Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes


"Those who entertain an extreme and inordinate dread of being damned, show that they have more need of humility and submission than of understanding." - Saint Francis de Sales NULL

"A life of action and danger moderates the dread of death. It not only gives us fortitude to bear pain, but teaches us at every step the precarious tenure on which we hold our present being." - William Hazlitt

"We dread life's termination as the close, not of enjoyment, but of hope... Our repugnance to death increases in proportion to our consciousness of having lived in vain." - William Hazlitt

"To be, or not to be: that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing end them? To die: to sleep; no more; and, by a sleep to say we end the heartache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep; to sleep: perchance to dream: aye, there's the rub; for in that sleep of death what dreams may come, when we have shuffled off this mortal coil, must give us pause. There's the respect that makes calamity of so long life; for who would bear the whips and scorns of time, the oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely, the pangs of disprized love, the law's delay, the insolence of office, and the spurns that patient merit of the unworthy takes, when he himself might his quietus make with a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear, to grunt and sweat under a weary life, but that the dread of something after death, the undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveler returns, puzzles the will, and makes us rather bear those ills we have than fly to others that we know not of?" -

"No totalitarians, no wars, no fears, famines or perils of any kind can really break a man's spirit until he breaks it himself by surrendering. Tyranny has many dread powers, but not the power to rule the spirit." -

"No totalitarians, no wars, no fears, famines or perils of any kind can really break a man's spirit until he breaks it himself by surrendering. Tyranny has many dread powers, but not the power to rule the spirit." - Edgar Sheffield Brightman

"Those that place their hope in another world have, in a great measure, conquered dread of death, and unreasonable love of life." - Francis Atterbury

"He who unreservedly accepts whatever God may give him in this world – humiliation, trouble, and trial from within or from without – has made a great step towards self-victory; he will not dread praise or censure, he will not be sensitive; or if he finds himself wincing, he will deal so cavalierly with his sensitiveness that it will soon die away. Such full resignation and unfeigned acquiescence is true liberty, and hence arises perfect simplicity." - François Fénelon, fully Francois de Salignac de la Mothe-Fénelon

"Remorse is a man's dread prerogative, and is the natural accompaniment of his constitution as a knowing, voluntary agent, left in trust with his own welfare and that of others. Remorse, if we exclude the notion of responsibility, is an enigma in human nature never to be explained." - Isaac Taylor

"The contemplation of night should lead to elevating rather than to depressing ideas. Who can fix his mind on transitory and earthly things, in presence of those glittering myriads of worlds; and who can dread death or solitude in the midst of this brillings, animated universe, composed of countless suns and worlds, all full of light and life and motion?" - Jean Paul, born Johann Paul Friedrich Richter, aka Jean Paul Richter

"The worst part is wondering how you’ll find the strength tomorrow to go on doing what you did today and have been doing for much too long, where you’ll find the strength for all that stupid running around, those projects that come to nothing, those attempts to escape from crushing necessity, which always founder and serve only to convince you one more time that destiny is implacable, that every night will find you down and out, crushed by the dread of more and more sordid and insecure tomorrows. And maybe it’s treacherous old age coming on, threatening the worst. Not much music left inside us for life to dance to. Our youth has gone to the ends of the earth to die in the silence of the truth. And where, I ask you, can a man escape to, when he hasn’t enough madness left inside him? The truth is an endless death agony. The truth is death. You have to choose: death or lies. I’ve never been able to kill myself." - Louis-Ferdinand Céline, pen name Louis-Ferdinand Destouches

"Be content with what you are, and wish not change, not dread your last day, not long for it." - Martial, full name Marcus Valarius Martialis NULL

"Ridicule is a weak weapon when pointed at a strong mind; but common people are cowards and dread an empty laugh. " - Martin Tupper, fully Martin Farquhar Tupper

"May I be far removed from contending creeds and dogmas. Ever since my Lord's grace entered my mind, My mind has never strayed to seek such distractions. Accustomed long to contemplating love and compassion, I have forgotten all difference between myself and others. Accustomed long to meditating on my Guru as enhaloed over my head, I have forgotten all those who rule by power and prestige. Accustomed long to meditating on my guardian deities as inseparable from myself, I have forgotten the lowly fleshly form. Accustomed long to meditating on the secret whispered truths, I have forgotten all that is said in written or printed books. Accustomed, as I have been, to the study of the eternal Truth, I've lost all knowledge of ignorance. Accustomed, as I've been, to contemplating both nirvana and samsara as inherent in myself, I have forgotten to think of hope and fear. Accustomed, as I've been, to meditating on this life and the next as one, I have forgotten the dread of birth and death. Accustomed long to studying, by myself, my own experiences, I have forgotten the need to seek the opinions of friends and brethren. Accustomed long to applying each new experience to my own spiritual growth, I have forgotten all creeds and dogmas. Accustomed long to meditating on the Unborn, the Indestructible, the Unchanging, I have forgotten all definitions of this or that particular goal. Accustomed long to meditating on all visible phenomena as the Dharmakaya, I have forgotten all meditations on what is produced by the mind. Accustomed long to keeping my mind in the uncreated state of freedom, I have forgotten all conventions and artificialities. Accustomed long to humbleness, of body and mind, I have forgotten the pride and haughty manner of the mighty. Accustomed long to regarding my fleshly body as my hermitage, I have forgotten the ease and comfort of retreats and monasteries. Accustomed long to knowing the meaning of the Wordless, I have forgotten the way to trace the roots of verbs, and the sources of words and phrases. You, 0 learned one, may trace out these things in your books [if you wish]." - Milarepa, fully Jetsun Milarepa NULL

