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


Demoniac frenzy, moping melancholy.


Melancholy is the nurse of frenzy.


Melancholy is the pleasure of being sad.

Victor Hugo.

A lazy frost, a numbness of the mind.


I can suck melancholy out of a song.


There is not a string attuned to mirth but has its chord of melancholy.


Great men are always of a nature originally melancholy.


Melancholy is the convalescence of grief.

Madame Dufrénoy.

Melancholy is a fearful gift. What is it but the telescope of truth!


No grief so soft, no pain so sweet, as love’s delicious melancholy.

Mrs. Osgood.

How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable seem to me all the uses of this world!


It is impious in a good man to be sad.


Employment and hardships prevent melancholy.


Nothing is so dainty sweet as lovely melancholy.

Samuel Fletcher.

Melancholy advanceth men’s conceits more than any humor whatever.


O melancholy, who ever yet could sound thy bottom?


We’re not ourselves when Nature, being oppressed, commands the mind to suffer with the body.


Religion is no friend to laziness and stupidity, or to supine and sottish despondencies of mind.

Jeremy Taylor.

  • Melancholy
  • Is not, as you conceive, indisposition
  • Of body, but the mind’s disease.
  • John Ford.

    Melancholy spreads itself betwixt heaven and earth, like envy between man and man, and is an everlasting mist.


  • Oh, if you knew the pensive pleasure
  • That fills my bosom when I sigh,
  • You would not rob me of a treasure
  • Monarchs are too, poor to buy.
  • Sam’l Rogers.

    In sooth, I know not why I am so sad; it wearies me. You say it wearies you; but how I caught it, found it, or came by it, what stuff ’tis made of, whereof it is born, I am to learn.


    If you are melancholy for the first time, you will find, upon a little inquiry, that others have been melancholy many times, and yet are cheerful now.

    Leigh Hunt.

    Melancholy sees the worst of things,—things as they may be, and not as they are. It looks upon a beautiful face, and sees but a grinning skull.


    There were moments of despondency when Shakespeare thought himself no poet, and Raphael no painter; when the greatest wits have doubted the excellence of their happiest efforts.


  • With eyes uprais’d, as one inspir’d,
  • Pale melancholy sat retir’d,
  • And from her wild sequester’d seat,
  • In notes by distance made more sweet,
  • Pour’d through the mellow horn her pensive soul.
  • Collins.

    When soured by disappointment, we must endeavor to pursue some fixed and pleasing course of study, that there may be no blank leaf in our book of life. Painful and disagreeable ideas vanish from the mind that can fix its attention upon any subject.


    Whatever is highest and holiest is tinged with melancholy. The eye of genius has always a plaintive expression, and its natural language is pathos. A prophet is sadder than other men; and He who was greater than all prophets was “a man of sorrow and acquainted with grief.”

    Mrs. L. M. Child.

  • Ah, there are moments for us here, when, seeing
  • Life’s inequalities, and woe, and care,
  • The burdens laid upon our mortal being
  • Seem heavier than the human heart can bear.
  • Phœbe Cary.

    There are some people who think that they should be always mourning, that they should put a continual constraint upon themselves, and feel a disgust for those amusements to which they are obliged to submit. For my own part, I confess that I know not how to conform myself to these rigid notions. I prefer something more simple, which I also think would be more pleasing to God.


  • O’er the twilight groves and dusky caves,
  • Long-sounding aisles, and intermingled graves,
  • Black Melancholy sits, and round her throws
  • A death-like silence and a dread repose;
  • Her gloomy presence saddens all the scene,
  • Shades ev’ry flower, and darkens ev’ry green;
  • Deepens the murmur of the falling floods,
  • And breathes a browner horror on the woods.
  • Pope.

    I once gave a lady two-and-twenty receipts against melancholy: one was a bright fire; another, to remember all the pleasant things said to her; another, to keep a box of sugarplums on the chimney-piece and a kettle simmering on the hob. I thought this mere trifling at the moment, but have in after life discovered how true it is that these little pleasures often banish melancholy better than higher and more exalted objects; and that no means ought to be thought too trifling which can oppose it either in ourselves or in others.

    Sydney Smith.

  • I have neither the scholar’s melancholy,
  • Which is emulation; nor the musician’s,
  • Which is fantastical; nor the courtier’s,
  • Which is pride; nor the soldier’s, which is
  • Ambition; nor the lawyer’s, which is politic;
  • Nor the lady’s, which is nice; nor the lover’s,
  • Which is all these: but it is a melancholy
  • Of mine own; compounded of many simples,
  • Extracted from many objects, and, indeed,
  • The sundry contemplation of my travels;
  • In which my often rumination wraps me
  • In a most hum’rous sadness.
  • Shakespeare.