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


All that glitters is not gold.


Gold all is not that doth golden seem.


All is not golde that outward sheweth bright.


Gold—what can it not do, and undo?


A mask of gold hides all deformities.


Gold—the picklock that never fails.


Can pocket states, or fetch or carry kings.


Bright and yellow, hard and cold.


There is no place invincible, wherein an ass loaden with gold may not enter.


Saint-seducing gold.


Poison is drunk out of golden cups.


Thou more than stone of the philosopher!


The dangers gather as the treasures rise.

Dr. Johnson.

If all were rich, gold would be penniless.


  • For gold in phisik is a cordial;
  • Therefore he lovede gold in special.
  • Chaucer.

  • For gold the merchant ploughs the main,
  • The farmer ploughs the manor.
  • Burns.

    The plague of gold strikes far and near.

    Mrs. Browning.

    Accursed thirst for gold! what dost thou not compel mortals to do?


  • Judges and senates have been bought for gold;
  • Esteem and love were never to be sold.
  • Pope.

    How quickly nature falls to revolt when gold becomes her object!


    How few, like Daniel, have God and gold together!

    George Villiers.

    Gold adulterated one thing only—the human heart.

    Marguerite de Valois.

    Gold is a living god, and rules in scorn all earthly things but virtue.


    Gold is the fool’s curtain, which hides all his defects from the world.


  • Foul-cankering rust the hidden treasure frets;
  • But gold, that’s put to use, more gold begets.
  • Shakespeare.

    And mammon wins his way where seraphs might despair.


    It is much better to have your gold in the hand than in the heart.


    As the touchstone tries gold, so gold tries men.


  • Gold hath no lustre of its own.
  • It shines by temperate use alone.
  • Francis.

    Gold is, in its last analysis, the sweat of the poor and the blood of the brave.

    Joseph Napoleon.

  • No, let the monarch’s bags and coffers hold
  • The flattering mighty, nay, all-mighty gold.
  • John Wolcott.

    Thou true magnetic pole, to which all hearts point duly north, like trembling needles!


    For gold the hireling judge distorts the laws.

    Dr. Johnson.

    Because its blessings are abused, must gold be censured, cursed, accused?


    Gold can gild a rotten stick, and dirt sully an ingot.

    Sir P. Sidney.

  • O, I cry your mercy;
  • There is my purse, to cure that blow of thine.
  • Shakespeare.

  • What nature wants, commodious gold bestows;
  • ’Tis thus we cut the bread another sows.
  • Pope.

    Though authority be a stubborn bear, yet he is oft led by the nose with gold.


  • O cursed lust of gold! when for thy sake
  • The fool throws up his interest in both worlds.
  • Blair.

  • The lust of gold succeeds the rage of conquest;
  • The lust of gold, unfeeling and remorseless!
  • The last corruption of degenerate man.
  • Sam’l Johnson.

    Gold glitters most where virtue shines no more, as stars from absent suns have leave to shine.


    Midas longed for gold. He got gold, so that whatever he touched became gold; and he, with his long ears, was little the better for it.


    Gold, like the sun, which melts wax and hardens clay, expands great souls and contracts bad hearts.


    Gold is a wonderful clearer of the understanding; it dissipates every doubt and scruple in an instant.


    Commerce has set the mark of selfishness, the signet of its all-enslaving power, upon a shining ore and called it gold.


  • Because my blessings are abus’d,
  • Must I be censur’d, curs’d, accus’d?
  • Even virtue’s self by knaves is made
  • A cloak to carry on the trade.
  • Gay.

    O what a world of vile ill-favored faults looks handsome in three hundred pounds a year!


    Gold loves to make its way through guards, and breaks through barriers of stone more easily than the lightning’s bolt.


    It is observed of gold, by an old epigrammatist, “that to have it is to be in fear, and to want it, to be in sorrow.”


  • Can gold calm passion, or make reason shine?
  • Can we dig peace, or wisdom, from the mine?
  • Wisdom to gold prefer; for ’tis much less
  • To make our fortune, than our happiness.
  • Young.

  • Gold is the strength, the sinews of the world;
  • The health, the soul, the beauty most divine;
  • A mask of gold hides all deformities;
  • Gold is heaven’s physic, life’s restorative.
  • Decker.

  • Stronger than thunder’s winged force
  • All-powerful gold can speed its course;
  • Through watchful guards its passage make,
  • And loves through solid walls do break.
  • Francis.

  • Gold begets in brethren hate;
  • Gold in families debate;
  • Gold does friendship separate;
  • Gold does civil wars create.
  • Abraham Cowley.

