Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Tenderness

"There may be some tenderness in the conscience and yet the will be a very stone; and as long as the will stands out, there is no broken heart." - Richard Alleine

"With endless patience you shall carry out your duty, and your firmness shall be tempered with tenderness for your people. Neither anger nor fury shall lodge in your mind, and all your words and actions shall be marked with calm deliberation. In all your deliberations in the Council, in your efforts at lawmaking, in all your official acts, self-interest shall be cast into oblivion. Cast not away the warnings of any others, if they should chide you for any error or wrong you may do, but return to the way of the Great Law, which is just and right. Look and listen for the welfare of the whole people and have always in view not only the present but also the coming generations, even those whose faces are yet beneath the surface of the earth - the unborn of the future Nation." - Constitution of the Five Nations NULL

"Three men are my friends - he that loves me, he that hates me and he that is indifferent to me. Who loves me, teaches me tenderness; who hates me, teaches me caution; who is indifferent to me, teaches me self-reliance." - J. E. Dinger

"The prudence of the best heads is often defeated by the tenderness of the best of hearts." - Henry Fielding

"There is an organic affinity between joyousness and tenderness. Religious rapture, moral enthusiasm, ontological wonder, cosmic emotion, are all unifying states of mind, in which the sand and grit of selfhood incline to disappear, and tenderness to rule." - William James

"I have great admiration for power, a great terror of weakness, especially in my own sex, yet feel that my love is for those who overcome the mental and moral suffering and temptation through excess of tenderness rather than through excess of strength." - Anna Jameson

"Want of tenderness is want of parts, and is no less a proof of stupidity than depravity." -

"To keep one's tenderness is called strength." -

"There are many kinds of smiles, each having a distinct character. Some announce goodness and sweetness, others betray sarcasm, bitterness, and pride; some soften the countenance by their languishing tenderness, others brighten by their spiritual vivacity." - Johann Kaspar Lavater

"Tenderness is the infancy of love." -

"Marriage is not a union merely between two creatures - it is a union between two spirits; and the intention of that bond is to perfect the nature of both, by supplementing their deficiencies with the force of contrast, giving to each sex those excellencies in which it is naturally deficient; to the one, strength of character and firmness of moral will; to the other, sympathy, meekness, tenderness; and just so solemn and glorious as these ends are for which the union was intended, just so terrible are the consequences if it be perverted and abused; for there is no earthly relationship which has so much power to ennoble and exalt." -

"Remorse is the consciousness of doing wrong with no sense of love; penitence the same consciousness with the feeling of sorrow and tenderness added." -

"We win by tenderness; we conquer by forgiveness." -

"Courage is by no means incompatible with tenderness. On the contrary, gentleness and tenderness have been found to characterize the men, no less than the women, who have done the most courageous deeds." - Samuel Smiles

"Dependence is a perpetual call upon humanity, and a greater incitement to tenderness and pity than any other motive whatever." - William Makepeace Thackeray

"The whole secret of remaining young in spite of years, and even of gray hairs, is to cherish enthusiasm in oneself, by poetry, by contemplation, by charity, - that is, in fewer words, the maintenance of harmony in the soul. When everything is in its right place within us, we ourselves are in its right place within us, we ourselves are in equilibrium with the whole work of God. Deep and grave enthusiasm for the eternal beauty and the eternal order, reason touched with emotion and a serene tenderness of heart - these surely are the foundations of wisdom." -

"Love delights in paradoxes. Saddest when it has most reason to be gay, sights are the signs of its greatest joy, and silence is the expression of its yearning tenderness." - Christian Nestell Bovee

"Is it any weakness, pray, to be wrought on by exquisite music? to feel its wondrous harmonies searching the subtlest windings of your soul, the delicate fibres of life where no memory can penetrate, and binding together your whole being, past and present, in one ;unspeakable vibration; melting you in one moment with all the tenderness, all the love, that has been scattered through the toilsome years, concentrating in one emotion of heroic courage or resignation all the hard-learned lessons of self-renouncing sympathy, blending your present joy with past sorrow, and your present sorrow with all your past joy?" - George Eliot, pen name of Mary Ann or Marian Evans

"It is not possible to be regarded with tenderness, except by a few. That merit which gives greatness and renown diffuses its influence to a wide compass, but acts weakly on every single breast; it is placed at a distance from common spectators, and shines like one of the remote stars, of which the light reaches us, but not the heat." -

"The soul sings all the time; joy and sweetness are her garments; high-minded tenderness envelops her." - Abraham Isaac Kook

"To keep one's tenderness is called strength." -

"The doubts of love are never to be wholly overcome; they grow with its various anxieties, timidities, and tenderness, and are the very fruits of the reverence in which the admired object is beheld." - Jane Porter

"Use all your intelligence and experience in managing your own life, employing the tenderness you would expect to find in a being of ideal kindness." - Abbé Henri De Tourville

"A waste far more worthy of our tears is the enormous energy within us that never gets channeled, the love that is never expressed, the kindness that never surfaces, the compassion and tenderness that are never awakened." - Sidney Greenberg

