"Men have never known what the world is moving to."

Havelock Ellis


"He who rebukes the world is rebuked by the world."

Rudyard Kipling


"The world is a looking-glass, and gives back to every man the reflection of his own face. Frown at it, and it in turn will look sourly upon you; laugh at it and with it, and it is a jolly, kind companion."

-William Makepeace Thackeray


"People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson


"The world is a dangerous place to live;

not because of the people who are evil,

but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

-Albert Einstein



"Every spirit builds itself a house, and beyond its house a world, and beyond its world a heaven. Know then that world exists for you."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson


"The beauty of the world which is so soon to perish, has two edges, one of laughter, one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder."

-Virginia Woolf


"The world breaks everyone, and afterward, many are strong at the broken places."

Ernest Hemingway


"O ruined piece of nature! This great world

Shall so wear out to nought."

-William Shakespeare, King Lear


"It is as impossible that the love of the world can co-exist with the love of God, as for light and darkness to co-exist at the same time with one another."

Philo of Alexandria


"From frequenting the world a wonderful clarity of human judgment is acquired."



"There are books in which the footnotes, or the comments scrawled by some reader's hand in the margin, are more interesting that the text. The world is one of those books."

George Santayana


"The melancholy thing about the world is that it is full of stupid and common people, and the world is run for the benefit of the stupid and common."

V.S. Naipaul


"The world looks worse every day. Is it worse, or does it just look it? It gets older. The world....has seen and done it all. Boy is it beat....The world has been to so many parties, been in so many fights, lost its keys, and had its handbag stolen, drunk too much. It all adds up. A tab is presented."

Martin Amis

Einstein's Monsters



"The ramparts of the great world also will be breached and collapse in crumbling ruin about us. Already, it is far past its prime. The earth, which generated every living species and once brought forth from its womb the bodies of huge beasts, has now scarcely strength to generate animalcules."


On the Nature of Things



"To what purpose, is all the toil and bustle of this world? What is the end of avarice and ambition, of the pursuit of wealth, of power, and pre-eminence?"

Adam Smith

The Theory of Moral Sentiments


"We have become cold, hard and tough in the realization that the way of this world is anything but divine. Even by human standards it is not rational, merciful or just. We know it well, the world in which we live is ungodly, immoral, 'inhuman'; we have interpreted it far too long in a false and mendacious way, in accordance with the wishes of our reverence, which is say according to our needs."


The Gay Science


"The real trouble with this world of ours is not that is an unreasonable world, nor even that it is a reasonable one. The commonest kind of trouble is that it is nearly reasonable, but not quite. Life is not an illogicality; yet is a trap for logicians. It looks just a little more mathematical and regular that it is; its exactitude is obvious, but its inexactitude is hidden; its wildness lies in wait....It is this silent swerving from accuracy by an inch that is the uncanny element in everything. It seems a sort of secret treason in the universe. An apple or an orange is round enough to get itself called round, and yet is not round after all. The earth itself is shaped like an orange in order to lure some simple astronomer into calling it a globe. A blade of grass is called after a blade of the sword, because it comes to a point; but it doesn't Every where in things is this element of the quiet and incalculable."

G.K. Chesterton



"The most beautiful thing in the world is, of course, the world itself."

Wallace Stevens



"The world is becoming like a lunatic asylum run by lunatics.’

Lloyd George (1863-1945)


"We are at once both attracted and repelled. We advance on the world, we shrink from the world, we desire the world, we fear the world. It is a love affair compromised by the sick excitement of mixed feelings, and the conflict is never resolved. Most of us spend our lives poised between aggression and hesitation."

Henry James


"O World, world, when I was young I thought there was some order governing you and your deeds, But now you seem to be a labyrinth of errors, a frightful desert, a den of wild beasts, a game in when men move in circles.....a stony field, a meadow full of serpents, a flowering but barren orchard, a spring of cares, a river of tears, a sea of suffering, a vain hope."

                   Fernando de Rojes (1465-1541)

                     La Celetina (first published in 1499


"When I see the blind and wretched state of men, when I survey the whole universe in its deadness and man left to himself with no light, as though lost in this corner of the universe without knowing who put him there, what he has to do, what will become of him when he dies, incapable of knowing anything, I am moved to terror, like a man transported in his sleep to some terrifying desert island, who wakes up quite lost with no means of escape. Then I marvel that so wretched a state does not drive people to despair."

