Great Throughts Treasury

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


"Warning! Following are the names of the Seven Mischievous Misses who are responsible for most of our troubles: Miss Information, Miss Quotation, Miss Representation, Miss Interpretation, Miss Construction, Miss Conception, Miss Understanding. Don't listen to them! Beware!" - William J. H. Boetcker, fully William John Henry Boetcker

"The only rational way of educating is to be an example - if one can't help it, a warning example." - Albert Einstein

"You can throw yourselves away. You can become of no use in the universe except for a warning. You can lose your souls. Oh, what a loss is that! The perversion and degradation of every high and immortal power for an eternity! And shall this be true of any one of you? Will you be lost when One has come from heaven, traveling in the greatness of His strength, and with garments dyed in blood, on purpose to guide you home - home to a Father’s house - to an eternal home?" -

"Although generalizations are dangerous, I venture to say that at the bottom of most fears, both mild and severe, will be found an overactive mind and an underactive body. Hence, I have advised many people, in their quest for happiness, to use their heads less and their arms and legs more... in useful work or play. We generate fears while we sit; we overcome them in action. Fear is nature's warning signal to get busy." - Henry C. Link

"If one were given five minutes' warning before sudden death, five minutes to say what it had all meant to us, every telephone booth would be occupied by people trying to call up other people to stammer that they loved them." - Christopher Morley, fully Christopher Darlington Morley

"“You can’t go home again” is the expression of the fear that home is always changing, never stable, all too mortal (and that the individual is, too), and it is a warning to the individual that society, the hometown, the cozy rural small-town community, can destroy all freedom." -

"Take warning in the mischance of others, that others may not take warning of thine." -

"Most diseases are the result of medication which has been prescribed to relieve and take away a beneficent and warning symptom on the part of Nature." - Elbert Green Hubbard

"One of the paradoxical lessons of the nuclear age is that at the moment when we are acquiring an unparalleled command over nature, we are forced to realize as never before that the problems of survival will have to be solved above all in the minds of men. In this task the fate of the mammoth and the dinosaur may serve as a warning that brute strength does not always supply the mechanism in the struggle for survival." - Henry Kissinger, fully Henry Alfred Kissinger

"Education does not mean teaching people what they do not know. It means teaching them to behave as they do not behave. It is not teaching the youth the shapes of letters and the tricks of numbers, and then leaving them to turn their arithmetic to roguery, and their literature to lust. It means, on the contrary, training them into the perfect exercise and kingly continence of their bodies and souls. It is a painful, continual and difficult work, to be done by kindness, by watching, by warning, by precept and by praise, but above all - by example." - John Ruskin

"Art should be a satire and a warning against our paralyzed emotions, our devitalized thinking and our denaturalized living. It teaches us unsophistication in a sophisticated world. It should restore to us health and sanity caused by too much mental activity. It should sharpen our senses, re-establish the connection between our reason and our human nature, and assemble the ruined parts of a dislocated life again into a whole, by restoring our original nature." - Lin Yutang

"Although physicians frequently know their patients will die of a given disease, they never tell them so. To warn of an evil is justified only if, along with the warning, there is a way of escape." - Cicero, fully Marcus Tullius Cicero, anglicized as Tully NULL

"Art at its most significant is a Distant Early Warning System that can always be relied on to tell the old culture what is beginning to happen to it." -

"History is a vast early warning system." - Norman Cousins

"To be successful, a leader must develop a core of loyal staff members who share his sense of mission, serve as his early warning system, possess acute political instincts, and have the competence to protect him from his own mistakes." -

"Art at its most significant is a Distant Early Warning System that can always be relied on to tell the old culture what is beginning to happen to it. " - Marshall McLuhan, fully Herbert Marshall McLuhan

