Great Throughts Treasury

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


"Passion may not unfitly be termed the mob of the man, that commits a riot on his reason." - William Penn

"Human affairs are not so happily arranged that the best things please the most men. It is the proof of a bad cause when it is applauded by the mob." -

"The mob has nothing to lose, everything to gain." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Curb the mob; the man with nothing to lose rebels naturally." - Khati I NULL

"It has been very truly said that the mob has many heads, but no brains." - Antoine de Rivarol, also known as Comte de Rivarol

"The mob is either a humble slave or a cruel master." -

"[The press] is seldom intelligent, save in the arts of the mob-master. It is never courageously honest. Held harshly to a rigid correctness of opinion by the plutocracy that controls it with less and less attempt to disguise, and menaced on all sides by censorships that dare not flout, it sinks rapidly into formalism and feebleness. Its yellow section is perhaps its most respectable section for there the only vestige of the old free journalism survives." -

"It is an easy and vulgar thing to please the mob, and not a very arduous task to astonish them; but essentially to benefit and to improve them is a work fraught with difficulty, and teeming with danger." - Charles Caleb Colton

"The nose of a mob is its imagination. By this, at any time, it can be quietly led." - Edgar Allan Poe

"No tin-hat brigade of goose-stepping vigilantes or bibble-babbling mob of blackguarding and corporation paid scoundrels will prevent the onward march of labor, or divert its purpose to play its natural and rational part in the development of the economic, political and social life of our nation." - John L. Lewis, fully John Llewellyn Lewis

"The mob is either a humble slave or a cruel master." - Livy, formally Titus Livius, aka Titus Livy NULL

"For the Age has itself become vulgar, and most people have no idea to what extent they are themselves tainted. The bad manners of all parliaments, the general tendency to connive at a rather shady business transaction if it promises to bring in money without work, jazz and Negro dances as the spiritual outlet in all circles of society, women painted like prostitutes, the efforts of writers to win popularity by ridiculing in their novels and plays the correctness of well-bred people, and the bad taste shown even by the nobility and old princely families in throwing off every kind of social restraint and time-honored custom: all of these go to prove that it is now the vulgar mob that gives the tone. " - Oswald Spengler, fully Oswald Manuel Arnold Gottfried Spengler

"Solitude is strength; to depend on the presence of the crowd is weakness. The man who needs a mob to nerve him is much more alone than he imagines." - Paul Brunton, born Hermann Hirsch, wrote under various pseudonyms including Brunton Paul, Raphael Meriden and Raphael Delmonte

"Commerce has set the mark of selfishness, The signet of its all-enslaving power, Upon a shining ore, and called it gold: Before whose image bow the vulgar great, The vainly rich, the miserable proud, The mob of peasants, nobles, priests, and kings, And with blind feelings reverence the power That grinds them to the dust of misery." - Percy Bysshe Shelley

"Fame, that public destruction of one in process of becoming, into whose building-ground the mob breaks, displacing his stones." - Rainer Maria Rilke, full name René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke

"There is no logical reason why the camel of great art should pass through the needle of mob intelligence." - Rebecca West, pen name of Mrs. Cicily Maxwell Andrews, born Fairfield, aka Dame Rebecca West

"So when at times the mob is swayed To carry praise or blame too far, We may choose something like a star To stay our minds on and be staid." - Robert Frost

"What is blasphemy? I will give you a definition; I will give you my thought upon this subject. What is real blasphemy? To live on the unpaid labor of other men — that is blasphemy. To enslave your fellow-man, to put chains upon his body — that is blasphemy. To enslave the minds of men, to put manacles upon the brain, padlocks upon the lips — that is blasphemy. To deny what you believe to be true, to admit to be true what you believe to be a lie — that is blasphemy. To strike the weak and unprotected, in order that you may gain the applause of the ignorant and superstitious mob — that is blasphemy. To persecute the intelligent few, at the command of the ignorant many — that is blasphemy. To forge chains, to build dungeons, for your honest fellow-men — that is blasphemy. To pollute the souls of children with the dogma of eternal pain — that is blasphemy. To violate your conscience — that is blasphemy. The jury that gives an unjust verdict, and the judge who pronounces an unjust sentence, are blasphemers. The man who bows to public opinion against his better judgment and against his honest conviction, is a blasphemer. Why should we fear our fellow-men? Why should not each human being have the right, so far as thought and its expression are concerned, of all the world? What harm can come from an honest interchange of thought? " - Robert Ingersoll, fully Robert Green "Bob" Ingersoll

