James Bryant Conant

James Bryant

American Harvard College President, Chemist, Government Official

Author Quotes

Education is what is left after all that has been learnt is forgotten.

Each honest calling, each walk of life, has its own elite, its own aristocracy based on excellence of performance.

Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out.

Behavior which appears superficially correct but is intrinsically corrupt always irritates those who see below the surface.

Every vital organization owes its birth and life to an exciting and daring idea.

Slogans are both exciting and comforting, but some of mankind's most terrible misdeeds have been committed under the spell of certain magic words and phrases.

Some of mankind’s most errible misdeeds have been committed under the spell of certain magic words or phrases.

Today we all realize that democracy is not a self-perpetuating virus adapted to any body politic - that was the assumption of a previous generation. Democracy as we know to be a special type of organism requiring specific nutriment materials - some economic, some social and cultural.

Ladies of fashion starve their happiness to feed their vanity, and their love to feed their pride.

Public education is a great instrument of social change... Education is a social proceeds, perhaps the most important process in determining the future of our country; it should command a far larger portion of our national income than it does today.

Let no man presume to think that he can devise any plan of extensive good, unalloyed and unadulterated with evil.

Law and equity are two things which God hath joined, but which man hath put asunder.

Men spend their lives in anticipations, in determining to be vastly happy at some period or other, when they have the time. But the present time has one advantage over every other - it is our own. Past opportunitiesare gone, future are not come.

Men pursue riches under the idea that their possession will set them at ease, and above the world. But the law of association often makes those who begin by loving old as a servant finish by becoming themselves its slaves; and independence without wealth is at least as common as wealth without independence.

No company is preferable to bad, because we are more apt to catch the vices of others than their virtues, as disease is far more contagious than health.

Moderation is the inseparable companion of wisdom, but with it genius has not even a nodding acquaintance.

Nothing more completely baffles one who is full of trick and duplicity, than straightforward and simple integrity in another.

No two things differ more than hurry and dispatch. Hurry is a mark of weak mind, dispatch of a strong one.

Our minds are as different as our faces; we are all traveling to one destination - happiness; but few are going by the same road.

Of all the passions, jealously is that which exacts the hardest service, and pays the bitterest wages. Its service is to watch the success of our enemy; its wages to be sure of it.

Our wealth is often a snare to ourselves, and always a temptation to others.

Our very best friends have a tincture of jealousy even in their friendship; and when they hear us praised by others, will ascribe it to sinister and interested motives if they can.

Posthumous charities are the very essence of selfishness, when bequeathed by those who, when alive, would part with nothing.

Patience is the support of weakness; impatience is the ruin of strength.

Power, like the diamond, dazzles the beholder, and also the wearer; it dignifies meanness; it magnifies littleness; to what is contemptible, it gives authority; to what is low, exaltation.

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James Bryant
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American Harvard College President, Chemist, Government Official