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

"There is no shame in having fallen. Nor any shame in being born into a lowly estate. There is only shame in not struggling to rise. And also shame for not wishing to attain the better. Or not dreaming about it and praying for it." - Samuel Amalu

"Dissimulation in youth is the forerunner of perfidy in old age; its first appearance is the fatal omen of growing depravity and future shame. It degrades parts and learning obscures the luster of every accomplishment and sinks us into contempt. The path of falsehood is a perplexing maze. After the first departure from sincerity, it is not in our power to stop; one artifice unavoidably leads on to another, till, as the intricacy of the labyrinth increases, we are left entangled in our snare." - Hugh Blair

"There are interests by the sacrifice of which peace is too dearly purchased. One should never be at peace to the shame of his own soul - to the violation of his integrity or of his allegiance to God." - Edwin Hubbell Chapin

"It is a shame for a man to desire honor because of his noble progenitors, and not to deserve it by his own virtue." - John Chrysostom, fully Saint John Chrysostom

"Shame leaves us by degrees." - Samuel Daniel

"Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame." - Benjamin Franklin

"Shame and guilt are noble emotions essential in the maintenance of civilized society, and vital for the development of some of the most refined and elegant qualities of human potential - generosity, service, self-sacrificed, unselfishness and duty." - Willard Gaylen

"Let your words be few and digested, it is a shame for the tongue to cry the heart mercy, much more to cast itself upon the uncertain pardon of others’ ears." - Robert Hall

"The secret thoughts of a man run over all things holy, profane, clean, obscene, grave, and light, without shame, or blame; which verbal discourse cannot do, farther than the judgment shall approve of the time, place and persons." - Thomas Hobbes

"The tender mind is oft deterred from vice by another's shame." - Horace, full name Quintus Horatius Flaccus NULL

"Our thought, incessantly deciding, among many things of a kind, which ones for it shall be realities, here chooses one of many possible selves or characters, and forthwith reckons it no shame to fail in any of those not adopted expressly as its own." - William James

"In the decline of life, shame and grief are of short duration." -

"Where there is yet shame, there may in time be virtue." -

"When pride and presumption walk before, shame and loss follow very closely." - Louis XIV, aka Louis the Great or Sun King NULL

"The boast of arrogance soon turns to shame." - Publius Syrus

"To feel shame is a sort of slavery." - Publius Syrus

"Every man’s vanity ought to be his greatest shame; and every man’s folly ought to be his greatest secret." - Francis Quarles

"Where there is no shame, the kingdom is insecure." -

"That charity is bad which takes from independence its proper pride, from mendacity its salutary shame." - Robert Southey

"No greater shame to man than inhumanity." - Edmund Spenser

"Shame, although it is not a virtue, is nevertheless good, in so far as it shows that a desire of living uprightly is present in the man who is possessed with shame, just as pain is called good in so far as it shows that the injured part has not yet putrefied. A man, therefore, who is ashamed of what he has done, although he is sorrowful, is nevertheless more perfect than the shameless man who has no desire of living uprightly." -

"The ambitious man desires nothing like glory, and on the other hand dreads nothing like shame. To the envious person, again, nothing is more pleasant than the misfortune of another, and nothing more disagreeable than the prosperity of another. And so each person according to his affect judges a thing to be good or evil, useful or useless." -

"Nothing more unqualifies a man to act iwth prudence, than a misfortune that is attended with shame and guilt." - Jonathan Swift, pen names, M.B. Drapier, Lemuel Gulliver, Isaac Bickerstaff

"Lust... is a short pleasure, bought with long pains, a honeyed poison, a gulf of shame... the body's bane and the soul's perdition." - John Taylor, aka 'Water Poet'

"Wine-drinking is the mother of all mischief, the root of crimes, the spring of vices, the whirlwind of the brain, the overthrow of the sense, the tempest of the tongue, the ruin of the body, the shame of life, the stain of honesty, and the plague and corruption of the soul." - Saint Augustine, aka Augustine of Hippo, St. Austin, Bishop of Hippo NULL

