C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


No man is a hypocrite in his pleasures.

Dr. Johnson.

Encourage innocent amusement.


The real character of a man is found out by his amusements.

Sir Joshua Reynolds.

Pastime passing excellent, if it be husbanded with modesty.


Amusement, to an observing mind, is study.


A clear fire, a clean hearth, and the rigor of the game.


I am a great friend to public amusements; for they keep people from vice.

Samuel Johnson.

There is no such sport as sport by sport o’erthrown.


Any pleasure which takes and keeps the heart from God is sinful, and unless forsaken, will be fatal to the soul.

Richard Fuller.

Recreation is not the highest kind of enjoyment; but in its time and place it is quite as proper as prayer.

S. Irenæus Prime.

  • Cards were at first for benefits designed,
  • Sent to amuse, not to enslave the mind.
  • Garrick.

    People should be guarded against temptation to unlawful pleasures by furnishing them means of innocent ones.


    The mind ought sometimes to be amused, that it may the better return to thought, and to itself.


    Amusement allures and deceives us, and leads us down imperceptibly in thoughtlessness to the grave.


    You can’t live on amusement. It is the froth on water,—an inch deep, and then the mud!

    George Macdonald.

    When I play with my cat, who knows whether I do not make her more sport than she makes me?


  • With spots quadrangular of diamond form,
  • Ensanguined hearts, clubs typical of strife,
  • And spades, the emblems of untimely graves.
  • Cowper.

    They are to religion like breezes of air to the flame,—gentle ones will fan it, but strong ones will put it out.

    Rev. Dr. Thomas.

  • By sports like these are all their cares beguil’d,
  • The sports of children satisfy the child.
  • Goldsmith.

    So good things may be abused, and that which was first invented to refresh men’s weary spirits.


    If those who are the enemies of innocent amusements had the direction of the world, they would take away the spring, and youth, the former from the year, the latter from human life.


    The Eastern monarch who proclaimed a reward to him who should discover a new pleasure, would have deserved well of mankind had he stipulated that it should be blameless.


    Locke, whom there is no reason to suspect of being a favorer of idleness or libertinism, has advanced that whoever hopes to employ any part of his time with efficacy and vigor must allow some of it to pass in trifles.

    Dr. Johnson.

    We have all our playthings. Happy are they who are contented with those they can obtain; those hours are spent in the wisest manner that can easiest shade the ills of life, and are the least productive of ill consequences.

    Lady Montagu.

  • Hail, blest Confusion! here are met
  • All tongues, and times, and faces;
  • The Lancers flirt with Juliet,
  • The Brahmin talks of races.
  • Praed.

    It is exceedingly deleterious to withdraw the sanction of religion from amusement. If we feel that it is all injurious we should strip the earth of its flowers and blot out its pleasant sunshine.


    Let the world have their May-games, wakes, whetsunales, their dancings and concerts; their puppet-shows, hobby horses, tabors, bagpipes, balls, barley-breaks, and whatever sports and recreations please them best, provided they be followed with discretion.


    To find recreation in amusements is not happiness; for this joy springs from alien and extrinsic sources, and is therefore dependent upon and subject to interruption by a thousand accidents, which may minister inevitable affliction.


    The habit of dissipating every serious thought by a succession of agreeable sensations is as fatal to happiness as to virtue; for when amusement is uniformly substituted for objects of moral and mental interest, we lose all that elevates our enjoyments above the scale of childish pleasures.

    Anna Maria Porter.

    Whatever amuses, serves to kill time, to lull the faculties, and to banish reflection. Whatever entertains, usually awakens the understanding or gratifies the fancy. Whatever diverts, is lively in its nature, and sometimes tumultuous in its effects.