Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Slavery

"The work of art which I do not make, none other will ever make it." - Simone Weil

"It is not in giving life but in risking life that man is raised above the animal that is why superiority has been accorded in humanity not to the sex that brings forth but to that which kills." - Simone de Beauvoir, fully Simone-Ernestine-Lucie-Marie Bertrand de Beauvoir

"What should a society be, so that in his last years a man might still be a man?" - Simone de Beauvoir, fully Simone-Ernestine-Lucie-Marie Bertrand de Beauvoir

"Why one man rather than another? It was odd. You find yourself involved with a fellow for life just because he was the one that you met when you were nineteen." - Simone de Beauvoir, fully Simone-Ernestine-Lucie-Marie Bertrand de Beauvoir

"Obedience of the law is demanded; not asked as a favor." - Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt

"To waste, to destroy our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them amplified and developed." - Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt

"Ladies know what to guard against, because they read novels that tell them of these tricks." - Thomas Hardy

"A mind always employed is always happy. This is the true secret, the grand recipe, for felicity." - Thomas Jefferson

"The acquisition of Canada this year, as far as the neighborhood of Quebec, will be a mere matter of marching, and will give us experience for the attack of Halifax the next, and the final expulsion of England from the American continent." - Thomas Jefferson

"From such beginnings of governments, what could be expected, but a continual system of war and extortion?" - Thomas Paine

"The society adopts neither rites nor priesthood, and it will never lose sight of the resolution not to advance anything as a society inconvenient to any sect or sects, in any time or country, and under any government. It will be seen that it is so much the more easy for the society to keep within this circle, because, that the dogmas of the Theophilanthropists are those upon which all the sects have agreed, that their moral is that upon which there has never been the least dissent; and that the name they have taken expresses the double end of all the sects, that of leading to the adoration of God and love of man." - Thomas Paine

"You smile with pomp and rigor, you talk of benevolence and virtue; I act with benevolence and virtue and get murdered time after time." - William Blake

"From a very early age I had imbibed the opinion that it was every man's duty to do all that lay in his power to leave his country as good as he had found it." - William Cobbett

"Prefer the leader who comes to you. - Ugandan Proverb" -

"Full sexual consciousness and a natural regulation of sexual life mean the end of mystical feelings of any kind, that, in other words, natural sexuality is the deadly enemy of mystical religion. The church, by making the fight over sexuality the center of its dogmas and of its influence over the masses, confirms this concept." - Wilhelm Reich

"We need to ask not whether it is realistic or practical or viable but whether it is imaginable. We need to ask if our consciousness and imagination have been so assaulted and co-opted by the royal consciousness that we have been robbed of the courage or power to think an alternative thought." - Walter Brueggemann

"It was a country . . . that he and his people had known how to use and abuse, but not how to preserve." - Wendell Berry

"Most of us are still too sane to piss in our own cistern, but we allow others to do so and we reward them for it. We reward them so well, in fact, that those who piss in our cistern are wealthier than the rest of us." - Wendell Berry

"The history of the American Negro is the history of this strife, -- this longing to attain self-conscious manhood, to merge his double self into a better and truer self. In this merging he wishes neither of the older selves to be lost... He simply wishes to make it possible for a man to be both a Negro and an American..." - W. E. B. Du Bois, fully William Edward Burghardt Du Bois

"The reflection of nature in man’s thought must be understood not lifelessly but in the eternal process of movement, the arising of contradictions and their solution." - Vladimir Lenin, fully Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

"To enjoy freedom we have to control ourselves." - Virginia Woolf, nee Stephen, fully Adeline Virginia Woolf

"There was Boulatruelle's mistake. He believed in the straight line; a respectable optical illusion, but one that ruins many men." - Victor Hugo

"We see past time in a telescope and present time in a microscope. Hence the apparent enormities of the present." - Victor Hugo

"I intend to do what little one man can do to awaken the public conscience, and in the meantime I am not frightened by your menaces. I am not a giant physically; I shrink from pain and filth and vermin and foul air, like any other man of refinement; also, I freely admit, when I see a line of a hundred policeman with drawn revolvers flung across a street to keep anyone from coming onto private property to hear my feeble voice, I am somewhat disturbed in my nerves. But I have a conscience and a religious faith, and I know that our liberties were not won without suffering, and may be lost again through our cowardice. I intend to do my duty to my country." - Upton Sinclair, fully Upton Beall Sinclair, Jr.

