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


Without one glimpse of reason or of heaven.


O, that way madness lies; let me shun that.


Why, this is very midsummer madness.


Moody madness laughing wild.


Though this be madness, yet there is method in it.


Madness in great ones must not unwatch’d go.


  • There is a pleasure in being mad,
  • Which none but madmen know.
  • Dryden.

    Insane people easily detect the nonsense of other people.

    Dr. John Hallam.

    Insanity is often the logic of an accurate mind overtasked.

    O. W. Holmes.

    The dreamer is a madman quiescent; the madman is a dreamer in action.

    F. H. Hedge.

    O this poor brain! ten thousand shapes of fury are whirling there, and reason is no more.


  • That he is mad, ’tis true; ’tis true, ’tis pity;
  • And pity ’tis ’tis true.
  • Shakespeare.

    How see that noble and most sovereign reason, like sweet bells jangled, out of time, and harsh.


    Montesquieu wittily observes that, by building professed madhouses, men tacitly insinuate that all who are out of their senses are to be found only in those places.


  • I am not mad; I would to heaven I were!
  • For then, ’tis like I should forget myself;
  • O, if I could, what grief should I forget!
  • Shakespeare.

  • Alas, how is ’t with you,
  • That you do bend your eye on vacancy,
  • And with the incorporal air do hold discourse?
  • Shakespeare.

  • How pregnant, sometimes, his replies are!
  • A happiness that often madness hits on,
  • Which sanity and reason could not be
  • So prosp’rously deliv’r’d of.
  • Shakespeare.

    Madness is consistent; which is more than can be said for poor reason. Whatever may be the ruling passion at the time continues equally so throughout the whole delirium, though it should last for life. Madmen are always constant in love; which no man in his senses ever was. Our passions and principles are steady in frenzy; but begin to shift and waver, as we return to reason.


  • Of lunacy,
  • Innumerous were the causes; humbled pride,
  • Ambition disappointed, riches lost,
  • And bodily disease, and sorrow, oft
  • By man inflicted on his brother man;
  • Sorrow, that made the reason drunk, and yet
  • Left much untasted. So the cup was fill’d.
  • Pollok.

    Many a man is mad in certain instances, and goes through life without having it perceived. For example, a madness has seized a person of supposing himself obliged literally to pray continually; had the madness turned the opposite way, and the person thought it a crime ever to pray, it might not improbably have continued unobserved.

    Dr. Johnson.