                           Blaine Pascal (1623-62)


"Be in the world like a traveler, or like a passer on, and reckon yourself as of the dead."

           Muhammed (Sayings of Muhammed)


"This world’s a bubble."



"Believe everything you hear said of the world; nothing is too impossibly bad."



"The world is a magician greater than Hatut and Marut, and you should avoid it."

                 Muhammed (Sayings of Muhammed


"Cursed is this world and cursed is all that is in this world, except the remembrance of God and that which aideth thereto."

                    Muhammed (Sayings of Muhammed)


"Good-bye, proud world! I’m going home;

Thou art not my friend; I am not Thine."

Emerson (Goodbye Proud World)


"Great, wide, beautiful, wonderful World,

With the wonderful water round you curled,

And the wonderful grass upon your breast,

World, you are beautifully dressed."

W.B. Rands

The Wonderful World


"To understand the world, and to like it, are two things not easily reconciled."



"The world is not to be put in order;

the world is order, incarnate.

It is for us to harmonize with this order."

Henry Miller


"It doesn’t matter what we do

until we accept ourselves.

Once we accept ourselves,

It doesn’t matter what we do."

Charly Heavenrich



"How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable,

Seem to me all the uses of this world!"

Shakespeare (Hamlet)


"The World!-it is a wilderness

where tears are hung on every tree."

Thomas Hood

Ode to Melancholy


"Other World! There is no other world!

Here or nowhere is the whole fact."



"We read the world wrong and say that it deceives us."

-Rabindranath Tagore


"We are citizens of the world; and the tragedy of our times is that we do not know this."

-Woodrow Wilson

"For the world , I count it not an inn, but an hospital; and a place not to live, but to die in."

-Thomas Browne


"The world is a fine place and worth the fighting for and I hate very much to leave it."

-Ernest Hemingway

"Set the foot down with distrust on the crust of the world-it is thin."

-Edna St. Vincent Millay


"I have made my world and it's a much better world than I ever saw outside."

-Louise Nevelson


"Anybody who feels at ease in the world today is a fool."

Robert Maynard Hutchins


"The world is beautiful, but has a disease called man."



"The world itself is but a large prison, out of which some are daily led to execution."

Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618)


"The World is not a "prison house’, but a kind of kindergarten, where millions of bewildered infants are trying to spell GOD with the wrong blocks."

Edwin Arlington Robinson (1869-1935)


"Do we really hate the world? Are we really contemptuous of it? Have we really ignored its nature and its needs and the problems of its health? The evidence against us is everywhere. It in our wanton and thoughtless misuse of the land and the other natural resources, in our wholesale pollution of the water and air, in strip mining, in our massive use and misuse of residual poisons in agriculture and elsewhere, in our willingness to destroy whole landscapes in the course of what we call "construction" and "progress", in the earth-destroying and population-destroying weapons we use in our wars, in the planet-destroying weapons now ready for use in the arsenals of the most powerful and violent nations of the world. It is in our hatred of races and nations. It is in our willingness to honor profit above everything except victory. It is in our willingness to spend more on war than on everything else. It is in our unappeasable restlessness, our nomadism, our anxiousness to get to another place of to "the top" or "somewhere" or to heaven or to the moon.. Our hatred of the world is most insidiously and dangerously present in the constantly widening discrepancy between our power and our needs, our means and our ends. …..

Wendell Berry

A Continuous Harmony


"I have of late-but wherefore I know not-lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises; and indeed it goes so heavily with my disposition, that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory; this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o'erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why, it appeareth nothing to me but a foul and pestilent congregation of vapors. What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason! how infinite in faculties! in form and moving, how express and admirable! in action, how like an angel! in apprehension, how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals! And yet to me what is this quintessence of dust?"

Hamlets speech to Resencrantz and Guilderstern



"You never enjoy the world aright till you see how a sand exhibits the wisdom and power of God; and prize in every thing the service which they do you by manifesting His glory and goodness to your soul, far more than the visible beauty on their surface of the material services they can do your body. Wine by its moisture quenches my thirst, whether I consider it or no; but to see it flowing from His love who gave it unto man, quenches the thirst even of the holy angels. To consider it is to drink it spiritually. To rejoice in its diffusion is to be of a public mind. And to take pleasure in all the benefits it does to all is heavenly, for so they do in heaven. To do so is to be divine and good, and to imitate our infinite and eternal Father"

Thomas Traherene (1637-?)