"We need to become national, not by any conscious effort, such as implies attitudinizing and constraint, but by simply accepting our own life. It is not desirable to go out of one’s way to be original, but it is to be hoped that it may lie in one’s way. Originality is simply a fresh pair of eyes. If you want to astonish the whole world, said Rahel, tell the simple truth. It is easier to excuse a thousand defects in the literary man who proceeds on this faith, than to forgive the one great defect of imitation in the purist who seeks only to be English. As Wasson has said, “The Englishman is undoubtedly a wholesome figure to the mental eye; but will not twenty million copies of him do, for the present?” We must pardon something to the spirit of liberty. We must run some risks, as all immature creatures do, in the effort to use our own limbs. Professor Edward Channing used to say that it was a bad sing for a college boy to write too well; there should be exuberances and inequalities. A nation which has but just begun to create a literature must sow some wild oats. The most tiresome vaingloriousness may be more hopeful than hypercriticism and spleen. The follies of the absurdest spread-eagle orator may be far more promising, because they smack more of the soil, than the neat Londonism of the city editor who dissects him." - Thomas Wentworth Higginson

"Beshrow me but I love her heartily! For she is wise, if I can judge of her, And fair she is, if that mine eyes be true, And true she is, as she hath proved herself; And therefore, like herself, wise, fair, true, Shall she be placed in my constant soul. The Merchant of Venice, Act ii, Scene 6" - William Shakespeare

"There will presently be no room in the world for things it will be filled up with the advertisements of things." - William Howells, fully William Dean Howells, aka The Dean of American Letters

"The religious superstitions of women perpetuate their bondage more than all other adverse influences." - Elizabeth Cady Stanton

"Right away we can see the immensely fertile horizon that opens up in all of our thinking on mental health and "normal" behavior. In order to function normally, man has to achieve from the begin­ning a serious constriction of the world and of himself. We can say that the essence of normality is the refusal of reality. What we call neurosis enters precisely at this point: Some people have more trouble with their lies than others. The world is too much with them, and the techniques that they have developed for holding it at bay and cutting it down to size finally begin to choke the person himself. This is neurosis in a nutshell: the miscarriage of clumsy lies about reality." - Ernest Becker

"Do not worry over the charge of treason to your masters, but be concerned about the treason that involves yourselves. Be true to yourself and you cannot be a traitor to any good cause on Earth." - Eugene V. Debs, fully Eugene Victor Debs

"If the people would but analyze the human equation of a prison they might better account for the crimes that are visited upon them in cities, towns, and hamlets, oft times by men who graduated with an education and equipment for just that sort of retributive service from some penal institution." - Eugene V. Debs, fully Eugene Victor Debs

"Woman must be given her true place in society by the working class." - Eugene V. Debs, fully Eugene Victor Debs

"Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free." - Eugene V. Debs, fully Eugene Victor Debs

"Pray the gods do not envy your happiness!" - Euripedes NULL

"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world Frodo, besides the will of evil..." - J. R. R. Tolkien, fully John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

"Although now long estranged, Man is not wholly lost nor wholly changed. Dis-graced he may be, yet is not de-throned, and keeps the rags of lordship once he owned: Man, Sub-creator, the refracted Light through whom is splintered from a single White to many hues, and endlessly combined in living shapes that move from mind to mind. Though all the crannies of the world we filled with Elves and Goblins, though we dared to build Gods and their houses out of dark and light, and sowed the seed of dragons- 'twas our right (used or misused). That right has not decayed: we make still by the law in which we're made. Fantasy remains a human right: we make in our measure and in our derivative mode, because we are made: and not only made, but made in the image and likeness of a Maker." - J. R. R. Tolkien, fully John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

