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

Common Sense

Common sense is very uncommon.

Horace Greeley.

Common sense is in spite of, not because of age.

Lord Thurlow.

Common sense is nature’s gift, but reason is an art.


Common sense, alas in spite of our educational institutions, is a rare commodity.


If common sense has not the brilliancy of the sun, it has the fixity of the stars.

Fernan Caballero.

Good sense, disciplined by experience and inspired by goodness, issues in practical wisdom.

Samuel Smiles.

Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.

Victor Hugo.

Common sense is instinct, and enough of it is genius.

H. W. Shaw.

Common sense is the favorite daughter of Reason.

H. W. Shaw.

Common sense is only a modification of talent. Genius is an exaltation of it; the difference is, therefore, in the degree, not nature.


The aim of all intellectual training for the mass of the people should be to cultivate common sense.

J. Stuart Mill.

Common sense is the average sensibility and intelligence of men undisturbed by individual peculiarities.

W. R. Alger.

Common sense has given to words their ordinary signification, and common sense is the genius of mankind.


Common sense in one view is the most uncommon sense. While it is extremely rare in possession, the recognition of it is universal. All men feel it, though few men have it.

H. N. Hudson.

Fine sense and exalted sense are not half as useful as common sense. There are forty men of wit for one man of sense. And he that will carry nothing about him but gold will be every day at a loss for readier change.


Sydney Smith playfully says that common sense was invented by Socrates, that philosopher having been one of its most conspicuous exemplars in conducting the contest of practical sagacity against stupid prejudice and illusory beliefs.


Common sense is science exactly so far as it fulfils the ideal of common sense; that is, sees facts as they are, or at any rate without the distortion of prejudice, and reasons from them in accordance with the dictates of sound judgment.


To act with common sense, according to the moment, is the best wisdom I know; and the best philosophy, to do one’s duties, take the world as it comes, submit respectfully to one’s lot, bless the goodness that has given us so much happiness with it, whatever it is, and despise affectation.

Horace Walpole.

In most old communities there is a common sense even in sensuality. Vice itself gets gradually digested into a system, is amenable to certain laws of conventional propriety and honor, has for its object simply the gratification of its appetites, and frowns with quite a conservative air on all new inventions, all untried experiments in iniquity.


Common sense punishes all departures from her, by forcing those who rebel into a desperate war with all facts and experience, and into a still more terrible civil war with each other and with themselves.