Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes


"At the center of religion is love. I love you and I forgive you. I am like you and you are like me. I love all people. I love the world. I love creating. Everything in our life should be based on love." - Ray Bradbury, fully Ray Douglas Bradbury

"It is not possible that a just God should forgive people who are wicked because another person who was good endured agony by being nailed to a cross." - Rebecca West, pen name of Mrs. Cicily Maxwell Andrews, born Fairfield, aka Dame Rebecca West

"My sins are more in number than the hairs on my head. I have bestowed my youth in wantonness, lust and uncleanness; I have been puffed up with pride, vanity and love of this wicked world’s pleasures. For all which, I humbly beseech my Saviour Christ to be a mediator to the eternal Majesty for my pardon, especially for this my last sin, this great, this bloody, this crying, this infectious sin, whereby so many for love of me have been drawn to offend God, to offend their sovereign, to offend the world. I beseech God to forgive it us, and to forgive it me – most wretched of all." - Robert Devereux, Lord Essex, 2nd Earl of Essex

"If God wanted to forgive our sins, why not just forgive them? Who's God trying to impress? Presumably himself, since he is judge and jury, as well as execution victim." - Richard Dawkins

"The new soup is the soup of human culture. We need a name for the new replicator, a noun which conveys the unit of cultural transmission, or a unit of imitation. Mimeme comes from a suitable Greek root, but I want a monosylable that sounds a bit like gene. I hope my classicist friends will forgive me if I abbreviate mimeme to meme." - Richard Dawkins

"Anybody who has had experience of poetesses knows that they may forgive a punch on the jaw, but never a suggestion that they would be wiser to give up versifying." - Robertson Davies

"Many people hold onto a grudge because it offers the illusion of power and a perverse feeling of security. But in fact, we are held hostage by our anger. It is never too late to forgive. But you can forgive too soon. I am especially wary of what I call "saintly forgiveness." Premature forgiveness is common among people who avoid conflict. They're afraid of their own anger and the anger of others. But their forgiveness is false. Their anger goes underground. I define forgiving as letting someone back into your heart. This returns us to a loving state -- and not merely within the relationship -- we feel good about ourselves and the world. True forgiveness isn't easy, but it transforms us significantly. To forgive is to love and to feel worthy of love. In that sense, it is always worthwhile." - Robert Karen

"I have no doubts that the Devil grins, As seas of ink I spatter. Ye gods, forgive my “literary” sins – The other kind don’t matter." - Robert Service, fully Robert William Service

"A happy family is but an earlier heaven. " - John Bowring, fully Sir John Bowring

"I am not worried about the deficit. It is big enough to take care of itself." - Ronald Reagan, fully Ronald Wilson Reagan

"Love's secret is always lifting its head out from under the covers - Here I am!" - Rumi, fully Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rumi NULL

"Life eternal is the supreme good, death eternal the supreme evil." - Saint Augustine, aka Augustine of Hippo, St. Austin, Bishop of Hippo NULL

"The good man, though a slave, is free; the wicked, though he reigns, is a slave, and not the slave of a single man, but — what is worse — the slave of as many masters as he has vices." - Saint Augustine, aka Augustine of Hippo, St. Austin, Bishop of Hippo NULL

"Thou lovest, without passion; art jealous, without anxiety; repentest, yet grievest not; art angry, yet serene; changest Thy works, Thy purpose unchanged; receivest again what Thou findest, yet didst never lose; never in need, yet rejoicing in gains; never covetous, yet exacting usury. Thou receivest over and above, that Thou mayest owe; and who hath aught that is not Thine? Thou payest debts, owing nothing; remittest debts, losing nothing. And that have I now said, my God, my life, my holy joy? or what saith any man when he speaks of Thee? Yet woe to him that speaketh not, since mute are even the most eloquent." - Saint Augustine, aka Augustine of Hippo, St. Austin, Bishop of Hippo NULL

"It is because I do not love that I trust in myself rather than in God." - Saint Catherine of Siena NULL

"Your soul will be blessed, Sister, if you bear patiently the troubles of mind and body His Providence sends you, or which come to you from within and without." - Saint Vincent de Paul

"I think she might at least have waited till the funeral was over,' said Amanda in a scandalized voice." - Saki, pen name for Hector Hugh Munro or H.H. Munro NULL