"I used to dread getting older because I thought I would not be able to do all the things I wanted to do, but now that I am older I find that I don't want to do them." - Nancy Astor, fully Lady Nancy Witcher Astor, Viscountess Astor

"It is much safer to be feared than loved because is preserved by the link of obligation which, owing to the baseness of men, is broken at every opportunity for their advantage; but fear preserves you by a dread of punishment which never fails. " - Niccolò Machiavelli, formally Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli

"One can say this in general of men: they are ungrateful, disloyal, insincere and deceitful, timid of danger and avid of profit... Love is a bond of obligation that these miserable creatures break whenever it suits them to do so; but fear holds them fast by a dread of punishment that never passes. " - Niccolò Machiavelli, formally Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli

"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

"Every blessing ignored becomes a curse… Every day the Lord gives us - together with the sun - a moment when it is possible to change all that makes us unhappy. Every day we try to deceive ourselves that we recognize this moment, so it does not exist, that is identical today as yesterday and tomorrow will be the same. But the one who pays attention to that last day, he discovers a magical moment. It can be hidden at the time the doors unlock in the morning, in that brief silence that suddenly occurs after lunch, in a thousand and one things that look the same. This moment exists - a moment when we all dread outright star power and allow us to do miracles. Happiness is sometimes a blessing, but most often winning. The magical moment that occurs every day helps us to change, to lead us to engage in a search of their dreams… Every day the sun shines on a new world, full of what we call the monotony of the new opportunities, we do not know see the difference that distinguishes one day from its predecessor… Every second of the search is an encounter with God. When I have been truly searching for my treasure, every day has been luminous... I've discovered things along the way that I never would have seen had I not had the courage to try things that seemed impossible for a shepherd to achieve." - Paulo Coelho

"This is the day, which down the void abysm At the Earth-born’s spell yawns for Heaven’s despotism And Conquest is dragged captive through the deep: Love, from its awful throne of patient power In the wise heart, from the last giddy hour Of dread endurance, from the slippery, steep, And narrow verge of crag-like agony, springs And folds over the world its healing wings." - Percy Bysshe Shelley

"I work all day, and get half drunk at night. Waking at four to soundless dark, I stare. In time the curtain edges will grow light. Till then I see what's really always there: Unresting death, a whole day nearer now, Making all thought impossible but how And where and when I shall myself die. Arid interrogation: yet the dread Of dying, and being dead, Flashes afresh to hold and horrify. The mind blanks at the glare. Not in remorse – The good not used, the love not given, time Torn off unused – nor wretchedly because An only life can take so long to climb Clear of its wrong beginnings, and may never: But at the total emptiness forever, The sure extinction that we travel to And shall be lost in always. Not to be here, Not to be anywhere, And soon; nothing more terrible, nothing more true. This is a special way of being afraid No trick dispels. Religion used to try, That vast moth-eaten musical brocade Created to pretend we never die, And specious stuff that says no rational being Can fear a thing it cannot feel, not seeing That this is what we fear – no sight, no sound, No touch or taste or smell, nothing to think with, Nothing to love or link with, The anesthetic from which none come round. And so it stays just on the edge of vision, A small unfocused blur, a standing chill That slows each impulse down to indecision. Most things may never happen: this one will, And realization of it rages out In furnace fear when we are caught without People or drink. Courage is no good: It means not scaring others. Being brave Lets no-one off the grave. Death is no different whined at than withstood. Slowly light strengthens, and the room takes shape. It stands plain as a wardrobe, what we know, Have always known, know that we can't escape Yet can't accept. One side will have to go. Meanwhile telephones crouch, getting ready to ring In locked-up offices, and all the uncaring Intricate rented world begins to rouse. The sky is white as clay, with no sun. Work has to be done. Postmen like doctors go from house to house. " - Philip Larkin, fully Philip Arthur Larkin