    It is gold which buys admittance; and it is gold which makes the true man killed, and saves the thief; nay, sometimes hangs both thief and true man; what can it not do and undo?


    Gold is Cæsar’s treasure, man is God’s; thy gold hath Cæsar’s image, and thou hast God’s; give, therefore, those things unto Cæsar which are Cæsar’s, and unto God which are God’s.


  • Abundance is a blessing to the wise;
  • The use of riches in discretion lies:
  • Learn this, ye men of wealth—a heavy purse
  • In a fool’s pocket is a heavy curse.
  • Cumberland.

    There are two metals, one of which is omnipotent in the cabinet, and the other in the camp—gold and iron. He that knows how to apply them both may indeed attain the highest station.


    You know the Ark of Israel and the calf of Belial were both made of gold. Religion has never yet changed the metal of her one adoration.


  • There is thy gold, worse poison to men’s souls,
  • Doing more murders in this loathsome world,
  • Than these poor compounds that thou mayst not sell.
  • I sell thee poison, thou hast sold me none.
  • Shakespeare.

    I know not whether there exists such a thing as a coin stamped with a pair of pinions; but I wish this were the device which monarchs put upon their dollars and ducats, to show that riches make to themselves wings, and fly away.


  • Gold! gold! in all ages the curse of mankind,
  • Thy fetters are forged for the soul and the mind.
  • The limbs may be free as the wings of a bird,
  • And the mind be the slave of a look and a word.
  • To gain thee men barter, eternity’s crown,
  • Yield honour, affection, and lasting renown.
  • Park Benjamin.

    By gold all good faith has been banished; by gold our rights are abused: the law itself is influenced by gold, and soon there will be an end of every modest restraint.


  • How quickly nature falls into revolt
  • When gold becomes her object!
  • For this the foolish over-careful fathers
  • Have broke their sleep with thoughts, their brains with care,
  • Their bones with industry:
  • For this they have engrossed and pil’d up
  • The canker’d heaps of strange-achieved gold;
  • For this they have been thoughtful to invest
  • Their sons with arts and martial exercises.
  • Shakespeare.

  • Oh, bane of man! seducing cheat!
  • Can man, weak man, thy power defeat?
  • Gold banish’d honor from the mind,
  • And only left the name behind;
  • Gold sow’d the world with ev’ry ill,
  • Gold taught the murderer’s sword to kill;
  • ’Twas gold instructed coward hearts
  • In treachery’s more pernicious arts.
  • Gay.

  • Thus, when the villain crams his chest,
  • Gold is the canker of the breast;
  • ’Tis avarice, insolence, and pride,
  • And every shocking vice beside:—
  • But when to virtuous hands ’tis given,
  • It blesses, like the dews of heaven:
  • Like heaven, it hears the orphans’ cries,
  • And wipes the tears from widows’ eyes.
  • Gay.

  • O thou sweet king-killer, and dear divorce
  • ’Twixt natural son and sire! thou bright defiler
  • Of hymen’s purest bed! thou valiant Mars!
  • Thou ever young, fresh, lov’d, and delicate wooer,
  • Whose blush doth thaw the consecrated snow
  • That lies on Dian’s lip! thou visible god,
  • That solder’st close impossibilities,
  • And mak’st them kiss! and speak’st with every tongue,
  • To every purpose!
  • Shakespeare.

  • Why lose we life in anxious cares,
  • To lay in hoards for future years?
  • Can these, when tortur’d by disease,
  • Cheer our sick hearts, or purchase ease?
  • Can these prolong one gasp of breath,
  • Or calm the troubled hour of death?
  • Gay.

    Those who worship gold in a world so corrupt as this we live in have at least one thing to plead in defense of their idolatry—the power of their idol. It is true that, like other idols, it can neither move, see, hear, feel, nor understand; but, unlike other idols, it has often communicated all these powers to those who had them not, and annihilated them in those who had. This idol can boast of two peculiarities; it is worshipped in all climates, without a single temple, and by all classes, without a single hypocrite.


  • Commerce has set the mark of selfishness,
  • The signet of its all-enslaving power
  • Upon a shining ore, and called it gold;
  • Before whose image bow the vulgar great,
  • The vainly rich, the miserable proud,
  • The mob of peasants, nobles, priests, and kings,
  • And with blind feelings reverence the power
  • That grinds them to the dust of misery.
  • But in the temple of their hireling hearts
  • Gold is a living god, and rules in scorn
  • All earthly things but virtue.
  • Shelley.

    Give him gold enough, and marry him to a puppet, or an aglet-baby; or an old trot with ne’er a tooth in her head, though she have as many diseases as two and fifty horses; why, nothing comes amiss, so money comes withal.