"We all love best not those who offend us least, nor those who have done most for us, but those who make it most easy for us to forgive them." - Samuel Butler

"We are so far identical with our ancestors and our contemporaries that it is very rarely we can see anything that they do not see. It is not unjust that the sins of the fathers should be visited upon the children, for the children committed the sins when in the persons of their fathers." - Samuel Butler

"Great fear of the sicknesses here in the City, it being said that two or three houses are already shut up. God preserve us all." - Samuel Pepys

"You have never had any confidence in him. And if he has no confidence in himself it is because he sees himself through your eyes." - Simone de Beauvoir, fully Simone-Ernestine-Lucie-Marie Bertrand de Beauvoir

"It's called political economy because it is has nothing to do with either politics or economy." - Stephen Leacock, fully Stephen Butler Leacock

"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

"I should say sincerity, a deep, great, genuine sincerity, is the first characteristic of all men in any way heroic." - Thomas Carlyle

"Action and care will in time wear down the strongest frame, but guilt and melancholy are poisons of quick dispatch." - Thomas Paine

"In the sixth petition (which is, And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil) we pray, That God would either keep us from being tempted to sin, or support and deliver us when we are tempted." - Westminster Shorter Catechism, aka Shorter Catechism or Westminster Shorter Catechism of the Presbyterian NULL

"For the unconquerable mind. We give You thanks, O God, for the harvest of knowledge, patiently gathered over long years by ongoing generations of scholars, and now laid up for the needs of humanity in our universities. For the increasing mastery of special skills, for victory over ills which people have suffered through ignorance, for confidence in the reliable order of nature, for the wisdom which long experience adds to much learning, for ever new light falling on old mysteries, as for all the joys of our part and portion in the unconquerable mind: we give thanks." - Willard L. Sperry, fully Willard Learoyd Sperry

"Florentine Ingratitude: Sir Joshua sent his own portrait to The birthplace of Michael Angelo, And in the hand of the simpering fool He put a dirty paper scroll, And on the paper, to be polite, Did ‘Sketches by Michael Angelo’ write. The Florentines said ‘’Tis a Dutch-English bore, Michael Angelo’s name writ on Rembrandt’s door.’ The Florentines call it an English fetch, For Michael Angelo never did sketch; 10 Every line of his has meaning, And needs neither suckling nor weaning. ’Tis the trading English-Venetian cant To speak Michael Angelo, and act Rembrandt: It will set his Dutch friends all in a roar To write ‘Mich. Ang.’ on Rembrandt’s door; But you must not bring in your hand a lie If you mean that the Florentines should buy. Giotto’s circle or Apelles’ line Were not the work of sketchers drunk with wine; Nor of the city clock’s running … fashion; Nor of Sir Isaac Newton’s calculation." - William Blake

"TERRIFIÈD at Non-Existence— For such they deem’d the death of the body—Los his vegetable hands Outstretch’d; his right hand, branching out in fibrous strength, Seiz’d the Sun; his left hand, like dark roots, cover’d the Moon, And tore them down, cracking the heavens across from immense to immense. Then fell the fires of Eternity, with loud and shrill Sound of loud Trumpet, thundering along from heaven to heaven, A mighty sound articulate: ‘Awake! ye Dead, and come To Judgement from the four winds! awake, and come away!’ Folding like scrolls of the enormous volume of Heaven and Earth, With thunderous noise and dreadful shakings, rocking to and fro, The Heavens are shaken, and the Earth removèd from its place; The foundations of the eternal hills discover’d. The thrones of Kings are shaken, they have lost their robes and crowns; The Poor smite their oppressors, they awake up to the harvest; 1 The naked warriors rush together down to the seashore, Trembling before the multitudes of slaves now set at liberty: They are become like wintry flocks, like forests stripp’d of leaves. The Oppressèd pursue like the wind; there is no room for escape.… The Books of Urizen unroll with dreadful noise! The folding Serpent Of Orc began to consume in fierce raving fire; his fierce flames Issu’d on all sides, gathering strength in animating volumes, Roaring abroad on all the winds, raging intense, reddening Into resistless pillars of fire, rolling round and round, gathering Strength from the earths consum’d, and heavens, and all hidden abysses, Where’er the Eagle has explor’d, or Lion or Tiger trod, Or where the comets of the night, or stars of day Have shot their arrows or long-beamèd spears in wrath and fury. And all the while the Trumpet sounds. From the clotted gore, and from the hollow den Start forth the trembling millions into flames of mental fire, Bathing their limbs in the bright visions of Eternity. Then, like the doves from pillars of smoke, the trembling families Of women and children throughout every nation under heaven Cling round the men in bands of twenties and of fifties, pale As snow that falls round a leafless tree upon the green. Their oppressors are fall’n; they have stricken them; they awake to life. Yet, pale, the Just man stands erect, and looking up to Heav’n. Trembling and strucken by the universal stroke, the trees unroot; The rocks groan horrible and run about; the mountains and Their rivers cry with a dismal cry; the cattle gather together, Lowing they kneel before the heavens; the wild beasts of the forests Tremble. The Lion, shuddering, asks the Leopard: ‘Feelest thou The dread I feel, unknown before? My voice refuses to roar, And in weak moans I speak to thee. This night, Before the morning’s dawn, the Eagle call’d the Vulture, The Raven call’d the Hawk. I heard them from my forests, Saying: “Let us go up far, for soon I smell upon the wind A terror coming from the South.” The Eagle and Hawk fled away At dawn, and ere the sun arose, the Raven and Vulture follow’d. Let us flee also to the North.’ They fled. The Sons of Men Saw them depart in dismal droves. The trumpets sounded loud, And all the Sons of Eternity descended into Beulah." - William Blake

