Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes


"From self alone expect applause." - Marion LeRoy Burton

"Affectation proceeds from one of these two causes - vanity or hypocrisy; for as vanity puts us on affecting false characters, in order to purchase applause; so hypocrisy sets us on an endeavor to avoid censure, by concealing our vices under an appearance of their opposite virtues." - Henry Fielding

"Poverty indeed is the strenuous life, without brass bands or uniforms or hysteric popular applause or lies or circumlocutions." - William James

"Almost every man wastes part of his life in attempts to display qualities which he does not possess, and gain applause which he cannot keep." -

"Applause abates diligence." -

"The applause of a single human being is of great consequence." -

"Neither human applause nor human censure is to be taken as the test of truth; but either should set us upon testing ourselves." - Richard Whately

"There are high spots in all of our lives and most of them have come about through encouragement from someone else. I don't care how great, how famous or successful a man or woman may be, each hungers for applause." - George Matthew Adams

"Man may content himself with the applause of the world and the homage paid to his intellect, but woman’s heart has holier idols." - George Eliot, pen name of Mary Ann or Marian Evans

"Applause is the only appreciated interruption." - Arnold Henry Glasgow

"It is harder to avoid censure than to gain applause; for this may be done by one great or wise action in an age. But to escape censure a man must pass his whole life without saying or doing one ill or foolish thing." - David Hume

"You must also own religion in rags, as well as when in silver slippers; and stand by him, too, when bound in irons, as well as when he walketh the streets with applause." - John Bunyan

"One’s true happiness depends more upon one’s own judgment of one’s self, or a consciousness of rectitude in action and intention, and the approbation of those few, who judge impartially, than upon the applause of the unthinking, undiscerning multitude, who are apt to cry Hosanna today, and tomorrow, Crucify him." - Benjamin Franklin

"`Tis better to have tried in vain sincerely striving for a goal, than to have lived upon the plain an idle and timid soul. `Tis better to have fought and spent your courage, missing all applause, than to have lived in smug content and never ventured for a cause. For he who tries and fails may be the founder of a better day; though never his the victory, form him shall others learn the way." - Edgar Albert Guest, aka Eddie Guest

"The respect of those you respect is worth more than the applause of the multitude." -

"Applause is the spur of noble minds, the end and aim of the weak ones." - Charles Caleb Colton

"The wise man endeavors to shine in himself; the fool to outshine others. The first is humbled by the sense of his own infirmities, the last is lifted up by the discovery of these which he observes in other men. The wise man considers what he wants, and the fool what he abounds in. The wise man is happy when he gains his own approbation, and the fool when he recommends himself to the applause of those about him." - Joseph Addison

"Many people consider the happiest days in their lives when they received the applause and acclaim of others. But the fact they needed someone else’s approval for their happiness makes them dependent on others. Someone who can find happiness even when he is insulted is assured of having a happy life. Once a person knows that he is able to experience positive feelings even when insulted, he is free from the fear of what people might say to him. This can give a persona feeling of liberation. If you believe someone else’s words cannot hurt you, they won’t." - Zelig Pliskin

"At least two requirements are involved in the formation of a genuine conviction: adequate information and the knowledge that one's decision has an effect. Opinions formed by the powerless onlooker do not express his or her conviction, but are a game, analogous to expressing a preference for one brand of cigarette over another. For these reasons the opinions expressed in polls and in elections constitute the worst, rather than the best, level of human judgment...Without information, deliberation, and the power to make one's decision effective, democratically expressed opinion is hardly more than the applause at a sports event. " - Erich Fromm, fully Erich Seligmann Fromm

"Men whose only concern is other people's opinion of them are like actors who put on a poor performance to win the applause of people of poor taste; some of them would be capable of good acting in front of a good audience. A decent man plays his part to the best of his ability, regardless of the taste of the gallery." - Nicolas Chamfort,fully Sébastien-Roch Nicolas De Chamfort, also spelled Nicholas

"His action no applause invites who simply good with good repays; he only justly merits praise who wrongful deeds with kind requites." - Panchatantra or The Panchatantra NULL

"Only in the theatre was it possible to see the performers and to be warmed by their personal charm, to respond to their efforts and to feel their response to the applause and appreciative laughter of the audience. It had an intimate quality; audience and actors conspired to make a little oasis of happiness and mirth within the walls of the theatre. Try as we will, we cannot be intimate with a shadow on a screen, nor a voice from a box." - Robertson Davies

"Our fate lies in your hands, to you we pray For an indulgent hearing of our play; Laugh if you can, or failing that, give vent In hissing fury to your discontent; Applause we crave, from scorn we take defense But have no armor 'gainst indifference." - Robertson Davies

"What is blasphemy? I will give you a definition; I will give you my thought upon this subject. What is real blasphemy? To live on the unpaid labor of other men — that is blasphemy. To enslave your fellow-man, to put chains upon his body — that is blasphemy. To enslave the minds of men, to put manacles upon the brain, padlocks upon the lips — that is blasphemy. To deny what you believe to be true, to admit to be true what you believe to be a lie — that is blasphemy. To strike the weak and unprotected, in order that you may gain the applause of the ignorant and superstitious mob — that is blasphemy. To persecute the intelligent few, at the command of the ignorant many — that is blasphemy. To forge chains, to build dungeons, for your honest fellow-men — that is blasphemy. To pollute the souls of children with the dogma of eternal pain — that is blasphemy. To violate your conscience — that is blasphemy. The jury that gives an unjust verdict, and the judge who pronounces an unjust sentence, are blasphemers. The man who bows to public opinion against his better judgment and against his honest conviction, is a blasphemer. Why should we fear our fellow-men? Why should not each human being have the right, so far as thought and its expression are concerned, of all the world? What harm can come from an honest interchange of thought? " - Robert Ingersoll, fully Robert Green "Bob" Ingersoll

