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


No remedy against this consumption of the purse; borrowing only lingers and lingers it out, but the disease is incurable.


The borrower runs in his own debt.


Debt is a bottomless sea.


Borrowing from Peter to pay Paul.


  • Neither a borrower nor a lender be:
  • For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
  • And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
  • Shakespeare.

    Who borrow much, then fairly make it known, and damn it with improvements not their own.


    To forget, or pretend to do so, to return a borrowed article, is the meanest sort of petty theft.

    Dr. Johnson.

    The reason why borrowed books are so seldom returned to their owners is that it is much easier to retain the books than what is in them.


    If you lend a person any money, it becomes lost for any purpose as one’s own. When you ask for it back again, you may find a friend made an enemy by your kindness. If you begin to press still further, either you must part with that which you have intrusted, or else you must lose that friend.


    Few have borrowed more freely than Gray and Milton; but with a princely prodigality, they have repaid the obscure thoughts of others, with far brighter of their own—like the ocean, which drinks up the muddy water of the rivers from the flood, but replenishes them with the clearest from the shower.


    Charles Lamb, tired of lending his books, threatened to chain Wordsworth’s poems to his shelves, adding: “For of those who borrow, some read slow; some mean to read, but don’t read; and some neither read nor mean to read, but borrow, to leave you an opinion of their sagacity. I must do my money-borrowing friends the justice to say that there is nothing of this caprice or wantonness of alienation in them. When they borrow my money, they never fail to make use of it.”


    You should only attempt to borrow from those who have but few of this world’s goods, as their chests are not of iron, and they are, besides, anxious to appear wealthier than they really are.

    Heinrich Heine.