"The Holiness of Minute Particulars - And many conversèd on these things as they labour’d at the furrow, Saying: ‘It is better to prevent misery than to release from misery; It is better to prevent error than to forgive the criminal. Labour well the Minute Particulars: attend to the Little Ones; And those who are in misery cannot remain so long, If we do but our duty: labour well the teeming Earth.… He who would do good to another must do it in Minute Particulars. General Good is the plea of the scoundrel, hypocrite, and flatterer; For Art and Science cannot exist but in minutely organized Particulars, And not in generalizing Demonstrations of the Rational Power: The Infinite alone resides in Definite and Determinate Identity. Establishment of Truth depends on destruction of Falsehood continually, On Circumcision, not on Virginity, O Reasoners of Albion!" - William Blake

"A pretence of Art to destroy Art; a pretence of Liberty To destroy Liberty; a pretence of Religion to destroy Religion. " - William Blake

"Love to faults is always blind; Always is to joy inclin’d, Lawless, wing’d and unconfin’d, And breaks all chains from every mind. Deceit to secrecy confin’d, Lawful, cautious and refin’d; To anything but interest blind, And forges fetters for the mind." - William Blake

"A Poetical Epistle To Lady Austen - Dear Anna, -- Between friend and friend, Prose answers every common end; Serves, in a plain and homely way, To express the occurrence of the day; Our health, the weather, and the news, What walks we take, what books we choose, And all the floating thoughts we find Upon the surface of the mind. But when a poet takes the pen, Far more alive than other men, He feels a gentle tingling come Down to his finger and his thumb, Derived from nature's noblest part, The centre of a glowing heart: And this is what the world, who knows No flights above the pitch of prose, His more sublime vagaries slighting, Denominates an itch for writing. No wonder I, who scribble rhyme To catch the triflers of the time, And tell them truths divine and clear, Which, couched in prose, they will not hear; Who laboured hard to allure and draw The loiterers I never saw, Should feel that itching and that tingling With all my purpose intermingling, To your intrinsic merit true, When called to address myself to you. Mysterious are His ways, whose power Brings forth that unexpected hour, When minds, that never met before, Shall meet, unite, and part no more; It is the allotment of the skies, The hand of the Supremely Wise, That guides and governs our affections, And plans and orders our connections: Directs us in our distant road, And marks the bounds of our abode. Thus we were settled when you found us, Peasants and children all around us, Not dreaming of so dear a friend, Deep in the abyss of Silver-End. Thus Martha, even against her will, Perched on the top of yonder hill; And you, though you must needs prefer The fairer scenes of sweet Sancerre, Are come from distant Loire, to choose A cottage on the banks of Ouse. This page of Providence quite new, And now just opening to our view, Employs our present thoughts and pains To guess, and spell, what it contains: But day by day, and year by year, Will make the dark enigma clear; And furnish us, perhaps, at last, Like other scenes already past, With proof, that we, and our affairs, Are part of a Jehovah's cares: For God unfolds, by slow degrees, The purport of his deep decrees, Sheds every hour a clearer light In aid of our defective sight; And spreads, at length, before the soul A beautiful and perfect whole, Which busy man's inventive brain Toils to anticipate, in vain. Say, Anna, had you never grown The beauties of a rose full blown, Could you, though luminous your eye, By looking on the bud descry, Or guess, with a prophetic power, The future splendour of the flower? Just so, the Omnipotent, who turns The system of a world's concerns, From mere minutiae can educe Events of most important use, And bid a dawning sky display The blaze of a meridian day. The works of man tend, one and all, As needs they must, from great to small; And vanity absorbs at length The monuments of human strength. But who can tell how vast the plan Which this day's incident began? Too small, perhaps, the slight occasion For our dim-sighted observation; It passed unnoticed, as the bird That cleaves the yielding air unheard, And yet may prove, when understood, A harbinger of endless good. Not that I deem, or mean to call Friendship a blessing cheap or small; But merely to remark, that ours, Like some of nature's sweetest flowers, Rose from a seed of tiny size, That seemed to promise no such prize; A transient visit intervening, And made almost without a meaning, (Hardly the effect of inclination), Produced a friendship, then begun, That has cemented us in one; And placed it in our power to prove, By long fidelity and love, That Solomon has wisely spoken,-- 'A threefold cord is not soon broken.' " - William Cowper

"And we are put on earth a little space that we may learn to bear the beams of love." - William Blake

"For everything exists and not one sigh nor smile nor tear, one hair nor particle of dust, not one can pass away." - William Blake

"The American people will vote dry as long as they are able to stagger to the polls." - Will Rogers, fully William Penn Adair "Will" Rogers

"I've seen it before. There are women who spread ruin through no fault of theirs, just by being too beautiful, too full of life and love. They can't help it. People come to them as people go to a warm fire in winter." - Willa Cather, fully Willa Sibert Cather

"Big thinking precedes great achievement." - Wilferd Peterson, fully Wilferd Arlan Peterson

"The only ones who like Milton Berle are his mother - and the public." - Walter Winchell

"Luck is a word devoid of sense; nothing can exist without a cause." - Voltaire, pen name of François-Marie Arouet NULL

"For prying into any human affairs, non are equal to those whom it does not concern." - Victor Hugo

"O Lord. I accept that supreme knowledge, which is extraordinary, protector of all and which leads to the path of truth... the knowledge which nourishes with 'thousand streams' and which is acquired by capable scholars with great efforts." - Atharva Veda, or Atharvaveda

"If one yearns to see the face of the Divine, one must break out of the aquarium, escape the fish farm, to go swim up wild cataracts, dive in deep fjords. One must explore the labyrinth of the reef, the shadows of the lily pads. How limiting, how insulting to think of God as a benevolent warden, an absentee hatchery manager who imprisons us in the 'comfort' of artificial pools, where intermediaries sprinkle our restrictive waters with sanitized flakes of processed nutriment." - Tom Robbins, fully Thomas Eugene "Tom" Robbins

"And where two raging fires meet together; they do consume the thing that feeds their fury. Though little fire grows great with little wind, yet extreme gusts will blow out fire and all. Taming of the Shrew, Act ii, Scene 1" -

"BENEDICK: I would I could find in my heart that I had not a hard heart; for, truly, I love none. BEATRICE: A dear happiness to women: they would else have been troubled with a pernicious suitor. Much Ado about Nothing, Act I, Scene 6" -

"Do but see his vice; 't is to his virtue a just virtue a just equinox, the one as long as the other." -

"Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak." - Bible or The Bible or Holy Bible NULL

"A life devoted unto God, looking wholly unto Him in all our actions, and doing all things suitably to His glory, is so far from being dull and uncomfortable, that it creates new comforts in everything that we do." - William Law

"We may say of agreeableness, as distinct from beauty, that it consists in a symmetry of which we know not the rules, and a secret conformity of the features to each other, as also to the air and complexion of the person." - François de La Rochefoucauld, François VI, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, Prince de Marcillac, Francois A. F. Rochefoucauld-Liancourt