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


Delay is as hateful as it is dangerous.


Dull not device by coldness and delay.


Every delay that postpones our joys is long.


Lingering labors come to naught.

Robert Southwell.

All delays are dangerous in war.


Away with delay; the chance of great fortune is short-lived.

Silius Italicus.

He that riseth late must tread all day, and shall scarce overtake his business at night.

Benjamin Franklin.

Defer no time, delays have dangerous ends.


The opportunity is often lost by deliberating.


What reason could not avoid has often been cured by delay.


  • Your gift is princely, but it comes too late,
  • And falls like sunbeams on a blasted blossom.
  • Suckling.

    Every delay is too long to one who is in a hurry.


    Away with delay—it always injures those who are prepared.


    When a man’s life is at stake no delay is too long.


    One man by delay restored the state, for he preferred the public safety to idle report.


  • Late, late, so late! but we can enter still.
  • Too late, too late! ye cannot enter now.
  • Tennyson.

  • Ah! nothing is too late
  • Till the tired heart shall cease to palpitate.
  • Longfellow.

    He that gives time to resolve gives leisure to deny, and warning to prepare.


    Some one speaks admirably of “the well-ripened fruit of sage delay.”


    The procrastinator is not only indolent and weak, but commonly false, too; most of the weak are false.


    He who prorogues the honesty of to-day till to-morrow will probably prorogue his to-morrows to eternity.


  • Be wise to-day; ’t is madness to defer;
  • Next day the fatal precedent will plead
  • Thus on, till wisdom is push’d out of life.
  • Young.

    When the death of a human being may be the consequence, no delay that is afforded is long.

    Law Maxim.

    Meet the disorder in the outset, the medicine may be too late, when the disease has gained ground through delay.


  • O my good lord, that comfort comes too late;
  • ’T is like a pardon after execution:
  • That gentle physic, given in time, had cur’d me,
  • But now I’m past all comfort here but prayers.
  • Shakespeare.

    Procrastination is the thief of time; year after year it steals, till all are fled, and to the mercies of a moment leaves the vast concerns of an eternal scene.


  • Our greatest actions, or of good or evil,
  • The hero’s and the murderer’s spring at once
  • From their conception: O! how many deeds
  • Of deathless virtue and immortal crime
  • The world had wanted, had the actor said,
  • I will do this to-morrow.
  • Lord John Russell.

  • Shun delays, they breed remorse;
  • Take thy time, while time is lent thee;
  • Creeping snails have weakest force;
  • Fly their fault, lest thou repent thee;
  • Good is best when soonest wrought,
  • Ling’ring labours come to naught.
  • Hoist up sail while gale doth last,
  • Tide and wind stay no man’s pleasure;
  • Seek not time, when time is past,
  • Sober speed is wisdom’s leisure,
  • After-wits are dearly bought,
  • Let thy fore-wit guide thy thought.
  • Robert Southwell.

    Time drinketh up the essence of every great and noble action, which ought to be performed, and is delayed in the execution.

    Vishnu Sarma.