Great Throughts Treasury

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


"Perhaps there is no property in which men are more distinguished from each other, than in the various degrees in which they possess the faculty of observation. The great herd of mankind pass their lives in listless inattention and indifference as to what is going on around them, being perfectly content to satisfy the mere cravings of nature, while those who are destined to distinction have lynx-eyed vigilance that nothing can escape." - William Wirt

"Whereas the child is chiefly playful and experimental, the adult focuses on specific and conscious experiences. He practices selective inattention to the objects for which he has no immediate use and develops a kind of tunnel vision that helps him to move toward selected goals. This focusing on a limited range of experiences and goals is largely responsible for one's individual evolution and gives a deep and almost tragic significance to a statement made by Albert Camus in his novel La Chute: Apr" - René Dubos, fully René Jules Dubos

"Marrying an old bachelor is like buying second-hand furniture." - Helen Rowland

"When a man makes a woman his wife, it's the highest compliment he can pay her, and it's usually the last." - Helen Rowland

"A definition is the enclosing a wilderness of idea within a wall of words." - Samuel Butler

"The artillery of the press has been leveled against us, charged with whatsoever its licentiousness could devise or dare. These abuses of an institution so important to freedom and science are deeply to be regretted..." - Thomas Jefferson

"A humble man can do great things with an uncommon perfection, because he is no longer concerned about incidentals like his own interests and his own reputation, and therefore he no longer needs to waste his efforts in defending them" - Thomas Merton