Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

James Bryant Conant

American Harvard College President, Chemist, Government Official

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

"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."

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

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

"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."

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

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

"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."

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

"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."

"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."

"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."

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

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

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

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

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