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


Memory, bosom-spring of joy.


No canvas absorbs color like memory.


Nothing now is left but a majestic memory.


Grant but memory to us, and we can lose nothing by death.


A sealed book, at whose contents we tremble.

L. E. Landon.

Memory, the warder of the brain!


Memory is what makes us young or old.

Alfred de Musset.

Our memories are independent of our wills.


And fondly mourn the dear delusions gone.


We ne’er forget, tho’ there we are forgot.


  • Tho’ lost to sight to mem’ry dear
  • Thou ever wilt remain.
  • Geo. Linley.

    O memory, thou bitter sweet,—both a joy and a scourge!

    Madame de Staël.

  • The sweet remembrance of the just
  • Shall flourish when he sleeps in dust.
  • Tate and Brady.

    Memory tempers prosperity, mitigates adversity, controls youth, and delights old age.


    Memory is ever active, ever true. Alas, if it were only as easy to forget!

    Ninon de Lenclos.

  • To live in hearts we leave behind,
  • Is not to die.
  • Campbell.

    But O for the touch of a vanished hand, and the sound of a voice that is still!


    To endeavor to forget any one is the certain way to think of nothing else.

    La Bruyère.

    It is the treasure-house of the mind, wherein the monuments thereof are kept and preserved.

    Thomas Fuller.

    Memory is not so brilliant as hope, but it is more beautiful, and a thousand times more true.

    George D. Prentice.

    Good things have to be engraved on the memory; bad ones stick there of themselves.

    Charles Reade.

    The leaves of memory seem to make a mournful rustle in the dark.


  • When musing on companions gone,
  • We doubly feel ourselves alone.
  • Scott.

    A man’s real possession is his memory. In nothing else is he rich, in nothing else is he poor.

    Alexander Smith.

  • And scenes, long past, of joy and in pain,
  • Came wildering o’er his aged brain.
  • Scott.

    The memory is the receptacle and sheath of all science.


    What exile from his country is able to escape from himself.


    Thou comest as the memory of a dream, which now is sad because it hath been sweet.


    Memory seldom fails when its office is to show us the tombs of our buried hopes.

    Lady Blessington.

    How can such deep-imprinted images sleep in us at times, till a word, a sound, awake them?


    Memory is the treasury and guardian of all things.


    We must always have old memories and young hopes.

    Arsène Houssaye.

    Experience teaches that a strong memory is generally joined to a weak judgment.


    Hail, Memory, hail! in thy exhaustless mine from age to age unnumbered treasures shine.


    The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living.


    Of all the faculties of the mind, memory is the first that flourishes and the first that dies.


    While memory watches, o’er the sad review of joys that faded like the morning dew.


    Remembrance wakes with all her busy train, swells at my breast, and turns the past to pain.


    Memory is a paradise out of which fate cannot drive us.

    Dumas, Fils.

    Through the shadowy past, like a tomb-searcher, memory ran, lifting each shroud that time had cast o’er buried hopes.


    I have a room whereinto no one enters save I myself alone. There sits a blessed memory on a throne; there my life centres.

    Christina G. Rossetti.

  • Remember thee!
  • Yea, from the table of my memory
  • I’ll wipe away all trivial fond records.
  • Shakespeare.

    A memory without blot or contamination must be an exquisite treasure, an inexhaustible source of pure refreshment.

    Charlotte Brontë.

  • As the dew to the blossoms, the bud to the bee,
  • As the scent to the rose, are those memories to me.
  • Amelia B. Welby.

    There is nothing steadfast in life but our memories. We are sure of keeping intact only that which we have lost.

    Madame Swetchine.

    Memory is the cabinet of imagination, the treasury of reason, the registry of conscience, and the council-chamber of thought.


  • A land of promise, a land of memory,
  • A land of promise flowing with the milk
  • And honey of delicious memories!
  • Tennyson.

    Slight withal may be the things which bring back on the heart the weight which it would fling aside forever.


    Memory is the primary and fundamental power, without which there could be no other intellectual operation.


    The memory is a treasurer to whom we must give funds, if we would draw the assistance we need.


    Memory can glean, but can never renew. It brings us joys faint as is the perfume of the flowers, faded and dried, of the summer that is gone.


    There are moments of life that we never forget, which brighten and brighten as time steals away.

    J. G. Percival.

    The erection of a monument is superfluous; the memory of us will last, if we have deserved it in our lives.

    Pliny the Younger.

    When time has assuaged the wounds of the mind, he who unseasonably reminds us of them, opens them afresh.


  • Ah! memories of sweet summer eves,
  • Of moonlit wave and willowy way,
  • Of stars and flowers, and dewy leaves,
  • And smiles and tones more dear than they!
  • Whittier.

  • The pure memories given
  • To help our joy on earth, when earth is past,
  • Shall help our joy in heaven.
  • Margaret J. Preston.

  • Though varying wishes, hopes, and fears,
  • Fever’d the progress of these years,
  • Yet now, days, weeks, and months but seen
  • The recollection of a dream.
  • Scott.

  • A place in thy memory, Dearest!
  • Is all that I claim:
  • To pause and look back when thou hearest
  • The sound of my name.
  • Gerald Griffin.

  • What peaceful hours I once enjoy’d!
  • How sweet their memory still!
  • But they have left an aching void
  • The world can never fill.
  • Cowper.

  • Oft in the stilly night
  • E’er slumber’s chain has bound me,
  • Fond memory brings the light
  • Of other days around me.
  • Moore.

  • Sweet memory, wafted by the gentle gale,
  • Oft up the stream of time I turn my sail,
  • To view the fancy haunts of long-lost hours,
  • Blest with far greener shades, far lovelier flowers.
  • Rogers.