"To be afraid of death is only another form of thinking that one is wise when one is not; it is to think that one knows what one does not know. No one knows with regard to death whether it is not really the greatest blessing that can happen to man; but people dread it as though they were certain it is the greatest evil. " - Plato NULL

"Ought a man to be confident that he deserves his good fortune, and think much of himself when he has overcome a nation, or city, or empire; or does fortune give this as an example to the victor also of the uncertainty of human affairs, which never continue in one stay? For what time can there be for us mortals to feel confident, when our victories over others especially compel us to dread fortune, and while we are exulting, the reflection that the fatal day comes now to one, now to another, in regular succession, dashes our joy." - Plutarch, named Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus after becoming Roman citizen NULL

"What is called Christianity is not of Christ’s making at all, but . . . the idea of Him, of His teaching, life and death passed to us through the darkening medium of infinitely less developed, less great and beautiful natures than His own—minds which clung with passionate tenacity to the traditions of their past—to the notions of a vindictive angry God to be propitiated by sacrifices and atonements; which seem to belong as inevitably to the early life of races as the belief in and dread of something cruel and terrible, ghost or demon lurking in the dark, does to childhood." - Anne Gilchrist, née Burrows

"Their shields are black, their bodies dyed. They choose dark nights for battle, and, by the dread and it is the rare fortune of these days that one may think what one likes and say what one thinks." - Tacitus, fully Publius (or Gaius) Cornelius Tacitus NULL

"You will know that wretched men are the cause of their own suffering, who neither see nor hear the good that is near them, and few are the ones who know how to secure release from their troubles. Such is the fate that harms their minds; like pebbles they are tossed about from one thing to another with cares unceasing. For the dread companion Strife harms them unawares, whom one must not walk behind, but withdraw from and flee." - Pythagoras, aka Pythagoras of Samos or Pythagoras the Samian NULL

"With school turning out more runners, jumpers, racers, tinkerers, grabbers, snatchers, fliers, and swimmers instead of examiners, critics, knowers, and imaginative creators, the word 'intellectual,' of course, became the swear word it deserved to be. You always dread the unfamiliar." - Ray Bradbury, fully Ray Douglas Bradbury

"The alternative which I favor is to renounce all euphemisms and grasp the nettle of the word atheism itself, precisely because it is a taboo word carrying frissons of hysterical phobia. Critical mass may be harder to achieve than with some non-confrontational euphemism, but if we did achieve it with the dread word atheist, the political impact would be all the greater." - Richard Dawkins

"Now the last hookah has gone out, and the most restless of our servants has turned in. The roof of the cabin is strewed with bodies anything but fragrant, indeed, we cannot help pitying the melancholy fate of poor Morpheus, who is traditionally supposed to encircle such sleepers with his soft arms. Could you believe it possible that through such a night as this they choose to sleep under those wadded cotton coverlets, and dread not instantaneous asphixiation?" -

"Fraud and falsehood only dread examination. Truth invites it." - Robertson Davies

"In an age where public health has never been better provided for, and medical men enjoy a respect formerly reserved for the aristocracy and the clergy, millions of people are unwell, or merely feel unwell, or are in dread lest at some future time they may become unwell." - Robertson Davies

"We have educated ourselves into a world from which wonder, and he fear and dread and splendor and freedom of wonder have been banished. Of course wonder is costly. You couldn't incorporate it into a modern state, because it is the antithesis of the anxiously worshiped security which is what a modern state is asked to give. Wonder is marvelous but it is also cruel, cruel, cruel. It is undemocratic, discriminatory and pitiless." - Robertson Davies

"Now the last hookah has gone out, and the most restless of our servants has turned in. The roof of the cabin is strewed with bodies anything but fragrant, indeed, we cannot help pitying the melancholy fate of poor Morpheus, who is traditionally supposed to encircle such sleepers with his soft arms. Could you believe it possible that through such a night as this they choose to sleep under those wadded cotton coverlets, and dread not instantaneous asphixiation?" -

"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

"God dwelleth high above man’s dwelling-place, Ye multitudes, come praise and honour Him, Huzzah before the King whose name is God, Sound joyous flourishes upon the trumpet. His creatures fear His glory more than man When awful deeds are wrought, for dread is He. The day shall be when at the sound of trumpet Thy people to the Mount of Olives flock, And they, according to Thy word, shall go With shouting and with tumult and perceive The thunders, lightnings, and the trumpet’s sound. Regard the people nestling in Thy shadow, And trustfully proclaiming that perchance Again the Lord of hosts will gracious be And marvels once again be wrought in thunder And lightning and thick cloud upon the Mount And pealing of the Shofar. Consecrate Yourselves again to-day unto His service, And should again your glad redemption dawn, Uplift yourselves sublime above all else, And mark the banner flown upon the mountains What time the horn resounds. O Lord, whose dread Sets all the world’s inhabitants a-tremble, Be herald of good tidings to the people, So staunch beneath the adversary’s yoke. Thus when the ram’s horn poureth forth its note And ye shall hear the Shofar’s long-drawn peal, Thanksgiving offer up to God and song, And tell His mighty deeds and chant His praise According to the measure of His greatness. O praise Him with the sounding of the trumpet, So shall the Merciful show graciousness To you who cry, and as of old restore Your captives, yea the Lord of hosts o’er you Shall keep His watch, with trumpet-blasts for warning." - Salomon ibn Gabirol, aka Solomon ben Judah or Avicebron