"The toddler must say "no" in order to find out who she is. The adolescent says "no" to assert who she is not." - Louise J. Kaplan

"Love doesn’t mean doing extraordinary or heroic things. It means knowing how to do ordinary things with tenderness." - Jean Vanier

"We live by Faith; but Faith is not the slave of text and legend. Reason’s voice and God’s, Nature’s and Duty’s, never are at odds. What asks our Father of His children, save justice and mercy and humility, a reasonable service of good deeds, pure living, tenderness to human needs, reverence and trust, and prayer for light to see the Master’s footprints in our daily ways? No knotted scourge nor sacrificial knife, but the calm beauty of an ordered life whose very breathing is unworded praise! A life that stands as all true lives have stood firm-rooted in the faith that God is good." - John Greenleaf Whittier

"To pity the unhappy is not contrary to selfish desire; on the other hand, we are glad of the occupation to thus testify friendship and attract to ourselves the reputation of tenderness, without giving anything." - Blaise Pascal

"When death, the great reconciler, has come, it is never our tenderness that we repent of, but our severity." -

"My retirement was now become solitude; the former is, I believe, the best state for the mind of man, the latter almost the worse. In complete solitude, the eye wants objects, the heart wants reciprocation. The character loses its tenderness when it has nothing to strengthen it, its sweetness when it has nothing to soothe it." - Hannah More

"It is impossible to indulge in habitual severity of opinion upon our fellow-men without injuring the tenderness and delicacy of our own feelings." - Henry Ward Beecher

"That kind of discipline whose pungent severity is in the manifestations of paternal love, compassion, and tenderness is the most sure of its object." - Hosea Ballou

"The less tenderness a man has in his nature, the more he requires from others." - Ibn Rahel

"(The sky) Sometimes gentle, sometimes capricious, sometimes awful, never the same for two minutes together; almost human in its passions, almost spiritual in its tenderness, almost divine in its infinity." - John Ruskin

"Dependence is a perpetual call upon humanity, and a greater incitement to tenderness and pity than any other motive whatever." - Joseph Addison

"Tenderness is the repose of passion." - Joseph Joubert

"I abstain from the people who consider insolence bravery and tenderness cowardice. And I abstain from those who consider chatter wisdom and silence ignorance." - Kahlil Gibran

"Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolution." - Kahlil Gibran

"The quality of strength lined with tenderness is an unbeatable combination, as are intelligence and necessity when unblunted by formal education." - Maya Angelou, born Marguerite Annie Johnson

"Let everyone understand that real love of God does not consist in tear-shedding, nor in that sweetness and tenderness for which usually we long, just because they console us, but in serving God in justice, fortitude of soul and humility." - Mother Teresa, born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu NULL

"Sentiment and nobility and love are immortal... Tenderness and loyalty, and patience, and self-sacrifice, and devotion to duty - these are life’s natural aspirations." - Norman Vincent Peale

"Tenderness is a virtue." - Oliver Goldsmith

"Tenderness, without a capacity of relieving, only makes the man who reels it more wretched than the object which sues for assistance." - Oliver Goldsmith

"When death, the great reconciler, has come, it is never our tenderness that we repent of, but our severity." - George Eliot, pen name of Mary Ann or Marian Evans

"The whole secret of remaining young in spite of years, and even of gray hairs, is to cherish enthusiasm in oneself, by poetry, by contemplation, by charity, - that is, in fewer words, the maintenance of harmony in the soul. When everything is in its right place within us, we ourselves are in its right place within us, we ourselves are in equilibrium with the whole work of God. Deep and grave enthusiasm for the eternal beauty and the eternal order, reason touched with emotion and a serene tenderness of heart - these surely are the foundations of wisdom. " - Henri Frédéric Amiel

"While tenderness of feeling and susceptibility to generous emotions are accidents of temperament, goodness is an achievement of the will and a quality of the life." - James Russell Lowell

"I grasp at each second, trying to suck it dry: nothing happens which I do not seize, which I do not fix forever in myself, nothing, neither the fugitive tenderness of those lovely eyes, nor the noises of the street, nor the false dawn of early morning: and even so the minute passes and I do not hold it back, I like to see it pass." - Jean-Paul Sartre

"A work that aspires, however humbly, to the condition of art should carry its justification in every line...To snatch in a moment of courage, from the remorseless rush of time, a passing phase of life is only the beginning of the task. The task approached in tenderness and faith is to hold up unquestioningly, without choice and without fear, the rescued fragment before all eyes and in the light of a sincere mood. It is to show its vibration, its colour, its form; and through its movement, its form, and its colour, reveal the substance of its truth -- disclose its inspiring secret: the stress and passion within the core of each convincing moment. In a single-minded attempt of that kind, if one be deserving and fortunate, one may perchance attain to such clearness of sincerity that at last the presented vision of regret or pity, of terror or mirth, shall awaken in the hearts of the beholders that feeling of unavoidable solidarity; of the solidarity in mysterious origin, in toil, in joy, in hope, in uncertain fate, which binds men to each other and all mankind to the visible world." - Joseph Conrad, born Teodor Josef Konrad Korzeniowski