"Certainly, if a candle is capable of dying... Now, imagine," he went on, "that there is somebody who knows about us what we know about the moth. Somebody who knows how, with what, and why this space that we call the sky and assume to be boundless, is bounded-- somebody who cannot approach us to let us know that he exists except in one way-- by killing us. Somebody, on whose garments we are nourished, somebody who carries our death in his hand like a tongue, as a means of communicating with us. By killing us, this anonymous being informs us about himself. And we, through our deaths, which may be no more than a warning to some wayfarer sitting alongside the assassin, we, I say, can at the last moment perceive, as through an opened door, new fields and other boundaries. This sixth and highest degree of deathly fear (where there is no memory) is what holds and links us anonymous participants in the game. The hierarchy of death is, in fact, the only thing that makes possible a system of contacts between the various levels of reality in an otherwise vast space where deaths endlessly repeat themselves like echoes within echoes." - Milorad Pavić

"Mankind is notoriously too dense to read the signs that God sends from time to time. We require drums to be beaten into our ears, before we should wake from our trance and hear the warning and see that to lose oneself in all, is the only way to find oneself. " - Mahatma Gandhi, fully Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, aka Bapu

"And being such the soul doth recognize The doubleness of nature, that there lies A soul occult in Nature, hidden deep As lies the soul of man in moveless sleep. And like a dream Broken in circumstance and foolish made, Through which howe’er the future world doth gleam, And floats a warning to the gathered thought, Like to a dream, Through sense and all by sense conveyed, Into our soul the shadow of that soul Doth float. Then are we lifted up erect and whole In vast confession to that universe Perceived by us: our soul itself transfers Thither by instinct sure; it swiftly hails The mighty spirit similar; it sails In the divine expansion; it perceives Tendencies glorious, distant; it enweaves Itself with excitations more that thought Unto that soul unveiled and yet unsought." - R. W. Dixon, fully Richard Watson Dixon

"I prefer to see myself as the Janus, the two-faced god who is half Pollyanna and half Cassandra, warning of the future and perhaps living too much in the past " - Ray Bradbury, fully Ray Douglas Bradbury

"In me was shaping a yearning for a kind of consciousness, a mode of being that the way of life about me had said could not be, must not be, and upon which the penalty of death had been placed. Somewhere in the dead of the southern night my life had switched onto the wrong track and without my knowing it, the locomotive of my heart was rushing down a dangerously steep slope, heading for a collision, heedless of the warning red lights that blinked all about me, the sirens and the ells and the screams that filled the air." - Richard Wright, fully Richard Nathaniel Wright

"We engage in an act of poetic meaning-making forewarned and forearmed. The warning is necessary: readers will have to roll up their sleeves and collaborate meaningfully with the poet to make the poem. Hence, the poet needs to play fair: leave the right margins unjustified and lots of white space around the piece. That signifies" Poem: Beware. Reader, if you are not willing to do your part, turn the page." Poems omit, hint, and sometimes -- as Plato remarked -- they may even lie. The reader has to accept that the writer is not exactly playing fair. But the reader has been fairly warned and should know what is expected and be willing to provide it, as the poet took special pains to provide something worth struggling with. The two thus form co-contractors, bound to work together to make the poem." - Robin Lakoff, fully Robin Tolmach Lakoff

"As the servant longs for the master’s hand, so craves the cantor’s soul, O extend Thy mercy upon him, rend his debt-recording scroll. "Unto Me return, then will I to thee"—were this Thy word unsaid, Like a captain humbled while at his post he now would droop his head. To Thy servant, Lord, Thou wilt surely ope the penitential way, May his fruit be sweet as he stands to lead our prayers to Thee to-day. As we watch our brother, behold, we note the grey that streaks his hair, And his heart a-swim in a sense of sin as praying stands he there. Let the fervent breath of Thy suppliant be witness for his heart, Let him but return to Thee this once, he never will depart." - Salomon ibn Gabirol, aka Solomon ben Judah or Avicebron

"We believe that civilization has been created under the pressure of the exigencies of life at the cost of satisfaction of the instincts." - Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud

"The ruling is a victory of history over hate, ... Today's decision definitely places Irving where he belongs -- not as a historian, but as a leading apologist for those who seek to whitewash the most heinous crime in human history." - Simon Wiesenthal

