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


Great pleasures are serious.


Pleasure limps for him who enjoys it alone.

J. Petit-Senn.

Fly the pleasure that bites to-morrow.

George Herbert.

A man of pleasure is a man of pains.


Pleasure itself is painful at the bottom.


There is a pleasure which is born of pain.

Lord Lytton.

Pleasure is far sweeter as a recitation than a business.

Roswell D. Hitchcock.

The shortest pleasures are the sweetest.


Pleasure has no logic; it never treads in its own footsteps.

Alexander Smith.

There is no sterner moralist than pleasure.


A fool to pleasure, yet a slave to fame.


Pleasures can undo a man at any time, if yielded to.


Pleasure can be supported by illusion, but happiness rests upon truth.


Great pleasures are much less frequent than great pains.


Most pleasures embrace us but to strangle.


Pleasure’s couch is virtue’s grave.


Pleasure of every kind quickly satisfies.


Rare indulgence produces greater pleasure.


God made all pleasures innocent.

Mrs. Norton.

There is no pleasure without a tincture of bitterness.


  • Death treads in pleasure’s footsteps round the world,
  • When pleasure treads the paths which reason shuns.
  • Young.

    Choose such pleasures as recreate much and cost little.


  • Pleasure, or wrong or rightly understood,
  • Our greatest evil, or our greatest good.
  • Pope.

    Mistake not. Those pleasures are not pleasures that trouble the quiet and tranquillity of thy life.

    Jeremy Taylor.

    I should rejoice if my pleasures were as pleasing to God as they are to myself.

    Marguerite de Valois.

    We tire of those pleasures we take, but never of those we give.

    J. Petit-Senn.

    It is characteristic of pleasure that we can never recognize it to be pleasure till after it is gone.

    Alexander Smith.

    Pleasure never comes sincere to man; but lent by heaven upon hard usury.


  • Though sages may pour out their wisdom’s treasure,
  • There is no sterner moralist than pleasure.
  • Byron.

    All the human race, from China to Peru, pleasure, howe’er disguised by art, pursue.

    Thomas Warton.

    He who seeks to imbitter innocent pleasure has a cancer in his heart.


  • I built my soul a lordly pleasure-house,
  • Wherein at ease for aye to dwell.
  • Tennyson.

    Consider pleasures as they depart, not as they come.


    Pain may be said to follow pleasure as its shadow.


    But pleasures are like poppies spread; you seize the flower, its bloom is shed!


    Pleasure makes our youth inglorious, our age shameful.


    The greatest of all pleasures is to give pleasure to one whom we love.


    The public pleasures of far the greater part of mankind are counterfeit.


    He that would have the perfection of pleasure must be moderate in the use of it.

    Benjamin Whichcote.

    The inward pleasure of imparting pleasure—that is the choicest of all.


    He who can at all times sacrifice pleasure to duty approaches sublimity.


    All pleasures are commendable that do not culminate in regret.

    Mme. de Maintenon.

    The rule of my life is to make business a pleasure, and pleasure my business.

    Aaron Burr.

  • Ever let the Fancy roam,
  • Pleasure never is at home.
  • Keats.

  • Take all the pleasure of all the spheres,
  • And multiply each through endless years,
  • One minute of Heaven is worth them all.
  • Moore.

    Put this restriction on your pleasures; be cautious that they injure no being which has life.


    For the bow cannot stand always bent, nor can human nature or human frailty subsist without some lawful recreation.


    Let not the enjoyment of pleasures now within your grasp be carried to such excess as to incapacitate you from future repetition.


  • Reason’s whole pleasure, all the joys of sense,
  • Lie in three words,—health, peace, and competence.
  • Pope.

  • Pleasure admitted in undue degree
  • Enslaves the will, nor leaves the judgment free.
  • Cowper.

    The most delicate, the most sensible, of all pleasures consists in promoting the pleasures of others.

    La Bruyère.

    Why, all delights are vain; but that most vain which with pain purchased doth inherit pain.


    The seeds of repentance are sown in youth by pleasure, but the harvest is reaped in age by pain.


    Remember that thy heart will shed its pleasures as thine eye its tears, and both leave loathsome furrows.


    Pleasure has its time; so too has wisdom. Make love in thy youth, and in old age attend to thy salvation.


    Pleasures of the mind have this advantage,—they never cloy nor wear themselves out, but increase by employment.

    Frances Power Cobbe.

    There is no such thing as pure, unalloyed pleasure; some bitter ever mingles with the sweet.


    Where solid pains succeed our senseless joys, and short-lived pleasures pass like fleeting dreams.


  • There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
  • There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
  • There is society where none intrudes
  • By the deep Sea, and music in its roar.
  • Byron.

    The amiable is the voluptuous in expression or manner. The sense of pleasure in ourselves is that which excites it in others; or, the art of pleasing is to seem pleased.


  • Pleasures lie thickest where no pleasures seem;
  • There’s not a leaf that falls upon the ground
  • But holds some joy of silence or of sound,
  • Some sprite begotten of a summer dream.
  • Blanchard.

    Pleasure seizes the whole man who addicts himself to it, and will not give him leisure for any good office in life which contradicts the gayety of the present hour.


    Mental pleasures never cloy; unlike those of the body, they are increased by repetition, approved of by reflection, and strengthened by enjoyment.


    When the idea of any pleasure strikes your imagination, make a just computation between the duration of the pleasure and that of the repentance that is likely to follow it.


    The end of pleasure is to support the offices of life, to relieve the fatigues of business, to reward a regular action, and to encourage the continuance.

    Jeremy Collier.

    A man would have no pleasures in discovering all the beauties of the universe, even in heaven itself, unless he had a partner with whom he might share his joys.


    The roses of pleasure seldom last long enough to adorn the brow of him who plucks them; for they are the only roses which do not retain their sweetness after they have lost their beauty.

    Hannah More.

    The pleasures of the world are deceitful; they promise more than they give. They trouble us in seeking them, they do not satisfy us when possessing them, and they make us despair in losing them.

    Mme. De Lambert.

    If you suppress the exorbitant love of pleasure and money, idle curiosity, iniquitous pursuits and wanton mirth, what a stillness would there be in the great cities! The necessaries of life do not occasion at most a third part of the hurry.

    La Bruyère.

    Would you judge of the lawfulness or unlawfulness of pleasures, take this rule: whatever weakens your reason impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, or takes off the relish of spiritual things: in short, whatever increases the strength and authority of your body over your mind, that thing is sin to you, however innocent it may be in itself.


    Relaxation is a physical and moral necessity. Animals, even to the simplest and dullest, have their games, their sports, their diversions. The toil-worn artisan, stooping and straining over his daily task, which taxes eye and brain and limb, ought to have opportunity and means for an hour or two of relaxation after that task is concluded.

    Horace Greeley.

    People should be guarded against temptation to unlawful pleasures by furnishing them the means of innocent ones. In every community there must be pleasures, relaxations and means of agreeable excitement; and if innocent are not furnished, resort will be had to criminal. Man was made to enjoy as well as labor, and the state of society should be adapted to this principle of human nature.


  • Pleasure’s the only noble end
  • To which all human powers should tend;
  • And virtue gives her heavenly lore,
  • But to make pleasure please us more!
  • Wisdom and she were both design’d
  • To make the senses more refined,
  • That man might revel free from cloying,
  • Then most a sage, when most enjoying!
  • Moore.