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


Enthusiasm is the breath of genius.


Enthusiasts soon understand each other.

Washington Irving.

Enthusiasm is the fever of reason.

Victor Hugo.

Enthusiasm begets enthusiasm.


Enthusiasm goes out.


Every great and commanding movement in the annals of the world is the triumph of enthusiasm.


Enthusiasm is the intoxication of earnestness.


Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.


Religion is among the most powerful causes of enthusiasm.


Great dejection often follows great enthusiasm.

Joseph Roux.

Every production of genius must be the production of enthusiasm.


  • No wild enthusiast ever yet could rest,
  • Till half mankind were like himself possess’d.
  • Cowper.

  • For virtue’s self may too much zeal be had:
  • The worst of madmen is a saint run mad.
  • Pope.

    The most enthusiastic man in a cause is rarely chosen as a leader.

    Arthur Helps.

    In things pertaining to enthusiasm no man is sane who does not know how to be insane on proper occasions.

    Henry Ward Beecher.

    Alas! how enthusiasm decreases as experience increases!

    Mme. Louise Colet.

    Enthusiasm imparts itself magnetically and fuses all into one happy and harmonious unity of feeling and sentiment.

    A. Bronson Alcott.

  • And rash enthusiasm in good society
  • Were nothing but a moral inebriety.
  • Byron.

    The best thing which we derive from history is the enthusiasm that it raises in us.


    Opposition may inflame the enthusiast, but never converts him.


    Be not afraid of enthusiasm; you need it; you can do nothing effectually without it.


    The sense of this word among the Greeks affords the noblest definition of it: enthusiasm signifies God in us.

    Mme. de Staël.

    There is a melancholy which accompanies all enthusiasm.


    All noble enthusiasms pass through a feverish stage and grow wiser and more serene.


    Enthusiasm gives life to what is invisible, and interest to what has no immediate action on our comfort in this world.

    Mme. de Staël.

    Enthusiasm is the height of man; it is the passing from the human to the divine.


    Enthusiasm is always connected with the senses.


    Enlist the interests of stern Morality and religious Enthusiasm in the cause of Political Liberty, as in the time of the old Puritans, and it will be irresistible.

    S. T. Coleridge.

    Depend upon it, my younger brethren, the bright, self-sacrificing enthusiasms of early manhood are among the most precious things in the whole course of human life.

    H. P. Liddon.

    Enthusiasm is grave, inward, self-controlled; mere excitement, outward, fantastic, hysterical, and passing in a moment from tears to laughter.


    Enthusiasm is the leaping lightning, not to be measured by the horse-power of the understanding.


    When once enthusiasm has been turned into ridicule, everything is undone except money and power.

    Mme. de Staël.

    There is not a more melancholy object than a man who has his head turned with religious enthusiasm.


    Nothing is so contagious as enthusiasm; it moves stones, it charms brutes. Enthusiasm is the genius of sincerity, and truth accomplishes no victories without it.


    Enthusiasm is that temper of the mind in which the imagination has got the better of the judgment.


    Let us recognise the beauty and power of true enthusiasm; and whatever we may do to enlighten ourselves and others, guard against checking or chilling a single earnest sentiment.


    The same reason makes a man a religious enthusiast that makes a man an enthusiast in any other way, an uncomfortable mind in an uncomfortable body.


    That youthful fervor, which is sometimes called enthusiasm, but which is a heat of imagination subsequently discovered to be inconsistent with the experience of actual life.


    Ridicule has ever been the most powerful enemy of enthusiasm, and properly the only antagonist that can be opposed to it with success.


    Enthusiasm is the element of success in everything. It is the light that leads and the strength that lifts men on and up in the great struggles of scientific pursuits and of professional labor. It robs endurance of difficulty, and makes a pleasure of duty.

    Bishop Doane.

    Those who have arrived at any very eminent degree of excellence in the practice of an art or profession have commonly been actuated by a species of enthusiasm in their pursuit of it. They have kept one object in view amidst all the vicissitudes of time and fortune.

    John Knox.

    Without enthusiasm, the adventurer could never kindle that fire in his followers which is so necessary to consolidate their mutual interests; for no one can heartily deceive numbers who is not first of all deceived himself.


