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


Method is the arithmetic of success.

H. W. Shaw.

Methods are the masters of masters.


Make the most of time, it flies away so fast; yet method will teach you to win time.


Method is the hinge of business, and there is no method without order and punctuality.

Hannah More.

To live is not to learn, but to apply.

E. Legouvé.

Method, like perseverance, wins in the long run.


Dispatch is the soul of business; and nothing contributes more to dispatch than method. Lay down a method for everything, and stick to it inviolably, as far as unexpected incidents may allow.

Lord Chesterfield.

Irregularity and want of method are only supportable in men of great learning or genius, who are often too full to be exact, and therefore choose to throw down their pearls in heaps before the reader rather than be at the pains of stringing them.


You must elect your work; you shall take what your brains can, and drop all the rest. Only so can that amount of vital force accumulate which can make the step from knowing to doing. No matter how much faculty of idle seeing a man has, the step from knowing to doing is rarely taken. It is a step out of a chalk circle of imbecility into fruitfulness.


Method means primarily a way or path of transit. From this we are to understand that the first idea of method is a progressive transition from one step to another in any course. If in the right course, it will be the true method; if in the wrong, we cannot hope to progress.


Though every one who possesses merit is not necessarily a great man, yet every great man must possess it in a very superior degree, whether he be a poet, a philosopher, a statesman, a general; for every great man exhibits the talent of organization or construction, whether it be in a poem, a philosophical system, a policy, or a strategy. And without method there is no organization nor construction.


Method is essential, and enables a larger amount of wort to be got with satisfaction. “Method,” said Cecil (afterward Lord Burleigh), “is like packing things in a box; a good packer will get in half as much again as a bad one.” Cecil’s despatch of business was extraordinary; his maxim being, “The shortest way to do many things is to do only one thing at once.”

Samuel Smiles.