Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Taste

"Bad taste is a species of bad morals." - Christian Nestell Bovee

"Pure friendship is something which men of an inferior intellect can never taste." - Jean de La Bruyère

"People care more about being thought to have taste than about being thought either good, clever, or amiable." - Samuel Butler

"It is a wretched taste to be gratified with mediocrity when the excellent lies before us." -

"Though a taste of pleasure may quicken the relish of life, an unrestrained indulgence leads to inevitable destruction." - Robert Dodsley

"It was our belief that the love of possessions is a weakness to be overcome. Its appeal is to the material part, and if allowed its way, it will in time disturb one’s spiritual balance. Therefore, children must early learn the beauty of generosity. They are taught to give what they prize most, that they may taste the happiness of giving. If a child is inclined to be grasping, or to cling to any of his or her little possessions, legends are related about the contempt and disgrace falling upon the ungenerous and mean person... The Indians in their simplicity literally give away all that they have - to relatives, to guests of other tribes or clans, but above all to the poor and the aged, from whom they can hope for no return." - Charles Alexander Eastman, first named Ohiyesa

"There is no more dangerous illusion than the fancies by which people try to avoid illusion. It is imagination which leads us astray; and the certainty which we seek through imagination, feeling, and taste, is one of the most dangerous sources from which fanaticism springs." - François Fénelon, fully Francois de Salignac de la Mothe-Fénelon

"When we have something for a long time we usually take it for granted. From the day we were born we have breathed air and seen sunlight and the beauty of nature. We have had sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch for such a long time we have lost our appreciation for them. We take our daily pleasures and our intellectual attainments for granted." - Nosson Tzvi Finkel

"Good taste is the modesty of the mind; that is why it cannot be either imitated or acquired." - Madame Émile de Girardin, Delphine de Girardin, née Gay

"If the mind loves solitude, it has thereby acquired a loftier character, and it becomes still more noble when the taste is indulged in." -

"Delicacy of taste has the same effect as delicacy of passion; it enlarges the sphere both of our happiness and misery, and makes us sensible to pain as well as pleasures, which escape the rest of mankind." - David Hume

"Cultivate fine taste and discrimination in your choice of things. Get a right idea of values. Material possessions that you do not need and cannot use may be only an encumbrance. Let your guiding rule be not how much but how good. A thing you do not want is dear at any price. Avoid surplusage. Choose things that express your own individuality. You must possess your things or they will possess you. Look for quality rather than quantity. Unnecessary possessions bring unnecessary care and responsibility. Excess is waste. Have an occasional stocktaking and eliminate unsparingly." -

"We must consider what person stands for; - which, I think, is a thinking intelligent being, that has reason and reflection, and can consider itself as itself, the same thinking thing, in different times and places; which it does only by that consciousness which is inseparable from thinking, and, as it seems to me, essential to it: it being impossible for any one to perceive without perceiving that he does perceive. When we see, hear, smell, taste, feel, meditate, or will anything, we know that we do so. Thus it is always as to our present sensations and perceptions: and by this every one is to himself that which he calls self." - John Locke

"When the taste is purified, the morals are not easily corrupted. Whatever injures the body, the morals, or the mind, will lessen or vitiate taste; thus, disorders of the body and violent passions of the mind, will do this, and so will also excessive care or covetousness; but above all, a habit of intemperance, and keeping low company will greatly deprave that which was once a good taste." - Ronald E. Osborn

"Prejudice, like the spider, makes everywhere its home. It has neither taste nor choice of place, and all that it requires is room. If the one prepares her food by poisoning it to her palate and her use, the other does the same. Prejudice may be denominated the spider of the mind." - Thomas Paine

"The most creative job in the world. It involves taste, fashion, decorating, recreation, education, transportation, psychology, cuisine, designing, literature, medicine, handicraft, art, horticulture, economics, government, community relations, pediatrics, geriatrics, entertainment, maintenance, purchasing, direct mail, law, accounting, religion, energy, and management. Anyone who can handle all those has to be somebody special. She is. She’s a homemaker." - United Technologies Corporation NULL

"True purity of taste is a quality of the mind; it is a feeling which can, with little difficulty, be acquired by the refinement of intelligence; whereas purity of manners is the result of wise habits, in which all the interests of the soul are mingled and in harmony with the progress of intelligence. That is why the harmony of good taste and of good manners is more common than the existence of taste without manners, or of manners without taste." - Pierre Louis Roederer

"Taste and good-nature are universally connected." - William Shenstone

"Happiness is a wine of the rarest vintage, and seems insipid to a vulgar taste." - Logan Pearsall Smith

"The desire to serve others is the highest impulse of the human heart and the rewards of such service are beyond measure. If you wish to taste this, then just do it. Just take one step... You will see that the tyranny of self-concern, worry, and trivial pursuits can be released from your life with that single step. It doesn't really matter what you do, it only matters that you do it." - Ganga Stone

"To have taste it is necessary to have soul." -

"Between friends differences in taste or opinion are irritating in direct proportion to their triviality." - W. H. Auden, fully Wystan Hugh Auden