"But I think of all the settings that we used, the lighthouse plays were the best. There is something about a lighthouse that you don’t get in a modern drawing room. What it is, I don’t know; but there’s a difference. I always have liked a lighthouse play, and never have enjoyed acting so much, have never thrown myself into acting so deeply, as in a play of that sort." - Stephen Leacock, fully Stephen Butler Leacock

"Your life is short, your duties many, your assistance great, and your reward sure; therefore faint not, hold on and hold up, in ways of well-doing, and heaven shall make amends for all." - Thomas Brooks

"I do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature." - Thomas Jefferson

"I know it will give great offence to the New England clergy, but the advocate of religious freedom is to expect neither peace nor forgiveness from them." - Thomas Jefferson

"Of all the systems of religion that ever were invented, there is no more derogatory to the Almighty, more unedifying to man, more repugnant to reason, and more contradictory to itself than this thing called Christianity. Too absurd for belief, too impossible to convince, and too inconsistent for practice, it renders the heart torpid or produces only atheists or fanatics. As an engine of power, it serves the purpose of despotism, and as a means of wealth, the avarice of priests, but so far as respects the good of man in general it leads to nothing here or hereafter." - Thomas Paine

"Your tears come easy, when you're young, and beginning the world. Your tears come easy, when you're old, and leaving it. I burst out crying." - Wilkie Collins, fully William Wilkie Collins

"Absence makes the heart forget. – African Proverb" -

"Argue not concerning God,…re-examine all that you have been told at church or school or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your soul…" - Walt Whitman, fully Walter "Walt" Whitman

"When one has great gifts, what answer to the meaning of existence should one require beyond the right to exercise them?" - W. H. Auden, fully Wystan Hugh Auden

"And the dream that our mind had sketched in haste Shall others continue, but never complete. For none upon earth can achieve his scheme; The best as the worst are futile here: We wake at the self-same point of the dream,-- All is here begun, and finished elsewhere." - Victor Hugo

"There are some men whom a staggering emotional shock, so far from making them mental invalids for life, seems, on the other hand, to awaken, to galvanize, to arouse into an almost incredible activity of soul." - William (Morley Punshon) McFee

"In theory, Equal Time for Nutjobs should be harmless. The people being interviewed are obviously out of their gourds. The problem is that a Mass Media mention gives them instant credibility. The media audience automatically assumes that the Mass Media wouldn’t give coverage to anything they knew was patently false." - Drew Curtis

"And there was no Camelot now -- now that no Queen was there, all white and gold, under an oaktree with another sunlight sifting itself in silence on her glory through the dark leaves above her where she sat, smiling at what she feared, and fearing least what most there was to fear." - Edwin Arlington Robinson

"Technology can be equally good and bad, based on who uses it." - Erik Hersman

"It will be faithful realism, at least. Stammering is the native eloquence of us fog people." - Eugene O'Neill, fully Eugene Gladstone O'Neill

"Be a light unto the world, a standard to others. You can live in the world and not partake of the sins of the world. You can live life joyously, beautifully, unmarred by the ugliness of sin. This is our confidence in you." - Ezra Taft Benson

"The peace that passeth understanding is that which comes when the pain is not relieved, which subsists in the midst of the painful situation, suffusing it, which springs out of the pain itself, which shimmers on the crest of the wave of pain, which is the spear of frustration transfigured into the shaft of light. It is upon those we love that we must anchor ourselves spiritually in the last moments. The sense of interconnectedness with them stands out vividly by way of contrast at the very moment when our mortal connection with them is about to be dissolved. And the intertwining of our life with theirs, the living in the life that is in them, is but a part of our living in the infinite manifold of the spiritual life. The thought of this, as apprehended, not in terms of knowledge, but in immediate experience, begets the peace that passeth understanding. And it is upon the bosom of that peace that we can pass safely out of the realm of time and space." - Felix Adler

"The worst government is often the most moral. One composed of cynics is often very tolerant and humane. But when fanatics are on top there is no limit to oppression." - H. L. Mencken, fully Henry Louis Mencken

"Through being too knowing the fox lost his tail." -