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


Indolence is stagnation; employment is life.


The rust rots the steel which use preserves.


The hand of little employment hath the daintier sense.


The man who falls in love will find plenty of occupation.


The devil does not tempt people whom he finds suitably employed.

Jeremy Taylor.

Be always employed about some rational thing, that the devil find thee not idle.


Employment is nature’s physician, and is essential to human happiness.


The great principle of human satisfaction is engagement.


Employment and ennui are simply incompatible.

Madame Deluzy.

The devil never tempted a man whom he found judiciously employed.


Give us employment in place of ennui; for we must have one or the other.

Mme. De Salm.

The wise prove, and the foolish confess, by their conduct, that a life of employment is the only life worth leading.


Employment, which Galen calls “nature’s physician,” is so essential to human happiness, that indolence is justly considered as the mother of misery.


Women are in this respect more fortunate than men, that most of their employments are of such a nature that they can at the same time be thinking of quite different things.

Wilhelm von Humboldt.

At present, the most valuable gift which can be bestowed upon women is something to do which they can do well and worthily, and thereby maintain themselves.

James A. Garfield.

A vast deal of human sympathy runs along the electric line of needlework, stretching from the throne to the wicker chair of the humble seamstress.


Life will frequently languish, even in the hands of the busy, if they have not some employment subsidiary to that which forms their main pursuit.


  • Cares are employments; and without employ
  • The soul is on a rack; the rack of rest,
  • To souls most adverse; action all their joy.
  • Young.

    People cry out, and deplore the unremunerative employment of woman. The true want is the other way. Women really trained, and capable of good work, can command any wages or salaries.

    Gail Hamilton.

    Employment gives health, sobriety, and morals. Constant employment and well-paid labor produce, in a country like ours, general prosperity, content, and cheerfulness. Thus happy have we seen the country.

    Daniel Webster.

    Nothing can hide from me the conviction that an immortal soul needs for its sustenance something more than visiting, and gardening, and novel-reading, and crochet-needle, and the occasional manufacture of sponge cake.

    T. W. Higginson.

    Let us candidly confess our indebtedness to the needle. How many hours of sorrow has it softened, how many bitter irritations calmed, how many confused thoughts reduced to order, how many life-plans sketched in purple!

    Caroline H. Dall.

    The question of woman’s work in its economic aspect is really one not so much now of woman’s rights as of woman’s mights. Pretty much anything she wants to do, a resolute girl may now do.

    R. Herbert Newton.

    What kind of work would be done if Hercules took to spinning wool in safe places, while Omphales turned out to do battle with monsters, in his stead? What kind of men should we have as the result of the exchange.

    E. Lynn Linton.

    We have employment assigned to us for every circumstance in life. When we are alone, we have our thoughts to watch; in the family, our tempers; and in company, our tongues.

    Hannah More.

    Laziness begat wearisomeness, and this put men in quest of diversions, play and company, on which however it is a constant attendant; he who works hard, has enough to do with himself otherwise.

    La Bruyère.

    Exert your talents, and distinguish yourself, and don’t think of retiring from the world until the world will be sorry that you retire. I hate a fellow whom pride or cowardice or laziness drives into a corner, and who does nothing when he is there but sit and growl. Let him come out, as I do, and bark.

    Dr. Johnson.