Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes


"The little mind who loves itself, will write and think with the vulgar; but the great mind will be bravely eccentric, and scorn the beaten road, from universal benevolence." - Oliver Goldsmith

"The true source of cheerfulness is benevolence. The pursuits of mankind are commonly frigid and contemptible, and the mistake comes, at last, to be detected. But virtue is a charm that never fades. The soul that perceptually overflows with kindness and sympathy will always be cheerful." - Parke Godwin

"Part of what we are is whom we’ve loved." - Parke Godwin

"Love and hell are alike in that respect; they are what you bring to them. The script is yours; only the props are furnished." - Parke Godwin

"Benevolence never developed a man or a nation. We do not want a benevolent government. We want a free and a just government. Every one of the great schemes of social uplift which are not so much debated by noble people amongst us is based, when rightly conceived, upon justice, not upon benevolence." - Woodrow Wilson, fully Thomas Woodrow Wilson

"Peace is not absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice." -

"Although Freedom is, primarily, an undeveloped idea, the means it uses are external and phenomenal; presenting themselves in History to our sensuous vision. The first glance at History convinces us that the actions of men proceed from their needs, their passions, their characters and talents; and impresses us with the belief that such needs, passions and interests are the sole springs of action — the efficient agents in this scene of activity. Among these may, perhaps, be found aims of a liberal or universal kind — benevolence it may be, or noble patriotism; but such virtues and general views are but insignificant as compared with the World and its doings. We may perhaps see the Ideal of Reason actualized in those who adopt such aims, and within the sphere of their influence; but they bear only a trifling proportion to the mass of the human race; and the extent of that influence is limited accordingly. Passions, private aims, and the satisfaction of selfish desires, are on the other hand, most effective springs of action. Their power lies in the fact that they respect none of the limitations which justice and morality would impose on them; and that these natural impulses have a more direct influence over man than the artificial and tedious discipline that tends to order and self-restraint, law and morality. When we look at this display of passions, and the consequences of their violence; the Unreason which is associated not ,only with them, but even (rather we might say especially) with good designs and righteous aims; when we see the evil, the vice, the ruin that has befallen the most flourishing kingdoms which the mind of man ever created, we can scarce avoid being filled with sorrow at this universal taint of corruption: and, since this decay is not the work of mere Nature, but of the Human Will — a moral embitterment — a revolt of the Good Spirit (if it have a place within us) may well be the result of our reflections." - Georg Hegel, fully Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

"More than anything else I have come to see meditation as a radical act of love, an inward gesture of benevolence and kindness toward ourselves and toward others, a gesture of the heart that recognizes our perfection even in our obvious imperfection, with all our shortcomings, our wounds, our attachments, our vexations, and our persistent habits of unawareness." - Jon Kabat-Zinn

"When virtue is lost, benevolence appears, when benevolence is lost right conduct appears, when right conduct is lost, expedience appears. Expediency is the mere shadow of right and truth; it is the beginning of disorder. " - Lao Tzu, ne Li Urh, also Laotse, Lao Tse, Lao Tse, Lao Zi, Laozi, Lao Zi, La-tsze

"When any relationship is characterized by difference, particularly a disparity in power, there remains a tendency to model it on the parent-child-relationship. Even protectiveness and benevolence toward the poor, toward minorities, and especially toward women have involved equating them with children. " - Mary Catherine Bateson

"The boon and benevolence which is not thanked for, is like the sin which is not forgiven." - Muhammed al-Taqī or Muhammad al-Jawād, given name Muhammad ibn ‘Alī ibn Mūsā

"In proportion as mankind becomes wise — yes, in exact proportion to that wisdom — should be the extinction of the unequal system under which they now subsist. Government is, in fact, the mere badge of their depravity. They are so little aware of the inestimable benefits of mutual love as to indulge, without thought, and almost without motive, in the worst excesses of selfishness and malice. Hence, without graduating human society into a scale of empire and subjection, its very existence has become impossible. It is necessary that universal benevolence should supersede the regulations of precedent and prescription, before these regulations can safely be abolished. Meanwhile, their very subsistence depends on the system of injustice and violence, which they have been devised to palliate." - Percy Bysshe Shelley

"Only he who gratefully remembers the love and benevolence bestowed upon him is a real human being." - Pandurang Shastri Athavale, fully Pandurang Vaijnath Shastri Athavale

"Amid all that illusion which such momentary visitations of seriousness and of sentiment throw around the character of man, let us never lose sight of the test, that “By their fruits ye shall know them.” It is not coming up to this test, that you hear and are delighted. It is that you hear and do. This is the ground upon which the reality of your religion is discriminated now; and on the day of reckoning, this is the ground upon which your religion will be judged then; and that award is to be passed upon you which will fix and perpetuate your destiny forever." - Thomas Chalmers

"Shakespeare is an intellectual miracle." - Thomas Chalmers

"Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not yet sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favor; a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. But the tumult soon subsides." - Thomas Paine

"Love to faults is always blind; Always is to joy inclin’d, Lawless, wing’d and unconfin’d, And breaks all chains from every mind. Deceit to secrecy confin’d, Lawful, cautious and refin’d; To anything but interest blind, And forges fetters for the mind." - William Blake

"You throw the sand against the wind And the wind blows it back again." - William Blake

"If you have to prove you are worthy of credit, your credit is already gone." - Walter Bagehot

"The mystic reverence, the religious allegiance, which are essential to a true monarchy, are imaginative sentiments that no legislature can manufacture in any people." - Walter Bagehot

"Because I threw our look with a gray question mark in your eyes. Oh, no, no empeces again (incredulity, exasperation). Well never dignabas to believe that I could feel the desire, without specific intent-to sink my face in your plaid skirt, my love. The fragility of your bare arms ... How I longed to wrap those arms, and your four limpid lovely-curled-a colt, and take your head between my unworthy hands and stretch the skin back from your temples and slanted eyes and kiss your ... Please leave me alone, will you?, You said. My God, leave me alone. And I got up from the floor while you looked twitching his face in a deliberate imitation of my tic nerveux. But never mind, never mind, I am a miserable, no matter, continue with my miserable story." - Vladimir Nabokov, fully Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov

"Praises make the wicked deaf(they can't tolerate criticism) while people who praise become successful because of their humility." - Rig Veda, or The Rigveda

"Ridicule may be the evidence of wit or bitterness and may gratify a little mind, or an ungenerous temper, but it is no test of reason or truth." - Tryon Edwards

"Adversity, how blunt are all the arrows of thy quiver in comparison with those of guilt." - Hugh Blair

"When one peels away dark clouds, one exposes the sun; as a result, the ten thousand things cannot hide their shapes." - Ge Hong, courtesy name Zhichuan, aka Gě Hóng and Ko Hung

"Ælian, in his account of Zoilus, the pretended critic, who wrote against Homer and Plato, and thought himself wiser than all who had gone before him, tells us that this Zoilus had a very long beard that hung down upon his breast, but no hair upon his head, which he always kept close shaved, regarding, it seems, the hairs of his head as so many suckers, which, if they had been suffered to grow, might have drawn away the nourishment from his chin, and by that means have starved his beard." - Eustace Budgell