"And Aragorn the King Elessar wedded Arwen Undomiel in the City of the Kings upon the day of Midsummer, and the tale of their long waiting and labors was come to fulfillment." - J. R. R. Tolkien, fully John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

"And Gandalf said: 'This is your realm, and the heart of the greater realm that shall be. The Third Age of the world is ended, and the new age is begun; and it is your task to order it's beginning and to preserve what must be preserved. For though much has been saved, much must now pass away; and the power of the Three Rings also is ended. And all the lands that you see, and those that lie round about them, shall be dwellings of Men. For the time comes of the Dominion of Men, and the Elder Kindred shall fade or depart." - J. R. R. Tolkien, fully John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

"And long there he lay, an image of the splendor of the Kings of Men in glory undimmed before the breaking of the world." - J. R. R. Tolkien, fully John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

"And she looked at him and saw the grave tenderness in his eyes, and yet knew, for she was bred among men of war, that here was one whom no Rider of the Mark could outmatch in battle." - J. R. R. Tolkien, fully John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

"And that's the way of a real tale. Take any one that you're fond of. You may know, or guess, what kind of a tale it is, happy-ending or sad-ending, but the people in it don't know. And you don't want them to." - J. R. R. Tolkien, fully John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

"And the ship went out into the High Sea and passed into the West, until at last on a night of rain Frodo smelled a sweet fragrance on the air and heard the sound of singing that came over the water. And then it seemed to him that as in his dream in the house of Bombadil, the grey raincurtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a far green country under a swift sunrise." - J. R. R. Tolkien, fully John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

"And thus it came to pass that the Silmarils found their long homes: one in the airs of heaven, and one in the fires of the heart of the world, and one in the deep waters." - J. R. R. Tolkien, fully John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

"And when [B‰or] lay dead, of no wound or grief, but stricken by age, the Eldar saw for the first time the swift waning of the life of Men, and the death of weariness which they knew not in themselves; and they grieved greatly for the loss of their friends. But B‰or at the last had relinquished his life willingly and passed in peace; and the Eldar wondered much at the strange fate of Men, for in all their lore there was no account of it, and its end was hidden from them." - J. R. R. Tolkien, fully John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

"And why not? Surely you don't disbelieve the prophecies just because you helped them come about. You don't really suppose do you that all your adventures and escapes were managed by mere luck? Just for your sole benefit? You're a very fine person, Mr. Baggins, and I'm quite fond of you. But you are really just a little fellow, in a wide world after all." - J. R. R. Tolkien, fully John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

"And yet their wills did not yield, and they struggled on." - J. R. R. Tolkien, fully John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

"And yet, Eomer, I say to you that she loves you more truly than me, for you she loves and knows; but in me she loves only a shadow and a thought: a hope of glory and great deeds, and lands far from the fields of Rohan." - J. R. R. Tolkien, fully John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

"Aragorn looked at the pale stars, and at the moon, now sloping behind the western hills that enclosed the valley. 'This is a night as long as years', he said. 'How long will the day tarry?' 'Dawn is not far off', said Gamling, who had now climbed up beside him. 'But dawn will not help us, I fear' 'Yet dawn is ever the hope of men', said Aragorn." - J. R. R. Tolkien, fully John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

"Aragorn threw back his cloak. The elven-sheath glittered as he grasped it, and the bright blade of And£ril shone like a sudden flame as he swept it out. 'Elendil!' he cried. 'I am Aragorn, son of Arathorn, and am called Elessar, the Elfstone, D£nadan, the heir of Isildur Elendil's son of Gondor. Here is the Sword that was Broken and is forged again! Will you aid me or thwart me? Choose swiftly!" - J. R. R. Tolkien, fully John Ronald Reuel Tolkien