Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes


"Music must naturally have been criticized in proportion as it improved, especially if its progress was considerable and subitaneous: for then it differs most from the sounds to which our ear is accustomed. But if we begin to be used to it, then it pleases, and it is prejudice any longer to oppose it." - √Čtienne Bonnot de Condillac

"With regard to natural cries, this man shall form them, as soon as he feels the passions to which they belong. However they will not be signs in respect to him the first time; because instead of reviving .his perceptions, they will as yet be no more than consequences of those perceptions." - √Čtienne Bonnot de Condillac

"For all I know, writing comes out of a superior devotion to reading." - Eudora Welty

"Don't think of what you have to do, don't consider how to carry it out! he exclaimed. The shot will only go smoothly when it takes the archer himself by surprise." - Eugen Herrigel

"This, then, is what counts: a lightning reaction which has no further need of conscious observation. In this respect at least the pupil makes himself independent of all conscious purpose." - Eugen Herrigel

"Intimacy [with God] does not preclude reverence. True intimacy does not eliminate a sacred awe." - Eugene Peterson

"That's why I tell stories: to create readiness, to nudge the people toward receptive insight. In their present state they can stare till doomsday and not see it, listen till they're blue in the face and not get it." - Eugene Peterson

"The Bible is not a script for a funeral service, but it is the record of God always bringing life where we expected to find death. Everywhere it is the story of resurrection." - Eugene Peterson

"The behavior of President Bush on 11 September certainly gives rise to not unnatural suspicions." - Gore Vidal, fully Eugene Luther Gore Vidal

"We have ceased to be a nation under law but instead a homeland where the withered Bill of Rights, like a dead trumpet vine, clings to our pseudo-Roman columns." - Gore Vidal, fully Eugene Luther Gore Vidal

"I am opposing a social order in which it is possible for one man who does absolutely nothing that is useful to amass a fortune of hundreds of millions of dollars, while millions of men and women who work all the days of their lives secure barely enough for a wretched existence." - Eugene V. Debs, fully Eugene Victor Debs

"The poet does not know - often he will never know - whom he really writes for." - Eugenio Montale

"God is much in the difficult home problems as in the times of quiet and prayer." - Evelyn Underhill

"In my relations with my father, which are difficult and where I'm often met by coolness and indifference, I am constantly tempted to be cold and indifferent. Yet I know that this is a test if I could take it rightly." - Evelyn Underhill

"Love... makes the whole difference between an execution and a martyrdom." - Evelyn Underhill

"There is no place in my soul, no corner of my character, where God is not." - Evelyn Underhill

"All this fuss about sleeping together. For physical pleasure I'd sooner go to my dentist any day." - Evelyn Waugh, fully Evelyn Arthur St. John Waugh

"It was dead contrary to the common experience of such encounters, when time is found to have built its own defensive lines, camouflaged vulnerable points, and laid a field of mines across all but a few well-trodden paths, so that, more often than not, we can only signal to one another from either side of the tangle of wire." - Evelyn Waugh, fully Evelyn Arthur St. John Waugh

"Soon someone would say the fatal words, "Well, I think it's time for me to go to bed."" - Evelyn Waugh, fully Evelyn Arthur St. John Waugh

"To know and love one other human being is the root of all wisdom." - Evelyn Waugh, fully Evelyn Arthur St. John Waugh

"Freedom of choice is more to be treasured than any earthly possession. As a United States citizen I believe it is guaranteed in our heaven-inspired Constitution." - Ezra Taft Benson

"We must return to a love and respect for the basic spiritual concepts upon which this nation has been established. We must study the Constitution and the writings of the founding fathers." - Ezra Taft Benson

"There is no form of platitudes that cannot be easily converted into iambic pentameter. If a person has learned to count to ten, it is not difficult to start a new line with each syllable of the eleventh or repel every second syllable accented." - Ezra Pound, fully Ezra Weston Loomis Pound

"Gladness, in some instances, springs from a natural buoyancy of temperament, and is quite consistent with shallowness and superficiality of character. In other cases it is coincident with the swift flow of the currents of the blood, and ceases when the stream flows more slowly and begins to stagnate. Or it is due to gifts which an exceptional good fortune showers into the laps of favoured mortals. Gladness of this sort comes with happiness and departs with it." - Felix Adler

"There is a city to be built, the plan of which we carry in our heads, in our hearts. Countless generations have already toiled at the building of it. The effort to aid in completing it, with us, takes the place of prayer. In this sense we say, "Laborare est orare."" - Felix Adler

"We propose to entirely exclude prayer and every form of ritual. Thus shall we avoid even the appearance of interfering with those to whom prayer and ritual, as a mode of expressing religious sentiment, are dear. And on the other hand we shall be just to those who have ceased to regard them as satisfactory and dispensed with them in their own persons." - Felix Adler

"That which the wise man does first, the fool does last." -

"The sun loses nothing by shining into a puddle." -

"When all men say you are an ass it is time to bray." -

"Beautiful she is, sir! Lovely! Sometimes Luke a great tree in flower, sometimes like a white daffadowdilly, small and slender like. Hard as di'monds, soft as moonlight. Warm as sunlight, cold as frost in the stars. Proud and far-off as a snow-mountain, and as merry as any lass I ever saw with daisies in her hair in springtime." - J. R. R. Tolkien, fully John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

"Elrond's house was perfect, whether you liked food or sleep or story-telling or singing (or reading), or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all. Merely to be there was a cure for weariness... Evil things did not come into the secret valley of Rivendell." - J. R. R. Tolkien, fully John Ronald Reuel Tolkien