    Let us beware of losing our enthusiasms. Let us ever glory in something, and strive to retain our admiration for all that would ennoble, and our interest in all that would enrich and beautify our life.

    Phillips Brooks.

    The fire of true enthusiasm is like the fires of Baku, which no water can ever quench, and which burn steadily on from night to day, and year to year, because their well-spring is eternal.


    The enthusiast has been compared to a man walking in a fog; everything immediately around him, or in contact with him, appears sufficiently clear and luminous; but beyond the little circle of which he himself is the centre, all is mist and error and confusion.


    Conscience is doubtless sufficient to conduct the coldest character into the road of virtue; but enthusiasm is to conscience what honor is to duty; there is in us a superfluity of soul, which it is sweet to consecrate to the beautiful when the good has been accomplished.

    Mme. de Staël.

    Enthusiasm begets enthusiasm, eloquence produces conviction for the moment; but it is only by truth to Nature and the everlasting institutions of mankind that those abiding influences are won that enlarge from generation to generation.


    Enthusiasm is an evil much less to be dreaded than superstition. Superstition is the disease of nations; enthusiasm that of individuals: the former grows inveterate by time; the latter is cured by it.

    Robert Hall.

    A mother should give her children a superabundance of enthusiasm; that after they have lost all they are sure to lose on mixing with the world, enough may still remain to prompt and support them through great actions. A cloak should be of three-pile, to keep its gloss in wear.


    Enthusiasm is that secret and harmonious spirit which hovers over the production of genius, throwing the reader of a book, or the spectator of a statue, into the very ideal presence whence these works have really originated. A great work always leaves us in a state of musing.

    Isaac Disraeli.

    I look upon enthusiasm, in all other points but that of religion, to be a very necessary turn of mind; as indeed it is a vein which nature seems to have marked with more or less strength, in the tempers of most men. No matter what the object is, whether business, pleasures or the fine arts: whoever pursues them to any purpose must do so con amore.


    Enthusiasm is a virtue rarely to be met with in seasons of calm and unruffled prosperity. Enthusiasm flourishes in adversity, kindles in the hour of danger, and awakens to deeds of renown. The terrors of persecution only serve to quicken the energy of its purposes. It swells in proud integrity, and, great in the purity of its cause, it can scatter defiance amidst hosts of enemies.

    Dr. Chalmers.

    It is impossible to combat enthusiasm with reason; for though it makes a show of resistance, it soon eludes the pressure, refers you to distinctions not to be understood, and feelings which it cannot explain. A man who would endeavor to fix an enthusiast by argument might as well attempt to spread quicksilver with his finger.


  • I gaze upon the thousand stars
  • That fill the midnight sky;
  • And wish, so passionately wish,
  • A light like theirs on high.
  • I have such eagerness of hope
  • To benefit my kind;
  • I feel as if immortal power
  • Were given to my mind.
  • Miss Landon.

    Enthusiasm is always connected with the senses, whatever be the object that excites it. The true strength of virtue is serenity of mind, combined with a deliberate and steadfast determination to execute her laws. That is the healthful condition of the moral life; on the other hand, enthusiasm, even when excited by representations of goodness, is a brilliant but feverish glow which leaves only exhaustion and languor behind.


    They wrong man greatly who say he is to be seduced by ease. Difficulty, abnegation, martyrdom, death, are the allurements that act on the heart of man. Kindle the inner genial life of him, you have a flame that burns up all lower considerations. Not happiness, but something higher; one sees this even in the frivolous classes, with their “point of honor” and the like. Not by flattering our appetites—no, by awakening the heroic that slumbers in every heart can any religious gain follow.


    In the whole range of human vision nothing is more attractive than to see a young man full of promise and of hope, bending all his energies in the direction of truth and duty and God, his soul pervaded with the loftiest enthusiasm, and his life consecrated to the noblest ends. To be such a young man is to rival the noblest and best of men in heroic valor and Christian chivalry. Nay, to be such a young man is to be like Christ, the highest type, the most illustrious example of enthusiasm the world has ever seen.

    J. McC. Holmes.