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


The multitude is always in the wrong.


Mobs are multiplied ignorance.

Sir W. Jones.

The scum that rises upmost, when the nation boils.


The mob has nothing to lose, everything to gain.


License they mean when they cry liberty.


  • The multitude unaw’d is insolent;
  • Once seiz’d with fear, contemptible and vain.
  • Mallet.

    The blind monster with uncounted heads, the still discordant, wavering multitude.


    The mob is man voluntarily descending to the nature of the beast.


    It has been very truly said that the mob has many heads, but no brains.


    Mankind in the gross is a gaping monster, that loves to be deceived, and has seldom been disappointed.


    It is the proof of a bad cause when it is applauded by the mob.


    The mob have neither judgment nor principle,—ready to bawl at night for the reverse of what they desired in the morning.


    The mob is a monster, with the hands of Briareus, but the head of Polyphemus,—strong to execute, but blind to perceive.


    The dregs may stir themselves as they please; they fall back to the bottom by their own coarseness.


  • ’Tis ever thus: indulgence spoils the base;
  • Raising up pride, and lawless turbulence,
  • Like noxious vapors from the fulsome marsh
  • When morning shines upon it.
  • Joanna Baillie.

    Let there be an entire abstinence from intoxicating drinks throughout this country during the period of a single generation, and a mob would be as impossible as combustion without oxygen.

    Horace Mann.

    The mob is a sort of bear; while your ring is through its nose, it will even dance under your cudgel; but should the ring slip, and you lose your hold, the brute will turn and rend you.

    Jane Porter.

  • Inconstant, blind,
  • Deserting friends at need, and duped by foes;
  • Loud and seditious, when a chief inspired
  • Their headlong fury, but, of him deprived,
  • Already slaves that lick’d the scourging hand.
  • Thomson.

  • What would you have, you curs,
  • That like nor peace, nor war? the one affrights you,
  • The other makes you proud. He that trusts to you,
  • Where he should find you lions, finds you hares;
  • Where foxes, geese: you are no surer, no,
  • Than is the coal of fire upon the ice,
  • Or hailstone in the sun.
  • Shakespeare.

    A mob is usually a creature of very mysterious existence, particularly in a large city. Where it comes from, or whither it goes, few men can tell. Assembling and dispersing with equal suddenness. It is as difficult to follow to its various sources as the sea itself; nor does the parallel stop here, for the ocean is not more fickle and uncertain, more terrible when roused, more unreasonable or more cruel.


    The many-headed multitude, whom inconstancy only doth by accident guide to well-doing! Who can set confidence there, where company takes away shame, and each may lay the fault upon his fellow?

    Sir P. Sidney.

    It is an easy and vulgar thing to please the mob, and not a very arduous task to astonish them; but essentially to benefit and to improve them is a work fraught with difficulty, and teeming with danger.


  • They praise, and they admire they know not what,
  • And know not whom, but as one leads the other;
  • And what delight to be by such extoll’d,
  • To live upon their tongues, and be their talk,
  • Of whom to be disprais’d were no small praise?
  • Milton.

    When roused to rage the maddening populace storms, their fury, like a rolling flame, bursts forth unquenchable; but give its violence ways, it spends itself, and as its force abates, learns to obey and yields it to your will.