brow, sharpens the temper, and dejects the spirit." - Hugh Blair

"What makes woman lovely? Virtue, Faith, and gentleness in suffering, an endurance through scorn or trial; then has it the stamp celestial, and is admitted to sisterhood with angels." -

"Gentleness accomplishes more than violence." - Jean de La Bruyère

"Benevolence is not in word and in tongue, but in deed and in truth. It is a business with men as they are, and with human life as drawn by the rough hand of experience. It is a duty which you must perform at the call of principle; though there be no voice of eloquence to give splendor to your exertions, and no music of poetry to lead your willing footsteps through the bowers of enchantment. It is not the impulse of high and ecstatic emotion. It is an exertion of principle. :You must go to the poor man’s cottage, though no verdure flourish around it, the gentleness of its murmurs. If you look for the romantic simplicity of fiction you will be disappointed; but it is your duty to persevere in spite of every discouragement. Benevolence is not merely a feeling but a principle; not a dream of rapture for the fancy to indulge in, but a business for the hand to execute." - Thomas Chalmers

"Power can do by gentleness that which violence fails to accomplish; and calmness best enforces the imperial mandate." -

"Patience and gentleness are power." - James Henry Leigh Hunt

"I have three precious things which I hold fast and prize. The first is gentleness; the second is frugality; the third is humility, which keeps me from putting myself before others. Be gentle and you can be bold; be frugal and you can be liberal; avoid putting yourself before others and you can become a leader among men." -

""Every man has a price." This is not true. but for every man there exists a bait which he cannot resist swallowing. To win over certain people to something, it is only necessary to give it a gloss of love of humanity, nobility, gentleness, self-sacrifice - and there is nothing you cannot get them to swallow. To their souls, these are the icing, the tidbit: other kinds of soul have others." -

"It is the weak who are cruel. Gentleness can only be expected from the strong." - Leo Rosten, fully Leo Calvin Rosten, pen name Leonard Q. Ross

"Courage is by no means incompatible with tenderness. On the contrary, gentleness and tenderness have been found to characterize the men, no less than the women, who have done the most courageous deeds." - Samuel Smiles

"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." -

"We must be knit together in this work as one man; we must entertain each other in brotherly affection; we must uphold a familiar commerce together in all meekness, gentleness, patience and liberality. We must delight in each other, make others’ conditions our own, rejoice together, mourn together, labor and suffer together; always having before our eyes our commission and community as members of the same body." - John Winthrop

"Keep clear of personalities in conversation. Talk of things, objects, thoughts. The smallest minds occupy themselves with persons. Do not needlessly report ill of others. As far as possible, dwell on the good side of human beings. There are family boards where a constant process of depreciating, assigning motives, and cutting up character goes forward. They are not pleasant places. One who is healthy does not wish to dine at a dissecting table. There is evil enough in man, God knows. But it is not the mission of every young man and woman to detail and report it all. Keep the atmosphere as pure as possible, and fragrant with gentleness and charity." - John Hall

"The minister is to be a live man, a real man, a true man, a simple man, great in his love, great in his life, great in his work, great in his simplicity, great in his gentleness." - John Hall

"There is evil enough in man, God knows; but it is not the mission of every young man and woman to detail and report it all. Keep the atmosphere as pure as possible and fragrant with gentleness and charity." - John Hall

"Intelligence is derived from two words - inter and legere - inter meaning "between" and legere meaning "to choose." An intelligent person, therefore, is one who has learned "to choose between." He knows that good is better than evil, that confidence should supersede fear, that love is superior to hate, that gentleness is better than cruelty, forbearance than intolerance, compassion than arrogance and that truth has more virtue than ignorance." - J. Martin Klotsche

"Use a sweet tongue, courtesy, and gentleness, and thou mayst mange to guide an elephant with a hair." - Sa'di (or Saadi), pen name of Abū-Muḥammad Muṣliḥ al-Dīn bin Abdallāh Shīrāzī, born Muslih-uddin NULL

"It is better to bind your children to you by respect and gentleness than by fear." - Terence, full Latin name Publius Terentius Afer NULL

"It has been women who have breathed gentleness and care into the harsh progress of mankind." - Elizabeth II, born Elizabeth Alexandra May NULL

"I learned that it is the weak who are cruel, and that gentleness is to be expected only from the strong." -

"If among thoughts they value those that are profound, if in friendship they value gentleness, in words, truth; in government, good order; timeliness – in each case it is because they prefer what does not lead to strife." -

"Nothing is so strong as gentleness." - Don Ward

"What is called sympathy, kindness, mercy, goodness, pity, compassion, gentleness, humanity, appreciation, gratefulness, and service - in reality, it is love." - Inayat Khan, aka Hazrat Inayat Khan, fully Pir-O-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan

"When men hear imitations, even apart from the rhythms and tunes themselves, their feelings move in sympathy. Since then music is a pleasure, and virtue consists in rejoicing and loving and hating aright, there is clearly nothing which we are so much concerned to acquire and to cultivate as the power of forming right judgments and of taking delight in good dispositions and noble actions. Rhythm and melody supply imitations of anger and gentleness, and also of courage and temperance, and of all the qualities contrary to these, and of the other qualities of character, which hardly fall short of the actual affections, as we know form our own experience, for in listening to such strains our souls undergo a change. The habit of feeling pleasure or pain at mere representation is not far removed from the same feeling about realities." - Aristotle NULL

