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


Thankfulness is the tune of angels.


Gratitude is the memory of the heart.


The still small voice of gratitude.


If I only have will to be grateful, I am so.


Th’ unwilling gratitude of base mankind!


Is no return due from a grateful breast?


Thanks, the exchequer of the poor.


Gratitude is a species of justice.


Gratitude is expensive.


Gratitude is a soil on which joy thrives.


Small service is true service while it lasts.


The debt immense of endless gratitude.


To receive honestly is the best thanks for a good thing.

George MacDonald.

No metaphysician ever felt the deficiency of language so much as the grateful.


O Lord, that lends me life, lend me a heart replete with thankfulness.


A single grateful thought towards heaven is the most perfect prayer.


The gratitude of place-expectants is a lively sense of future favors.

Sir Robert Walpole.

It is a species of agreeable servitude, to be under an obligation to those we esteem.

Queen Christina.

Beggar that I am, I am even poor in thanks, but I thank you.


Gratitude is a duty none can be excused from, because it is always at our own disposal.


He enjoys much who is thankful for little. A grateful mind is a great mind.


  • A grateful mind
  • By owing owes not, but still pays, at once
  • Indebted and discharg’d.
  • Milton.

  • The heaviest debt is that of gratitude,
  • When ’tis not in our power to repay it.
  • Dr. Thomas Franklin.

    Thanks are justly due for things got without purchase.


    We seldom find people ungrateful so long as we are in a condition to render them service.

    La Rochefoucauld.

    Gratitude is a duty which ought to be paid, but which none have a right to expect.


    Ingratitude calls forth reproaches as gratitude brings renewed kindnesses.

    Mme. de Sévigné.

    The gratitude of most men is but a secret desire of receiving greater benefits.

    La Rochefoucauld.

    It is the will to be grateful which constitutes gratitude.

    Joseph Cook.

    Gratitude is the fruit of great cultivation; you do not find it among gross people.

    Dr. Johnson.

    Next to ingratitude, the most painful thing to bear is gratitude.

    Henry Ward Beecher.

    A thankful man owes a courtesy ever; the unthankful but when he needs it.

    Ben Jonson.

    Every acknowledgment of gratitude is a circumstance of humiliation.


    My soul, o’erfraught with gratitude, rejects the aid of language. Lord, behold my heart.

    Hannah More.

    Thou that hast given so much to me, give one thing more—a grateful heart.

    George Herbert.

    What can I pay thee for this noble usage but grateful praise? So heaven itself is paid.


    A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues.


    The feeling of gratitude has all the ardor of a passion in noble hearts.

    Achilles Poincelot.

    It is not best to refine gratitude; it evaporates in the process of subtilization.


    He who receives a good turn should never forget it; he who does one should never remember it.


    So long as we stand in need of a benefit, there is nothing dearer to us; nor anything cheaper when we have received it.


    Justice is often pale and melancholy; but Gratitude, her daughter, is constantly in the flow of spirits and the bloom of loveliness.


    Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul; and the heart of man knoweth none more fragrant.

    Hosea Ballou.

    Gratitude is a nice touch of beauty added last of all to the countenance, giving a classic beauty, an angelic loveliness, to the character.

    Theodore Parker.

    Indeed, you thanked me; but a nobler gratitude rose in her soul, for from that hour she loved me.


    He that has nature in him must be grateful; it is the Creator’s primary great law, that links the chain of beings to each other.


    The grateful person, being still the most severe exactor of himself, not only confesses, but proclaims his debt.


    Gratitude is the virtue most deified and most deserted. It is the ornament of rhetoric and the libel of practical life.

    J. W. Forney.

    It is a dangerous experiment to call in gratitude as an ally to love. Love is a debt which inclination always pays, obligation never.


    Those who make us happy are always thankful to us for being so. Their gratitude is the reward of their own benefits.

    Madame Swetchine.

    O call not to my mind what you have done! It sets a debt of that account before me, which shows me poor and bankrupt even in hopes!


    There is a selfishness even in gratitude, when it is too profuse; to be over-thankful for one favor is in effect to lay out for another.


    From David learn to give thanks in everything. Every furrow in the book of Psalms is sown with seeds of thanksgiving.

    Jeremy Taylor.

    If gratitude is due from children to their earthly parents, how much more is the gratitude of the great family of man due to our Father in heaven!

    Hosea Ballou.

    The reason for misreckoning in expected returns of gratitude is that the pride of the giver and receiver can never agree about the value of the obligation.

    La Rochefoucauld.

    There is as much greatness of mind in the owning of a good turn as in the doing of it; and we must no more force a requital out of season than be wanting in it.


    He who has a soul wholly devoid of gratitude should set his soul to learn of his body: for all the parts of that minister to one another.


    What I have done is worthy of nothing but silence and forgetfulness, but what God has done for me is worthy of everlasting and thankful memory.

    Bishop Hall.

    Look over the whole creation, and you shall see that the band, or cement, that holds together all the parts of this great and glorious fabric is gratitude.


    There is not a more pleasing exercise of the mind than gratitude. It is accompanied with such an inward satisfaction that the duty is sufficiently rewarded by the performance.


