Quotations about   parent

Note that not all quotations have been tagged, so the Search function may find additional quotations on this topic.



O prince, in early youth divinely wise,
Born, the Ulysses of thy age to rise
If to the son the father’s worth descends,
O’er the wide wave success thy ways attends
To tread the walks of death he stood prepared;
And what he greatly thought, he nobly dared.

[Τηλέμαχ᾽, οὐδ᾽ ὄπιθεν κακὸς ἔσσεαι οὐδ᾽ ἀνοήμων,
εἰ δή τοι σοῦ πατρὸς ἐνέστακται μένος ἠύ,
οἷος κεῖνος ἔην τελέσαι ἔργον τε ἔπος τε:
οὔ τοι ἔπειθ᾽ ἁλίη ὁδὸς ἔσσεται οὐδ᾽ ἀτέλεστος.]

Homer (fl. 7th-8th C. BC) Greek author
The Odyssey [Ὀδύσσεια], Book 2, l. 271ff (2.271) (c. 700 BC) [tr. Pope (1725)]
    (Source)

(Source (Greek)). Alternate translations:

Those Wooers well might know, Telemachus,
Thou wilt not ever weak and childish be,
If to thee be instill’d the faculty
Of mind and body that thy father grac’d;
And if, like him, there be in thee enchac’d
Virtue to give words works, and works their end.
This voyage, that to them thou didst commend,
Shall not so quickly, as they idly ween,
Be vain, or giv’n up, for their opposite spleen.
[tr. Chapman (1616)]

If in you you retain the spirit brave
Your father had, to make his word his deed,
Then also the assurance I shall have,
To tell you in your voyage you shall speed.
[tr. Hobbes (1675), l. 257ff]

Telemachus! thou shalt hereafter prove
Nor base, nor poor in talents. If, in truth,
Thou have received from heav’n thy father’s force
Instill’d into thee, and resemblest him
In promptness both of action and of speech,
Thy voyage shall not useless be, or vain.
[tr. Cowper (1792), l. 355ff]

Not base and foolish after all is done
Shalt thou be counted, if the brave old blood
hath from the sire descended to the son.
If thou like him both word and deed make good,
Then were thy journey all in vain withstood.
[tr. Worsley (1861), st. 37]

Tel'mac'! no craven wilt thou be nor dullard;
If but one drop of they sire's good blood be in thee,
Such as he was in feats of deed or word:
So will not be thy journey vain nor bootless!
[tr. Bigge-Wither (1869)]

Telemachus, even hereafter thou shalt not be craven or witless, if indeed thou hast a drop of thy father’s blood and a portion of his spirit; such an one was he to fulfil both word and work. Nor, if this be so, shall thy voyage be vain or unfulfilled.
[tr. Butcher/Lang (1879)]

Telemachus, now shalt thou be no foolish faintheart thing.
If of they father's good-heart in thee hath sprung the seed,
Such a man for the word well-spoken, and fulfilment of the deed,
Not in vain shall be thy faring, nor thy going forth be undone.
[tr. Morris (1887)]

Telemachus, henceforth you shall not be a base man nor a foolish, if in you stirs the brave soul of your father, and you like him can give effect to deed and word. Then shall this voyage not be vain and ineffective.
[tr. Palmer (1891)]

Telemachus, if you are made of the same stuff as your father you will be neither fool nor coward henceforward, for Ulysses never broke his word nor left his work half done. If, then, you take after him, your voyage will not be fruitless.
[tr. Butler (1898)]

Telemachus, neither hereafter shalt thou be a base man or a witless, if aught of thy father's goodly spirit has been instilled into thee, such a man was he to fulfil both deed and word. So then shall this journey of thine be neither vain nor unfulfilled.
[tr. Murray (1919)]

Telemachus, let not your courage and resource fail you now. In your father deed and word notably marched together to their deliberate end. If your body holds a trace of his temper it will suffice to make this effort of yours neither bootless nor aimless.
[tr. Lawrence (1932)]

