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


Remorse is the fruit of crime.


Remorse, the fatal egg by pleasure laid.


Remorse is the echo of a lost virtue.


Remorse is virtue’s root.


Remorse weeps tears of blood.


So writhes the mind remorse hath riven.


Remorse turns us against ourselves.


Remorse is the pain of sin.

Theodore Parker.

Remorse sleeps in the atmosphere of prosperity.


The hell within him.


I believe that remorse is the least active of all a man’s moral senses.


One of those terrible moments when the wheel of passion stands suddenly still.


  • Abandon all remorse;
  • On horror’s head horrors accumulate.
  • Shakespeare.

    To be left alone, and face to face with my own crime, had been just retribution.


    God speaks to our hearts through the voice of remorse.

    De Bernis.

    Judgment hath bred a kind of remorse in me.


  • Farewell, remorse: all good to me is lost;
  • Evil, be thou my good.
  • Milton.

    That is the bitterest of all,—to wear the yoke of our own wrongdoing.

    George Eliot.

    I am afraid to think what I have done; look on it again I dare not.


    Remorse is virtue’s root; its fair increase are fruits of innocence and blessedness.


    To consume an honest soul with remorse is the greatest of all crimes.

    Mademoiselle Clairon.

    Remorse of conscience is like an old wound; a man is in no condition to fight under such circumstances.

    Jeremy Collier.

    There is no heart without remorse, no life without some misfortune, no one but what is something stained with sin.

    James Ellis.

    Sin and hedgehogs are born without spikes; but how they prick and wound after their birth, we all know.


    A man’s first care should be to avoid the reproaches of his own heart; his next, to escape the censures of the world.


    There is anguish in the recollection that we have not adequately appreciated the affection of those whom we have loved and lost.


    It is better to be affected with a true penitent sorrow for sin than to be able to resolve the most difficult cases about it.

    Thomas à Kempis.

    We can prostrate ourselves in the dust when we have committed a fault, but it is not best to remain there.


    There is no man that is knowingly wicked but is guilty to himself; and there is no man that carries guilt about him but he receives a sting in his soul.


    For my part, I believe that remorse is the least active of all a man’s moral senses,—the very easiest to be deadened when wakened, and in some never wakened at all.


  • To be left alone
  • And face to face with my own crime, had been
  • Just retribution.
  • Longfellow.

    Urge them while their souls are capable of this ambition, lest zeal, now melted by the windy breath of soft petitions, pity and remorse, cool and congeal again to what it was.


    Remorse is the punishment of crime; repentance, its expiation. The former appertains to a tormented conscience; the later to a soul changed for the better.


  • High minds, of native pride and force,
  • Most deeply feel thy pangs, Remorse!
  • Fear, for their scourge, mean villains have,
  • Thou art the torturer of the brave!
  • Scott.

  • Remorse, the fatal egg by pleasure laid,
  • In every bosom where her nest is made,
  • Hatched by the beams of truth, denies him rest,
  • And proves a raging scorpion in his breast.
  • Cowper.

    There is a mental fatigue which is a spurious kind of remorse, and has all the anguish of the nobler feeling. It is an utter weariness and prostration of spirit, a sickness of heart and mind, a bitter longing to lie down and die.

    Miss M. E. Braddon.

  • Remorse is as the heart in which it grows,
  • If that be gentle, it drops balmy dews
  • Of true repentance; but if proud and gloomy,
  • It is the poison tree that, pierced to the inmost,
  • Weeps only tears of poison.
  • Coleridge.

    The greatest chastisement that a man may receive who hath outraged another, is to have done the outrage; and there is no man who is so rudely punished as he that is subject to the whip of his own repentance.


    There are evil spirits who suddenly fix their abode in man’s unguarded breast, causing us to commit devilish deeds, and then, hurrying back to their native hell, leave behind the stings of remorse in the poisoned bosom.


  • Unnatural deeds
  • Do breed unnatural troubles: infected minds
  • To their deaf pillows will discharge their secrets:
  • More needs she the divine than the physician.
  • Shakespeare.

  • So do the dark in soul expire,
  • Or live like scorpion girt by fire;
  • So writhes the mind remorse hath riven,
  • Unfit for earth, undoom’d for heaven,
  • Darkness above, despair beneath,
  • Around it flame, within it death.
  • Byron.

  • Not sharp revenge, nor hell itself can find,
  • A fiercer torment than a guilty mind,
  • Which day and night doth dreadfully accuse,
  • Condemns the wretch, and still the charge renews.
  • Dryden.

    Remorse is a man’s dread prerogative, and is the natural accompaniment of his constitution as a knowing, voluntary agent, left in trust with his own welfare and that of others. Remorse, if we exclude the notion of responsibility, is an enigma in human nature never to be explained.

    Isaac Taylor.

  • Cruel Remorse! where Youth and Pleasure sport,
  • And thoughtless Folly keeps her court,—
  • Crouching ’midst rosy bowers thou lurk’st unseen;
  • Slumbering the festal hours away,
  • While Youth disports in that enchanting scene;
  • Till on some fated day
  • Thou with a tiger-spring dost leap upon thy prey,
  • And tear his helpless breast, o’erwhelmed with wild dismay.
  • Anna Letitia Barbauld.

    Not even for an hour can you bear to be alone, nor can you advantageously apply your leisure time, but you endeavor, a fugitive and wanderer, to escape from yourself, now vainly seeking to banish remorse by wine, and now by sleep; but the gloomy companion presses on you, and pursues you as you fly.


    Sharp and fell remorse, the offspring of my sin! Why do you, O God, lacerate my heart so late? Why, O boding cries, that scream so close to me,—why do I listen to you now, and never heard you before?