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


Commerce has made all winds her mistress.


God is making commerce His missionary.

Joseph Cook.

The first inventions of commerce are, like those of all other arts, cunning and short-sighted.


More pernicious nonsense was never devised by man than treaties of commerce.


Commerce defies every wind, outrides every tempest, and invades every zone.


Commerce is the equalizer of the wealth of nations.


It may almost be held that the hope of commercial gain has done nearly as much for the cause of truth as even the love of truth.


The care of our national commerce redounds more to the riches and prosperity of the public than any other act of government.


Commerce links all mankind in one common brotherhood of mutual dependence and interests.

James A. Garfield.

As soon as the commercial spirit acquires vigor, and begins to gain an ascendant in any society, we discern a new genius in its policy, its alliances, its wars, and its negotiations.

Dr. W. Robertson.

Commerce can never be at a stop while one man wants what another can supply; and credit will never be denied, while it is likely to be repaid with profit.

Dr. Johnson.

Whatever has a tendency to promote the civil intercourse of nations by an exchange of benefits is a subject as worthy of philosophy as of politics.

Thomas Paine.

Chiefly the sea-shore has been the point of departure to knowledge, as to commerce. The most advanced nations are always those who navigate the most.


A well regulated commerce is not, like law, physic, or divinity, to be overstocked with hands; but, on the contrary, flourishes by multitudes, and gives employment to all its professors.


Next to the pastoral came the agricultural life. When you add to that the manufacturing phase of development, society begins to fill out, and needs but wings to fly, and commerce is its wings.


Commerce is no other than the traffic of two individuals, multiplied on a scale of number; and, by the same rule that Nature intended the intercourse of two, she intended that of all!

Thomas Paine.

There are no more useful members in a commonwealth than merchants. They knit mankind together in a mutual intercourse of good offices, distribute the gifts of Nature, find work for the poor, and wealth to the rich, and magnificence to the great.


A statesman may do much for commerce, most by leaving it alone. A river never flows so smoothly, as when it follows its own course, without either aid or check. Let it make its own bed, it will do so better than you can.

Commerce, however we may please ourselves with the contrary opinion, is one of the daughters of fortune, inconstant and deceitful as her mother. She chooses her residence where she is least expected, and shifts her abode when her continuance is, in appearance, most firmly settled.


  • As Egypt does not on the clouds rely
  • But to the Nile owes more than to the sky;
  • So what our earth and what our heaven denies
  • Our ever constant friend, the sea supplies.
  • The taste of hot Arabia’s spice we know,
  • Free from the scorching sun that makes it grow;
  • Without the worm in Persia’s silks we shine;
  • And without planting, drink of every vine,
  • To dig for wealth we weary not our limbs.
  • Gold, though the heaviest metal hither swims,
  • Ours is the harvest where the Indians mow.
  • We plough the deep, and reap what others sow.
  • Waller.

    Commerce tends to wear off those prejudices which maintain distinction and animosity between nations. It softens and polishes the manners of men. It unites them by one of the strongest of all ties—the desire of supplying their mutual wants. It disposes them to peace, by establishing in every State an order of citizens bound by their interest to be the guardians of public tranquillity. As soon as the commercial spirit acquires vigor, and begins to gain an ascendant in any society, we begin to discern a new genius in its policy, its alliances, its wars, and its negotiations.


    Nature seems to have taken a particular care to disseminate her blessings among the different regions of the world, with an eye to their mutual intercourse and traffic among mankind, that the nations of the several parts of the globe might have a kind of dependence upon one another and be united together by their common interest.