"What the mass media offers is not popular art, but entertainment which is intended to be consumed like food, forgotten, and replaced by a new dish. This is bad for everyone; the majority lose all genuine taste of their own, and the minority become cultural snobs." - W. H. Auden, fully Wystan Hugh Auden

"I have no particular taste for post-mortem immortality. I am immortal now, while I am gloriously alive." - Joel Blau

"To quote copiously and well requires taste, judgment and erudition, a feeling for the beautiful, an appreciation of the noble, and a sense of the profound." - Christian Nestell Bovee

"To quote copiously and well requires taste, judgment and erudition, a feeling for the beautiful, an appreciation of the noble, and a sense of the profound." - John Christian Bovee

"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome." - Anne Dudley Bradstreet

"Between good sense and good taste there is the same difference as between cause and effect." - Jean de La Bruyère

"To write well is to think well, to feel well, and to render well; it is to possess at once intellect, soul, and taste." - Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon

"Taste is the good sense of genius; without taste genius is only sublime folly." - François-René de Chateaubriand, fully François-René, vicomte de Chateaubriand

"I noticed an almost universal trait among Super Achievers, and it was what I call Sensory Goal Vision. These people knew what they wanted out of life, and they could sense it multi-dimensionally before they ever had it.. They could not only see it, but also taste it, smell it, and imagine the sounds and emotions associated with it. They pre-lived it before they had it. And that sharp, sensory vision became a powerful driving force in their lives." -

"A truly elegant taste is generally accompanied with excellency of heart." - Henry Fielding

"Education... should concern itself primarily... with the liberation, organization, and direction of power and intelligence, with the development of taste, with culture." - Abraham Flexner

"Children are born true scientists. They spontaneously experiment and experience and reexperience again. They select, combine, and test, seeking to find order in their experiences - "which is the mostest? which is the leastest?" They smell, taste, bite, and touch-test for hardness, softness, springiness, roughness, smoothness, coldness, warmness: the heft, shake, punch, squeeze, push, crush, rub, and try to pull things apart." - Buckminster Fuller, fully Richard Buckminster "Bucky" Fuller

"One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words... Men are so inclined to content themselves with what is commonplace; the spirit and the senses so easily grow dead. It is only because they are not used to taste of what is excellent that take generality of people take delight in silly and insipid things, provided they are new." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"There is nothing more dreadful than imagination without taste." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"The instinctive and universal taste of mankind selects flowers for the expression of its finest sympathies, their beauty and their fleetingness serving to make them the most fitting symbols of those delicate sentiments for which language itself seems almost too gross a medium." - George Stillman Hillard

"It is certain that a serious attention to the sciences and liberal arts softens and humanizes the temper, and cherishes those fine emotions in which true virtue and honor consist. It very rarely happens that a man of taste and learning is not, at least, an honest man, whatever frailties may attend him." - David Hume

"Beauty too often sacrifices to fashion. The spirit of fashion is not the beautiful, but the willful; not the graceful, but the fantastic; not the superior in the abstract, but the superior in the worst of all concretes - the vulgar. The high point of taste and elegance is to be sought for, not in the most fashionable circles, but in the best-bred, and such as can dispense with the eternal necessity of never being twice the same." - James Henry Leigh Hunt

"Let us never forget that, to be profited, that is, to be spiritually improved in knowledge, faith, holiness, joy and love, is the end of hearing sermons, and not merely to have our taste gratified by genius, eloquence and oratory." - John Angell James

"I who am blind can give one hint to those who see - one admonition to those who would make full use of the gift of sight: Use your eyes as if tomorrow you would be stricken blind. And the same method can be applied to the other senses. Hear the music of voices, the song of a bird, the mighty strains of an orchestra, as if you would be stricken deaf tomorrow. Touch each object yhou want to touch as if tomorrow your tactile sense would fail. Smell the perfume of flowers, taste with relish each morsel, as if tomorrow you could never smell and taste again. Make the most of every sense; glory in all facets of pleasure and beauty which the world reveals to you through the several means of contact which Nature provides. But of all the senses, sight must be the most delightful." -

"He who has no opinion of his own, but depends upon the opinion and taste of others is a slave." - Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock

"Taste is the fundamental quality which sums up all other qualities. It is the ne plus ultra of the intelligence." - Comte de Lautréamont, pen name for Isadore Lucsen Ducasse

"In taste and imagination, in the graces of style, in the arts of persuasion, in the magnificence of public works, the ancients were at least our equals." -

"Good taste is the first refuge of the non-creative. It is the last ditch stand of the artist." - Marshall McLuhan, fully Herbert Marshall McLuhan

"A superficial freedom to wander aimlessly here or there, to taste this or that, to make a choice of distractions (in Pascal’s sense) is simply a sham. It claims to be a freedom of “choice” when it has evaded the basic task of discovering who it is that chooses." - Thomas Merton

"All of life is a dispute over taste and tasting." -

"A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring; their shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, and drink largely sobers us again." - Alexander Pope

"Taste depends upon those finer emotions which make the organization of the soul." - Joshua Reynolds, fully Sir Joshua Reynolds