Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Elihu Burritt

American Peace Advocate, Diplomat, Philanthropist and Social Activist

"All that I have accomplished, or expect or hope to accomplish, has been and will be by that plotting, patient, persevering process of accretion which builds the ant heap, particle by particle, thought by thought, fact by fact."

"Among the instrumentalites of love and peace, surely there can be no sweeter, softer, more effective voice than that of gentle peace-breathing music."

"Knowledge cannot be stolen from us. It cannot be bought or sold. We may be poor, and the sheriff may come and sell our furniture, or drive away our cow, or take our pet lamb, and leave us homeless and penniless; abut he cannot lay the law’s hand upon the jewelry of our minds."

"Our minds are like certain vehicles, when they have little to carry they make less noise about it, but when heavily loaded they run quietly."

"No human being can come into this world without increasing or diminishing the sum total of human happiness."

"We are forming characters for eternity. Forming characters! Whose? our own or other? Both - and in that momentous fact lies the peril and responsibility of our existence. Who is sufficient for the thought?"

"Forming characters! Whose? Our own or others? Both. And in that momentous fact lies the peril and responsibility of our existence."

"All the beautiful orders of architecture and creations of the pencil, all the conceptions of the beautiful in nature and art and humanity, are inventions extorted, as it were, from the mind to extend and increase the pleasures of sense."

"Be ever gentle with the children God has given you.—Watch over them constantly; reprove them earnestly, but not in anger.—In the forcible language of Scripture, "Be not bitter against tnem." —"Yes—they are good boys," said a kind father. "I talk to them much, but I do not beat my children: the world will beat them."—It was a beautiful thought, though not elegantly expressed."

"Those orators who give us much noise and many words, but little argument and less wit, and who are the loudest when least lucid, should take a lesson from the great volume of nature; she often gives us the lightning without the thunder, but never the thunder without the lightning."