Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Youth

"What one knows is, in youth, of little moment; they know enough who know how to learn." - Henry Adams, aka Henry Brooks Adams

"Youth is a cause of hope for three reasons... And these three reasons may be gathered from the three conditions of the good which is the object of hope - namely, that it is future, arduous and possible... For youth has much of the future before it, and little of the past; and therefore since memory is of the past, and hope of the future, it has little to remember and lives very much in hope. Again, youths, on account of the heat of their nature, are full of spirit, so that their heart expands, and it is owing to the heart being expanded that one tends to that which is arduous; therefore youths are spirited and hopeful. Likewise they who have not suffered defeat, nor had experience of obstacles to their efforts, are prone to count a thing possible to them. Therefore youths, through inexperience of obstacles and of their own shortcomings, easily count a thing possible, and consequently are of good hope." -

"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

"Graceful, particularly in youth, is the tear of sympathy, and the heart that melts at the tale of woe; we should not permit ease and indulgence to contract our affections, and wrap us up in selfish enjoyment. But we should accustom ourselves to think of the distresses of human life, of the solitary cottage, the dying parent, and the weeping orphan. Nor ought we ever to sport with pain and distress in any of our amusements, or treat even the meanest insect with wanton cruelty." - Hugh Blair

"The confirmed prejudices of a thoughtful life are as hard to change as the confirmed habits of an indolent life; and as some must trifle away age because they trifled away youth, others must labor on in a maze of error because they have wandered there too long to find their way out." - Henry St John, Lord Bolingbroke, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke

"In early youth, if we find it difficult to control our feelings, so we find it difficult to vent them in the presence of others. On the spring side of twenty, if anything affects us, we rush to lock ourselves up in our room, or get away into the street or the fields; in our earlier years we are still the savages of nature, and we do as the poor brutes do. The wounded stag leaves the herd; and if there is anything on a dog’s faithful heart, he slinks away into a corner." -

"It is noticeable how intuitively in age we go back with strange fondness to all that is fresh in the earliest dawn of youth. If we never cared for little children before, we delight to see them roll in the grass over which we hobble on crutches. The grandsire turns wearily from his middle-aged, care-worn son, to listen with infant laugh to the prattle of an infant grandchild. It is the old who plant young trees; it is the old who are most saddened by the autumn, and feel most delight in the returning spring." -

"Truthfulness is a corner-stone of character, and if it be not firmly laid in youth, there will ever after be a weak spot in the foundation." - Jefferson Davis, known as Jeff Davis

"“Desiderata" Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others, even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy." - Max Ehrmann

"The blackout of images of women or men visibly over sixty-five, engaged in any vital or productive adult activity, and their replacement by the ‘problem’ of age, is our society’s very definition of age. Age is perceived only as a decline or deterioration from youth." - Betty Friedan

"We love a girl for very different qualities than understanding. We love her for her beauty, her youth, her mirth, her confidingness, her character, with its faults, caprices and God knows what other inexpressible charms; but we do not love her understanding." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Curiosity, or the love of knowledge, has a very limited influence, and requires youth, leisure, education, genius and example to make it govern any person." - David Hume

"The vices operate like age, bring on disease before its time and in the prime of youth, leave the character broken and exhausted." -

"We deem those happy who, from the experience of life, have learned to bear its ills, without being overcome by them. A father may turn his back on his child, brothers and sisters may become inveterate enemies, husbands may desert their wives, wives their husbands. But a mother’s love endures through all; in good repute, in bad repute, in the face of the world’s condemnation, a mother still loves on and still hopes that her child may turn from his evil ways, and repent; still she remembers the infant smiles that once filled her bosom with rapture, the merry laugh, the joyful shout of his childhood, the opening promise of his youth; and she can never be brought to think him all unworthy." - Juvenal, fully Decimus Junius Juvenalis NULL

"Old age has its pleasures, which, though different, are not less than pleasures of youth." -

"I maintain, in truth, that with a smile we should instruct our youth, be very gentle when we have to blame, and not to put them in fear of virtue's name." - Molière, pen name of Jean Baptiste Poquelin NULL

"Immature is the love of the youth, and immature his hatred of man and earth. His mind and the wings of his spirit are still tied down and heavy." -

"Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind. People grow old only by deserting their ideals and outgrowing the consciousness of youth. Years wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. You are as old as your doubt; your fear; your despair. The way to keep young is to keep your faith young. Keep your self-confidence young. Keep your hope young." - Luella F. Phelan

"The belief that youth is the happiest time of life is founded on a fallacy. The happiest person is the person who thinks the most interesting thoughts, and we grow happier as we grow older." - William Lyon Phelps

"The confirmed prejudices of a thoughtful life, are as hard to change as the confirmed habits of an indolent life: and as some must trifle away age, because they trifled away youth, others must labor on in a maze of error, because they have wandered there too long to find their way out." - Henry St John, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke

"Don't laugh at a youth for his affections; he is only trying on one face after another to find a face of his own." - Logan Pearsall Smith

"Man hath a weary pilgrimage, as through the world he wends; on every stage, from youth to age, still discontent attends." - Robert Southey

"It is not easy to surround life with any circumstances in which youth will not be delightful; and I am afraid that, whether married or unmarried, we shall find the vesture of terrestrial existence more heavy and cumbrous the longer it is worn." - Richard Steele, fully Sir Richard Steele

