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


We must eat to live, not live to eat.


He was a bold man that first ate an oyster.


The proof of the pudding is in the eating.


Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.


Unquiet meals make ill digestions.


Feast to-day makes fast to-morrow.


Appetite comes with eating.


  • Go to your banquet then, but use delight
  • So as to rise still with an appetite.
  • Herrick.

    Sit down and feed, and welcome to our table.


    Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.

    Brillat Savarin.

    I want every peasant to have a chicken in his pot on Sundays.

    Henry IV. of France.

    To abstain that we may enjoy is the epicureanism of reason.


    A warmed-up dinner was never worth much.


    They say fingers were made before forks, and hands before knives.


    With eager feeding food doth choke the feeder.


  • Now good digestion wait on appetite,
  • And health on both.
  • Shakespeare.

    They are as sick that surfeit with too much, as they that starve with nothing.


  • Famish’d people must be slowly nurst,
  • And fed by spoonfuls, else they always burst.
  • Byron.

    A stomach that is seldom empty despises common food.


  • A surfeit of the sweetest things
  • The deepest loathing to the stomach brings.
  • Shakespeare.

    For a man seldom thinks with more earnestness of anything than he does of his dinner.

    Samuel Johnson.

    My soul tasted that heavenly food, which gives new appetite while it satiates.


  • One solid dish his weekday meal affords,
  • An added pudding solemniz’d the Lord’s.
  • Pope.

    Bad men live that they may eat and drink, whereas good men eat and drink that they may live.


  • O hour, of all hours, the most bless’d upon earth,
  • The blessed hour of our dinners!
  • Lord Lytton.

  • The turnpike road to people’s hearts I find
  • Lies through their mouths, or I mistake mankind.
  • Dr. Wolcot.

    For the sake of health, medicines are taken by weight and measure; so ought food to be, or by some similar rule.


    For I look upon it, that he who does not mind his belly will hardly mind anything else.

    Samuel Johnson.

    Your supper is like the Hidalgo’s dinner; very little meat, and a great deal of table-cloth.


    The difference between a rich man and a poor man is this—the former eats when he pleases, and the latter when he can get it.

    Sir Walter Raleigh.

  • Some hae meat and canna eat,
  • And some wad eat that want it;
  • But we hae meat, and we can eat;
  • Sae let the Lord be thankit.
  • Burns.

    “Here, dearest Eve,” he exclaims, “here is food.” “Well,” answered she, with the germ of a housewife stirring within her, “we have been so busy to-day that a picked-up dinner must serve.”

    Nath. Hawthorne.

  • All human history attests
  • That happiness for man—the hungry sinner—
  • Since Eve ate apples, much depends on dinner.
  • Byron.

  • Yet shall you have to rectify your palate,
  • An olive, capers, or some better salad
  • Ushering the mutton; with a short-legged hen,
  • If we can get her, full of eggs, and then,
  • Limons, and wine for sauce: to these a coney
  • Is not to be despaired of for our money;
  • And though fowl now be scarce, yet there are clerks,
  • The sky not falling, think we may have larks.
  • Ben Jonson.

  • “Good well-dress’d turtle beats them hollow—
  • It almost makes me wish, I vow,
  • To have two stomachs, like a cow!”
  • And, lo! as with the cud, an inward thrill
  • Upheaved his waistcoat and disturb’d his frill,
  • His mouth was oozing, and he work’d his jaw—
  • “I almost think that I could eat one raw.”
  • Hood.

    The chief pleasure (in eating) does not consist in costly seasoning, or exquisite flavor, but in yourself. Do you seek sauce by sweating.


    A woman asked a coachman, “Are you full inside”? Upon which Lamb put his head through the window, and said: “I am quite full inside; that last piece of pudding at Mr. Gillman’s did the business for me.”

    Charles Lamb.

  • Man is a carnivorous production,
  • And must have meals, at least one meal a day;
  • He cannot live, like woodcocks, upon suction,
  • But, like the shark and tiger, must have prey;
  • Although his anatomical construction
  • Bears vegetables, in a grumbling way,
  • Your laboring people think beyond all question,
  • Beef, veal, and mutton better for digestion.
  • Byron.

  • Oh, better no doubt is a dinner of herbs,
  • When season’d by love, which no rancor disturbs
  • And sweeten’d by all that is sweetest in life
  • Than turbot, bisque, ortolans, eaten in strife!
  • But if, out of humor, and hungry, alone
  • A man should sit down to dinner, each one
  • Of the dishes of which the cook chooses to spoil
  • With a horrible mixture of garlic and oil,
  • The chances are ten against one, I must own,
  • He gets up as ill-tempered as when he sat down.
  • Lord Lytton.

  • We may live without poetry, music and art;
  • We may live without conscience, and live without heart;
  • We may live without friends; we may live without books;
  • But civilized man cannot live without cooks.
  • He may live without books—what is knowledge but grieving?
  • He may live without hope—what is hope but deceiving?
  • He may live without love—what is passion but pining?
  • But where is the man that can live without dining?
  • Lord Lytton.

    Their best and most wholesome feeding is upon one dish and no more and the same plaine and simple; for surely this hudling of many meats one upon another of divers tastes is pestiferous. But sundrie sauces are more dangerous than that.