Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes


"We are not alien visitors to this planet, after all but natural residents and relatives of every living entity here. This earth is where we came from and where we'll all end up when we die, and during the interim, it is our home, And there's no way we can ever hope to understand ourselves if we don't at least marginally understand our home." - Elizabeth Gilbert

"When I tried this morning, after an hour or so of unhappy thinking, to dip back into my meditation, I took a new idea with me: compassion. I asked my heart if it could please infuse my soul with a more generous perspective on my mind's workings. Instead of thinking that I was a failure, could I perhaps accept that I am only a human being--and a normal one, at that?" - Elizabeth Gilbert

"Zen masters say you cannot see your reflection in running water, only in still water." - Elizabeth Gilbert

"As the moths around a taper, as the bees around a rose, as the gnats around a vapour, so the spirits group and close round about a holy childhood, as if drinking its repose." - Elizabeth Browning, fully Elizabeth Barrett Browning

"O Life, how oft we throw it off and think, — 'Enough, enough of life in so much! — here's a cause for rupture; — herein we must break with Life, or be ourselves unworthy; here we are wronged, maimed, spoiled for aspiration: farewell Life!' — And so, as froward babes, we hide our eyes and think all ended. — Then, Life calls to us in some transformed, apocryphal, new voice, above us, or below us, or around. Perhaps we name it Nature's voice, or Love's, tricking ourselves, because we are more ashamed to own our compensations than our griefs: still, Life's voice! — still, we make our peace with Life." - Elizabeth Browning, fully Elizabeth Barrett Browning

"The critics say that epics have died out with Agamemnon and the goat-nursed gods; I'll not believe it. I could never deem as Payne Knight did, that Homer's heroes measured twelve feet high. They were but men: -his Helen's hair turned grey like any plain Miss Smith's who wears a front; And Hector's infant whimpered at a plume as yours last Friday at a turkey-cock. All heroes are essential men, and all men possible heroes: every age, heroic in proportions, double faced, looks backward and before, expects a morn and claims an epos." - Elizabeth Browning, fully Elizabeth Barrett Browning

"Men can never understand the fear of everlasting punishment that fills the souls of women and children. The orthodox religion, as drawn from the Bible and expounded by the church, is enough to drive the most imaginative and sensitive natures to despair and death." - Elizabeth Cady Stanton

"Dost thou think me so unlike myself and unmindful of my royal majesty that I would prefer my servant whom I myself have raised, before the greatest prince of Christendom...?" - Elizabeth II, born Elizabeth Alexandra May NULL

"There is room in the halls of pleasure for a large and lordly train, but one by one we must all file on through the narrow isles of pain." - Ella Wheeler Wilcox

"After a sleepless night, the people in the street seem automatons. No one seems to breathe, to walk, Each looks as if he is worked by clockwork: nothing spontaneous; mechanical smiles, spectral gesticulations. Yourself a specter, how would you see others as alive?" - Emil M. Cioran

"Each time you find yourself at a turning point, the best thing is to lie down and let hours pass. Resolutions made standing up are worthless: they are dictated either by pride or by fear. Prone, we still know these two scourges, but in a more attenuated, more intemporal form." - Emil M. Cioran

"A work of art is a corner of nature seen through a temperament." - Emile Zola

"If you shut up truth and bury it under the ground, it will but grow, and gather to itself such explosive power that the day it bursts through it will blow up everything in its way." - Emile Zola

"If I had caused the cloud, it was my duty to make an effort to dispel it." - Emily Brontë, fully Emily Jane Brontë, aka pseudonym Ellis Bell

"Merely external emancipation has made of the modern woman an artificial being. Now, woman is confronted with the necessity of emancipating herself from emancipation, if she really desires to be free." - Emma Goldman

"Obsession is irreducible to consciousness, even if it overwhelms it. In consciousness it is betrayed, but thematized by a said in which it is manifested. Obsession traverses consciousness counter-current-wise, is inscribed in consciousness as something foreign, a disequilibrium, a delirium." - Emmanuel Lévinas , originally Emanuelis Lévinas

"The task of educating and feeding youngsters, the task of educating the army, the task of distributing the lands of the former absentee landlords to those who laboured every day upon that same land without receiving its benefits, are accomplishments of social medicine." - Che Guevara, fully Ernesto “Che” Guevara

"The cat who snoops around will feed his kitten." - Estonian Proverbs

"The story behind the writing of The Message (this was especially interesting to me)." - Eugene Peterson

"In any case, write what you know will always be excellent advice to those who ought not to write at all." - Gore Vidal, fully Eugene Luther Gore Vidal

"Slyly, banteringly, but also overbearingly, the critic – the one who does not swallow anything whole, who waits until posterity has consecrated it before... howling – is among those who howl their admiration the way they howl their insults: don't be afraid, don't tremble – the beast doesn't have any nails or teeth, or even brain: it is stuffed..." -

"For chance fights ever on the side of the prudent." - Euripedes NULL

"For the good, when praised, feel something of disgust, if to excess commended." - Euripedes NULL

"Youth holds no society with grief." - Euripedes NULL

"It was for him that she had done it -- for this creature here, this man who understood nothing, who felt nothing." - Gustave Flaubert

"A lot of men who have accepted - or had imposed upon them in boyhood - the old English public school styles of careful modesty in speech, with much understatement, have behind their masks an appalling and impregnable conceit of themselves." - J. B. Priestly, fully John Boynton Priestly