Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes


"Perhaps there is only one cardinal sin: impatience. Because of impatience we were driven out of Paradise, because of impatience we cannot return." - W. H. Auden, fully Wystan Hugh Auden

"To ask the hard question is simple, the simple act of the confused will." - W. H. Auden, fully Wystan Hugh Auden

"The movie people would have nothing to do with me until they heard me speak in a Broadway play, then they all wanted to sign me for the silent movies." - W. C. Fields, stage name for William Claude Dukenfield

"Present-day students are often puzzled at the apparent contradictions of Southern slavery. One hears, on the one hand, of the staid and gentle patriarchy, the wide and sleepy plantations with lord and retainers, ease and happiness; on the other hand one hears of barbarous cruelty and unbridled power and wide oppression of men. Which is the true picture? The answer is simple: both are true. They are not opposite sides of the same shield; they are different shields." - W. E. B. Du Bois, fully William Edward Burghardt Du Bois

"All efforts and all attention should now be concentrated on the next step — the search after forms of the transition or the approach to the proletarian revolution." - Vladimir Lenin, fully Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

"A school without football is in danger of deteriorating into a medieval study hall." - Vince Lombardi, fully Vincent Thomas "Vince" Lombardi

"Every time a football player goes to ply his trade he's got to play from the ground up - from the soles of his feet right up to his head. Every inch of him has to play. Some guys play with their heads. That's O.K. You've got to be smart to be number one in any business. But more importantly, you've got to play with your heart, with every fiber of your body. If you're lucky enough to find a guy with a lot of head and a lot of heart, he's never going to come off the field second. -Vince Lombardi." - Vince Lombardi, fully Vincent Thomas "Vince" Lombardi

"Having the capacity to lead is not enough. The leader must be willing to use it." - Vince Lombardi, fully Vincent Thomas "Vince" Lombardi

"Leaders aren’t born they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that’s the price we’ll have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal." - Vince Lombardi, fully Vincent Thomas "Vince" Lombardi

"Leadership is based on a spiritual quality --- the power to inspire, the power to inspire others to follow." - Vince Lombardi, fully Vincent Thomas "Vince" Lombardi

"People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society." - Vince Lombardi, fully Vincent Thomas "Vince" Lombardi

"Success is never final. Failure is never fatal. It is courage that counts." - Vince Lombardi, fully Vincent Thomas "Vince" Lombardi

"Dark Error's other hidden side is truth." - Victor Hugo

"One evening, when we were already resting on the floor of our hut, dead tired, soup bowls in hand, a fellow prisoner rushed in and asked us to run out to the assembly grounds and see the wonderful sunset. Standing outside we saw sinister clouds glowing in the west and the whole sky alive with clouds of ever-changing shapes and colors, from steel blue to blood red. The desolate grey mud huts provided a sharp contrast, while the puddles on the muddy ground reflected the glowing sky. Then, after minutes of moving silence, one prisoner said to another, How beautiful the world could be." - Viktor Frankl, fully Viktor Emil Frankl

"Time is one thing it does take to be holy. When we’re too busy for that we’re too busy." - Vance Havner

"Hope is the bread of the poor. (Used to point out that hope helps sustain the poor or needy.)" - Turkish Proverbs

"There is no future in vanilla for most companies in a flat world. A lot of vanilla making in software and other areas is going to shift to open-source communities." - Thomas L. Friedman, fully Thomas Lauren Friedman

"I happen to have a very bad fit of the tooth-ache at the time I am writing this." - Thomas Malthus, fully Thomas Robert Malthus

"The question is, what is saving?" - Thomas Malthus, fully Thomas Robert Malthus

"To minds of a certain cast there is nothing so captivating as simplification and generalization." - Thomas Malthus, fully Thomas Robert Malthus

"When, instead of merely associating some act with some situation in the animal way, we think the situation out, we have a set of particular feelings of its elements." -

"And when is there time to remember, to sift, to weigh, to estimate, to total?" - Tillie Olsen

