Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes


"Desire for knowledge is the path of honor: desire for wealth is the path of dishonor. Wealth is the chain that slaves wear; knowledge the kingly crown." - Khajah Abdullah Ansari of Herat, Abu Ismaïl Abdullah ibn Abi-Mansour Mohammad or Khajah Abdullah Ansari of Herat

"Disarm, disarm. The sword of murder is not the balance of justice. Blood does not wipe out dishonor, nor violence indicate possession." - Julia Ward Howe

"The principle which ought to be the guide of men who would nobly live - that principle, I say, neither kindred, nor honor, nor wealth, nor any other motive is able to implant so well as love. Of what am I speaking? Of the sense of honor and dishonor, without which neither states nor individuals ever do any good or great work." - Plato NULL

"There is a dishonor in being overcome by the love of money, or of wealth, or of political power, whether a man is frightened into surrender by the loss of them, or, having experienced the benefits of money and political corruption, is unable to rise above the seductions of them. For none of these are of a permanent or lasting nature; not to mention that no generous friendship ever sprang from them." - Plato NULL

"Do no dishonor to the earth lest you dishonor the spirit of man." - Henry Beston, born Henry Beston Sheahan

"You will not dishonor the divine perfections by judgments unworthy of them, provided you never judge of Him by yourself, provided you do not ascribe to the Creator the imperfections and limitations of created beings." - Nicolas Malebranche

"I believe that my choosing my present course I do no dishonor to them, or to those who may come after me." - Pete Seeger, born Peter Seeger

"Each famous author of antiquity whom I recover places a new offence and another cause of dishonor to the charge of earlier generations, who, not satisfied with their own disgraceful barrenness, permitted the fruit of other minds, and the writings that their ancestors had produced by toil and application, to perish through insufferable neglect. Although they had nothing of their own to hand down to those who were to come after, they robbed posterity of its ancestral heritage." - Petrarch, anglicized from Italian name Francesco Petrarca NULL

"May God console you! ... What saddens you ... is the fact that, others have occupied the Churches by violence, while during this time you are on the outside. It is a fact that they have the premises --- but you have the Apostolic Faith. They can occupy our Churches, but they are outside the true faith. You remain outside the places of worship, but the faith dwells within you. Let us consider: What is more important, the place of worship or the faith? The true faith, obviously. Who has lost and who has won in this struggle --- the one who keeps the premises or the one who keeps the faith? True, the premises are good when the Apostolic Faith is preached there; they are holy if everything takes place in a holy way ... You are the ones who are happy; you who remain within the Church by your faith, who hold firmly to the foundations of the faith which has come down to you from Apostolic Tradition. And if an execrable jealousy has tried to shake it on a number of occasions, it has not succeeded. They are the ones who have broken away from it in the present crisis. No one, ever, will prevail against your faith, beloved brothers. And we believe that God will give us our Churches back some day. Thus, the more violently they try to occupy the places of worship, the more they separate themselves from the Church. The claim that they represent the Church; but in reality they are the ones who are expelling themselves from it and going astray." - Saint Athanasius, aka Athanasius of Alexandria, St. Athanasius the Great, St. Athanasius I of Alexandria, St. Athanasius the Confessor, St. Athanasius the Apostolic NULL

"Bad taste leads to crime (Thaddeus Sholto)." - Arthur Conan Doyle, fully Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle

"If self-denial be the greatest part of godliness, the great letter in the alphabet of religion, self-love is the great letter in the alphabet of practical atheism. Self is the great antichrist and anti-God in the world, that sets up itself above all that is called God; self-love is the captain of that black band: it sits in the temple of God, and would be adored as God. Self-love begins; but denying the power of godliness, which is the same with denying the ruling power of God, ends the list." - Stephen Charnock

"The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is reason. I have never used any other, and I trust I never shall." - Thomas Paine

"When I was teaching children I began every day writing this on the blackboard: Do to others what you would like them to do to you, telling them how much better the world would be if everybody lived by this rule." - Thomas Paine

"Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon their knees." - William Cowper

"He had nothing he could do with is life's work now except leave it to a man who thought nothing of it." - Wendell Berry

"Since, O Mazda, from the beginning, Thou didst create soul and body; mental power and knowledge and since Thou didst place life within the corporeal body and didst bestow to mankind the power to act, speak and guide, you wished that everyone should choose his or her own faith and path freely ." - Zoroaster, aka Zarathustra or Zarathushtra Spitama NULL

"Human beings should tread on the righteous path and act in such a way that his past is unblemished, present full of potential and future becomes secured." - Atharva Veda, or Atharvaveda

"Ninety-nine per cent of the people in the world are fools and the rest of us are in great danger of contagion." - Thornton Wilder, fully Thornton Niven Wilder

"Revolution is engendered by an indignation with tyranny, yet is itself pregnant with tyranny." - William Godwin

"Once again I do receive thee honest. Who by repentance is not satisfied is nor of heaven nor earth." - William Shakespeare

"Once more, adieu. The rest let sorrow say." - William Shakespeare

"Forged from the hardest essence of autumnal metal, its shape, marvelously small, is straight and sharp. Its nature is to penetrate and then slowly advance, a single connection linking all manner of things. Truly the miracles worked by needle and thread extend far and wide, although they have no source! It rejects the corrupt, compensates for mistakes, it is pure as the fleece of the whitest lamb. Buckets and baskets count for nothing at all – but this is inscribed on stone, taken into the hall!" - Ban Zhao, courtesy name Huiban

"That milkmaid's lot is better than mine, and her life merrier." - Elizabeth II, born Elizabeth Alexandra May NULL

"Yet, at the same time, as the Eastern sages also knew, man is a worm and food for worms. This is the paradox: he is out of nature and hopelessly in it; he is dual, up in the stars and yet housed in a heart-pumping, breath-gasping body that once belonged to a fish and still carries the gill-marks to prove it. His body is a material fleshy casing that is alien to him in many ways—the strangest and most repugnant way being that it aches and bleeds and will decay and die. Man is literally split in two: he has an awareness of his own splendid uniqueness in that he sticks out of nature with a towering majesty, and yet he goes back into the ground a few feet in order blindly and dumbly to rot and disappear forever. It is a terrifying dilemma to be in and to have to live with. The lower animals are, of course, spared this painful contradiction, as they lack a symbolic identity and the self-consciousness that goes with it. They merely act and move reflexively as they are driven by their instincts. If they pause at all, it is only a physical pause; inside they are anonymous, and even their faces have no name. They live in a world without time, pulsating, as it were, in a state of dumb being. This is what has made it so simple to shoot down whole herds of buffalo or elephants. The animals don't know that death is hap­pening and continue grazing placidly while others drop alongside them. The knowledge of death is reflective and conceptual, and animals are spared it. They live and they disappear with the same thoughtlessness: a few minutes of fear, a few seconds of anguish, and it is over. But to live a whole lifetime with the fate of death haunting one's dreams and even the most sun-filled days—that's something else." - Ernest Becker