"Send forth Thy messenger, Thy interpreter, And let him do wonders with signs and happenings, To cleanse us this night from scandal and defamation! Great God, boundless and unsearchable, Thy righteousness is like mighty mountains, Thy judgments are like the great deep. Bare to Thee and spied out is the heart’s imagination and secret, Lo, shaped in iniquity, how shall man justify the evil of his work? Can the grains of his dust justify it that were accounted vanity even while he was still in being? How then after he has perished and every element passed back to its source, When he is driven like chaff before the wind and like smoke from the lattice? Who shall stand up for Thy people, and who set them free? If for decision Thou shouldst draw nigh them, and if for judgment Thou shouldst take them, Then judge them, I pray Thee, by Thy righteousness, And reprove them not according to Thy wrath. For what is the weak that he should contend with the mighty, And how can dry stubble stand in the flame? Lo, as the flower fadeth and the wind flitteth by like a shadow, So flesh from spirit is rent asunder; If then Thou wilt stir up chastisement, There is no way of deliverance shouldst Thou press hard; For the worker is sluggish, And the day short and the work abundant." - Salomon ibn Gabirol, aka Solomon ben Judah or Avicebron

"Ask of Me, beautiful mouth, What dost thou ask of Me? For thy suppliant cry Hath ascended on high Inclining My ear to thy plea. First with the lion we met, Next came the leopard’s leap, We were fain to take flight From our garden’s delight And into a hiding-place creep. Hardly these creatures had passed, Sated with Judah’s spoil, Than the wild ass we feared Out of midnight appeared To trample and dwell on our soil. Ishmael’s offspring command Back to his Arab land, As his mother of old To her mistress was told To return and submit to her hand. " - Salomon ibn Gabirol, aka Solomon ben Judah or Avicebron

"Who can approach Thy seat? For beyond the sphere of Intelligence hast Thou established the throne of Thy glory; There standeth the splendour of Thy veiled habitation, And the mystery and the foundation. Thus far reacheth Intelligence, but cometh here to a standstill, For higher still hast Thou mounted, and ascended Thy mighty throne, "And no man may go up with Thee."" - Salomon ibn Gabirol, aka Solomon ben Judah or Avicebron

"More men are killed by overwork than the importance of the world justifies." - Rudyard Kipling

"For what page or what utterance of the divinely inspired books of the Old and New Testaments is not a most exact rule of human life?" - Saint Benedict of Nursia NULL

"He should first show them in deeds rather than words all that is good and holy." - Saint Benedict of Nursia NULL

"The ark of Noah was built in the time of peace, and its timbers were planted by him a hundred years beforehand. In the time of wrath the evil man perished, but the ark became the shelter for the righteous." - Saint Isaac of Nineveh, also Isaac the Syrian, Isaac of Qatar and Isaac Syrus NULL

"Although it be with truth that you speak evil, this is also a crime." - John Chrysostom, fully Saint John Chrysostom

"When I think of myself my mind cannot soar to higher things but is like a bird with broken wings." - Saint Teresa of Ávila, aka Saint Teresa of Jesus, baptized as Teresa Sánchez de Cepeda y Ahumada NULL

"Friends are often chosen for similitude of manners, and therefore each palliates the other’s failings because they are his own." - Samuel Johnson, aka Doctor Johnson

"The world is like a grand staircase, some are going up and some are going down." - Samuel Johnson, aka Doctor Johnson

"There is no book so poor that it would not be a prodigy if wholly wrought out by a single mind, without the aid of prior investigators." - Samuel Johnson, aka Doctor Johnson

"To embarrass justice by a multiplicity of laws, or to hazard it by confidence in judges, are the opposite rocks on which all civil institutions have been wrecked, and between which legislative wisdom has never yet found an open passage." - Samuel Johnson, aka Doctor Johnson

"He should first show them in deeds rather than words all that is good and holy." - Benedict of Nursia, aka Saint Benedict of Nursia NULL

"Consider the end of God’s decrees – and this is no other than His own glory. Every rational agent acts for an end; and God being the most perfect agent, and His glory the highest end, there can be no doubt but all His decrees are directed to that end. “For to Him are all things.”" - Thomas Boston