"If you need to visualize the soul, think of it as a cross between a wolf howl, a photon, and a dribble of dark molasses. But what it really is, as near as I can tell, is a packet of information. It's a program, a piece of hyperspatial software designed explicitly to interface with the Mystery. Not a mystery, mind you, the Mystery. The one that can never be solved. To one degree or another, everybody is connected to the Mystery, and everybody secretly yearns to expand the connection. That requires expanding the soul. These things can enlarge the soul: laughter, danger, imagination, meditation, wild nature, passion, compassion, psychedelics, beauty, iconoclasm, and driving around in the rain with the top down. These things can diminish it: fear, bitterness, blandness, trendiness, egotism, violence, corruption, ignorance, grasping, shining, and eating ketchup on cottage cheese. Data in our psychic program is often nonlinear, nonhierarchical, archaic, alive, and teeming with paradox. Simply booting up is a challenge, if not for no other reason than that most of us find acknowledging the unknowable and monitoring its intrusions upon the familiar and mundane more than a little embarrassing. But say you've inflated your soul to the size of a beach ball and it's soaking into the Mystery like wine into a mattress. What have you accomplished? Well, long term, you may have prepared yourself for a successful metamorphosis, an almost inconceivable transformation to be precipitated by your death or by some great worldwide eschatological whoopjamboreehoo. You may have. No one can say for sure. More immediately, by waxing soulful you will have granted yourself the possibility of ecstatic participation in what the ancients considered a divinely animated universe. And on a day to day basis, folks, it doesn't get any better than that." - Tom Robbins, fully Thomas Eugene "Tom" Robbins

"The fact that we often judge the pleasure of an experience by its ending can cause us to make some curious choices." - Daniel Gilbert, fully Daniel Todd Gilbert, aka Professor Happiness

"To learn from experience, we must remember it, and for a variety of reasons, memory is a faithless friend." - Daniel Gilbert, fully Daniel Todd Gilbert, aka Professor Happiness

"Alexander's career was piracy pure and simple, nothing but an orgy of power and plunder, made romantic by the character of the hero. There was no rational purpose in it, and the moment he died his generals and governors attacked one another." - William James

"Wherever you are it is your own friends who make your world." - William James

"Give me love and work - these two only" - William Morris

"Soon there will be nothing left except the lying dreams of history, the miserable wreckage of our museums and picture-galleries, and the carefully guarded interiors of our aesthetic drawing-rooms, unreal and foolish, fitting witnesses of the life of corruption that goes on there, so pinched and meagre and cowardly, with its concealment and ignoring, rather than restraint of, natural longings; which does not forbid the greedy indulgence in them if it can but be decently hidden." - William Morris

"It is wonderful how near conceit is to insanity!" - Douglas William Jerrold

"Never was any considerable good or evil done without producing its like. We imitate good actions through emulation; and bad ones through the evil of our nature, which shame conceals, but example sets at liberty." - François de La Rochefoucauld, François VI, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, Prince de Marcillac, Francois A. F. Rochefoucauld-Liancourt

"Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie, which we ascribe to heaven. All's Well That Ends Well" -

"Poor harmless fly, that with his pretty buzzing melody came here to make us merry. And thou hast killed him!" -

"Experience will show you, a Master can only point the way." - Egyptian Proverbs

"For knowledge... you should know that peace is an indispensable condition of getting it." - Egyptian Proverbs

"Discrimination still exists. Some people feel that their own beliefs are being threatened. Some are unhappy about unfamiliar cultures. They all need to be reassured that there is so much to be gained by reaching out to others; that diversity is indeed a strength and not a threat." - Elizabeth II, born Elizabeth Alexandra May NULL

"I cannot lead you into battle. I do not give you laws or administer justice but I can do something else - I can give my heart and my devotion to these old islands and to all the peoples of our brotherhood of nations." - Elizabeth II, born Elizabeth Alexandra May NULL

