Great Throughts Treasury

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


"Marriage is the strictest tie of perpetual friendship, and there can be no friendship without confidence, and no confidence without integrity; and he must expect to be wretched, who pays to beauty, riches, or politeness that regard which only virtue and piety can claim." -

"There is no outward sign of politeness which has not a deep, moral reason. Behavior is a mirror in which every one shows his own image. There is a politeness of the heart akin to love, from which springs the easiest politeness of outward behavior... Politeness is not always a sign of wisdom, but the want of it always leaves room for the suspicion of folly." - Walter Savage Landor

"Punctuality is the politeness of kings." - Louis XVIII, Louis Stanislas Xavier NULL

"Children were taught that true politeness was to be defined in actions rather than in words." - Chief Luther Standing Bear

"The spirit of politeness is a desire to bring about by our words and manners, that others may be pleased with us and with themselves." - Baron de Montesquieu, fully Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu

"When an exceptional human being handles the mediocre more gently than he does himself or his equals, this is not mere politeness of the heart - it is simply his duty." -

"True politeness consists in being easy one's self, and in making every one about one as easy as one can." - Alexander Pope

"The only true source of politeness is consideration, that vigilant moral sense which never loses sight of the rights, the claims, and the sensibilities of others." - William Gilmore Simms

"The wisest and best are repulsive, if they are characterized by repulsive manners. Politeness is an easy virtue, costs little, and has great purchasing power." - Amos Bronson Alcott

"Learn politeness from the impolite." - Egyptian Proverbs

"True politeness is the spirit of benevolence showing itself in a refined way. It is the expression of good-will and kindness. It promotes both beauty in the man who possesses it, and happiness in those who are about him. It is a religious duty, and should be a part of religious training." - Henry Ward Beecher

"True politeness is perfect ease and freedom. It simply consists in treating others just as you love to be treated yourself." - Lord Chesterfield, Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield

"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

"When an exceptional human being handles the mediocre more gently than he does himself or his equals, this is not mere politeness of the heart - it is simply his duty." - Friedrich Nietzsche, fully Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

"As charity covers a multitude of sins before God, so does politeness before men." - Lord Brooke, Fulke Greville, 1st Baron Brooke, de jure 13th Baron Latimer and 5th Baron Willoughby de Brooke

"Politeness only teaches us to save others from unnecessary pain.... You are not bound by politeness to tell any falsehoods." - Maria Edgeworth

"Marriages would in general be as happy, and often more so, if they were all made by the Lord Chancellor." - Samuel Johnson, aka Doctor Johnson

"The true genius is a mind of large general powers, accidentally determined to some particular direction." - Samuel Johnson, aka Doctor Johnson

"People happy in love have an air of intensity" - Stendhal, pen name of Marie Henn Beyle or Marie-Henri Beyle NULL

"In truth, the abuses of monarchy had so much filled all the space of political contemplation, that we imagined everything republican which was not monarchy. We had not yet penetrated to the mother principle, that governments are republican only in proportion as they embody the will of their people, and execute it. Hence, our first constitutions had really no leading principles in them. But experience and reflection have but more and more confirmed me in the particular importance of the equal representation then proposed." - Thomas Jefferson

"The widespread willingness to rely on thermonuclear bombs as the ultimate weapon displays a cavalier attitude toward death that has always puzzled me. My impression is that...most of the defenders of these weapons are not suitably horrified at the possibility of a war in which hundreds of millions of people would be killed...I suspect that an important factor may be belief in an afterlife, and that the proportion of those who think that death is not the end is much higher among the partisans of the bomb than among its opponents." - Thomas Nagel

"It is the beginning of the worst moment. All of the flood barriers are at their maximum level." - Václav Havel