"The professors laugh at themselves, they laugh at life; they long ago abjured the bitch-goddess Success, and the best of them will fight for his scholastic ideals with a courage and persistence that would shame a soldier. The professor is not afraid of words like truth; in fact he is not afraid of words at all." - Catherine Bowen, née Catherine Shober Drinker

"Poverty is, except where there is an actual want of food an raiment, a thing much more imaginary than real. The shame of poverty - the shame of being though poor - it is a great and fatal weakness, though arising in this country, from the fashion of the times themselves." - William Cobbett

"Where fear is, shame is." -

"Having been poor is no shame, but being ashamed of it is." - Benjamin Franklin

"This age of childhood, in which the sense of shame is unknown, seems a paradise when we look back upon it alter, and paradise itself is nothing but the mass-phantasy of the childhood of the individual. This is why in paradise men are naked and unashamed, until the moment arrives when shame and fear awaken; expulsion follows, and sexual life and cultural development begin." - Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud

"He who puts a friend to public shame is as guilty as a murderer." -

"We often wonder that certain men and women are left by God to the commission of sins that shock us. We wonder how, under the temptation of a single hour, they fall from the very heights of virtue and of honor into sin and shame. The fact is that there are no such falls as these, or there are next to none. These men and women are those who have dallied with temptation - have exposed themselves to the influence of it, and have been weakened and corrupted by it." -

"Life itself is experienced as an endless celebration, an eternal dance and rhythm, continuously pulsating sound. To the initiate, life is a vibrating, harmoniously synchronized melody. The shame works with this feeling of sharing the rhythm of the cosmic dance of fields of energy that are the source, the matrix of all matter." - Holger Kalweit

"No man’s credit can fall so low but that, if he bear his shame as he should to, and profit by it as he ought to do, it is in his own power to redeem his reputation." - Lord Nottingham, Charles Howard, 1st Earl of Nottingham, Lord Howard of Effingham

"The shame of slavedom is incurred not when one is held from the hurtful but when the personal good must be yielded in favor of another’s." - Plotinus NULL

"Drinking of wine brings poverty, shame, quarrels; leads to calumnious talk, unchastity, murder, and the loss of freedom, of honor, of understanding." - Tosafot or Tosafos NULL

"God’s gifts put man’s best dreams to shame." - Elizabeth Browning, fully Elizabeth Barrett Browning

"Glory, built on selfish principles, is shame and guilt." - William Cowper

"Shame kills faster than disease." - Buchi Emecheta

"If, as Heraclitus said, “A man’s character is his fate” – that is, if our fate is largely determined by the habitual tendencies of our repetition compulsion-personality – then the power of consciousness is that it allows us to change impulses, we have what Kierkegaard called “the possibility of possibility”: the possibility of having a free choice and the moral responsibility that comes with it. In that sense, the fear of consciousness is ultimately the fear of moral responsibility, because if we own our anxiety, shame, and guilt, and allow ourselves to have full consciousness of emotions that motivate our behavior, then we will inevitably recognize the full weight of our responsibility for that behavior." - Elio Frattaroli

"As painful as shame is, it does seem to be the guardian of many of the secret, unexplored aspects of our beings. Repressed shame must be experienced if we are to come to terms with the good, the bad, and the unique of what we are." - Robert Karen

"Faith faces everything that makes the world uncomfortable - pain, fear, loneliness, shame, death - and acts with a compassion by which these things are transformed, even exalted." - Samuel H. Miller

"Honor and shame from no condition rise; act well you part: there all the honor lies." - Alexander Pope

"The ultimate function of the neurons in the prefrontal cortex is to excite or inhibit activity in other parts of the brain.” In prohibition and shame we excite the most destructive systems and inhibit the creative ones." - Patricia Goldman-Rakic, born Patricia Shoer

"Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn." - Benjamin Franklin

"Children are remarkable for their intelligence and ardour, for their curiosity, their intolerance of shame, the clarity and ruthlessness of their vision." -

"Children are remarkable for their intelligence and ardour, for their curiosity, their intolerance of shame, the clarity and ruthlessness of their vision." -

"Children are remarkable for their intelligence and ardour, for their curiosity, their intolerance of shame, the clarity and ruthlessness of their vision." -