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


A penny for your thought.


The over curious are not over wise.


Curiosity is the thirst of the soul.

Dr. Johnson.

I loathe that low vice, curiosity.


Curiosity is lying in wait for every secret.


Curiosity is one of the forms of feminine bravery.

Victor Hugo.

Curiosity is thought on its entering edge.

Charles H. Parkhurst.

Curiosity is a little more than another name for hope.

J. C. and A. W. Hare.

He who would pry behind the scenes oft sees a counterfeit.


The curiosity of knowing things has been given to man for a scourge.


Curiosity is as much the parent of attention as attention is of memory.


  • The enquiring spirit will not be controll’d,
  • We would make certain all, and all behold.
  • Sprague.

    Men are more inclined to ask curious questions than to obtain necessary instruction.

    Pasquier Quesnel.

    Ask me no questions, and I’ll tell you no fibs.


    Talk to him of Jacob’s ladder, and he would ask the number of steps.

    Douglas Jerrold.

    Curiosity has lost more young girls than love.

    Mme. de Puisieux.

    The first and simplest emotion which we discover in the human mind is curiosity.


    The first vice of the first woman was curiosity, and it runs through the whole sex.


    Curiosity in children Nature has provided to remove the ignorance they were born with.


    Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect.


    People of a lively imagination are generally curious, and always so when a little in love.


    Avoid him who from mere curiosity asks three questions running about a thing that cannot interest him.


    Curiosity is a kernel of the forbidden fruit, which still sticketh in the throat of a natural man, sometimes to the danger of his choking.


    O this itch of the ear, that breaks out at the tongue! Were not curiosity so over-busy, detraction would soon be starved to death.

    Douglas Jerrold.

    Inquisitive people are the funnels of conversation; they do not take in anything for their own use, but merely to pass it to another.


    No heart is empty of the humor of curiosity, the beggar being as attentive in his station to an improvement of knowledge as the prince.


    The world is the book of women. What knowledge they may possess is acquired by watchful observation rather than by reading.


    The knowledge that women lack stimulates their imagination; the knowledge that men possess blunts theirs.

    Mme. de Sartory.

    Talkativeness has another plague attached to it, even curiosity; for praters wish to hear much that they may have much to say.


    Curiosity is, in great and generous minds, the first passion and the last, and perhaps always predominates in proportion to the strength of the contemplative faculties.

    Dr. Johnson.

    Man is distinguished not only by his reason, but also by this singular passion, from all other animals.

    Thomas Hobbes.

    Curiosity, or the love of knowledge, has a very limited influence, and requires youth, leisure, education, genius and example to make it govern any person.


    Who forces himself on others is to himself a load. Impetuous curiosity is empty and inconstant. Prying intrusion may be suspected of whatever is little.


    Of all the faculties of the human mind, curiosity is that which is the most fruitful or the most barren in effective results, according as it is well or badly directed.


    He that questioneth much shall learn much, and content much; but especially if he apply his questions to the skill of the persons whom he asketh.


    As those things which engage us merely by their novelty cannot attach us for any length of time, curiosity is the most superficial of all the affections.


    A person who is too nice an observer of the business of the crowd, like one who is too curious in observing the labor of the bees, will often be stung for his curiosity.


    There are different kinds of curiosity—one of interest, which causes us to learn that which would be useful to us, and the other of pride which springs from a desire to know that of which others are ignorant.

    La Rochefoucauld.

    There is philosophy in the remark that every man has in his own life follies enough, in the performance of his duty deficiencies enough, in his own mind trouble enough, without being curious after the affairs of others.


    Curiosity is the most superficial of all the affections; it changes its object perpetually; it has an appetite which is very sharp, but very easily satisfied, and it has always an appearance of giddiness, restlessness and anxiety.


    Curiosity is a languid principle, where access is easy and gratification is immediate; remoteness and difficulty are powerful incentives to its vigorous and lasting operation.


    Curiosity is the direct incontinency of the spirit. Knock therefore at the door before you enter upon your neighbor’s privacy; and remember that there is no difference between entering into his house and looking into it.

    Jeremy Taylor.

    Inquire not too much into your bosom companion’s griefs, nor compel him to tell all the tale of his life. Much and all will be told to those that do not ask; and you shall have the secrets into which you do not pry.


    The curiosity of an honorable mind willingly rests there, where the love of truth does not urge it farther onward, and the love of its neighbor bids it stop; in other words, it willingly stops at the point where the interests of truth do not beckon it onward, and charity cries, Halt!


    Curiosity is but vanity. Oftenest one wishes to know but to talk of it. Otherwise one would not go to sea it he were never to say anything about it, and for the sole pleasure of seeing, without hope of ever communicating what he has seen.