Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Posterity

"Though a hundred crooked paths may conduct to a temporary success, the one plain and straight path of public and private virtue can alone lead to a pure and lasting fame and the blessings of posterity." - Edward Everett

"There will be nothing more that posterity can add to our immoral habits; our descendants must have the same desires and act the same follies as their sires. Every vice has reached its zenith." - Juvenal, fully Decimus Junius Juvenalis NULL

"Love hates people to be attached to each other except by himself, and takes a laggard part in relations that are set up and maintained under another title, as marriage is. Connections and means have, with reason, as much weight in it as graces and beauty, or more. We do not marry for ourselves, whatever we say; we marry must as much or more for our posterity, for our family. The practice and benefit of marriage concerns our race very far beyond us. Therefore I like this fashion of arranging it rather by a third hand than by our own, and by the sense of other rather than by our own. How opposite is all this to the conventions of love!" - Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

"When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary." - Thomas Paine

"What a father says to his children is not heard by the world, but it will be heard by posterity." -

"A man does not plant a tree for himself; he plants it for posterity." - Alexander Smith

"There may be, and there often is, indeed, a regard for ancestry which nourishes only weak pride; as there is also a care for posterity, which only disguises an habitual avarice, or hides the workings of a low and groveling vanity. But there is also a moral and philosophical respect for our ancestors, which elevates the character and improves the heart." - Daniel Webster

"The noblest contribution which any man can make for the benefit of posterity, is that of character. The richest bequest which any man can leave to the youth of his native land, is that of a shining, spotless example." - Robert C. Winthrop,fully Robert Charles Winthrop

"Every generation is a secret society and has incommunicable enthusiasms, tastes, and interests which are a mystery both to its predecessors and to posterity." -

"Time will unveil all things to posterity." - Euripedes NULL

"The glory of ancestors sheds a light around posterity; it allows neither their good nor bad qualities to remain in obscurity." -

"Books of quotations are an elemental model of how culture is perpetuated, the wisdom of the tribe passed on to posterity, to be added to, edited, and modified by subsequent generations." - Robert Andrews

"I sincerely believe, with you, that banking institutions are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale." - Thomas Jefferson

"I think it better to do right, even if we suffer in so doing, than to incur the reproach of our consciences and posterity." -

"When a virtuous man is raised, it brings gladness to his friends, grief to his enemies, and glory to his posterity." - Ben Jonson

"The Youth of a Nation are the trustees of Posterity." - Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield

"Contemporaries appreciate the man rather than the merit; posterity will regard the merit rather than the man." - Charles Buxton

"Contemporaries appreciate the man rather than his merit; posterity will regard the merit rather than the man." - Charles Caleb Colton

"People will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors." - Edmund Burke

"People will not look forward to posterity, who never look backward to their ancestors." - Edmund Burke

"Books are the legacies that a great genius leaves to mankind, which are delivered down from generation to generation, as presents to the posterity of those who are yet unborn." - Joseph Addison

"'We are always doing,' says he, something for Posterity, but I would fain see Posterity do something for us." - Joseph Addison

"The love of posterity is the consequence of the necessity of death. If a man were sure of living forever here, he would not care about his offspring." - Nathaniel Hawthorne

"To be an object of hatred and aversion to their contemporaries has been the usual fate of all those whose merit has raised them above the common level. The man who submits to the shafts of envy for the sake of noble objects pursues a judicious course for his own lasting fame. Hatred dies with its object, while merit soon breaks forth in full splendor, and his glory is handed down to posterity in never-dying strains." - Thucydides NULL

"Titles are of no value to posterity; the name of a man who has achieved great deeds imposes more respect than any or all epithets." - Voltaire, pen name of François-Marie Arouet NULL

"Let the American youth never forget, that they possess a noble inheritance, bought by the toils, and sufferings and blood of their ancestors; and capable, if wisely improved, and faithfully guarded, of transmitting to their latest posterity all the substantial blessings of life, the peaceful enjoyment of liberty, property, religion, and independence…Republics are created by the virture, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall, when the wise are banished from the public councils, because they dare to be honest and the profligate are rewarded, because they flatter the people, in order to betray them." - Joseph Story

"A man will commit almost any wrong—he will heap up an immense pile of wickedness, as hard as granite, and which will weigh heavily upon his soul, to eternal ages—only to build a great, gloomy, dark-chambered mansion, for himself to die in, and for his posterity to be miserable in. He lays his own dead corpse beneath the underpinning, as one may say, and hangs his frowning picture on the wall, and, after thus converting himself into an Evil Destiny, expects his remotest great-grandchildren to be happy there!" - Nathaniel Hawthorne

"Slyly, banteringly, but also overbearingly, the critic – the one who does not swallow anything whole, who waits until posterity has consecrated it before... howling – is among those who howl their admiration the way they howl their insults: don't be afraid, don't tremble – the beast doesn't have any nails or teeth, or even brain: it is stuffed. " - Paul Gaugin, fully Eugène Henri Paul Gauguin

"Each famous author of antiquity whom I recover places a new offence and another cause of dishonor to the charge of earlier generations, who, not satisfied with their own disgraceful barrenness, permitted the fruit of other minds, and the writings that their ancestors had produced by toil and application, to perish through insufferable neglect. Although they had nothing of their own to hand down to those who were to come after, they robbed posterity of its ancestral heritage." - Petrarch, anglicized from Italian name Francesco Petrarca NULL