"If the World were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world, and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day."

E.B. White



"The world is a great mirror. It reflects back to you what you are. If you are loving, if you are friendly, if you're helpful, the world will prove loving and friendly and helpful to you. The world is what you are."

-Thomas Dreier



"...For the world, which seems

To lie before us like a land of dreams,

So various, so beautiful, so new,

Hath really neither joy nor love, nor light,

Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;

And we are here as on a darkling plain

Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,

Where ignorant armies clash by night."

Matthew Arnold, Dover Beach


                 WORLD CITIZENS

"A World Citizen is a human being who lives intellectually, morally and physically in the present. A World Citizen accepts the dynamic fact that the planetary human community is interdependent and whole, that humankind is essentially one.

   A World Citizen is a peaceful and peacemaking individual, both in daily life and in contacts with others.

   As a global person, a World Citizen relates directly to human-kind and to all fellow humans spontaneously, generously and openly. Mutual trust is basic to his/her life style.


   Politically, A World Citizen accepts a sanctioning institution of representative government, expressing the general and individual sovereign will in order to establish and maintain a system of just and equitable world law with appropriate legislative, judicial and enforcement bodies.

   A World Citizen brings about better understanding and protecting of different cultures, ethnic groups and language communities by promoting the use of a neutral international language, such as Esperanto. A World Citizen makes this world a better place to live in harmoniously by studying and respecting the viewpoints of fellow citizens anywhere in the world."

Garry Davis

Passport to Freedom


"Like so many other key terms in the New Testament, the 'world' is used in two senses. One which is to be 'hated' and the other to be 'loved'. Now it is precisely the 'world' that is 'empty, obscure and without God' that is to be hated. But the difference between the two worlds depends on us.....Hence it is the duty of the Christian to love the world by doing all in his power, with the help of God's grace and fidelity to the demands of the divine will in his everyday life, to 'redeem' the whole world, to transform and consecrate it to the divinising power of the Spirit of Christ."

-Thomas Merton

Loving and Living


"You never enjoy the world aright, till the sea itself floweth in your veins, till you are clothed with the heavens, and crowned with the stars."

-Thomas Traherne

"Yet further, you never enjoy the World aright, till you so love the beauty of enjoying it, that you are covetous and earnest to persuade others to enjoy it. And so perfectly hate the abominable corruption of men in despising it, that you had rather suffer the flames of Hell than willingly be guilty of their error. There is so much blindness and ingratitude and damned folly in it. The world is a mirror of infinite beauty, yet no man sees it."

-Thomas Traherne



Book: "Over the Edge of the World: Magellan's terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe" by Laurence Bergreen

Book: "The Times Atlas of World Exploration" by John Haywood et al.

Book: "The Atlas of Human History" by Renzo Rossi

Book: "The Great World Atlas" Ed. by Andrew Heritage et al.

Book: "The Dynamics of World History" by Christopher Dawson

Book: "The Wisdom of the World: The Human Experience of the Universe in Western Thought." Remi Brague

Book: "Enjoying the World: The Rediscovery of Thomas Traherne" by Graham Dowell

Book: Geographica: The Complete illustrated Atlas of the World...Ed. by Gordon Cheers

Book: "The Encyclopedia of World History, Revised Sixth Edition" " by Peter N. Stearns

Book: "The Times Atlas of World History , Fifth Edition"

Book: The National Geographic Atlas of the World, Seventh Edition" 

Book: "Hammon Atlas of World History, Fifth Edition. Ed. by G. Barraclough & R. Overy

Book: "Chronicle of the World: The Ultimate Record World History" by Derrik Mercer ed.

Book: "World History: From Homo Sapiens Until Today." by Martin Sulzer-Reichel

Book: Strange Worlds, Fantastic Places: The Earth, Its Wonders, Its Secrets" Ed by J. MacAndrew & A. Ker-Jarret

Book: Oceanography, An Introduction To The Planet Oceanus" by Paul R. Pinet

Book: "Sciences Of The Earth: An Encyclopedia of Events, People, and Phenomena" Ed. by Gregory A. Good

Book: "Peoples Of The World: Their Cultures, Traditions, and Ways of Life" ed. Carolinda E. Averitt

Book: "James Burnham and the Struggle for the World: A Life"

by Daniel Kelly

Book: Atlas Of The World, Twelfth Edition"



© 2001



Back to Chrestomathy           Next Page