"The envious man is in pain upon all occasions which ought to give him pleasure. The relish of his life is inverted; and the objects which administer the highest satisfaction to those who are exempt from this passion give the quickest pangs to persons who are subject to it. All the perfections of their fellow creatures are odious. Youth, beauty, valor and wisdom are provocations of their displeasure. What a wretched and apostate state is this! to be offended with excellence, and to hate a man because we approve him!" - Richard Steele, fully Sir Richard Steele

"If a man would register all his opinions upon love, politics, religion, learning, etc., beginning from his youth, and so go to old age, what a bundle of inconsistencies and contradictions would appear at last!" - Jonathan Swift, pen names, M.B. Drapier, Lemuel Gulliver, Isaac Bickerstaff

"What fools men are to weep the dead and gone! Unwept, youth drops its petals one by one." - Theognis, aka Theognis of Megara NULL

"The noblest contribution which any man can make for the benefit of posterity, is that of character. The richest bequest which any man can leave to the youth of his native land, is that of a shining, spotless example." - Robert C. Winthrop,fully Robert Charles Winthrop

"Time is so fleeting that if we do not remember God in our youth, age may find us incapable of thinking about him." - Hans Christian Anderson

"I have heard it said that the first ingredient of success - the earliest spark in the dreaming youth - if this; dream a great dream." -

"The situation of our youth is not mysterious. Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them. They must, they have no other models." -

"The confirmed prejudices of the thoughtful life, are as hard to change as the confirmed habits of an indolent life; and as most must trifle away age, because they trifled away youth, others must labor on the maze of error, because they have wandered there too long to find their way." - Henry Bolingbroke, Henry IV of England

"Youth is too tumultuous for felicity; old age too insecure for happiness. The period most favorable to enjoyment, in a vigorous, fortunate, and generous life, is that between forty and sixty." - Christian Nestell Bovee

"The heart of youth is reached through the senses; the senses of age are reached through the heart." - Nicholas-Edme Rétif or Restif, aka Rétif de la Bretonne

"Youth is young life plus curiosity minus understanding." - Anthony Brooks, fully Major Anthony Morris “Tony” Brooks

"As we age, the mystery of Time more and more dominates the mind. We live less in the present, which no longer has the solidity that it had in youth; less in the future, for the future every day narrows its span. The abiding things lie in the past." -

"Hope is the last gift given to man, and the only gift not given to youth. Youth is pre-eminently the period in which a man can be lyric, fanatical, poetic; but youth is the period in which a man can be hopeless. The end of every episode is the end of the world. But the power of hoping through everything, the knowledge that the soul survives its adventures, that great inspiration comes to the middle-aged." - G. K. Chesterton, fully Gilbert Keith Chesterton

"Happy is he who has laid up in his youth, and held fast in all fortune, a genuine and passionate love for reading." - Rufus Choate

"Books are a guide in youth, and an entertainment for age. They support us under solitude, and keep us from becoming a burden to ourselves. They help us to forget the crossness of men and things, composed our cares and our passions, and lay our disappointments asleep. When we are weary of living, we may repair to the dead, who have nothing of peevishness, pride or design in their conversation." - Jeremy Collier

"A man whose youth has no follies, will in his maturity have no power." - Mortimer Collins, fully Edward James Mortimer Collins

"Neither piety, nor liberty can long flourish in a community where the education of youth is neglected." - Albert Cooper, fully Albert Glen Cooper

"Truthfulness is a corner-stone in character, and if it be not firmly laid in youth, there will ever after be a weak spot in the foundation." - Jim Davis

"The hatred of the youth culture for adult society is not a disinterested judgment but a terror-ridden refusal to be hooked into the... ecological chain of birthing, growing and dying. It is the demand, in other words, to remain children." - Midge Decter, fully Midge Rosenthal Decter

"Make wisdom your provision for the journey from youth to old age, for it is a more certain support than all other possessions." - Diogenes Laërtius, aka "Diogenes the Cynic"

"No unity can last, in married life, unless the fellowship of hearts is accompanied by the fellowship of minds. As a woman loses the charms of her youth, her husband must perceive that her mind is developing and love must be perpetuated by esteem." - Félix Dupanloup, fully Félix Antoine Philibert Dupanloup

"In youth we learn; in age we understand." - Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

"Some men are born old, and some never seem so. If we keep well and cheerful we are always young, and at last die in youth, even when years would count us old." - Tyron Edwards

"O Youth: Do you know that yours is not the first generation to yearn for a life of beauty and freedom? Do you know that all your ancestors felt as you do - and fell victim to trouble and hatred? Do you know, also, that your fervent wishes can only find fulfillment if you succeed in attaining love and understanding of men, and animals, and plants, and stars, so that every joy becomes your joy and every pain your pain? Open your eyes, your heart, your hands, and avoid the poison your forebears so greedily sucked in from History. Then will all the earth be your fatherland, and all your work and effort spread forth blessings." - Albert Einstein

"Youth has one great element in its favor - it can live in the future." - Henry Ford

"Life is passing; youth goes, strength decays. But duty performed, work done for God - this abides forever, this alone is imperishable." - Richard Fuller