Great Throughts Treasury

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


"It is not the quantity of the meat, but the cheerfulness of the guests which makes the feast." - Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon, aka Lord Clarendon

"It was our belief that the love of possessions is a weakness to be overcome. Its appeal is to the material part, and if allowed its way, it will in time disturb one’s spiritual balance. Therefore, children must early learn the beauty of generosity. They are taught to give what they prize most, that they may taste the happiness of giving. If a child is inclined to be grasping, or to cling to any of his or her little possessions, legends are related about the contempt and disgrace falling upon the ungenerous and mean person... The Indians in their simplicity literally give away all that they have - to relatives, to guests of other tribes or clans, but above all to the poor and the aged, from whom they can hope for no return." - Charles Alexander Eastman, first named Ohiyesa

"We have forgotten how to be good guests, how to walk lightly on the earth as its other creatures do." - Stockholm Conference NULL

"If we want the perfect host to take us into his eternal home when we come to knock at his door, he has told us himself what we have to do: we must be ready to open our own door to the earthly guests that come our way." - Jean Daniélou

"He who would be useful, strong, and happy, must cease to be a passive receptacle for the negative, beggardly, and impure streams of thought; and as a wise householder commands his servants and invites his guests, so must he learn to command his desires, and to say, with authority, what thought he shall admit into the mansion of his soul." -

"Two guests (at the same time) have no welcome." - Kenyan Proverbs

"You must strive to multiply bread so that it suffices for the tables of mankind, and not rather favor an artificial control of birth, which would be irrational, in order to diminish the number of guests at the banquet of life." - Pope Paul VI, born Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini NULL

"After the Dinner Party - You two sit at the table late, each, now and then, Twirling a near-empty wine glass to watch the last red Liquid blimb up the crystalline spin to the last moment when Centrifugality fails: with nothing now said. What is left to say when the last logs sag and wink? The dark outside is streaked with the casual snowflake Of winter’s demise, all guests long gone home, and you think Of others who never again can come to partake Of food, wine, laughter, and philosophy— Though tonight one guest has quoted a killing phrase we owe To a lost one whose grin, in eternal atrophy, Now in dark celebrates some last unworded jest none can know. Now a chair scrapes, sudden, on tiles, and one of you Moves soundless, as in hypnotic certainty, The length of table. Stands there a moment or two, Then sits, reaches out a hand, open and empty. How long it seems till a hand finds that hand there laid, While ash, still glowing, crumbles, and silence is such That the crumbling of ash is audible. Now naught’s left unsaid Of the old heart-concerns, the last, tonight, which Had been of the absent children, whose bright gaze Over-arches the future’s horizon, in the mist of your prayers, The last log is black, while ash beneath displays No last glow. You snuff candles. Soon the old stairs Will creak with your grave and synchronized tread as each mounts To a briefness of light, then true weight of darkness, and then That heart-dimness in which neither joy nor sorrow counts. Even so, one hand gropes out for another, again." - Robert Penn Warren

"Adversity tries men, and virtue strives for glory through adverse circumstances, undeterred by hard obstacles." - Silius Italicus, fully Tiberius Catius Asconius Silius Italicus

"On seeing the Enterprise's warp engine while visiting the set of Star Trek: The Next Generation (where he would briefly play himself in the 1993 episode Descent, Part I), Hawking smiled and said: I'm working on that." - Stephen Hawking

"The public, which has been wrong before and is wrong now, can accept only demons and angels on the stage" - Théophile Gautier, fully Pierre Jules Théophile Gautier, aka Le Bon Theo

"Hearing, he [the ironic type] will affect not to have heard, seeing, not to have seen; if he has made an admission, he will say that he does not remember it. Sometimes he has ‘been considering the question’; sometimes he does ‘not know’; sometimes he is ‘surprised’; sometimes it is ‘the very conclusion’ at which he ‘once arrived’ himself. And, in general, he is very apt to use this kind of phrase: ‘I do not believe it’; ‘I do not understand it’; ‘I am astonished.’ Or he will say that he has heard it from some one else: ‘This, however, was not the story that he told me.’ ‘The thing surprises me’; ‘Don’t tell me’; ‘I do not know how I am to disbelieve you, or to condemn him’; ‘Take care that you are not too credulous.’" - Theophrastus NULL

"His whole life is an epigram smart, smooth and neatly penn’d, Plaited quite neat to catch applause, with a hang-noose at the end. " - William Blake

"When I started on Disneyland, my wife used to say, 'But why do you want to build an amusement park? They're so dirty.' I told her that was just the point - mine wouldn't be." - Walt Disney, fully Walter Elias "Walt" Disney

"A little downy girl still wearing poppies still eating popcorn in the colored gloam where tawny Indians took paid croppers because you stole her from her wax-browed and dignified protector spitting into his heavy-lidded eye ripping his flavid toga and at dawn leaving the hog to roll upon his new discomfort the awfulness of love and violets remorse despair while you took a dull doll to pieces and threw its head away because of all you did because of all I did not you have to die" - Vladimir Nabokov, fully Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov

"One of the dangers of the American artist is that he finds himself almost exclusively thrown in with persons more or less in the arts. He lives among them, eats among them, quarrels with them, marries them." - Thornton Wilder, fully Thornton Niven Wilder

"Be sad, good brothers, for, by my faith, it very well becomes you: sorrow so royally in you appears, that I will deeply put the fashion on." - William Shakespeare

"The room was much as he had left it, festeringly untidy, though the effect was muted a little by a thick layer of dust. Half-read books and magazines nestled among piles of half-used towels. Half-pairs of socks reclined in half-drunk cups of coffee. What once had been a half-eaten sandwich had now half-turned into something that Arthur didn’t entirely want to know about. Bung a fork of lightning through this lot, he thought to himself, and you’d start the evolution of life off all over again." - Douglas Adams, fully Douglas Noel Adams

"Patience is pale cold cowardice in noble breasts." - William Shakespeare

"Seek happy nights to happy days." - William Shakespeare

"The sound of the English country families baying for broken glass." - Evelyn Waugh, fully Evelyn Arthur St. John Waugh

"I'm not happy when I'm writing, but I'm more unhappy when I'm not." - Fannie Hurst

"I sit beside the fire and think of all that i have seen of meadow flowers and butterflies in summers that have been of yellow leaves and gossamer in autumns that there were with morning mist and silver sun and wind upon my hair. I sit beside the fire and think of how the world will be when winter comes without a spring that I shall ever see. For still there are so many things that I have never seen in every wood in every spring there is a different green. I sit beside the fire and think of people long ago and people that will see a world that i shall never know. But all the while I sit and think of times there were before I listen for returning feet and voices at the door." -