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


Gravity is a kind of quackery.

Mme. de Motteville.

Gravity is more suggestive than convincing.

Douglas Jerrold.

Too much gravity argues a shallow mind.


Gravity is the ballast of the soul.


There is a gravity which is not austere nor captious, which belongs not to melancholy nor dwells in contraction of heart; but arises from tenderness and hangs upon reflection.


The body’s wisdom to conceal the mind.


Piety enjoins no man to be dull.


Gravity is the best cloak for sin in all countries.


Gravity is a mysterious carriage of the body invented to cover the defects of the mind.

La Rochefoucauld.

Gravity is only the bark of wisdom, but it preserves it.


Is there anything so grave and serious as an ass?


There is gravity in wisdom, but no particular wisdom in gravity.

H. W. Shaw.

Men of gravity are intellectual stammerers, whose thoughts move slowly.


To how many blockheads of my time has a cold and taciturn demeanor procured the credit of prudence and capacity!


Gravity is of the very essence of imposture; it does not only mistake other things, but is apt perpetually almost to mistake itself.


A grave aspect to a grave character is of much more consequence than the world is generally aware of; a barber may make you laugh, but a surgeon ought rather to make you cry.


I think it is the most beautiful and humane thing in the world, so to mingle gravity with pleasure that the one may not sink into melancholy, nor the other rise up into wantonness.

Pliny the Elder.

There is a false gravity that is a very ill symptom; and it may be said that as rivers, which run very slowly, have always the most mud at the bottom: so a solid stiffness in the constant course of a man’s life, is a sign of a thick bed of mud at the bottom of his brain.


Yorick sometimes, in his wild way of talking, would say that gravity was an arrant scoundrel, and, he would add, of the most dangerous kind, too, because a sly one; and that he verily believed more honest well-meaning people were bubbled out of their goods and money by it in one twelvemonth than by pocket-picking and shop-lifting in seven.


The very essence of gravity was design, and, consequently, deceit; it was a taught trick to gain credit of the world for more sense and knowledge than a man was worth; and that with all its pretensions it was no better, but often worse, than what a French wit had long ago defined it—a mysterious carriage of the body to cover the defects of the mind.