"Since it is not granted us to live long, let us transmit to posterity some memorial that we have at least lived." - Pliny the Younger, full name Casus Plinius Caecilius Secundus, born Gaius Caecilius or Gaius Caecilius Cilo NULL

"I hope that posterity will judge me kindly, not only as to the things which I have explained, but also to those which I have intentionally omitted so as to leave to others the pleasure of discovery." - René Descartes

"I think oysters are more beautiful than any religion,' he resumed presently. 'They not only forgive our unkindness to them; they justify it, they incite us to go on being perfectly horrid to them. Once they arrive at the supper-table they seem to enter thoroughly into the spirit of the thing. There's nothing in Christianity or Buddhism that quite matches the sympathetic unselfishness of an oyster." - Saki, pen name for Hector Hugh Munro or H.H. Munro NULL

"Courage, then, is not only whether we ourselves shall be free, but whether there shall be left to mankind an asylum on earth for civil and religious liberty." - Samuel Adams

"In monarchy the crime of treason may admit of being pardoned or lightly punished, but the man who dares rebel against the laws of a republic ought to suffer death." - Samuel Adams

"Huge power and very powerful provide you with everything you require, is a government capable of plundering everything from you. History says that the more force the authorities decreased liberty" - Thomas Jefferson

"I sincerely congratulate you on the arrival of the mockingbird. Learn all the children to venerate it as a superior being in the form of a bird, or as a being which will haunt them if any harm is done to itself or its eggs." - Thomas Jefferson

"We shall have our follies without doubt. Some one or more of them will always be afloat. But ours will be the follies of enthusiasm, not of bigotry, not of Jesuitism. Bigotry is the disease of ignorance, of morbid minds; enthusiasm of the free and buoyant. Education and free discussion are the antidotes of both." - Thomas Jefferson

"O ye that love mankind! Ye that dare oppose, not only the tyranny, but the tyrant, stand forth! Every spot of the old world is overrun with oppression. Freedom hath been hunted round the globe. Asia, and Africa, have long expelled her — Europe regards her like a stranger, and England hath given her warning to depart. O! receive the fugitive, and prepare in time an asylum for mankind." - Thomas Paine

"The supposed quietude of a good man allures the ruffian; while on the other hand, arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. The same balance would be preserved were all the world destitute of arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare not lay them aside... Horrid mischief would ensue were one half the world deprived the use of them." - Thomas Paine

"Therefore we say that a lying Spirit has been in the mouth of the writers of the books of the Bible." - Thomas Paine

"My eight years in Brooklyn gave me a new vision of America, or rather America gave me a new vision of a part of itself, Brooklyn. They were wonderful years. A community of over three million people, proud, hurt, jealous, seeking geographical, social, emotional status as a city apart and alone and sufficient. One could not live for eight years in Brooklyn and not catch its spirit of devotion to its baseball club, such as no other city in America equaled. Call it loyalty, and so it was. It would be a crime against a community of three million people to move the Dodgers. Not that the move was unlawful, since people have the right to do as they please with their property. But a baseball club in any city in America is a quasi-public institution, and in Brooklyn the Dodgers were public without the quasi." - Wesley Branch Rickey

"Religion does not censure or exclude unnumbered pleasures, harmlessly pursued." - William Cowper

"There are no fields of amaranth on this side of the grave: there are no voices, O Rhodopè! that are not soon mute, however tuneful: there is no name, with whatever emphasis of passionate love repeated, of which the echo is not faint at last." - Walter Savage Landor

"Others may write from the head, but he writes from the heart, and the heart will always understand him." - Washington Irving

"As a single atom, man is an enigma: as a whole, he is a mathematical problem. As an individual, he is a free agent: as a species, the offspring of necessity. The unity of the universe is a scientific fact. To assert that it is the operation of a single Mind is a conjecture based on analogy, and analogy may be a deceptive guide." - W. Winwood Reade, fully William Winwood Reade

"It was left by Aristoxenus, who with great ability and labour classified and arranged in it the different modes. In accordance with it, and by giving heed to these theories, one can easily bring a theatre to perfection, from the point of view of the nature of the voice, so as to give pleasure to the audience." - Vitruvius, fully Marcus Vitruvius Pollio NULL

"Perhaps, to the uninformed, it may appear unaccountable that a man should be able to retain in his memory such a variety of learning; but the close alliance with each other, of the different branches of science, will explain the difficulty." - Vitruvius, fully Marcus Vitruvius Pollio NULL

"I think that in a work of art there is a kind of merging between the two things, between the precision of poetry and the excitement of pure science." - Vladimir Nabokov, fully Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov

"The shock of her death froze something in me. The child I loved, was gone, but I kept looking for her - long after I had left my own childhood behind. The poison was in the wound, you see. And the wound wouldn't heal." - Vladimir Nabokov, fully Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov

"But delightful though it is to indulge in righteous indignation, it is misplaced if we agree with the lady's-maid that high birth is a form of congenital insanity, that the sufferer merely inherits the diseases of his ancestors, and endures them, for the most part very stoically, in one of those comfortably padded lunatic asylums which are known, euphemistically, as the stately homes of England." - Virginia Woolf, nee Stephen, fully Adeline Virginia Woolf