"I hear no one boast, that he hath a knowledge of the Scriptures, but that he owneth a Bible written in golden characters. And tell me then, what profiteth this? The Holy Scriptures were not given to us that we should enclose them in books, but that we should engrave them upon our hearts." - John Chrysostom, fully Saint John Chrysostom

"Would that God, Monsieur, had rendered us worthy of spending our lives, as Our Lord did, for the salvation of those poor souls so far removed from all assistance." - Saint Vincent de Paul

"It is always dangerous to the liberties of the people to have an army stationed among them, over which they have no control ... The Militia is composed of free Citizens. There is therefore no danger of their making use of their Power to the destruction of their own Rights, or suffering others to invade them." - Samuel Adams

"Always set a high value on spontaneous kindness. He whose inclination prompts him to cultivate your friendship of his own accord, will love you more than one whom you have been at pains to attach to you." - Samuel Johnson, aka Doctor Johnson

"The balls of sight are so formed, that one man's eyes are spectacles to another, to read his heart with." - Samuel Johnson, aka Doctor Johnson

"Reproof on her lip, but a smile in her eye." - Samuel Lover

"Show yourselves of the family of heaven, by your concern that the Lord's kingdom may come, even that of glory, grace, the gospel, and power. For this is the language of those who cry unto God, 'Abba, Father.'..." - Thomas Boston

"Music quickens time, she quickens us to the finest enjoyment of time." - Thomas Mann, fully Paul Thomas Mann

"The Lord did not create suffering. Pain and death came into the world with the fall of man. But after man had chosen suffering in preference to the joys of union with God, the Lord turned suffering itself into a way by which man could come to the perfect knowledge of God." - Thomas Merton

"There was a child went forth every day, and the first object he look'd upon, that object he became, and that object became part of him for the day or a certain part of the day, or for many years or stretching cycles of years. The early lilacs became part of this child, and grass and white and red morning glories, and white and red clover, and the song of the phoebe-bird, and the Third-month Lambs and the sow's pink-faint litter, and the mare's foal and the cow's calf." - Walt Whitman, fully Walter "Walt" Whitman

"When I heard at the close of the day how my name had been receiv’d with plaudits in the capitol, still it was not a happy night for me that follow’d, and else when I carous’d, or when my plans were accomplish’d, still I was not happy, but the day when I rose at dawn from the bed of perfect health, refresh’d, singing, inhaling the ripe breath of autumn, when I saw the full moon in the west grow pale and disappear in the morning light, when I wander’d alone over the beach, and undressing bathed, laughing with the cool waters, and saw the sun rise, and when I thought how my dear friend my lover was on his way coming, O then I was happy, O then each breath tasted sweeter, and all that day my food nourish’d me more, and the beautiful day pass’d well, and the next came with equal joy, and with the next at evening came my friend, and that night while all was still I heard the waters roll slowly continually up the shores, I heard the hissing rustle of the liquid and sands as directed to me whispering to congratulate me, for the one I love most lay sleeping by me under the same cover in the cool night, in the stillness in the autumn moonbeams his face was inclined toward me, and his arm lay lightly around my breast – and that night I was happy." - Walt Whitman, fully Walter "Walt" Whitman

"When I read the book, the biography famous, and is this then (said I) what the author calls a man's life? And so will someone when I am dead and gone write my life? (As if any man really knew aught of my life, why even I myself I often think know little or nothing of my real life, only a few hints, a few diffused faint clews and indirections I seek for my own use to trace out here.)" - Walt Whitman, fully Walter "Walt" Whitman

"When lilacs last in the dooryard bloomed and the great star early droop’d in the western sky in the night, I mourn’d, and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring. Ever-returning spring, trinity sure to me you bring, lilac blooming perennial and drooping star in the west, and thought of him I love." - Walt Whitman, fully Walter "Walt" Whitman

"In his hearth and home, in his palace, upon his soft and comfortable bed, day and night, the flower-girls scatter flower petals; but without the Lord's Name, the body is miserable. Horses, elephants, lances, marching bands, armies, standard bearers, royal attendants and ostentatious displays - without the Lord of the Universe, these undertakings are all useless." - Atharva Veda, or Atharvaveda

"In general, the men of lower intelligence won out. Afraid of their own shortcomings and of the intelligence of their opponents, so that they would not lose out in reasoned argument or be taken by surprise by their quick-witted opponents, they boldly moved into action. Their enemies, on the contrary, contemptuous and confident in their ability to anticipate, thought there was no need to take by action what they could win by their brains." - Thucydides NULL

"Interesting anecdotes afford examples which may be of use in respect to our own conduct." - William Melmoth, wrote under pseudonym Sir Thomas Fitzosborne

"O God, that one might read the book of fate, and see the revolution of the times make mountains level, and the continent, weary of solid firmness, melt itself into the sea." -

"I believe one of the most serious mistakes a President could make would be to weaken the Constitution. From the time I was a small boy I was taught that the American Constitution is an inspired document. I was also taught that the day will come when the Constitution will be endangered and hang as it were by a single thread. I was taught that we should study the Constitution. . . . I expect to continue my efforts to help protect and safeguard our inspired Constitution." - Ezra Taft Benson