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


The present moment is a powerful deity.


The present eye praises the present object.


Live this day as if the last.

Bishop Kerr.

This moment is a flower too fair and brief.


Each present joy or sorrow seems the chief.


Duty and to-day are ours; results and futurity belong to God.

Horace Greeley.

One of our poets—which is it?—speaks of an everlasting now.


Devote each day to the object then in time, and every evening will find something done.


Man—living, feeling man—is the easy sport of the overmastering present.


In the parliament of the present every man represents a constituency of the past.


He who neglects the present moment throws away all he has.


The present is never a happy state to any human being.

Dr. Johnson.

’Tis but a short journey across the isthmus of Now.


We may make our future by the best use of the present. There is no moment like the present.

Miss Edgeworth.

The present is the living sum-total of the whole past.


It is children only who enjoy the present; their elders either live on the memory of the past or the hope of the future.


What is really momentous and all-important with us is the present, by which the future is shaped and colored.


Let us attend to the present, and as to the future we shall know how to manage when the occasion arrives.


Let us enjoy the fugitive hour. Man has no harbor, time has no shore; it rushes on, and carries us with it.


Shakespeare says, we are creatures that look before and after; the more surprising that we do not look around a little, and see what is passing under our very eyes.


Shun to seek what is hid in the womb of the morrow, and set down as gain in life’s ledger whatever time fate shall have granted thee.


Every day is a gift I receive from heaven; let us enjoy to-day that which it bestows on me. It belongs not more to the young than to me, and to-morrow belongs to no one.


Enjoy the blessings of this day if God sends them; and the evils bear patiently and sweetly. For this day only is ours; we are dead to yesterday, and we are not born to to-morrow.

Jeremy Taylor.

Take all reasonable advantage of that which the present may offer you. It is the only time which is ours. Yesterday is buried forever, and to-morrow we may never see.

Victor Hugo.

Try to be happy in this present moment, and put not off being so to a time to come,—as though that time should be of another make from this, which has already come and is ours.


The present hour is always wealthiest when it is poorer than the future ones, as that is the pleasantest site which affords the pleasantest prospect.


Of the present state, whatever it be, we feel and are forced to confess the misery; yet when the same state is again at a distance, imagination paints it as desirable.

Dr. Johnson.

One of the illusions is that the present hour is not the critical, decisive hour. Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. No man has learned anything rightly, until he knows that every day is Doomsday.


Busy not yourself in looking forward to the events of to-morrow; but whatever may be those of the days Providence may yet assign you neglect not to turn them to advantage.


Look upon every day, O youth, as the whole of life, not merely as a section, and enjoy the present without wishing through haste, to spring on to another.


  • The Present, the Present is all thou hast
  • For thy sure possessing;
  • Like the patriarch’s angel hold it fast
  • Till it gives its blessing.
  • Whittier.

    If we stand in the openings of the present moment, with all the length and breadth of our faculties unselfishly adjusted to what it reveals, we are in the best condition to receive what God is always ready to communicate.

    T. C. Upham.

    Men spend their lives in anticipations, in determining to be vastly happy at some period or other, when they have time. But the present time has one advantage over every other—it is our own. Past opportunities are gone, future are not come.


    Make use of time, if thou lovest eternity; know yesterday cannot be recalled, to-morrow cannot be assured: to-day is only thine; which if thou procrastinate, thou losest; which lost, is lost forever: one to-day is worth two to-morrows.


  • Something beyond! The immortal morning stands
  • Above the night, clear shines her prescient brow;
  • The pendulous star in her transfigured hands
  • Lights up the Now.
  • Mary Clemmer.

    Abridge your hopes in proportion to the shortness of the span of human life; for while we converse, the hours, as if envious of our pleasure, fly away; enjoy, therefore, the present time, and trust not too much to what to-morrow may produce.


    Let any man examine his thoughts, and he will find them ever occupied with the past or the future. We scarcely think at all of the present; or if we do, it is only to borrow the light which it gives, for regulating the future. The present is never our object; the past and the present we use as means; the future only is our end. Thus, we never live, we only hope to live!


  • What avails it that indulgent Heaven
  • From mortal eyes has wrapt the woes to come,
  • If we, ingenious to torment ourselves,
  • Grow pale at hideous fictions of our own?
  • Enjoy the present; nor with needless cares
  • Of what may spring from blind misfortune’s womb,
  • Appal the surest hour that life bestows.
  • Serene, and master of yourself, prepare
  • For what may come; and leave the rest to Heaven.
  • Armstrong.