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


Fancy light from fancy caught.


Every fancy you consult, consult your purse.


Fancy tortures more people than does reality.


In maiden meditation, fancy free.


  • Fancy, like the finger of a clock,
  • Runs the great circuit, and is still at home.
  • Cowper.

    All power of fancy over reason is a degree of insanity.

    Dr. Johnson.

    False fancy brings real misery.


    Fancy sets the value on the gifts of fortune.

    La Rochefoucauld.

    Do not let fancy outrun your means.


    Fancy and pride seeks things at vast expense.


    Who does not know the bent of woman’s fancy?


    Ever let the fancy roam; pleasure never is at home.


    Mine eyes he closed, but open left the cell of Fancy, my immortal sight.


    The devious path where wanton fancy leads.


    Fancy brings us as many vain hopes as idle fears.


    All impediments in fancy’s course are motives of more fancy.


  • Pacing through the forest,
  • Chewing the cud of sweet and bitter fancy.
  • Shakespeare.

  • Woe to the youth whom fancy gains
  • Winning from reason’s hand the reins.
  • Scott.

  • Two meanings have our lightest fantasies,
  • One of the flesh, and of the spirit one.
  • James Russell Lowell.

  • So full of shapes is fancy,
  • That it alone is high fantastical.
  • Shakespeare.

  • When at the close of each sad, sorrowing day,
  • Fancy restores what vengeance snatch’d away.
  • Pope.

    A fretful fancy is constantly flinging its possessor into gratuitous tophets.

    W. R. Alger.

    Fancy borrows much from memory, and so looks back to the past.


    Fancy runs most furiously when a guilty conscience drives it.


    Nothing is so atrocious as fancy without taste.


  • She’s all my fancy painted her,
  • She’s lovely, she’s divine.
  • Wm. Mee.

  • The earth hath bubbles, as the water has,
  • And these are of them.
  • Shakespeare.

    Fancy is imagination in her youth and adolescence. Fancy is always excursive; imagination, not seldom, is sedate.


  • Bright-eyed fancy, hovering o’er,
  • Scatters from her pictured urn,
  • Thoughts that breathe, and words that burn.
  • Gray.

    ’Tis not necessity, but opinion, that makes men miserable; and when we come to be fancy-sick, there’s no cure.


    Why will any man be so impertinently officious as to tell me all this is only fancy? If it is a dream, let me enjoy it.


    In the loss of an object we do not proportion our grief to the real value it bears, but to the value our fancies set upon it.


    Fancy and humour, early and constantly indulged in, may expect an old age overrun with follies.


  • Fancy is a fairy, that can hear
  • Ever, the melody of nature’s voice,
  • And see all lovely visions that she will.
  • Mrs. Osgood.

    Sentiment is intellectualized emotion, emotion precipitated, as it were, in pretty crystals by the fancy.


  • Tell me where is fancy bred,
  • Or in the heart, or in the head?
  • How begot, how nourished?
  • Shakespeare.

    The mere reality of life would be inconceivably poor without the charm of fancy, which brings in its bosom, no doubt, as many vain fears as idle hopes, but lends much oftener to the illusions it calls up a gay flattering hue than one which inspires terror.

    Wilhelm von Humboldt.

    Fancy restrained may be compared to a fountain, which plays highest by diminishing the aperture.


    Our fancies are more giddy and unfirm, more longing, wavering, sooner lost and won, than women’s are.


    Fancy rules over two thirds of the universe, the past and the future, while reality is confined to the present.


    Every fancy that we would substitute for a reality is, if we saw aright, and saw the whole, not only false, but every way less beautiful and excellent than that which we sacrifice to it.


    It is the fancy, not the reason of things, that makes us so uneasy. It is not the place, nor the condition, but the mind alone, that can make anybody happy or miserable.


    If ever (as that ever may be near) you meet in some fresh cheek the power of fancy, then shall you know the wounds invisible that love’s keen arrows make.


    Fancy, when once brought into religion, knows not where to stop. It is like one of those fiends in old stories which any one could raise, but which, when raised, could never be kept within the magic circle.


    When my way is too rough for my feet, or too steep for my strength, I get off it to some smooth velvet path which fancy has scattered over with rosebuds of delights; and, having taken a few turns in it, come back strengthened and refreshed.


    That queen of error, whom we call fancy and opinion, is the more deceitful because she does not always deceive. She would be the infallible rule of truth if she were the infallible rule of falsehood; but being only most frequently in error, she gives no evidence of her real quality, for she marks with the same character both that which is true and that which is false.


    A confused mass of thoughts, tumbling over one another in the dark; when the fancy was yet in its first work, moving the sleeping images of things towards the light, there to be distinguished and then either chosen or rejected by the judgment.


    Fancy has an extensive influence in morals. Some of the most powerful and dangerous feelings in nature, as those of ambition and envy, derive their principal nourishment from a cause apparently so trivial. Its effect on the common affairs of life is greater than might be supposed. Naked reality would scarcely keep the world in motion.

    W. B. Clulow.

  • The difference is as great between
  • The optics seeing as the objects seen.
  • All manners take a tincture from our own;
  • Or come discolor’d through our passions shown;
  • Or fancy’s beam enlarges, multiplies,
  • Contracts, inverts, and gives ten thousand dyes.
  • Pope.

    Most marvellous and enviable is that fecundity of fancy which can adorn whatever it touches, which can invest naked fact and dry reasoning with unlooked-for beauty, make flowerets bloom even on the brow of the precipice, and, when nothing better can be had, can turn the very substance of rock itself into moss and lichens. This faculty is incomparably the most important for the vivid and attractive exhibition of truth, to the minds of men.


    Fancy, an animal faculty, is very different from imagination, which is intellectual. The former is passive; but the latter is active and creative. Children, the weak minded, and the timid, are full of fancy. Men and women of intellect, of great intellect, are alone possessed of great imagination.