Great Throughts Treasury

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


"There is nothing a man can less afford to leave at home than his conscience or his good habits; for it is not to be denied that travel is, in its immediate circumstances, unfavorable to habits of self-discipline, regulation of thought, sobriety of conduct, and dignity of character. Indeed, one of the great lessons of travel is the discovery how much our virtues owe to the support of constant occupation, to the influence of public opinion, and to the force of habit; a discovery very dangerous, if it proceed from an actual yielding to temptations resisted at home, and not from a consciousness of increased power put forth in withstanding them." - Richardson Pack or Packe

"True valor lies in the mind, the never-yielding purpose, nor owns the blind award of giddy fortune." - Edward Thomson

"Those who get through the world without enemies are commonly three classes: the supple, the adroit, the phlegmatic. The leaden rule surmounts obstacles by yielding to them; the oiled wheel escapes friction; the cotton sack escapes damage by its impenetrable elasticity." - Richard Whately

"Municipal government is corrupt simply because corrupt and corruptible men are elected to office. Corrupt men are elected to office because office “pays” and corruptible men yield because they make money by; yielding. If municipal government had no profitable contracts to award, if school boards had no textbooks to select, we should have no “municipal problem.”" - Ernest Howard Crosby

"We have mistaken our abstractions for concrete realities… The enormous success of the scientific abstractions, yielding on the one hand matter with its simple location in space and time, on the other hand mind, perceiving, suffering, reasoning, but not interfering, has foisted onto philosophy the task of accepting them as the most concrete rendering of fact. Thereby, modern philosophy has been ruined. It has oscillated in a complex manner between three extremes. There are the dualists who accept matter and mind on an equal basis, and the two varieties of monists, those who put mind into matter and those who put matter inside mind. But this juggling with abstractions can never overcome the inherent confusion introduced by the ascription of misplaced concreteness to the scientific scheme of the seventeenth century." - John Locke

"Any fool can try to defend his mistakes - and most fools do - but it gives one a feeling of nobility to admit one's mistakes. By fighting, you never get enough, but by yielding, you get more than you expected." - Lawrence G. Lovasik

"There are circumstances of peculiar difficulty and danger, where a mediocrity of talent is the most fatal quality that a man can possibly possess. Had Charles the first, and Louis the Sixteenth, been more wise or more weak, more firm or more yielding, in either case they had both of them saved their heads." - Charles Caleb Colton

"If we learn the art of yielding what must be yielded to the changing present we can save the best of the past." - Dean Acheson, fully Dean Gooderham Acheson

"Yield if you are opposed: by yielding you conquer." - Ovid, formally Publius Ovidius Naso NULL

"Yield to him who opposes you; by yielding you conquer." - Ovid, formally Publius Ovidius Naso NULL

"Some degree of abuse is inseparable from the proper use of every thing; and in no instance is this more true than in that of the press. It has accordingly been decided, by the practice of the states, that it is better to leave a few of its noxious branches to their luxuriant growth, than, by pruning them away, to injure the vigor of those yielding the proper fruits. And can the wisdom of this policy be doubted by any one who reflects that to the press alone, checkered as it is with abuses, the world is indebted for all the triumphs which have been gained by reason and humanity over error and oppression?" - James Madison

"The great secret both of health and successful industry is the absolute yielding up of one's consciousness to the business and diversion of the hour--never permitting the one to infringe in the least degree upon the other." - Jean Charles Sismondi, fully Jean Charles Léonard de Sismondi

"Keep justice, keep generosity, yielding to neither singly." - Martin Tupper, fully Martin Farquhar Tupper

"Electric current, after passing into the earth travels to the diametrically opposite region of the same and rebounding from there, returns to its point of departure with virtually undiminished force. The outgoing and returning currents clash and form nodes and loops similar to those observable on a vibrating cord. To traverse the entire distance of about twenty-five thousand miles, equal to the circumference of the globe, the current requires a certain time interval, which I have approximately ascertained. In yielding this knowledge, nature has revealed one of its most precious secrets, of inestimable consequence to man. So astounding are the facts in this connection, that it would seem as though the Creator, himself, had electrically designed this planet just for the purpose of enabling us to achieve wonders which, before my discovery, could not have been conceived by the wildest imagination." - Nikola Tesla

"In her contempt and dread of yielding to mere amorous weakness had she stifled and denied the cry of pity, the cry of conscience? " - Ouida, pseudonym of Maria Louise Ramé, preferred to be called Marie Louise de la Ramée NULL

