Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes


"To win without risk is to triumph without glory. [When there is no peril in the fight there is no glory in the triumph.] [We triumph without glory when we conquer without danger.][To vanquish without peril is to triumph without glory.]" - Pierre Cornielle

"God may be worshipped and contemplated in any of his aspects. But to persist in worshipping only one aspect to the exclusion of all the rest is to run into grave spiritual peril... The best that can be said for ritualistic legalism is that it improves conduct. It does little, however, to alter character and nothing of itself to modify consciousness... The complete transformation of consciousness, which is “enlightenment,” “deliverance,” “salvation,” comes only when God is thought of as the perennial Philosophy affirms Him to be - immanent as well as transcendent, supra-personal as well as personal - and when religious practices are adapted to this conception." - Aldous Leonard Huxley

"Give us grace and strength to forbear and to preserve. Give us courage and gaiety and the quiet mind. Spare to us our friends and soften to us our enemies. Give us the strength to encounter that which is to come, that we may be brave in peril, constant in tribulation, temperate in wrath and in all changes of fortune, and down to the gates of death, loyal and loving to one another." - Robert Louis Stevenson, fully Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson

"There be four good mothers who have four bad daughters: Truth hath Hatred, Prosperity hath Pride, Security hath Peril, and Familiarity hath Contempt." - Harold W Thompson

"We are forming characters for eternity. Forming characters! Whose? our own or other? Both - and in that momentous fact lies the peril and responsibility of our existence. Who is sufficient for the thought?" - Elihu Burritt

"Every new idea has something of the pain and peril of childbirth about it; ideas are just as mortal and just as immortal as organized beings are." - Samuel Butler

"I believe that... education, therefore, is a process of living and not a preparation for future living... all education proceeds by the participation of the individual in the social consciousness of the race... Every thinker puts one portion of an apparently stable world in peril." - John Dewey

"It is not social change alone which is the challenge. It is the rate of change. That rate of change has been vastly accelerated by numerous factors. Peril lies not in change, but in the tremendous rate of change." -

"Liberty without learning is always in peril, and learning without liberty is always in vain." - John F. Kennedy, fully John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy

"The difficulties, hardships, and trials of life, the obstacles one encounters on the road to fortune, are positive blessings. They knit the muscles more firmly, and teach self-reliance. Peril is the element in which power is developed." - William Matthews

"Call a thing immoral or ugly, soul-destroying or a degradation of man, a peril to the peace of the world or to the well-being of future generations: as long as you have not shown it to be 'uneconomic' you have not really questioned its right to exist, grow, and prosper." -

"Man has arrived at a view of the world in which his own presence is not essential… This is the blindness behind the eyes… Man has grown blind to himself; therefore, as far as he is concerned, life is void of meaning. That is the peril humanity is in." - L. Francis Edmunds

"The peace of God is peace within ourselves. The unrest of human life comes largely from our being torn asunder by contending impulses. Conscience pulls this way, passion that. Desire says, “Do this”; reason, judgment, prudence say “It is your peril if you do!” One desire fights against another. And so the man is rent asunder. There must be the harmonizing of all the being if there is to be real rest of spirit." - Alexander Maclaren

"Call a thing immoral or ugly, soul-destroying or a degradation of man, a peril to the peace of the world or to the well-being of future generations; as long as you have not shown it to be “uneconomic” you have not really questioned its right to exist, grow, and prosper." - E. F. Schumacher, fully Ernst Friedrich "Fritz" Schumacher

"So long as a church is proscribed, it can build up a new society at its own peril without being implicated in the old society’s weaknesses and sins." - Arnold J. Toynbee, fully Arnold Joseph Toynbee

"The tests of life are to make, not break us. Trouble may demolish man's business but build up his character. There blow at the outer man may be the greatest blessing to the inner man. If God, then, puts or permits anything hard in our lives, be sure that the real peril, the real trouble, is that we shall lose if we flinch or rebel." - Maltbie Babcock, fully Maltbie Davenport Babcock