"The quality of the Lord's church on earth, cannot be seen by any man, so long as he lives in the world, still less how the church in process of time has turned aside from good to evil." - Emanuel Swedenborg, born Emanujel Swedberg

"Served as inspiration for Roger Baldwin, a future founder of the American Civil Liberties Union." - Emma Goldman

"The most worrisome smart-technology projects start from the assumption that designers know precisely how we should behave, so the only problem is finding the right incentive. A truly smart trash bin, by contrast, would make us reflect on our recycling habits and contribute to conscious deliberation—say, by letting us benchmark our usual recycling behavior against other people in our demographic, instead of trying to shame us with point deductions and peer pressure. There are many contexts in which smart technologies are unambiguously useful and even lifesaving. Smart belts that monitor the balance of the elderly and smart carpets that detect falls seem to fall in this category. The problem with many smart technologies is that their designers, in the quest to root out the imperfections of the human condition, seldom stop to ask how much frustration, failure and regret is required for happiness and achievement to retain any meaning. It's great when the things around us run smoothly, but it's even better when they don't do so by default. That, after all, is how we gain the space to make decisions—many of them undoubtedly wrongheaded—and, through trial and error, to mature into responsible adults, tolerant of compromise and complexity." - Evgeny Morozov

"There is the type of man who has great contempt for "im­mediacy," who tries to cultivate his interiority, base his pride on something deeper and inner, create a distance between himself and the average man. Kierkegaard calls this type of man the "introvert." He is a little more concerned with what it means to be a person, with individuality and uniqueness. He enjoys solitude and with­draws periodically to reflect, perhaps to nurse ideas about his secret self, what it might be. This, after all is said and done, is the only real problem of life, the only worthwhile preoccupation of man: What is one's true talent, his secret gift, his authentic vocation? In what way is one truly unique, and how can he express this unique­ness, give it form, dedicate it to something beyond himself? How can the person take his private inner being, the great mystery that he feels at the heart of himself, his emotions, his yearnings and use them to live more distinctively, to enrich both himself and man­kind with the peculiar quality of his talent? In adolescence, most of us throb with this dilemma, expressing it either with words and thoughts or with simple numb pain and longing. But usually life suck us up into standardized activities. The social hero-system into which we are born marks out paths for our heroism, paths to which we conform, to which we shape ourselves so that we can please others, become what they expect us to be. And instead of working our inner secret we gradually cover it over and forget it, while we become purely external men, playing successfully the standardized hero-game into which we happen to fall by accident, by family connection, by reflex patriotism, or by the simple need to eat and the urge to procreate." - Ernest Becker

"For all the poor in the world against all tyranny." - Ernest Hemingway, fully Ernest Miller Hemingway

"I thought that all generations were lost by something and always had been and always would be" - Ernest Hemingway, fully Ernest Miller Hemingway

"This wine is too good for toast-drinking, my dear. You don't want to mix emotions up with a wine like that. You lose the taste." - Ernest Hemingway, fully Ernest Miller Hemingway

"When you have a child, the world has a hostage." - Ernest Hemingway, fully Ernest Miller Hemingway

"The strength of the idea of private enterprise lies in this terrifying simplicity. It suggests that the totality of life can be reduced to one aspect—profits." - E. F. Schumacher, fully Ernst Friedrich "Fritz" Schumacher

"To talk about the future is useful only if it leads to action now." - E. F. Schumacher, fully Ernst Friedrich "Fritz" Schumacher

"In this communication I wish first to show in the simplest case of the hydrogen atom (nonrelativistic and undistorted) that the usual rates for quantization can be replaced by another requirement, in which mention of ‘whole numbersÂ’ no longer occurs. Instead the integers occur in the same natural way as the integers specifying the number of nodes in a vibrating string. The new conception can be generalized, and I believe it touches the deepest meaning of the quantum rules." - Erwin Schrödinger, fully Erwin Rudolf Josef Alexander Schrödinger