Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes


"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. concerning all acts of initiative (and creation) there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets: Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it." - W. H. Murray, fully William Hutchinson Murray

"It is wonderful what strength of purpose and boldness and energy of will are roused by the assurance that we are doing our duty." - William Scott, 1st Baron Stowell

"Are you in earnest? Seize this very minute! Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Only engage, and then the mind grows heated. Begin, and then the work will be completed." - John Anster, fully John Martin Anster

"Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"A minister, without boldness, is like a smooth file, a knife without an edge, a sentinel that is afraid to let off his gun. If men will be bold in sin, ministers must be bold to reprove." - William Gurnall

"The first symptom of true love in a young man is timidity, in a girl it is boldness. The two sexes have a tendency to approach, and each assumes the qualities of the other." - Victor Hugo

"It requires a great deal of boldness and a great deal of caution to make a great fortune; and when you have got it, it requires ten times as much wit to keep it." - Mayer Rothschild, fully Mayer Amschel Bauer Rothschild

"Fear, the opposite of boldness, is the most paralyzing of all emotions...Fear, like hopes and dreams, have a way of clothing themselves ultimately with reality." - Adam Lindsey Gordon

"He must summon his people to be with him – yet stand above, not squat beside them. He must question his own wisdom and judgment – but not too severely. He must hear the opinions and heed the powers of others – but not too abjectly. He must appease the doubts of his critic and assuage the hurts of the adversary – sometimes. He must ignore their views and achieve their defeat – sometimes… He must respect action – without becoming intoxicated with his own. He must have a sense of purpose inspiring him to magnify the trivial event to serve his distant aim – and to grasp the thorniest crisis as if it were the merest nettle. He must be pragmatic, calculating, and earthbound – and still know when to spurn the arithmetic of expediency for the act of brave imagination, the sublime gamble with no hope other than the boldness of his vision" - Emmet John Hughes

"Errors and exaggerations do not matter. What matters is boldness in thinking with a; strong-pitched voice, in speaking out about things as one feels them in the moment of speaking; in having the temerity to proclaim what one believes to be true without fear of the consequences. If one were to await the possession of the absolute truth, one must be either a fool or a mute. If the creative impulse were muted, the world would then be stayed on its march." - José Clemente Orozco

"The man who believes firmly that the Creator of the universe loves him and cares infinitely what he dose with his life - this man is automatically freed from much of the self-distrust that afflicts less certain men. Fear, guilt, hostility, anger - these are the emotions that stifle thought and impede action. By reducing or eliminating them, religious faith makes boldness possible, and boldness makes achievement possible." - Arthur Gordon

"Put a grain of boldness in everything you do." - Baltasar Gracián

"In crises boldness is the safest course. Hesitation encourages the adversary to persevere, maybe even to raise the ante." - Henry Kissinger, fully Henry Alfred Kissinger

"It is better by a noble boldness to run the risk of being subject to half of the evils we anticipate, than to remain in cowardly listlessness for fear of what may happen." - Herodotus NULL

"It is better by noble boldness to run the risk of being subject to half of the evils we anticipate than to remain in the cowardly listlessness for fear of what may happen." - Herodotus NULL

"It is wonderful what strength and boldness of purpose and energy will come from the feeling that we are in the way of duty." - John Foster, fully John Watson Foster

"There is a reality behind the world as it appears to us, possibly a man-layered reality, of which the appearances are the outermost layers. What the great scientist does is boldly to guess, daringly to conjecture, what these inner realities are like. This is akin to myth making... The boldness can be gauged by the distance between the world of appearance and the conjectured reality, the explanatory hypotheses." - Karl Popper, fully Sir Karl Raimund Popper

"It is a man’s own dishonesty, his crimes, his wickedness, and boldness, that takes away from him soundness of mind; these are the furies, these the flames and firebrands, of the wicked." - Cicero, fully Marcus Tullius Cicero, anglicized as Tully NULL

"Even God lends a hand to honest boldness." - Menander, aka Menander of Athens NULL

"Those people who are always improving never become great. Greatness is an eminence, the ascent to which is steep and lofty, and which a man must seize on at once by; natural boldness and vigor, and not by patient, wary steps." - William Hazlitt