    Memory is the power to revive again our minds those ideas which after imprinting have disappeared, or have been laid aside out of sight.


    Memory, like a purse, if it be overfull that it cannot shut, all will drop out of it; take heed of a gluttonous curiosity to feed on many things, lest the greediness of the appetite of thy memory spoil the digestion thereof.

    Thomas Fuller.

  • Lull’d in the countless chambers of the brain,
  • Our thoughts are link’d by many a hidden chain;
  • Awake but one, and lo, what myriads rise!
  • Each stamps its image as the other flies!
  • Rogers.

    How are such an infinite number of things placed with such order in the memory, notwithstanding the tumult, marches, and counter-marches of the animal spirits?

    Jeremy Collier.

  • There are moments of life that we never forget,
  • Which brighten, and brighten, as time steals away;
  • They give a new charm to the happiest lot,
  • And they shine on the gloom of the loneliest day.
  • J. G. Percival.

  • Oh, how cruelly sweet are the echoes that start
  • When Memory plays an old tune on the heart!
  • Eliza Cook.

    In literature and art memory is a synonyme for invention. It is the life-blood of imagination, which faints and dies when the veins are empty.


  • Hail, Memory, hail! in thy exhaustless mine
  • From age to age unnumber’d treasures shine!
  • Thought and her shadowy brood thy call obey,
  • And Place and Time are subject to thy sway!
  • Rogers.

    The memory of past favors is like a rainbow, bright, vivid, and beautiful; but it soon fades away. The memory of injuries is engraved on the heart, and remains forever.


  • When time who steals our years away
  • Shall steal our pleasures too,
  • The mem’ry of the past will stay
  • And half our joys renew.
  • Moore.

    How a thing grows in the human memory, in the human imagination, when love, worship, and all that lies in the human heart, is there to encourage it.


  • And when the stream
  • Which overflowed the soul was passed away
  • A consciousness remained that it had left,
  • Deposited upon the silent shore
  • Of memory, images and precious thoughts,
  • That shall not die, and cannot be destroyed.
  • Wordsworth.

    It is a suggestive idea to track those worn feet backward through all the paths they have trodden ever since they were the tender and rosy little feet of a baby, and (cold as they now are) were kept warm in his mother’s hand.

    Nath. Hawthorne.

  • In that instant, o’er his soul
  • Winters of Memory seem’d to roll,
  • And gather in that drop of time
  • A life of pain, an age of crime.
  • O’er him who loves, or hates, or fears,
  • Such moment pours the grief of years.
  • Byron.

    The memory is perpetually looking back when we have nothing present to entertain us. It is like those repositories in animals that are filled with food, on which they may ruminate when their present pastures fail.


    Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean; tears from the depth of some divine despair rise in the heart and gather in the eyes in looking on the happy autumn fields, and thinking of the days that are no more.


    There is a voice from the tomb sweeter than song; there is a remembrance of the dead, to which we turn even from the charms of the living. These we would not exchange for the song of pleasure or the bursts of revelry.

    Washington Irving.

    It is a fact, well attested by experience, that the memory may be seriously injured by pressing upon it too hardly and continuously in early life. Whatever theory we hold as to this great function of our nature, it is certain that its powers are only gradually developed, and that if forced into premature exercise they are impaired by the effort.

    Sir H. Holland.

  • I remember, I remember,
  • The house where I was born,
  • The little window where the sun
  • Came peeping in at morn;
  • He never came a wink too soon,
  • Nor brought too long a day,
  • But now, I often wish the night
  • Had borne my breath away!
  • Hood.

  • When I remember all
  • The friends so link’d together,
  • I’ve seen around me fall,
  • Like leaves in wintry weather
  • I feel like one who treads alone
  • Some banquet hall deserted,
  • Whose lights are fled, whose garlands dead,
  • And all but he departed.
  • Moore.

    The course of none has been along so beaten a road that they remember not fondly some resting-places in their journeys, some turns of their path in which lovely prospects broke in upon them, some soft plats of green refreshing to their weary feet. Confiding love, generous friendship, disinterested humanity, require no recondite learning, no high imagination, to enable an honest heart to appreciate and feel them.


  • I’ve wandered east, I’ve wandered west,
  • I’ve bourne a weary lot;
  • But in my wanderings far or near
  • Ye never were forgot.
  • The fount that first burst frae this heart
  • Still travels on its way
  • And channels deeper as it rins
  • The luve o’ life’s young day.
  • Wm. Motherwell.

    It is an old saying, that we forget nothing, as people in fever begin suddenly to talk the language of their infancy; we are stricken by memory sometimes, and old affections rush back on us as vivid as in the time when they were our daily talk, when their presence gladdened our eyes, when their accents thrilled in our ears,—when, with passionate tears and grief, we flung ourselves upon their hopeless corpses. Parting is death,—at least, as far as life is concerned. A passion comes to an end; it is carried off in a coffin, or, weeping in a postchaise, it drops out of life one way or the other, and the earth-clods close over it, and we see it no more. But it has been part of our souls, and it is eternal.


    Certainly it is one of the most blessed things about “the faith that is in Christ Jesus,” that it makes a man remember his own sinfulness with penitence, not with pain—that it makes the memory of past transgressions full of solemn joy, because the memory of past transgressions but brings to mind the depth and rushing fullness of that river of love which has swept them all away as far as the east is from the west. Oh, my brother, you cannot forget your sins; but it lies within your own decision whether the remembrance shall be thankfulness and blessedness, or whether it shall be pain and loss forever.

    Alexander Maclaren.