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


The paralysis of the soul.


The canker-worm of every gentle breast.


Lives spent in indolence, and therefore sad.


The sluggard is a living insensible.


Indolence is the sleep of the mind.


Indolence is the devil’s cushion.

Dr. Johnson.

As a sex, women are habitually indolent; and everything tends to make them so.

Mary Wollstonecraft.

A useless life is but an early death.


Nothing is difficult; it is only we who are indolent.

B. R. Haydon.

Indolence and stupidity are first cousins.


Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.


What is often called indolence is in fact the unconscious consciousness of incapacity.

H. C. Robinson.

The want of occupation is no less the plague of society than of solitude.


The desire of leisure is much more natural than of business and care.

Sir W. Temple.

We bring forth weeds when our quick minds lie still.


Indolence, languid as it is, often masters both passions and virtues.

La Rochefoucauld.

Who conquers indolence conquers all other hereditary sins.


Thou seest how sloth wastes the sluggish body, as water is corrupted unless it moves.


Never suffer youth to be an excuse for inadequacy, nor age and fame to be an excuse for indolence.

B. R. Haydon.

We have more indolence in the mind than in the body.

La Rochefoucauld.

I look upon indolence as a sort of suicide; for the man is effectually destroyed, though the appetite of the brute may survive.


It should seem that indolence itself would incline a person to be honest; as it requires infinitely greater pains and contrivance to be a knave.


Indolence is the worst enemy that the church has to encounter. Men sleep around her altar, stretching themselves on beds of ease, or sit idly with folded hands looking lazily out on fields white for the harvest, but where no sickle rings against the wheat.

Bishop Huntington.

If men were weaned from their sauntering humor, wherein they let a good part of their lives run uselessly away, they would acquire skill in hundreds of things.


An idle man has a constant tendency to torpidity. He has adopted the Indian maxim that it is better to walk than to run, and better to stand than to walk, and better to sit than to stand, and better to lie than to sit. He hugs himself into the notion, that God calls him to be quiet.

Richard Cecil.

If you ask me which is the real hereditary sin of human nature, do you imagine I shall answer pride, or luxury, or ambition, or egotism? No; I shall say indolence. Who conquers indolence will conquer all the rest. Indeed all good principles must stagnate without mental activity.


To do nothing is in every man’s power; we can never want an opportunity of omitting duties. The lapse to indolence is soft and imperceptible, because it is only a mere cessation of activity; but the return to diligence is difficult, because it implies a change from rest to motion, from a privation to reality.

Dr. Johnson.