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


Detested sport, that owes its pleasures to another’s pain.


Cruelty and fear shake hands together.


All just laws condemn cruelty.


All cruelty springs from weakness.


I must be cruel, only to be kind.


A good thing can’t be cruel.


Much more may a judge overweigh himself in cruelty than in clemency.

Sir P. Sidney.

An infallible characteristic of meanness is cruelty.

Dr. Johnson.

It is cruelty to be humane to rebels, and humanity is cruelty.

Attributed to Charles IX.

Cruelty is the highest pleasure to the cruel man; it is his love.


The cruelty of the effeminate is more dreadful than that of the hardy.


  • ———those whose cruelty makes many mourn
  • Do by the fires, which they first kindle, burn.
  • Earl of Stirling.

  • A stony adversary, an inhuman wretch,
  • Uncapable of pity, void and empty
  • From any dram of mercy.
  • Shakespeare.

    The man who prates about the cruelty of angling will be found invariably to beat his wife.

    Christopher North.

    Let me be cruel, not unnatural; I will speak daggers to her; but use none; my tongue and soul in this be hypocrites.


    Cruelty, like every other vice, requires no motive outside of itself; it only requires opportunity.

    George Eliot.

    Cruelty, if we consider it as a crime, is the greatest of all; if we consider it as a madness, we are equally justifiable in applying to it the readiest and the surest means of oppression.


    O Saxon cruelty! how it cheers my heart to think that you dare not attempt such a thing again!

    Daniel O’Connell.

    We ought never to sport with pain and distress in any of our amusements, or treat even the meanest insect with wanton cruelty.


    Cruelty in all countries is the companion of anger; but there is only one, and never was another on the globe, where she coquets both with anger and mirth.


    I would not enter on my list of friends (though graced with polished manners and fine sense, yet wanting sensibility) the man who needlessly sets foot upon a worm.


    Cruelty is no more the cure of crimes than it is the cure of sufferings. Compassion, in the first instance, is good for both; I have known it to bring compunction when nothing else would.


    That cruelty which children are permitted to show to birds and other animals will most probably exert itself on their fellow creatures when at years of maturity.


  • Men so noble,
  • However faulty, yet should find respect
  • For what they have been; ’tis a cruelty
  • To load a falling man.
  • Shakespeare.

    Nothing is so pregnant as cruelty; so multifarious, so rapid, so ever teeming a mother is unknown to the animal kingdom; each of her experiments provokes another and refines upon the last; though always progressive, yet always remote from the end.


    When the cruel fall into the hands of the cruel, we read their fate with horror, not with pity. Sylla commanded the bones of Marius to be broken, his eyes to be pulled out, his hands to be cut off, and his body to be torn in pieces with pinchers; and Catiline was the executioner. “A piece of cruelty,” says Seneca, “only fit for Marius to suffer, Catiline to execute, and Sylla to command.”