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

Early Rising

Prevent your day at morning.

Ben Jonson.

  • Thus we improve the pleasures of the day,
  • While tasteless mortals sleep their time away.
  • Mrs. Centlivre.

    When one begins to turn in bed, it is time to get up.


    The early morning has gold in its mouth.


    I rise with the lark.


    Awake before the sun is risen, I call for my pen and papers and desk.


    Few ever lived to a great age, and fewer still ever became distinguished, who were not in the habit of early rising.

    Dr. John Todd.

    Next to temperance, a quiet conscience, a cheerful mind and active habits, I place early rising as a means of health and happiness.


    I would have inscribed on the curtains of your bed, and the walls of your chamber: “If you do not rise early, you can make progress in nothing.”


    He that from childhood has made rising betimes familiar to him will not waste the best part of his life in drowsiness.


    The famous Apollonius being very early at Vespasian’s gate, and finding him stirring, from thence conjectured that he was worthy to govern an empire, and said to his companion, “This man surely will be emperor; he is so early.”


    The difference between rising at five and seven o’clock in the morning, for the space of forty years, supposing a man to go to bed at the same hour at night, is nearly equivalent to ten additional years to a man’s life.


    Early rising not only gives us more life in the same number of our years, but adds likewise to their number; and not only enables us to enjoy more of existence in the same measure of time, but increases also the measure.


    No man can promise himself even fifty years of life, but any man may, if he please, live in the proportion of fifty years in forty—let him rise early, that he may have the day before him, and let him make the most of the day, by determining to expand it on two sorts of acquaintance only—those by whom something may be got, and those from whom something may be learnt.


    Six, or at most seven, hours’ sleep is, for a constancy, as much as you or anybody else can want; more is only laziness and dozing, and is, I am persuaded, both unwholesome and stupefying.


    Whoever has tasted the breath of morning knows that the most invigorating and most delightful hours of the day are commonly spent in bed; though it is the evident intention of nature that we should enjoy and profit by them.


  • O, there is a charm
  • Which morning has, that gives the brow of age
  • A smack of earth, and makes the lip of youth
  • Shed perfume exquisite. Expect it not,
  • Ye who till noon upon a down bed lie,
  • Indulging feverous sleep.
  • Hurdis.

  • With charwomen such early hours agree,
  • And sweeps, that earn betimes their bit and sup;
  • But I’m no climbing boy, and need not be,
  • All up—all up!
  • So here I’ll lie, my morning calls deferring,
  • Till something nearer to the stroke of noon;
  • A man that’s fond precociously of stirring,
  • Must be a spoon.
  • Thomas Hood.

  • Is there aught in sleep can charm the wise,
  • To lie in dead oblivion, losing half
  • The fleeting moments of too short a life;
  • Total extinction of the enlighten’d soul?
  • Wilder’d and tossing thro’ distemper’d dreams?
  • Who would in such a gloomy state remain
  • Longer than nature craves; when ev’ry muse
  • And every blooming pleasure wait without,
  • To bless the wildly devious morning walk?
  • Thomson.

    When you find an unwillingness to rise early in the morning, endeavor to rouse your faculties, and act up to your kind, and consider that you have to do the business of a man; and that action is both beneficial and the end of your being.