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


The palpable obscure.


Lost in the dreary shades of dull obscurity.


Content thyself to be obscurely good.


The obscurity of a writer is generally in proportion to his incapacity.


The swallowing gulf of dark forgetfulness and deep oblivion.


He who has lived obscurely and quietly has lived well.


  • How happy is the blameless vestal’s lot!
  • The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
  • Pope.

  • Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
  • And waste its sweetness on the desert air.
  • Gray.

    Obscurity and Innocence, twin sisters, escape temptations which would pierce their gossamer armor, in contact with the world.


  • I give the fight up; let there be an end,
  • A privacy, an obscure nook for me,
  • I want to be forgotten even by God.
  • Robert Browning.

    There is no defense against reproach but obscurity; it is a kind of concomitant to greatness, as satires and invectives were an essential part of a Roman triumph.


  • Thus let me live, unseen, unknown,
  • Thus unlamented let me die;
  • Steal from the world, and not a stone
  • Tell where I lie.
  • Pope.

    To be nameless in worthy deeds exceeds an infamous history. The Canaanitish woman lives more happily without a name than Herodias with one; and who would not rather have been the penitent thief than Pilate?

    Sir Thomas Browne.

  • Some write their wrongs in marble: he more just,
  • Stoop’d down serene and wrote them in the dust,
  • Trod under foot, the sport of every wind,
  • Swept from the earth and blotted from his mind.
  • There, secret in the grave, he bade them lie,
  • And grieved they could not ’scape the Almighty eye.
  • Samuel Madden.