Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes


"To have the power to forgive, is empire and prerogative, and ‘tis in crowns a nobler gem, to grant a pardon than condemn." - Samuel Butler

"Let your words be few and digested, it is a shame for the tongue to cry the heart mercy, much more to cast itself upon the uncertain pardon of others’ ears." - Robert Hall

"Pardon is the virtue of victory." - Guiseppe Mazzini

"The highest of characters, in my estimation, is his who is as ready to pardon the moral errors of mankind as if he were every day guilty of some himself; and at the same time as cautious of committing a fault as if he never forgave one." - Pliny the Younger, full name Casus Plinius Caecilius Secundus, born Gaius Caecilius or Gaius Caecilius Cilo NULL

"To pardon those absurdities in ourselves which we condemn in others, is neither better nor worse than to be more willing to be fools ourselves than to have others so." - Alexander Pope

"Pardon one offence, and you encourage the commission of many." - Publius Syrus

"Hesitation is the best cure for anger. Seek this concession from anger right away, not to gain its pardon, but that it may evidence some discrimination. The first blows of anger are heavy, but if it waits, it will think again. Do not try to destroy it immediately. Attacked piecemeal, it will be entirely overcome." -

"We pardon familiar vices." -

"Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy." -

"The world never forgives our talents, our successes, our friends, nor our pleasures. It only forgives our death. Nay, it does not always pardon that." - Queen Elisabeth of Roumania, Elisabetha Charlotte Josephine Alexandra Victoria NULL

"Vices that are familiar we pardon, and only new ones reprehend." - Publius Syrus

"We pardon to the extent that we love." -

"Women in love pardon great indiscretions more easily than little infidelities." -

"You tell us that baptism is absolutely necessary to go to heaven. If there were a man so good that he had never offended God, and if he died without baptism, would he go to hell, never having given any offense to God? If he goes to hell, then God must not love all good people, since He throws one into the fire. You teach us that God existed before the creation of heaven and earth. If He did, where did He live, since there was neither heaven nor earth? You say that the angels were created n the beginning of the world, and that those who disobeyed were cast into hell. How can that be so, since you say the angels sinned before earth’s creation, and hell is in the depths of the earth? You declare that those who go to hell do not come out of it, and yet you relate stories of the damned who have appeared in the world - how is that to be understood. Ah, how I would like to kill devils, since they do so much harm! But if they are made like men and some are even among men, do they still feel the fire of hell? Why is it that they do not repent for having offended God? If they did repent, would not God be merciful to them? If Our Lord has suffered for all sinners, why do not they receive pardon from him? You say that the virgin, mother of Jesus Christ, is not God, and that she has never offended God. You also say that her Son has redeemed all men, and atoned for all; but if she has done nothing wrong, her son could not redeem her nor atone for her." - Young “Savage” Seminarians NULL

"Men never forgive those in whom there is nothing to pardon." -

"Love means to love that which is unlovable, or it is no virtue at all; forgiving means to pardon that which is unpardonable, or it is no virtue at all – and to hope means hoping when things are hopeless, or it is no virtue at all." - Gilbert Keith "G.K." Chesteron

"Confession heals, confession justifies, confession grants pardon of sin. All hope consists in confession. In confession there is a chance for mercy. Believe it firmly. Do not doubt, do not hesitate, never despair of the mercy of God. Hope and have confidence in confession." - Isidore of Seville, fully Saint Isidore of Seville NULL

"To understand is not only to pardon, but in the end to love." -

"We pardon in the degree that we love." -

"Humility is the most excellent natural cure for anger in the world, for he, that by daily considering his own infirmities and failings, makes the error of his servant or neighbor to be his own case, and remembers that he daily needs God’s pardon and his brother’s charity, will not be apt to rage at the levities, or misfortunes, or indiscretions of another." - Jeremy Taylor

"No sin is too big for God to pardon, and none is too small for habit to magnify." - Bahya ben Joseph ibn Pakuda NULL

"Conventional people are roused to fury by departure from convention, largely because they regard such departures as a criticism of themselves. They will pardon much unconventionality in a man who has enough jollity and friendliness to make it clear, even to the stupidest, that he is not engaged in criticizing them." - Bertrand Russell, fully Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell

"Nothing is terrible, except fear itself... revenge is a kind of wild justice; which the more man's nature runs to, the more ought law to week it out... Certainly, in taking revenge a man is but even with his enemy; but in passing it over, he is superior; for it is a prince's part to pardon. This is certain, the man that studieth revenge keeps his own wounds green, which otherwise would heal and do well." - Francis Bacon

"In revenge a man is but even with his enemies; but it is a princely things to pardon, for Solomon saith, "It is the glory of a man to pass over a transgression."" - Francis Bacon

"Forgiveness to the injur'd does belong, but they ne'er pardon who have done the wrong." - John Dryden

"Those evils I deserve, yet despair not of His final pardon whose ear is ever open and his eye gracious to readmit the supplicant." - John Milton

"Lord, make me an instrument of your peace where there is hatred... let me sow love. Where there is injury... pardon. Where there is doubt... faith. Where there is despair... hope. Where there is darkness... light. Where there is sadness... joy. O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled... as to console, to be understood... as to understand; to be loved... as to love, for it is in giving... that we receive. It is in pardoning, that we are pardoned, it is in dying... that we are born to eternal life." - Saint Francis of Assisi, born Giovanni Francesco di Bernardone NULL

"What is toleration? It is the appurtenance of humanity. We are all full of weakness and errors; let us mutually pardon each other our follies - it is the first law of nature." -

"It's cheaper to pardon than to resent. Forgiveness saves the expense of anger, the cost of hatred, and the waste of spirit." -