    There are minds so impatient of inferiority that their gratitude is a species of revenge; and they return benefits, not because recompense is a pleasure, but because obligation is a pain.


    Wherever I find a great deal of gratitude in a poor man I take it for granted there would be as much generosity if he were a rich man.


    God is pleased with no music below so much as the thanksgiving songs of relieved widows and supported orphans; of rejoicing, comforted, and thankful persons.

    Jeremy Taylor.

    Gratitude is a virtue which, according to the general apprehension of mankind, approaches more nearly than almost any other social virtue to justice.

    Dr. Parr.

    The law of the pleasure in having done anything for another is, that the one almost immediately forgets having given, and the other remembers eternally having received.


    Gratitude is like the good faith of traders—it maintains commerce; and we often pay, not because it is just to discharge our debts, but that we may more readily find people to trust us.

    La Rochefoucauld.

    Almost everyone takes pleasure in repaying trifling obligations, very many feel gratitude for those that are moderate; but there is scarcely anyone who is not ungrateful for those that are weighty.

    La Rochefoucauld.

    Epicurus says “gratitude is a virtue that has commonly profit annexed to it.” And where is the virtue, say I, that has not? But still the virtue is to be valued for itself, and not for the profit that attends it.


    I thank my Heavenly Father for every manifestation of human love, I thank Him for all experiences, be they sweet or bitter, which help me to forgive all things, and to enfold the whole world with a blessing.

    Mrs. L. M. Child.

  • I’ve heard of hearts unkind, kind deeds
  • With coldness still returning;
  • Alas! the gratitude of men
  • Hath often left me mourning.
  • Wordsworth.

    Do not let the empty cup be your first teacher of the blessings you had when it was full. Do not let a hard place here and there in the bed destroy your rest. Seek, as a plain duty, to cultivate a buoyant, joyous sense of the crowded kindnesses of God in your daily life.

    Alexander Maclaren.

    We can set our deeds to the music of a grateful heart, and seek to round our lives into a hymn—the melody of which will be recognized by all who come in contact with us, and the power of which shall not be evanescent, like the voice of the singer, but perennial, like the music of the spheres.

    Wm. M. Taylor.

    Every acknowledgment of gratitude is a circumstance of humiliation; and some are found to submit to frequent mortifications of this kind, proclaiming what obligations they owe, merely because they think it in some measure cancels the debt.


    When gratitude o’erflows the swelling heart, and breathes in free and uncorrupted praise for benefits received, propitious heaven takes such acknowledgment as fragrant incense, and doubles all its blessings.


    It is a very high mind to which gratitude is not a painful sensation. If you wish to please, you will find it wiser to receive, solicit even, favors, than accord them; for the vanity of the obligor is always flattered, that of the obligee rarely.


    Now it was well paid, whoever said it, “That he who hath the loan of money has not repaid it, and he who has repaid has not the loan; but he who has acknowledged a kindness has it still, and he who has a feeling of it has requited it.”


    Among the many acts of gratitude we owe to God, it may be accounted one to study and contemplate the perfections and beauties of His work of creation. Every new discovery must necessarily raise in us a fresh sense of the greatness, wisdom, and power of God.

    Jonathan Edwards.

    How grateful are we—how touched a frank and generous heart is for a kind word extended to us in our pain! The pressure of a tender hand nerves a man for an operation, and cheers him for the dreadful interview with the surgeon.


    As gratitude is a necessary and a glorious, so also is it an obvious, a cheap, and an easy virtue—so obvious that wherever there is life there is place for it, so cheap that the covetous man may be grateful without expense, and so easy that the sluggard may be so likewise without labor.


    As flowers carry dewdrops, trembling on the edges of the petals, and ready to fall at the first waft of wind or brush of bird, so the heart should carry its beaded words of thanksgiving; and at the first breath of heavenly flavor, let down the shower, perfumed with the heart’s gratitude.


    Thus love is the most easy and agreeable, and gratitude the most humiliating, affection of the mind. We never reflect on the man we love without exulting in our choice, while he who has bound us to him by benefits alone rises to our ideas as a person to whom we have in some measure forfeited our freedom.


    If gratitude, when exerted towards another, naturally produces a very pleasing sensation in the mind of a grateful man, it exalts the soul into rapture when it is employed on this great object of gratitude to the beneficent Being who has given us everything we already possess, and from whom we expect everything we yet hope for.


  • Let but the commons hear this testament—
  • Which, pardon me, I do not mean to read—
  • And they would go and kiss dead Cæsar’s wounds
  • And dip their napkins in his sacred blood,
  • Yea, beg a hair of him for memory,
  • And, dying, mention it within their wills,
  • Bequeathing it as a rich legacy
  • Unto their issue.
  • Shakespeare.

    Did you ever think of the reason why the Psalms of David have come, like winged angels, down across all the realms and ages—why they make the key-note of grateful piety in every Christian’s soul, wherever he lives? Why? Because they are so full of gratitude. “Oh, that men would praise the Lord for His goodness and for His wonderful works to the children of men!”

    A. A. Willets.