"Establish peace, for us, O Lord, In everlasting grace, Nor let us be of Thee abhorred, Who art our dwelling-place. We wander ever to and fro, Or sit in chains in exile drear, Yet still proclaim where’er we go, The splendour of Our Lord is here. Sore-tried, involved in heathen mesh, Deep-sunk as though in midmost sea, Each morn the thought is roused afresh, Who will arise to set us free? From rampart and from mountain reft, Immured in thick and pitchy gloom, Had not the Lord a remnant left, Death in the dust had been our doom. All realms behold our driven seed, Like wounded doves we fly their hate. All nations hunt us and impede And in the desert lie in wait. Gripped as a bird within a net, Ever pursued in deadly chase, With harsh devices daily met, Perchance our God will grant us grace. How many periods are past, And we in exile lingering, By enemies encompassed fast, Who jeer that now we have no King! They plot and league in lying spite God’s truth with cunning to eclipse, Our tongues, they say, shall give us might, We own no master to our lips. Shine forth, great God, in splendid flame, Bare Thy great arm of ancient days, Be jealous for Thy glorious name, Not unto us, O Lord, the praise. To dust the Arab kingdom sweep, The ravenous beasts who tear and bite, Who rend our scattered sons as sheep, Whose motto is to seize by might. Our heritage they have possessed, Exiled, devoured us at their will, Consumed and wasted and oppressed And machinate against us still. So low our nation hath been brought, So many masters override, A little more and it were naught, Had not the Lord been on its side. Beneath the feet of slaves we bend, In pit and prison we are pressed, The hunters at our necks impend, We labour still and have no rest. Where is that kindness from above Of which Thy servitors have heard, The boon of Thy peculiar love, For which we have our fathers’ word? O glorious sovran of the height, Abase, destroy their topmost tower, The final marvel bring to light, Arise and save us, show Thy power. Uplift the lowly from the mire, And make our meditation sweet, The lily gather from the brier, And our salvation, Lord, complete. With joy the lost and wounded bless, Wipe from all eyes the tears that run, Unveil the orb of righteousness, For unto us is born a son. O break the yoke, the slave release, Rebuke the arrogant again, And send Thy messenger of peace, Whose feet are welcome as the rain. Rejoice, my dear despised, the King In all His beauty thou shalt see, And this the song that men shall sing In Judah’s land, our own and free. The prayer of the meek finds grace, And God will hearken and forgive, Tread down corruption, sin erase, And in His light will let us live. My song of penitence He ranks As though an altar-sacrifice. Healed of my sins I give Him thanks, Who ’spite our deeds remits the price Delight and peace from Thee we hail, Thy hand Thy people’s sin outscored, Drew o’er iniquity a veil Nor gave wrongdoing its reward. Perpetual ascend to Thee Thy people’s and Thy servants’ cries, O let us Thy compassion see, And Thy salvation greet our eyes." - Salomon ibn Gabirol, aka Solomon ben Judah or Avicebron

"In this world of trickery emptiness is what your heart wants." - Rumi, fully Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rumi NULL

"The moment of recognizing your own lack of talent is a flash of genius." - Stanislaw Lec, fully Stanisław Jerzy Lec, born Baron Stanisław Jerzy de Tusch-Letz

"The whole world is a man's birthplace." - Statius, fully Publius Papinius Statius NULL

"I don't pity any man who does hard work worth doing. I admire him. I pity the creature who does not work, at whichever end of the social scale he may regard himself as being." - Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt

"The pacifist is as surely a traitor to his country and to humanity as the most brutal warmonger." - Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt

"A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for a second; that second for a third; and so on, till the bulk of the society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery, to have no sensibilities left but for sin and suffering." -

"The beginning of civilization is marked by an intense legality; that legality is the very condition of its existence, the bond which ties it together; but that legality - that tendency to impose a settled customary yoke upon all men and all actions -" - Walter Bagehot

"Then, as the storm burst round him, he rose slowly to his feet and turned his closed eyes toward the Sea. And the world whistled in his ears." - W. E. B. Du Bois, fully William Edward Burghardt Du Bois

"The commentator may be excused for repeating what he has stressed in his own books and lectures, namely that offensive is frequently but a synonym for unusual; and a great work of art is of course always original, and thus by its very nature should come more or less as a shocking surprise." - Vladimir Nabokov, fully Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov

"Secretary of War Stanton used to get out of patience with Lincoln because he was all the time pardoning men who ought to be shot." - Elihu Root