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


I am not what I once was.


All things human change.


Nought may endure but mutability.


Revolutions are not made; they come.

Wendell Phillips.

Do not think that years leave us and find us the same!

Lord Lytton.

Change still doth reign, and keep the greater sway.


Change generally pleases the rich.


  • And one by one in turn, some grand mistake
  • Casts off its bright skin yearly like the snake.
  • Byron.

    What I possess I would gladly retain; change amuses the mind, yet scarcely profits.


    In this world of change, nought which comes stays, and nought which goes is last.

    Mme. Swetchine.

  • All things must change
  • To something new, to something strange.
  • Longfellow.

    “Passing away” is written on the world, and all the world contains.

    Mrs. Hemans.

  • As hope and fear alternate chase
  • Our course through life’s uncertain race.
  • Scott.

    Earth changes, but thy soul and God stand sure.

    Robert Browning.

  • To the mind,
  • Which is itself, no changes bring surprise.
  • Byron.

    Nothing maintains its bloom forever; age succeeds age.


    Bodies are slow of growth, but are rapid in their dissolution.


    As the rolling stone gathers no moss, so the roving heart gathers no affections.

    Mrs. Jameson.

    The lazy ox wishes for horse-trappings, and the steed wishes to plough.


  • The stone that is rolling can gather no moss.
  • Who often removeth is suer of loss.
  • Tusser.

    He pulls down, he builds up, he changes squares into circles.


    The world is a scene of changes, and to be constant in nature were inconstancy.


  • I am not now
  • That which I have been.
  • Byron.

    The great world spins forever down the ringing grooves of change.


  • Manners with fortunes, humors turn with climes,
  • Tenets with books and principles with times.
  • Pope.

    Changing hands without changing measures is as if a drunkard in a dropsy should change his doctors, and not his diet.


    There is nothing in the world that remains unchanged. All things are in perpetual flux, and every shadow is seen to move.


  • Weep not that the world changes—did it keep
  • A stable, changeless state, it were cause indeed to weep.
  • Bryant.

    Believe, if thou wilt, that mountains change their places, but believe not that man changes his nature.


  • Alack, this world
  • Is full of change, change, change—nothing but change!
  • D. M. Mulock.

  • This world is not for aye, nor ’tis not strange
  • That even our loves should with our fortunes change.
  • Shakespeare.

    Can any one find out in what condition his body will be, I do not say a year hence, but this evening?


    There is nothing better fitted to delight the reader than change of circumstances and varieties of fortune.


  • The world goes up and the world goes down,
  • And the sunshine follows the rain;
  • And yesterday’s sneer and yesterday’s frown
  • Can never come over again.
  • Charles Kingsley.

    He is less likely to be mistaken who looks forward to a change in the affairs of the world than he who regards them as firm and stable.


  • All that’s bright must fade—
  • The brightest still the fleetest;
  • All that’s sweet was made
  • But to be lost when sweetest.
  • Moore.

  • ’Tis well to be merry and wise,
  • ’Tis well to be honest and true;
  • ’Tis well to be off with the old love
  • Before you are on with the new.
  • Maturin.

  • Weary the cloud falleth out of the sky,
  • Dreary the leaf lieth low.
  • All things must come to the earth by and by,
  • Out of which all things grow.
  • Lord Lytton.

  • Thus times do shift; each thing his turne does hold;
  • New things succeed, as former things grow old.
  • Herrick.

  • Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
  • Old Time is still a flying;
  • And that same flower that blooms to-day,
  • To-morrow shall be dying.
  • Herrick.

    As the blessings of health, and fortune have a beginning, so they must also find an end. Everything rises but to fall, and increases but to decay.


  • Ships, wealth, general confidence—
  • All were his;
  • He counted them at break of day,
  • And when the sun set! where were they?
  • Byron.

    Everything that is created is changed by the laws of man; the earth does not know itself in the revolution of years; even the races of man assume various forms in the course of ages.


  • So many great nobles, things, administrations,
  • So many high chieftains, so many brave nations,
  • So many proud princes, and powers so splendid,
  • In a moment, a twinkling, all utterly ended.
  • Abraham Coles.

    We do not know either unalloyed happiness or unmitigated misfortune. Everything in this world is a tangled yarn; we taste nothing in its purity; we do not remain two moments in the same state. Our affections as well as bodies, are in a perpetual flux.


  • Time fleeth on,
  • Youth soon is gone,
  • Naught earthly may abide;
  • Life seemeth fast,
  • But may not last—
  • It runs as runs the tide.
  • Leland.

    To-day is not yesterday; we ourselves change; how can our works and thoughts if they are always to be the fittest, continue always the same? Change, indeed, is painful; yet ever needful; and if memory have its force and worth, so also has hope.


  • Joy comes and goes, hope ebbs and flows
  • Like the wave;
  • Change doth unknit the tranquil strength of men.
  • Love lends life a little grace,
  • A few sad smiles; and then,
  • Both are laid in one cold place,
  • In the grave.
  • Matthew Arnold.

  • This is the state of man: To-day he puts forth
  • The tender leaves of hope; to-morrow blossoms,
  • And bears his blushing honors thick upon him;
  • The third day comes a frost, a killing frost,
  • And, when he thinks, good easy man, full surely
  • His greatness is a-ripening, nips his root
  • And then he falls, as I do.
  • Shakespeare.

    The life of any one can by no means be changed after death; an evil life can in no wise be converted into a good life, or an infernal into an angelic life: because every spirit, from head to foot, is of the character of his love, and, therefore, of his life; and to convert this life into its opposite would be to destroy the spirit utterly.


    Such are the vicissitudes of the world, through all its parts, that day and night, labor and rest, hurry and retirement, endear each other; such are the changes that keep the mind in action: we desire, we pursue, we obtain, we are satiated; we desire something else and begin a new pursuit.


  • All things that we ordained festival,
  • Turn from their office to black funeral;
  • Our instruments to melancholy bells,
  • Our wedding cheer to a sad burial feast,
  • Our solemn hymns to sullen dirges change,
  • Our bridal flowers serve for a buried corse,
  • And all things change them to the contrary.
  • Shakespeare.

    Perfection is immutable. But for things imperfect, change is the way to perfect them. It gets the name of wilfulness when it will not admit of a lawful change to the better. Therefore constancy without knowledge cannot be always good. In things ill it is not virtue, but an absolute vice.