Great Throughts Treasury

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


"That poverty which is not the daughter of the spirit is but the mother of shame and reproach; it is a disreputation that drowns all the other good parts that are in man; it is a disposition to all kind of evil; it is a man’s greatest foe." - Mateo Alemán, fully Mateo Alemán y de Enero

"As a remedy against all ills - poverty, sickness, and melancholy - only one thing is absolutely necessary: a liking for work." - Charles Pierre Baudelaire

"Poverty is only contemptible when it is felt to be so. Doubtless the best way to make our poverty respectable is to seem never to feel it as an evil." - Christian Nestell Bovee

"The extent of poverty in the world is much exaggerated. Our sensitiveness makes half our poverty; our fears - anxieties for ills that never happen - a greater part of the other half." - Christian Nestell Bovee

"Those who despise fame seldom deserve it. We are apt to undervalue the purchase we cannot reach, to conceal our poverty the better. It is a spark which kindles upon the best fuel, and burns brightest in the bravest breast." - Jeremy Collier

"All ought to refrain from marriage who cannot avoid abject poverty for their children; for poverty is not only a great evil, but tends to its own increase by leading to recklessness in marriage." - Charles Darwin, fully Charles Robert Darwin

"Inside the souls of wealthy men bleak famine lives while minds of stature struggle trapped in starving bodies. How then can man distinguish man, what test can he use? The test of wealth? That measure means poverty of mind; of poverty? The pauper owns one thing, the sickness of his condition, a compelling teacher of evil; by nerve in war? Yet who, when a spear is cast across his face, will stand to witness his companion’s courage? We can only toss our judgments random on the wind." - Euripedes NULL

"We want fewer things to live in poverty with satisfaction, than to live magnificently in riches." - Charles de Saint-Évremond, fully Charles Marguetel de Saint-Denis, seigneur de Évremond

"Do you know what real poverty is? It is never to have a big thought or a generous impulse." - Jerome P. Fleishman

"Laziness travels so slowly that poverty soon overtakes him." - Benjamin Franklin

"True religion teaches us to reverence what is under us, to recognize humility, poverty, wretchedness, suffering, and death, as things divine." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"What is called affluence - the consequence of the type of rapid economic development which occurred from about the middle of the nineteenth century - is in a real sense an abundance not just of serious problems which machines cannot solve, but of hopeless poverty: the physical insecurity, personal unhappiness, the intensified morality, the sense of being dwarfed by vast and uncontrollable physical, mechanical and corporate structures, the hatred and contempt of other peoples, the lack of opportunity for contemplation, the loss of community life." - Charles Richard Hensman

"Great wants proceed from great wealth; but they are undutiful children, for they sink wealth down to poverty." - Henry Home, Lord Kames

"I take them to be the only rich man that lives upon what he has, owes nothing, and is contented; for there is no determinate sum of money, nor quantity of estate, that can denote a man rich, since no man is truly rich that has not so much as perfectly satiates his desire of having more; for the desire of more is want, and want is poverty." - E. W. Howe, fully Edgar Watson Howe

"For man's greatest actions are performed in minor struggles. Life, misfortune, isolation, abandonment and poverty are battlefields which have their heroes - obscure heroes who are at times greater than illustrious heroes." - Victor Hugo

"Poverty due to laziness is incurable." -

"Poverty indeed is the strenuous life, without brass bands or uniforms or hysteric popular applause or lies or circumlocutions." - William James

"We have lost the power even of imagining what the ancient realization of poverty could have meant; the liberation from material attachments, the unbribed soul, the manlier indifference, the paving our way by what we are and not by what we have, the right to fling away our life at any moment irresponsibly, - the more athletic trim, in short, the fighting shape." - William James

"It is not poverty so much as pretence that harasses a ruined man - the struggle between a proud mind and an empty purse - the keeping up a hollow show that must soon come to an end. Have the courage to appear poor, and you disarm poverty of its sharpest sting." - Anna Jameson

"A man guilty of poverty easily believes himself suspected." -

"Poverty is a great enemy to human happiness; it certainly destroys liberty, and it makes some virtues impracticable and others extremely difficult." -

