Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

James Froude, fully James Anthony Froude

English Historian, Novelist, Biographer and Editor of Fraser's Magazine

"A monopoly of privileges is always invidious."

"Men are made by nature unequal. It is vain, therefore, to treat them as if they were equal."

"Men possessed with an idea cannot be reasoned with."

"Morality rests upon a sense of obligation; and obligation has no meaning except as implying a divine command, without which it would cease to be."

"Morality, when vigorously alive, sees farther than intellect, and provides unconsciously for intellectual difficulties."

"Our human laws are but the copies, more or less imperfect, of the eternal laws so far as we can read them."

"Philosophy goes no further than probabilities, and in every assertion keeps doubt in reserve."

"The best that we can do for one another is to exchange our thoughts freely; and that, after all, is about all."

"The essence of true nobility is neglect of self. Let the thought of self pass in, and the beauty of a great action is gone, like the bloom from a soiled flower."

"The moral law is written on the tablets of eternity. For every false word or unrighteous deed, for cruelty and oppression, for lust or vanity, the price has to be paid at last."

"The soul of man is not a thing which comes and goes, is builded and decays like the elemental frame in which it is set to dwell, but a very living force, a very energy of God’s organic will, which rules and moulds this universe."

"There are at bottom but two possible religions - that which rises in the moral nature of man, and which takes shape in moral commandments, and that which grows out of the observation of the material energies which operate in the external universe."

"There is always a part of our being into which those who are dearer to us far than our own lives are yet unable to enter."

"There is nothing certain but the unforeseen."

"To tell men that they cannot help themselves is to fling them into recklessness and despair."

"We cannot live on probabilities. The faith in which we can live bravely and die in peace must be a certainty, so far as it professes to be a faith at all, or it is nothing."

"We enter the world alone, we leave it alone."

"Where all are selfish, the sage is no better than the fool, and only rather more dangerous."

"You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one."

"Experience teaches slowly, and at the cost of mistakes."

"Fear is the parent of cruelty."

"High original genius is always ridiculed on its first appearance; most of all by those who have won themselves the highest reputation in working on the established lines. Genius only commands recognition when it has created the taste which is to appreciate it."

"Human improvement is from within outward."

"Justice without wisdom is impossible."

"There is no wickedness so desperate or deceptive - we can never foresee its consequences. Of all the evil spirits abroad in the world, insincerity is the most dangerous."

"To deny the freedom of the will is to make morality impossible."

"The secret of a person's nature lies in their religion and what they really believes about the world and their place in it. "

"A person possessed with an idea cannot be reasoned with. "

"Instruction does not prevent wasted time or mistakes; and mistakes themselves are often the best teachers of all. "

"Wild animals never kill for sport. Man is the only one to whom the torture and death of his fellow creatures is amusing in itself."