Today has proved you, Telemachus, neither a coward nor a fool, nor destined to be such, if we are right in thinking that your father’s manly vigour has descended to his son -- and what a man he was in action and debate! No fear, then, that this journey of yours will end in farce or failure.
[tr. Rieu (1946)]

You'll never be fainthearted or a fool,
Telémakhos, if you have your father's spirit;
he finished what he cared to say,
and what he took in hand he brought to pass.
The sea routes will yield their distances
to his true son, Penélopê's true son.
[tr. Fitzgerald (1961)]

Telemachos, you are to be no thoughtless man, no coward,
if truly the strong force of your father is instilled in you;
such a man he was for accomplishing word and action.
Your journey then will be no vain thing nor go unaccomplished.
[tr. Lattimore (1965)]

Telemachus,
you'll lack neither courage nor sense from this day on,
not if your father's spirit courses through your veins --
now there was a man, I'd say, in words and action both!
So how can your journey end in shipwreck or defeat?
[tr. Fagles (1996)]

You won't turn out to be a fool or a coward,
Telemachus, not if any of Odysseus' spirit
Has been instilled in you. Now there was a man
Who made sure of his words and deeds! Don't worry,
You'll make this journey, and it won't be in vain.
[tr. Lombardo (2000), l. 293ff]

Telemachus, you will not in future prove cowardly or foolish if you have truly inherited your father's strong vigor -- and what a man he was for carrying out his word and deed -- and so your journey will surely not be unfulfilled or in vain.
[tr. Verity (2016)]

Telemachus, you will be brave and thoughtful, if your won father's forcefulness runs through you. How capable he was, in word and deed! Your journey will succeed, if you are his.
[tr. Wilson (2017)]

Telemachus,
in future days you will not be worthless
or a stupid man, if you have in you now
something of your father’s noble spirit.
He’s the sort of man who, in word and deed,
saw things to their conclusion. So for you
this trip will not be in vain or pointless.
[tr. Johnston (2019), l. 364ff]

Added on 17-Nov-21 | Last updated 1-Dec-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Homer

Few match their fathers. Any tongue can tell
The more are worse: yea, almost none their sires excel.

[παῦροι γάρ τοι παῖδες ὁμοῖοι πατρὶ πέλονται,
οἱ πλέονες κακίους, παῦροι δέ τε πατρὸς ἀρείους.]

Homer (fl. 7th-8th C. BC) Greek author
The Odyssey [Ὀδύσσεια], Book 2, l. 276ff (2.276) [Athena to Telemachus] (c. 700 BC) [tr. Worsley (1861), st. 37]
    (Source)

(Source (Greek)). Alternate translations:

For few, that rightly bred on both sides stand,
Are like their parents, many that are worse,
And most few better. Those then that the nurse
Or mother call true-born yet are not so,
Like worthy sires much less are like to grow.
[tr. Chapman (1616)]

Few sons exceed or reach their father’s might,
But commonly inferior they are.
[tr. Hobbes (1675), l. 257ff]

Few sons attain the praise
Of their great sires, and most their sires disgrace.
[tr. Pope (1725)]

Few sons their fathers equal; most appear
Degenerate; but we find, though rare, sometimes
A son superior even to his Sire.
[tr. Cowper (1792)]

Few be the children equal to their father:
The most be worse: and few be better men.
[tr. Bigge-Wither (1869)]

For few children, truly, are like their father; lo, the more part are worse, yet a few are better than the sire.
[tr. Butcher/Lang (1879)]

Though not oft is the son meseemeth e'en such an one as his sire.
Worser they be for the more part, and a few may be better forsooth.
[tr. Morris (1887)]

Few sons are like their fathers; most are worse, few better than the father.
[tr. Palmer (1891)]

Sons are seldom as good men as their fathers; they are generally worse, not better.
[tr. Butler (1898)]

Few sons indeed are like their fathers; most are worse, few better than their fathers.
[tr. Murray (1919)]

Few are the sons who attain their fathers' stature: and very few surpass them. Most fall short in merit.
[tr. Lawrence (1932)]