"The presence of evil in his life provokes him into either overcoming it or yielding to it. If the first, it has led him to work for his own improvement; if the second it has led him to acknowledge his own weakness. Sooner or later, the unpleasant consequences of such weakness will lead him to grapple with it, and develop his power of will... Immediately and directly; it may either strengthen him or weaken him. Ultimately, it can only strengthen him. " - Paul Brunton, born Hermann Hirsch, wrote under various pseudonyms including Brunton Paul, Raphael Meriden and Raphael Delmonte

"They are the ideational, sensate, and idealistic systems of truth and knowledge. Ideational truth is the truth revealed by the grace of God, through His mouthpieces (the prophets, mystics, and founders of religion), disclosed in a supersensory way through mystic experience, direct revelation, divine intuition, and inspiration. Such a truth may be called the truth of faith. It is regarded as infallible, yielding adequate knowledge about the true-reality values. Sensate truth is the truth of the senses, obtained through our organs of sense perception. If the testimony of our senses shows that `snow is white and cold,' the proposition is true; if our senses testify that snow is not white and not cold, the proposition becomes false... Idealistic truth is a synthesis of both, made by our reason. In regard to sensory phenomena, it recognizes the role of the sense organs as the source and criterion of the validity or invalidity of a proposition. In regard to supersensory phenomena, it claims that any knowledge of these is impossible through sensory experience and is obtained only through the direct revelation of God. Finally, our reason, through logic and dialectic, can derive many valid propositions.... Human reason also `processes' the sensations and perceptions of our sense organs and transforms these into valid experience and knowledge. Human reason likewise combines into one organic whole the truth of the senses, the truth of faith, and the truth of reason. These are the essentials of the idealistic system of truth and knowledge... This preliminary outline of the three systems of truth shows that each is derived from the major premise of one of our three supersystems of culture. Each dominates its respective culture and society. If we have a preponderantly ideational culture, its dominant truth is always a variety of the revealed truth of faith; in a sensate system of culture the truth of the senses will prevail; in a idealistic culture the idealistic truth of reason will govern men's minds. With a change of dominant cultural supersystem, the dominant truth undergoes a corresponding change. [Response to Pilate's question "What is truth?" with the description of three general truth-systems which "correspond to our three main supersystems of culture"]" - Pitirim A. Sorokin, fully Pitirim Alexandrovich (Alexander) Sorokin

"We lost the American colonies because we lacked the statesmanship to know the right time and the manner of yielding what is impossible to keep." - Queen Elizabeth II, Elizabeth Alexandra Mary NULL

"If man would but realize that he is essentially a spiritual being, that his body is but the vesture of the individualized spirit, that his life is a portion of the great Spring of life which fills the world, he would at once discard the constant fear of ill-health to which he is a prey. The organs of the body are but the visible instruments whereby the spirit expresses itself, the senses are but mediums, and the brain is but a tool, and all the other processes are but messengers to carry out the injunction from the higher center of man, from his mind. Sickness in the body is a symptom of some disturbance in the mind-center ; bodily sickness is the signal of some form of mental depression, conscious or unconscious. It is the spirit in man, therefore, the invisible, the mind, which must be considered first in avoidance and treatment of illness. Spirit cannot be reached through physical channels, it must be reached through divine methods. When one fears the approach of illness, let him commune with the divine in him ; let him, in order to stimulate the flow of health and courage within him deliver himself completely to the care of God. Let him affirm with all sincerity and devotion "I am a divine being, the flow of divine health is circulating through my body," or, "The divine fountain of Health within me is yielding new strength with every hour." The stream of health will then resume its natural route through the body, and the fear of illness, like a phantom at the sight of the sun, will steal away." - Rabbi Morris Lichtenstein

"Be yielding to thy superior; be affable towards the young; be friendly with all mankind." - Rabbinical Proverbs

"The egotist is all surface; underneath is a pulpy mess and a lot of selfdoubt. But the egoist may be yielding and even deferential in things he doesn't consider important; in anything that touches his core he is remorseless." - Robertson Davies

"This administration is totally colorblind." - Ronald Reagan, fully Ronald Wilson Reagan

"It must feel wonderfully strange when, like Manette, one stands there, the only witness to a vanished world." - Simone de Beauvoir, fully Simone-Ernestine-Lucie-Marie Bertrand de Beauvoir

"Self-consciousness is not knowledge but a story one tells about oneself." - Simone de Beauvoir, fully Simone-Ernestine-Lucie-Marie Bertrand de Beauvoir