"Good temper is the most contented, the most comfortable state of the soul; the greatest happiness both for those who possess it, and for those who feel its influence. With "gentleness" in his own character, "comfort" in his house, and "good temper" in his wife, the earthly felicity of man is complete... Bad temper is its own scourge. Few things are more bitter than to feel bitter. A man's venom poisons himself more than his victim." - Charles Buxton

"Gentleness is able to accomplish what violence can not." - Claudian, latin Claudius Claudianus NULL

"It is only persons of firmness that can have real gentleness. Those who appear gentle are, in general, only a weak character, which easily changes into asperity." - François de La Rochefoucauld, François VI, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, Prince de Marcillac, Francois A. F. Rochefoucauld-Liancourt

"There is not a person we employ who does not, like ourselves, desire recognition, praise, gentleness, forbearance, patience." - Henry Ward Beecher

"To the mother alone it has been given, that her soul during the nine months should touch the soul of the child, and impose upon it predispositions to truth, gentleness, goodness, the culture of which precious germs she should complete in the light of day, after having sown them in the mysterious mysteries of her maternity." - Jean Baptiste Lacordaire, fully Jean Baptiste Henri Lacordaire

"Nothing is so strong as gentleness, and nothing is so gentle as real strength." - Ralph Washington Sockman

"If you would fall into any extreme, let it be on the side of gentleness. The human mind is so constructed that it resists rigor, and yields to softness." - Saint Francis de Sales NULL

"When you encounter difficulties and contradictions, do not try to break them, but bend them with gentleness and time." - Saint Francis de Sales NULL

"Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength." - Saint Francis de Sales NULL

"One should forgive, under any injury. It hath been said that the continuation of the species is due to man’s being forgiving. Forgiveness is holiness; by forgiveness the universe is held together. Forgiveness is the might of the mighty; forgiveness is sacrifice; forgiveness is the might of the mighty; forgiveness is sacrifice; forgiveness is quiet of mind. Forgiveness and gentleness are the qualities of the Self-possessed. They represent eternal virtue." - Mahabharata or The Mahabharata NULL

"Bring together all the children of the universe, you will see nothing in them but innocence, gentleness, and fear; were they born wicked, spiteful, and cruel, some signs of it would come from them; as little snakes strive to bite, and little tigers to tear. But nature having been of offensive weapons to man as to pigeons and rabbits, it cannot have given them an instinct to mischief and destruction." - Voltaire, pen name of François-Marie Arouet NULL

"Power can do by gentleness that which violence fails to accomplish; and calmness best enforces the imperial mandate." - Claudian, latin Claudius Claudianus NULL

"Power can do by gentleness that which violence fails to accomplish; and calmness best enforces the imperial mandate." - Claudian, latin Claudius Claudianus NULL

"I place a high moral value on the way people behave. I find it repellent to have a lot, and to behave with anything other than courtesy in the old sense of the word - politeness of the heart, a gentleness of the spirit. " - Fran Lebowitz, fully Frances Ann "Fran" Lebowitz

"Of all the spirits, I believe the spirit of judging is the worst, and it has had the rule of me, I cannot tell you how dreadfully and how long... This, I find has more hindered my progress in love and gentleness than all things else. I never knew what the words, "Judge not that ye be not judged," meant before; now they seem to me some of the most awful, necessary, and beautiful in the whole Word of God." - F. D. Maurice, fully John Frederick Denison "F.D." Maurice

"Only the weak are cruel. Gentleness can only be expected from the strong." - Leo Busacaglia

"I learned that it is the weak who are cruel, and that gentleness is to be expected only from the strong. " - Leo Rosten, fully Leo Calvin Rosten, pen name Leonard Q. Ross

"I learned that it is the weak who are cruel, and that gentleness is to be expected only from the strong. " - Leo Rosten, fully Leo Calvin Rosten, pen name Leonard Q. Ross

"Here life goes on, even and monotonous on the surface, full of lightning, of summits and of despair, in its depths. We have now arrived at a stage in life so rich in new perceptions that cannot be transmitted to those at another stage - one feels at the same time full of so much gentleness and so much despair - the enigma of this life grows, grows, drowns one and crushes one, then all of a sudden in a supreme moment of light one becomes aware of the sacred." - May Sarton, pen name of Eleanore Marie Sarton

"We've got a sort of brainwashing going on in our country, Morrie sighed. Do you know how they brainwash people? They repeat something over and over. And that's what we do in this country. Owning things is good. More money is good. More property is good. More commercialism is good. More is good. More is good. We repeat it--and have it repeated to us--over and over until nobody bothers to even think otherwise. The average person is so fogged up by all of this, he has no perspective on what's really important anymore. Wherever I went in my life, I met people wanting to gobble up something new. Gobble up a new car. Gobble up a new piece of property. Gobble up the latest toy. And then they wanted to tell you about it. 'Guess what I got? Guess what I got?' You know how I interpreted that? These were people so hungry for love that they were accepting substitutes. They were embracing material things and expecting a sort of hug back. But it never works. You can't substitute material things for love or for gentleness or for tenderness or for a sense of comradeship. Money is not a substitute for tenderness, and power is not a substitute for tenderness. I can tell you, as I'm sitting here dying, when you most need it, neither money nor power will give you the feeling you're looking for, no matter how much of them you have." - Mitch Albom, fully Mitchell David "Mitch" Albom

"These were people so hungry for love that they were accepting substitutes. They were embracing material things and expecting a sort of hug back. But it never works. You can’t substitute material things for love or for gentleness or for tenderness or for a sense of comradeship." - Morrie Schwartz, fully Morris "Morrie" S. Schwartz

"Fearless gentleness is the most beautiful of feminine attractions born of modesty and love." - Clara Lucas Balfour