Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.

John Galsworthy

English Novelist, Playwright, Awarded Nobel Prize in Literature

"There is nothing more tragic in life than the utter impossibility of changing what you have done."

"I drink the wine of aspiration and the drug of illusion."

"Boys and girls should be taught to think first of others in material things; they should be infected with the wisdom to know that in making smooth the way lies the road to their own health and happiness."

"Nations like men, can be healthy and happy, though comparatively poor... Wealth is a means to an end, not the end itself. As a synonym for health and happiness, it has had a fair trial and failed dismally."

"Idealism increases in direct proportion to one's distance from the problem. "

"Headlines twice the size of the events. "

"Life calls the tune, we dance."

"The beginnings and endings of all human undertakings are untidy."

"A man is the sum of his actions, of what he has done, of what he can do, Nothing else."

"It would surprise any of us if we realized how much store we unconsciously set by beauty, and how little savour there would be left in life if it were withdrawn. It is the smile on the earth's face, open to all, and needs but the eyes to see, the mood to understand."

"Men are in fact, quite unable to control their own inventions; they at best develop adaptability to the new conditions those inventions create."

"When Man evolved Pity, he did a queer thing - deprived himself of the power of living life as it is without wishing it to become something different."

"If you do not think about your future, you cannot have one. "

"Beauty means this to one person, perhaps, and that to another. And yet when any one of us has seen or heard or read that which to him is beautiful, he has known an emotion which is in every case the same in kind, if not in degree; an emotion precious and uplifting. "