"The tests of life are to make, not break us. Trouble may demolish a man’s business but build his character. The blow at the outward man may be the greatest blessing to the inner man. If God, then, puts or permits anything hard in our lives, be sure that the real peril, the real trouble, is what we shall lose if we flinch or rebel." - Maltbie Babcock, fully Maltbie Davenport Babcock

"You commit a sin of omission if you do not utilize all the power that is within you. All people have claims on man, and to the person with special talents, this is a very special claim. It is required that a person take part in the actions and clashes of their time than the peril of being judged not to have lived at all." - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

"The peril of every fine faculty is the delight of playing with it for pride. Talent is commonly developed at the expense of character, and the greater it grows, the more is the mischief. Talent is mistaken for genius, a dogma or system for truth, ambition for greatest, ingenuity for poetry, sensuality for art." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"What's none of your Profit, need be none of your Peril." - Thomas Fuller

"Forming characters! Whose? Our own or others? Both. And in that momentous fact lies the peril and responsibility of our existence." - Elihu Burritt

"There is no absolute peril except for him who abandons himself; There is no complete death except for him who aquires a taste of dying." - Jacques Rivière

"Every thinker puts some portion of an apparently stable world in peril and no one can wholly predict what will emerge in its place." - John Dewey

"Two paths lie before us. One leads to death, the other to life. If we choose the first path--if we numbly refuse to acknowledge the nearness of extinction, all the while increasing our preparations to bring it about--then we in effect become the allies of death….On the other hand, if we reject our doom, and bend our efforts toward survival--if we arouse ourselves to the peril and act to forestall it, making ourselves the allies of life--hen the anesthetic fog will lift…and we will take full and clear possession of life again…and rise up to cleanse the earth of nuclear weapons." - Jonathan Schell, fully Jonathan Edward Schell

"The decision to speak out is the vocation and lifelong peril by which the intellectual must live." - Kay Boyle

"The worship of god is thus symbolically manifested in a systematic summarization of mythological tradition (Überlieferung) and in obedience of solemn ritual habits ... The holiness (Heiligkeit) of incomprehensible deity is transferred to the holiness of comprehensible symbols ... A work of art has its meaning essentially in itself ... A religious symbol, on the contrary, points always above itself, its value is never exhausted in itself ... a winged angel was considered from ancient times to be the most beautiful symbol of god's servant and messenger. Nowadays we will find among anatomically educated believers some, which are prevented by their scientifically educated imagination from considering such physiological impossibility beautiful, despite their best efforts. This circumstance, however, does not cause the slightes harm to their religious attitudes ... But the overestimation of the importance of religious symbols is threatened still by another – much more serious – danger from the side of the movement of atheists (Gottlosenbewegung). One of the most favorite methods of this movement, aiming at undermining of every genuine religiosity, is to direct its attacks against traditional (alteingebürgerten) religious customs and ridiculing or dishonoring them as obsolete institutions. With such attacks against symbols they hope to hit the religion itself, and they have the easier task (Spiel) the stranger and more striking such views and customs look. Many a religious soul (religiöse Seele) has fallen pray to such a tactics. There is no better defense against such peril than to realize that religious symbol ... does never represent an abolute value but is always only a more or less imperfect reference to something higher which is not directly accessible to our senses." - Max Planck, fully Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck

"One has only to set a loved human being against the fact that we are all in peril all the time to get back a sense of proportion. What does anything matter compared to the reality of love and its span, so brief at best, maintained against such odds?" - May Sarton, pen name of Eleanore Marie Sarton

"Fights between individuals, as well as governments and nations, invariably result from misunderstandings in the broadest interpretation of this term. Misunderstandings are always caused by the inability of appreciating one another's point of view. This again is due to the ignorance of those concerned, not so much in their own, as in their mutual fields. The peril of a clash is aggravated by a more or less predominant sense of combativeness, posed by every human being. To resist this inherent fighting tendency the best way is to dispel ignorance of the doings of others by a systematic spread of general knowledge. With this object in view, it is most important to aid exchange of thought and intercourse." - Nikola Tesla