"Resolve not to be poor: whatever you have, spend less. Poverty is a great enemy to human happiness; it certainly destroys liberty, and it makes some virtues impracticable and others extremely difficult." -

"Men do not easily rise whose poverty hinders their merit." - Juvenal, fully Decimus Junius Juvenalis NULL

"Poverty persuades a man to do and suffer everything that he may escape from it." - Juvenal, fully Decimus Junius Juvenalis NULL

"Rarely they rise by virtue’s aid who lie plunged in the depth of helpless poverty." - Juvenal, fully Decimus Junius Juvenalis NULL

"Riches are gotten with pain, kept with care, and lost with grief. The cares of riches lie heavier upon a good man than the inconveniences of an honest poverty." - Roger L'Estrange, fully Sir Roger L'Estrange

"Who can confess his poverty and look it in the face, destroys its sting: but a proud poor man, he is poor, indeed." - Letitia Elizabeth Landon

"Fear is like fire: If controlled it will help you; if uncontrolled, it will rise up and destroy you. Men's actions depend a great deal upon fear. We do things either because we enjoy doing them or because we are afraid not to do them. This sort of fear has not relation to physical or moral courage. It is inspired by the knowledge that we are not adequately prepared to face the future and the events it may bring - poverty perhaps, or injury, or death." - John F. Milburn

"Contentment furnishes constant joy; much covetousness, constant grief. To the contented, even poverty is joy; to the discontented, even wealth is a vexation." - William Milne

"Contentment furnishes constant joy. Much covetousness, constant grief. To the contented, even poverty is joy. To the discontented, even wealth is a vexation." - Ming Sum Paou Keën

"The lack of wealth is easily repaired; but the poverty of the soul is irreparable." - Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

"The poverty of goods is easily cured; the poverty of the soul is irreparable." - Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

"The want of goods is easily repaired, but the poverty of the soul is irreparable." - Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

"Perhaps a reasonable apprehension of poverty is more paralyzing than the reality." - James Cotter Morison, fully James Augustus Cotter Morison

"To crave more than you need - that is poverty." - Nikita Ivanovich Panin

"Avarice is as destitute of what it has, as poverty of what it has not." - Publius Syrus

"She who is more ashamed of dishonesty than of poverty will not be easily overcome." -

"Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind... the whole world of loneliness, poverty, and pain make a mockery of what human life should be." -

"Poverty keeps together more homes than it breaks up." -

"It is not poverty that we praise, it is the man whom poverty cannot humble or bend." -

"It is only luxury and avarice that makes poverty grievous to us; for it is a very small matter that does our business; and when we have provided against cold, hunger, and thirst, all the rest if but vanity and excess." -

"Poverty is no disgrace to a man but it is confoundedly inconvenient." - Sydney Smith

"We do not desire a thing because we adjudge it to be good, but, on the contrary, we call it good because we desire it, and consequently everything to which we are averse we call evil. Each person, therefore, according to his affect judges or estimates what is good and what is evil, what is better and what is worse, and what is the best and what is the worst. Thus the covetous man thinks plenty of money to be the best thing and poverty the worst." -

"Virtue often trips and falls on the sharp-edged rock of poverty." - Joseph Marie Eugène Sue

"Real sorrow is almost as difficult to discover as real poverty. An instinctive delicacy hides the rays of the one and the wounds of the other." - Madame Swetchine, fully Anne Sophie Swetchine née Sophia Petrovna Soïmonov or Soymanof

"All man’s efforts, all his impulses to life, are only efforts to increase freedom. Wealth and poverty, fame and obscurity, power and subordination, strength and weakness, health and disease, culture and ignorance, work and leisure, repletion and hunger, virtue and vice, are only greater or lesser degrees of freedom." -

"We are apt to say that money talks, but it speaks a broken, poverty-stricken language. Hearts talk better, clearer and with wider intelligence." - William Allen White

"Poverty does not mean the possession of little, but the non-possession of much." - Antipater NULL

"We should not so much esteem our poverty as a misfortune, were it not that the world treats it so much as a crime." - Christian Nestell Bovee