"Redemption, eternal life, divinity, humanity, propitiation, incarnation, judgment, Satan, heaven and hell—all these beliefs have been so materialized and coarsened, that with a strange irony they present to us the spectacle of things having a profound meaning and yet carnally interpreted. Christian boldness and Christian liberty must be reconquered; it is the church which is heretical, the church whose sight is troubled and her heart timid. Whether we will or no, there is an esoteric doctrine, there is a relative revelation; each man enters into God so much as God enters into him, or as Angelus, I think, said, "the eye by which I see God is the same eye by which He sees me."" - Henri Frédéric Amiel

"When a gifted team dedicates itself to unselfish trust and combines instinct with boldness and effort, it is ready to climb. " - Patañjali NULL

"LOVE'S SERVILE LOT - LOVE, mistress is of many minds, Yet few know whom they serve ; They reckon least how little Love Their service doth deserve. The will she robbeth from the wit, The sense from reason's lore ; She is delightful in the rind, Corrupted in the core. She shroudeth vice in virtue's veil, Pretending good in ill ; She offereth joy, affordeth grief, A kiss where she doth kill. A honey-shower rains from her lips, Sweet lights shine in her face ; She hath the blush of virgin mind, The mind of viper's race. She makes thee seek, yet fear to find To find, but not enjoy : In many frowns some gliding smiles She yields to more annoy. She woos thee to come near her fire, Yet doth she draw it from thee ; Far off she makes thy heart to fry, And yet to freeze within thee. She letteth fall some luring baits For fools to gather up ; Too sweet, too sour, to every taste She tempereth her cup. Soft souls she binds in tender twist, Small flies in spinner's web ; She sets afloat some luring streams, But makes them soon to ebb. Her watery eyes have burning force ; Her floods and flames conspire : Tears kindle sparks, sobs fuel are, And sighs do blow her fire. May never was the month of love, For May is full of flowers ; But rather April, wet by kind, For love is full of showers. Like tyrant, cruel wounds she gives, Like surgeon, salve she lends ; But salve and sore have equal force, For death is both their ends. With soothing words enthralled souls She chains in servile bands ; Her eye in silence hath a speech Which eye best understands. Her little sweet hath many sours, Short hap immortal harms ; Her loving looks are murd'ring darts, Her song bewitching charms. Like winter rose and summer ice, Her joys are still untimely ; Before her Hope, behind Remorse : Fair first, in fine unseemly. Moods, passions, fancy's jealous fits Attend upon her train : She yieldeth rest without repose, And heaven in hellish pain. Her house is Sloth, her door Deceit, And slippery Hope her stairs ; Unbashful Boldness bids her guests, And every vice repairs. Her diet is of such delights As please till they be past ; But then the poison kills the heart That did entice the taste. Her sleep in sin doth end in wrath, Remorse rings her awake ; Death calls her up, Shame drives her out, Despairs her upshot make. Plough not the seas, sow not the sands, Leave off your idle pain ; Seek other mistress for your minds, Love's service is in vain." - Robert Southwell, also Saint Robert Southwell

"For a people who are free, and who mean to remain so, a well-organized and armed militia is their best security." - Thomas Jefferson

"Questions of natural right are triable by their conformity with the moral sense and reason of man." - Thomas Jefferson

"Should things go wrong at any time, the people will set them to rights by the peaceable exercise of their elective rights." - Thomas Jefferson

"It is from the Bible that man has learned cruelty, rapine and murder; for the belief of a cruel God makes a cruel man." - Thomas Paine

"How inexpressible is the meanness of being a hypocrite! how horrible is it to be a mischievous and malignant hypocrite." - Voltaire, pen name of François-Marie Arouet NULL

"If people did not complement one another there would be little society." - Vauvenargues, Luc de Clapiers, Marquis de Vauvenargues NULL

"The Constitution of the United States is not a mere lawyers' document: it is a vehicle of life, and its spirit is always the spirit of the age" - Woodrow Wilson, fully Thomas Woodrow Wilson

"God himself has no right to be a tyrant." - William Godwin