"It's cheaper to pardon than to resent. Forgiveness saves the expense of anger, the cost of hatred, and the waste of spirit." - Hannah More

"The folly which we might have ourselves committed is the one which we are least ready to pardon in another." - Joseph Roux

"Be good, be kind, be humane, and charitable; love your fellows; console the afflicted; pardon those who have done you wrong." - Maxim Gorky, pen name of Alexei Maximovich Peshkov

"Any other thing she would have pardoned: infidelity, indifference, cruelty, any sins of manhood's caprice or passion, but who should pardon this? " - Ouida, pseudonym of Maria Louise Ramé, preferred to be called Marie Louise de la Ramée NULL

"I felt that even when they were polite they hardly saw me, that they would have begged the pardon of Jack the Bear, never glancing his way if the bear happened to be walking along minding his business. It was confusing. I did not know if it was desirable or undesirable." - Ralph Ellison, fully Ralph Waldo Ellison

"Scientists are sometimes suspected of arrogance. Carl Sagan commends to us by contrast the humility of the Roman Catholic Church which, as early as 1992, was ready to grant a pardon to Galileo and admit publicly that the Earth does indeed revolve around the Sun. We must hope that this outspoken magnanimity will not cause any offence or hurt to the supreme religious authority of Saudi Arabia, Sheik Abdel-Aziz Ibn Baaz who, according to Sagan, in 1993 issued an edict, or fatwa, declaring that the world is flat. Anyone of the round persuasion does not believe in God and should be punished. Arrogance? Scientists are amateurs in arrogance." - Richard Dawkins

"When the soul desires the forgiveness of sin and not grace to lead a new life, that desire is hypocritical, for a true Christian desires power against sin as well as pardon for it." - Richard Sibbes (or Sibbs)

"REASSURANCE: A TRIALOGUE - Cantor to God: "What profits it to see Thy people wallow, A prostrate lily whelmed in floods of water? She twitters like a caged and frightened swallow, When Thou art girt with weapons for her slaughter. Be over her, O Rock, a shield erected, And make Thy corner-stone of that rejected!" Congregation: "Before my foe I am humiliated, He sits in fatted ease while I must wander, Before his flouts and roars and blows prostrated, Yet I endure and fix my vision yonder, And wait for healing, with my crying stifled, Like Hannah’s, and a heart subdued and rifled." Cantor to Congregation: "What ails thee that soul-sick and bitter-hearted, Thou faintest, face and hands with teardrops streaming? Sow charity, and kindness shall be carted, Who trusts in force is ignorantly dreaming. Oppression passes, trampled by oppression, And violence breeds violent succession." Congregation to Cantor: "My years have gone in sorrow and in sighing, I hoped for respite but instead comes wailing, Before the balm arrives behold me dying." Cantor to Congregation: "Ah wait, faint heart, that sighest, sick and failing, Thyself against God’s mercy do not harden, Thou, eased of foes, shalt flower like a garden." Congregation to God: "Mine eyes are sick and faint from hope’s depression, Dumb like a sheep I bear Thy storm of fury, Perchance my pain shall cancel my transgression, Crush not the plagued and stricken son of Jewry, The broken-hearted, crouching ’neath Thy rod, He waits Thee, night and day, O jealous God. Gripped like a bird within its captor’s fingers, And crushed to dust, I groan beyond all bearing." God: "Hearken, afflicted one, for hope yet lingers, And look to Me, whose angel is preparing My path, for though at night be tears and sadness Yet in the morning come delight and gladness."" - Salomon ibn Gabirol, aka Solomon ben Judah or Avicebron

"Thou art Light celestial, and the eyes of the pure shall behold Thee But the clouds of sin shall veil Thee from the eyes of the sinners. Thou art Light, hidden in this world but to be revealed in the visible world on high. "On the mount of the Lord shall it be seen." Light Eternal art Thou, and the eye of the intellect longeth and yearneth for Thee. "Yet only a part shall it see, the whole it shall not behold."" - Salomon ibn Gabirol, aka Solomon ben Judah or Avicebron

"If you are a man of learning, read something classic, a history of the human struggle and don't settle for mediocre verse." - Rumi, fully Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rumi NULL

"God was made man and man was made God." - Saint Catherine of Siena NULL

"To the good man to die is gain. The foolish fear death as the greatest of evils, the wise desire it as a rest after labors and the end of ills." - Saint Ambrose, born Aurelius Ambrosius NULL

"It is not my intention to be fulsome, but I confess that I covet your skull." - Arthur Conan Doyle, fully Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle

"Through His deity He is God, through the assumption of the flesh He is man. ...through the nature of man He grows tired. the nature of man He is less than the Father. God He speaks things which are divine, as man He says things which are human." - Ambrose, aka Saint Ambrose, fully Aurelius Ambrosius NULL

"As regards to its use on the coinage we have actual experience by which to go. In all my life I have never heard any human being speak reverently of this motto on the coins or show any sign of having appealed to any high emotion in him. But I have literally hundreds of times heard it used as an occasion of, and incitement to, the sneering ridicule which it is above all things undesirable that so beautiful and exalted a phrase should excite. For example, throughout the long contest, extending over several decades, on the free [silver] coinage question, the existence of this motto on the coins was a constant source of jest and ridicule; and this was unavoidable. Everyone must remember the innumerable cartoons and articles based on phrases like 'In God we trust for the other eight cents'; 'In God we trust for the short weight'; 'In god we trust for the thirty-seven cents we do not pay'; and so forth and so forth. Surely I am well within bounds when I say that a use of the phrase which invites constant levity of this type is most undesirable." - Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt

"The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or anyone else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about anyone else." - Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt