IR Folks from Times Past

IR Folks from Times Past

Monday, July 4, 2011

In Truth

Those who know the truth are not equal to those who love it. Confucius, Analects, VI, c. 500 B.C.

The way of truth is like a great highway. It is not hard to find. Mencius, Discourses, VI, c. 300 B.C.

Nature has given our minds an insatiable appetite for the truth. Cicero, Tusculanae disputationes, 1, 45 B.C.

Truth is often eclipsed, but never extinguished.  Livy, History of Rome, xxii, c. 10

Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth? Galatians, IV, 16, c. 50

Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John VIII, 32, c. 115

Truth is the highest thing that man may keep. Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales, c. 1386

Superstition, idolatry, and hypocrisy have ample wages, but truth goes a begging. Martin Luther, Table-Talk, LIII, 1569

The inquiry of truth, which is the love-making or wooing of it; the knowledge of truth, which is the presence of it; and the belief of truth, which is the enjoying of it, is the sovereign good of human nature. Francis Bacon, Essays, 1625

Truth always lags behind, limping along on the arm of time. Baltasar Gracian, The Art of Worldly Wisdom, CXLVI, 1647

It is as hard to tell the truth as to hide it.  Baltasar Gracian, The Art of Worldly
Wisdom, CLXXXI, 1647

To love truth for truth's sake is the principal part of human perfection in this world, and the seed-plot of all other virtues. John Locke, Letter to Anthony Collins, Oct. 29, 1703

There are not many certain truths in this world. Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man, preface, 1732.

Truth from his lips prevailed with double sway,
And fools who came to scoff remained to pray.
--Oliver Goldsmith, The Deserted Village, 1770

Truth, like all other good things, may be loved unwisely — may be pursued too keenly —may cost too much. Vice-Chancellor Knight Bruce, Judgment in Pearse vs. Pearse, 1846

Men of the world value truth . . . not by its sacredness, but for its convenience. Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Superlative, 1847

Ethical truth is as exact and peremptory as physical truth. Herbert Spencer, Social Statics, II, 1851

Truth means facts and their relations, which stand towards each other pretty much as subjects and predicates in logic. John Henry Newman, On the Scope and Nature of University Education, II, 1852

Nothing from man's hands, nor law, nor constitution, can be final. Truth alone is final.  --Charles Sumner, Speech in the Senate, Aug. 26, 1852

Who never sold the truth to serve the hour. --Alfred Tennyson, Ode on the Death of
the Duke of Wellington, 1852

Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth. Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854

Truths and roses have thorns about them. H.G. Bohn, Handbook of Proverbs, 1855

The simplest and most necessary truths are always the last believed. John Ruskin, Modern Painters, rv, 1856

Truth is scattered far and wide in small portions among mankind, mingled in every system with the dross of error, grasped perfectly by no one, and only in some degree discovered by the careful comparison and collation of opposing systems. W.E.H. Lecky, History of Rationalism, 1865

All truth is safe, and nothing else is safe. Max Muller, Chips from a German Workshop, 1867

Time, whose tooth gnaws away everything else, is powerless against truth. T. H. Huxley, Administrative Nihilism, 1871

Nobody dies nowadays of fatal truths: there are too many antidotes to them. F. W. Nietzsche, Human All-Too-Human, x, 1878

It is the quest after truth, not its possession, that falls to our human lot, that gladdens us, that fills our lives — nay, that hallows them. August Weismann, Dauer des Lebens, 1881

Truth is given the eternal years of God because she needs them every one. Thomas B. Reed, Speech at Bowdoin College, Maine, July 25, 1902

My way of joking is to tell the truth. George Bernard Shaw, John Bull's Other Island, 1904

The "truths" that come down the ages are like a long string of grasshoppers standing in single file who jump over one another's backs. They continue without pause, always "moving ahead," until they arrive over and over again at the point where they began. And where was that? Benjamin de Casseres, Fantasia Impromptu, 1933.

Source: H.L. Mencken, Dictionary of Quotations.