"And then he sank back and tried, as usual, not to think. He must succeed. That's what the world was made for. That's what he was made for. That was what he would have to do." - Theodore Dreiser, fully Theodore Herman Albert Dreiser

"It is a principle that the right to a thing gives a right to the means without which it could not be used, that is to say that the means follow their end." - Thomas Jefferson

"A Song : On The Green Margin - On the green margin of the brook, Despairing Phyllida reclined, Whilst every sigh, and every look, Declared the anguish of her mind. Am I less lovely then? (she cries, And in the waves her form surveyed); Oh yes, I see my languid eyes, My faded cheek, my colour fled: These eyes no more like lightning pierced, These cheeks grew pale, when Damon first His Phyllida betrayed. The rose he in his bosom wore, How oft upon my breast was seen! And when I kissed the drooping flower, Behold, he cried, it blooms again! The wreaths that bound my braided hair, Himself next day was proud to wear At church, or on the green. While thus sad Phyllida lamented, Chance brought unlucky Thyrsis on; Unwillingly the nymph consented, But Damon first the cheat begun. She wiped the fallen tears away, Then sighed and blushed, as who would say Ah! Thyrsis, I am won. " - William Cowper

"Some people spend a lifetime juggling with words, with not an idea in a carload." - Will Rogers, fully William Penn Adair "Will" Rogers

"Only work which is the product of inner compulsion can have spiritual meaning." - Walter Gropius, fully Walter Adolph Georg Gropius

"Being a murderer with a sensational but incomplete and unorthodox memory, I cannot tell you, ladies and gentlemen, the exact day which I first knew with certainty that the red convertible was following us." - Vladimir Nabokov, fully Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov

"I count it as an absolute certainty that in paradise, everyone naps. A nap is a perfect pleasure and it's useful, too. It splits the day into two halves, making each half more manageable and enjoyable. How much easier it is to work in the morning if we know we have a nap to look forward to after lunch; and how much more pleasant the late afternoon and evening become after a little sleep. If you know there is a nap to come later in the day, then you can banish forever that terrible sense of doom one feels at 9 A.M. with eight hours of straight toil ahead. Not only that, but a nap can offer a glimpse into a twilight nether world where gods play and dreams happen." - Vladimir Nabokov, fully Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov

"Whether a person is aware of it or not, he is assaulted constantly by misleading and hostile voices within the mind. They speak both through you and to you. Everyone is their target, but because of their extreme cunning, few people ever detect and dismiss them. So the only problem is a lack of information about these foreign voices. The curing facts are as close as your desire for them. It is extremely important for you to remember the following truth: these hurtful voices are not you, and they do not belong to you, but merely speak through your psychic system. Don’t take them as being your own voices, any more than you take radio voices as being your own. They simply use unaware human beings. Your true nature has nothing to do with them. When finally dismissing these sinister speakers you make room for spiritual health and true life." - Vernon Howard, fully Vernon Linwood Howard

"If you are an amiable person you treat yourself well, and you also treat others well. You are amiable about everything everywhere. If you are a casual person, you are indifferent about yourself, and you also treat others with indifference. You are casual about everything everywhere. It follows that, as a noble person, in daily life you are prudent, neither excessively and dazzlingly amiable nor excessively dry and indifferent." - Hung Tzu-ch'eng, also Hong Zicheng or Hóng Zìchéng, born Hong Yingming

"Making friends requires a few measures of gallantry; cultivating true character needs a bit of innocence." - Hung Tzu-ch'eng, also Hong Zicheng or Hóng Zìchéng, born Hong Yingming

"These four qualifications characterize the greatest virtue of a woman. No woman can afford to be without them. In fact they are very easy to possess if a woman only treasure them in her heart. The ancients had a saying: "Is love afar off? If I desire love, then love is at hand!" So can it be said of these qualifications." - Ban Zhao, courtesy name Huiban

"What were once only hopes for the future have now come to pass; it is almost exactly 13 years since the overwhelming majority of people in Ireland and Northern Ireland voted in favor of the agreement signed on Good Friday 1998, paving the way for Northern Ireland to become the exciting and inspirational place that it is today." - Elizabeth II, born Elizabeth Alexandra May NULL

"All perfect things are saddening in effect. The autumn wood robed in its scarlet clothes, the matchless tinting on the royal rose whose velvet leaf by no least flaw is flecked. Love's supreme moment, when the soul unchecked soars high as heaven, and its best rapture knows, these hold a deeper pathos than our woes, since they leave nothing better to expect." - Ella Wheeler Wilcox

"Down on your knees, and thank heaven, fasting, for a good man's love." - Euripedes NULL