Few sons, indeed, are like their fathers. Generally they are worse; but just a few are better.
[tr. Rieu (1946)]

The son is rare who measures with his father,
and one in a thousand is a better man.
[tr. Fitzgerald (1961)]

For few are the children who turn out to be equals of their fathers,
and the greater number are worse; few are better than their father is.
[tr. Lattimore (1965)]

Few sons are the equals of their fathers;
most fall short, all too few surpass them.
[tr. Fagles (1996)]

You know, few sons turn out to be like their fathers;
Most turn out worse, a few better.
[tr. Lombardo (2000), ll. 300-301]

It is a truth that few sons are the equal of their fathers; most are inferior to their father, and few surpass them.
[tr. Verity (2016), l. 276]

And it is rare for sons to be like fathers;
only a few are better, most are worse.
[tr. Wilson (2017)]

It’s true few men
are like their fathers. Most of them are worse.
Only very few of them are better.
[tr. Johnston (2019), l. 373ff]

Added on 10-Nov-21 | Last updated 1-Dec-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Homer

If Nature had arranged that husbands and wives should have children alternately, there would never be more than three in a family.

Laurence Housman
Laurence Housman (1865-1959) English playwright, writer, illustrator
(Attributed)
Added on 30-Sep-21 | Last updated 30-Sep-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Housman, Laurence

I believe that censorship grows out of fear, and because fear is contagious, some parents are easily swayed. Book banning satisfies their need to feel in control of their children’s lives. This fear is often disguised as moral outrage. They want to believe that if their children don’t read about it, their children won’t know about it. And if they don’t know about it, it won’t happen.

Judy Blume (b. 1938) American writer
“Judy Blume Talks about Censorship”
    (Source)
Added on 25-Mar-21 | Last updated 25-Mar-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Blume, Judy

I will leave it for the present, as this letter is already pretty long. Such is my desire, my anxiety for your perfection, that I never think I have said enough, though you may possibly think I have said too much; and though, in truth, if your own good sense is not sufficient to direct you, in many of these plain points, all that I or anybody else can say will be insufficient.

Lord Chesterfield (1694-1773) English statesman, wit [Philip Dormer Stanhope]
Letter to his son (18 Nov 1748)
    (Source)

Chesterfield repeats the sentiment in a later letter (22 Sep 1749):
This letter is a very long, and so possibly a very tedious one; but my anxiety for your perfection is so great, and particularly at this critical and decisive period of your life, that I am only afraid of omitting, but never of repeating or dwelling too long upon anything that I think may be of the least use to you.
Added on 18-Mar-21 | Last updated 18-Mar-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Chesterfield (Lord)

I have now but one anxiety left, which is concerning you. I would have you be, what I know nobody is, perfect. As that is impossible, I would have you as near perfection as possible. I know nobody in a fairer way toward it than yourself, if you please. Never were so much pains taken for anybody’s education as for yours; and never had anybody those opportunities of knowledge and improvement which you have had, and still have. I hope, I wish, I doubt, and I fear alternately. This only I am sure of, that you will prove either the greatest pain, or the greatest pleasure of, Yours Always Truly.

Lord Chesterfield (1694-1773) English statesman, wit [Philip Dormer Stanhope]
Letter to his son (16 Feb 1748)
    (Source)
Added on 18-Feb-21 | Last updated 18-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Chesterfield (Lord)

No matter how old a mother is, she watches her middle-aged children for signs of improvement.

Florida Scott-Maxwell (1883-1979) American-British playwright, author, psychologist
The Measure of My Days (1968)
    (Source)
Added on 23-Nov-20 | Last updated 23-Nov-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Scott-Maxwell, Florida

Being a father
Is quite a bother,
But I like it, rather.

Ogden Nash (1902-1971) American poet
“Soliloquy in Circles,” New Yorker (27 Mar 1948)
    (Source)

Reprinted in Versus (1949).
Added on 30-Oct-20 | Last updated 30-Oct-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , ,
More quotes by Nash, Ogden

Blaming mother is just a negative way of clinging to her still.