"The idea came like a flash of lightning and in an instant the truth was revealed. I drew with a stick on the sand the diagram shown six years later in my address before the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, and my companion understood them perfectly. The images I saw were wonderfully sharp and clear and had the solidity of metal and stone, so much so that I told him, "See my motor here; watch me reverse it." I cannot begin to describe my emotions. Pygmalion seeing his statue come to life could not have been more deeply moved. A thousand secrets of nature which I might have stumbled upon accidentally, I would have given for that one which I had wrested from her against all odds and at the peril of my existence." - Nikola Tesla

"All of humanity is in peril of extinction if each one of us does not dare, now and henceforth, always to tell only the truth, and all the truth, and to do so promptly — right now." - Buckminster Fuller, fully Richard Buckminster "Bucky" Fuller

"The stupidity of the average man will permit the oligarch, whether economic or political, to hide his real purposes from the scrutiny of his fellows and to withdraw his activities from effective control. Since it is impossible to count on enough moral goodwill among those who possess irresponsible power to sacrifice it for the good of the whole, it must be destroyed by coercive methods and these will always run the peril of introducing new forms of injustice in place of those abolished." - Reinhold Niebuhr, fully Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr

"Art is always at peril in universities, where there are so many people, young and old, who love art less than argument, and dote upon a text that provides the nutritious pemmican on which scholars love to chew." - Robertson Davies

"The mind commands the body and is instantly obeyed. The mind commands itself and meets resistance. The mind commands the hand to move, and it so easy that one hardly distinguishes the order from its execution. Yet mind is mind and hand is body. The mind orders the mind to will. The recipient of the order is itself, yet it does not perform it." - Saint Augustine, aka Augustine of Hippo, St. Austin, Bishop of Hippo NULL

"His neighbor is a tooth-drawer. That bag at his girdle is full of the teeth that he drew at Winchester fair. I warrant that there are more sound ones than sorry, for he is quick at his work and a trifle dim in the eye." - Arthur Conan Doyle, fully Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle

"What unknown seas of feeling lie in man, and will from time to time break through!" - Thomas Carlyle

"The purpose of establishing different houses of legislation is to introduce the influence of different interests or different principles." - Thomas Jefferson

"The great thing, and the only thing, is to adore and praise God." - Thomas Merton

"Anxiety is not fear, being afraid of this or that definite object, but the uncanny feeling of being afraid of nothing at all. It is precisely Nothingness that makes itself present and felt as the object of our dread." - William Barrett, fully William Christopher Barrett

"Diamonds are found only in the dark bowels of the earth; truths are found only in the depths of thought. It seemed to him that after descending into those depths after long groping in the blackest of this darkness, he had at last found one of these diamonds, one of these truths, and that he held it in his hand; and it blinded him to look at it." - Victor Hugo

"That war is an evil is a proposition so familiar to everyone that it would be tedious to develop it." - Thucydides NULL

"Alack, when once our grace we have forgot, nothing goes right! we would, and we would not." -

"Are there no stones in heaven but what serve for the thunder?" -

"They wouldn’t even lift a finger to save their own grandmothers from the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal without orders signed in triplicate, sent in, sent back, queried, lost, found, subjected to public inquiry, lost again, and finally buried in soft peat for three months and recycled as firelighters." - Douglas Adams, fully Douglas Noel Adams

"Now, my masters, happy man be his dole, say I; every man to his business." -

"A strength to harm is perilous in the hand of an ambitious head." - Elizabeth II, born Elizabeth Alexandra May NULL

"She climbed on the pile of lumber and sat down, a little flushed and quivery, to watch us off. I remember seeing her there with the baby till we were well down the channel. I remember noticing the bay as it grew cleaner, and thinking that I would break off swearing; and I remember cursing Bob Smart like a pirate within an hour." - Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, fully Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward

"Dead men are not friends to living men, and give them no gifts." - J. R. R. Tolkien, fully John Ronald Reuel Tolkien