Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

George Augustus Sala, fully George Augustus Henry Sala

English Journalist

"Esteem is the harvest of a whole life spent in usefulness; but reputation is often bestowed upon a chance action, and depends most on success."

"Happily there exists more than one kind of beauty. There is the beauty of infancy, the beauty of youth, the beauty of maturity, and, believe me, ladies and gentlemen, the beauty of age."

"Life, according to an Arabic proverb, is composed of two parts: that which is past - a dream; and that which is to come - a wish."

"Life is a system of relations rather than a positive and independent existence; and he who would be happy himself and make others happy must carefully preserve these relations. He cannot stand apart in surly and haughty egotism; let him learn that he is as much dependent others as others are on him."

"Society is the master, and man is the servant."

"Thought engenders thought. Place one idea upon paper, another will follow it, and still another, until you have written a page. You cannot fathom your mind. It is a well of thought which has no bottom. The more you draw from it, the more clear and fruitful will it be. If you neglect to think yourself, and use other people's thoughts, giving them utterance only, you will never know what you are capable of. At first your ideas may come out in lumps, homely and shapeless; but no matter; time and perseverance will arrange and polish them. Learn to think, and you will learn to write; the more you think, the better you will express your ideas."

"The future is always a fairy land to the young."

"Not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment."

"Language is like amber in its efficacy to circulate the electric spirit of truth, it is also like amber in embalming and preserving the relics of ancient wisdom, although one is not seldom puzzled to decipher its contents. Sometimes it locks up truths which were once well known, but which, in the course of ages, have passed out of sight and been forgotten. In other cases it holds the germs of truths, of which, though they were never plainly discerned, the genius of its framers caught a glimpse in a happy moment of divination."

"In the intercourse of social life, it is by little acts of watchful kindness recurring daily and hourly, by words, tones, gestures, looks, that affection is won and preserved."

"A gambler with a System must be, to a greater or lesser extent, insane."

"A woman's character is as delicate as her eye; it can bear no flaw."

"An Italian proverb says, "In men every mortal sin is venial; in woman every venial sin is mortal." And a German axiom, that "There are only two good women in the world: one of them is dead, and the other is not to be found.""

"I confess, says a thoughtful writer, that increasing years bring with them an increasing respect for men who do not succeed in life, as those words are commonly used. Ill success sometimes arises from a conscience too sensitive, a taste too fastidious, a self-forgetfulness too romantic, a modesty too retiring."

"I will not go so far as to say, with a living poet, that the world knows nothing of its greatest men; but there are forms of greatness, or at least of excellence, which "die and make no sign"; there are martyrs that miss the palm, but not the stake; heroes without the laurel, and conquerors without the triumph."

"It is an error to suppose that a man belongs to himself. No man does. He belongs to his wife, or his children, or his relations, or to his creditors, or to society in some form or other."

"It is their province to make the public weep and smile, tremble and resent, and to light all the passions of the human breast in their enthusiastic audiences."

"Life is like a beautiful and winding lane, on either side bright flowers, and beautiful butterflies, and tempting fruits, which we scarcely pause to admire and to taste, so eager are we to hasten to an opening which we imagine will be more beautiful still. By degrees as we advance, the trees grow bleak; the flowers and butterflies fail, the fruits disappear, and we find we have arrived to reach a desert waste."

"Love in modern times has been the tailor's best friend. Every suitor of the nineteenth century spends more than his spare cash on personal adornment. A faultless fit, a glistening hat, tight gloves, and tighter boots proclaim the imminent peril of his position."

"England is surrounded by enemies—by real enemies who hate her. Why? Because she tries to be honest; and she tries to be free."

"Beauty is a fairy; sometimes she hides herself in a flower-cup, or under a leaf, or creeps into the old ivy, and plays hide-and-seek with the sunbeams, or haunts some ruined spot, or laughs out of a bright young face."

"God has so ordered that men, being in need of each other, should learn to love each other, and bear each other's burdens."

"How beautifully is it ordered, that as many thousands work for one, so must every individual bring his labor to make the whole.—The highest is not to despise the lowest, nor the lowest to envy the highest; each must live in all and by all.—So God has ordered, that men, being in need of each other, should learn to love each other, and to bear each other's burdens."

"Make Hamilton Bamilton, make Douglas Puglas, make Percy Bercy, and Stanley Tanley and where would be the long-resounding march and energy divine of the roll-call of the peerage?"

"Millions of people are provided with their thoughts as with their clothes; authors, printers, booksellers, and newsmen stand, in relation to their minds, simply as shoemakers and tailors stand to their bodies."

"Not only to say the right thing in the right place, but, far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment."

"Sir J. Davies calls the ear the wicket of the soul."

"Society is the master and man is the servant; and it is entirely according as society proves a good or bad master, whether he turns out a bad or a good servant."

"The future is always fairyland to the young. Life is like a beautiful and winding lane, on either side bright flowers, and beautiful butterflies and tempting fruits, which we scarcely pause to admire and to taste, so eager are we to hasten to an opening which we imagine will be more beautiful still. But by degrees, as we advance, the trees grow bleak; the flowers and butterflies fail, the fruits disappear, and we find we have arrived--to reach a desert waste."

"The tragedy of "Hamlet" is critically considered to be the masterpiece of dramatic poetry; and the tragedy of "Hamlet" is also, according to the testimony of every sort of manager, the play of all others which can invariably be depended on to fill a theater."

"There is great truth in Alphonse Karr's remark that modern men are ugly because they do not wear their beards."

"We acquire the love of people who, being in our proximity, are presumed to know us; and we receive reputation or celebrity, from such as are not personally acquainted with us. Merit secures to us the regard of our honest neighbors, and good fortune that of the public. Esteem is the harvest of a whole life spent in usefulness; but reputation is often bestowed upon a chance action, and depends most on success."