Nancy Friday (1933-2017) American author and feminist
My Mother/My Self, ch. 2 (1977)
    (Source)
Added on 20-Oct-20 | Last updated 20-Oct-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Friday, Nancy

Every parent is at some time the father of the unreturned prodigal, with nothing to do but keep his house open to hope.

John Ciardi (1916-1986) American poet, writer, critic
Saturday Review (1972)
    (Source)
Added on 15-Jul-20 | Last updated 15-Jul-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Ciardi, John

JUST DISCOURSE: Do not bandy words with your father, nor treat him as a dotard, nor reproach the old man, who has cherished you, with his age.

Aristophanes (c. 450-c. 388 BC) Athenian comedic playwright
Clouds, ll. 998-999 (423 BC) [tr. Athenian Soc. (1912)]
    (Source)

Alt. trans.:
  • JUST ΛΟΓΟΣ: "[Learn] not to contradict your father in any thing; nor by calling him Iapetus, to reproach him with the ills of age, by which you were reared in your infancy." [tr. Hickie (1853)]
  • RIGHT LOGIC: "Nor dare to reply when your Father is nigh, nor 'musty old Japhet' to call / In your malice and rage that Sacred Old Age which lovingly cherished your youth." [tr. Rogers (1924)]
Added on 13-May-20 | Last updated 13-May-20
Link to this post | 1 comment
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Aristophanes

Our children give us the opportunity to become the parents we always wished we’d had.

Louise Hart (contemp.) American educator, psychologist, author, speaker
The Winning Family, ch. 1, epigraph (1987)
Added on 22-Apr-20 | Last updated 22-Apr-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Hart, Louise

Oh, high is the price of parenthood,
And daughters may cost you double.
You dare not forget, as you thought you could,
That youth is a plague and a trouble.

Phyllis McGinley (1905-1978) American author, poet
“Homework for Annabelle,” New Yorker (15 Mar 1952)
    (Source)

Reprinted in Love Letters (1954). Full poem.
Added on 12-Feb-20 | Last updated 12-Feb-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by McGinley, Phyllis

My son, a perfect little boy of five years and three months, had ended his earthly life. You can never sympathize with me; you can never know how much of me such a young child can take away. A few weeks ago I accounted myself a very rich man, and now the poorest of all.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
Letter to Thomas Carlyle (28 Feb 1842)
    (Source)
Added on 20-Mar-18 | Last updated 20-Mar-18
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

It kills you to see them grow up. But I guess it would kill you quicker if they didn’t.

Barbara Kingsolver (b. 1955) American novelist, essayist, poet
Animal Dreams (1990)
Added on 3-Jul-17 | Last updated 3-Jul-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Kingsolver, Barbara

Anyone who has not known that inestimable privilege can possibly realize what good fortune it is to grow up in a home where there are grandparents.

Suzanne La Follette (1893-1983) American journalist, author, feminist
(Attributed)
Added on 27-Feb-17 | Last updated 27-Feb-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by La Follette, Suzanne

And perhaps, after all, it is better that the lad should break his neck than that you should break his spirit.

Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) Scottish essayist, novelist, poet
The Amateur Emigrant (1880)
Added on 7-Feb-17 | Last updated 7-Feb-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Stevenson, Robert Louis

If you bungle raising your children I don’t think whatever else you do well matters very much.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (1929-1994) First Lady of the United States (1961-1963), book editor, celebrity
Interview with Sander Vanocur, NBC News (1 Oct 1960)
    (Source)
Added on 17-Jan-17 | Last updated 17-Jan-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Onassis, Jacqueline Kenndy

I never hear parents exclaim impatiently, “Children, you must not make so much noise,” that I do not think how soon the time may come when those parents would give all the world, could they hear once more the ringing laughter which once so disturbed them.

No picture available
Abbott Eliot "A. E." Kittredge (1834-1912) American clergyman and Presbyterian leader
(Attributed)

Quoted in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
Added on 3-Jan-17 | Last updated 3-Jan-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Kittredge, A. E.

Children will imitate their fathers in their vices, seldom in their repentance.

Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) British Baptist preacher, author [Charles Haddon (C.H.) Spurgeon]
Spurgeon’s Sermons, 3rd Series, Sermon 21, “Manasseh” (1883)
    (Source)
Added on 22-Nov-16 | Last updated 22-Nov-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Spurgeon, Charles

You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be —
I had a mother who read to me.

Strickland Gillilan (1869-1954) American poet and humorist
“The Reading Mother”
Added on 3-Nov-16 | Last updated 3-Nov-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Gillilan, Strickland

Delusions are often functional. A mother’s opinions about her children’s beauty, intelligence, goodness, et cetera ad nauseam, keep her from drowning them at birth.

Robert A. Heinlein (1907-1988) American writer
Time Enough for Love (1973)
Added on 25-Oct-16 | Last updated 25-Oct-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Heinlein, Robert A.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.

Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931) Lebanese-American poet, writer, painter [Gibran Khalil Gibran]
“On Children,” The Prophet (1923)
Added on 11-Oct-16 | Last updated 11-Oct-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , ,
More quotes by Gibran, Kahlil

There is not so much Comfort in the having of Children as there is Sorrow in parting with them.

Thomas Fuller (1654-1734) English writer, physician
Gnomologia: Adages and Proverbs, #4932 (1732)
    (Source)
Added on 4-Oct-16 | Last updated 26-Jan-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Fuller, Thomas (1654)

“You know,” said Arthur, “it’s at times like this, when I’m trapped in a Vogon airlock with a man from Betelgeuse, and about to die of asphyxiation in deep space that I really wish I’d listened to what my mother told me when I was young.”

“Why, what did she tell you?”

“I don’t know, I didn’t listen.”

Douglas Adams (1952-2001) English writer
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, ch. 7 (1979)
Added on 22-Aug-16 | Last updated 22-Aug-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Adams, Douglas

The parent who could see his boy as he really is would shake his head and say: ‘Willy is no good: I’ll sell him.’

Stephen Leacock (1869-1944) Canadian economist, writer and humorist
The Lot of the Schoolmaster (1916)
Added on 20-Jan-16 | Last updated 20-Jan-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Leacock, Stephen

“Are you lost, daddy?” I asked tenderly.
“Shut up,” he explained.

Ring Lardner (1885-1933) American sports columnist and writer [Ringgold Wilmer Lardner]
The Young Immigrants, ch. 10 (1920)
Added on 16-Apr-14 | Last updated 16-Apr-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Lardner, Ring

If we would amend the world, we should mend Ourselves and teach our Children to be not what we are but what they should be.

William Penn (1644-1718) English real estate entrepreneur, philosopher, statesman
Some Fruits of Solitude, #214 (1693)
Added on 12-Dec-13 | Last updated 12-Dec-13
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , ,
More quotes by Penn, William

It’s frightening to think that you mark your children merely by being yourself.

Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986) French author, existentialist philosopher, feminist theorist
Les Belles Images, ch. 3 (1966) [tr. O’Brian (1968)]
Added on 27-Dec-11 | Last updated 12-Feb-18
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Beauvoir, Simone de

There never was a child so lovely but his mother was glad to get him asleep.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
Journal (30 Sep 1837)
Added on 7-Oct-11 | Last updated 26-Sep-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Croesus said to Cambyses: That peace was better than war; because in peace the sons did bury their fathers, but in wars the fathers did bury their sons.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626) English philosopher, scientist, author, statesman
Apophthegms, #149 (1625)

See Herodotus.
Added on 10-Sep-10 | Last updated 28-Jul-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Bacon, Francis

When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer [pseud. of Samuel Clemens]
(Spurious)

Not found in Twain's writing.  He was 11 when his father died.

Added on 18-Mar-10 | Last updated 26-Jan-19
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Twain, Mark

They say the religion of your fathers is good enough. Why should a father object to your inventing a better plow than he had?

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
Speech on Religious Intolerance, Pittsburgh Opera House (14 Oct 1879)
Added on 22-Jan-08 | Last updated 5-Feb-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Ingersoll, Robert Green