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


Modesty and dew love the shade.


Love prefers twilight to daylight.

O. W. Holmes.

The statesman, lawyer, merchant, man of trade, pants for the refuge of some rural shade.


To fly from, need not be to hate, mankind; all are not fit with them to stir and toil.


Domestic worth, that shuns too strong a light.

Lord Lyttleton.

Scipio, great in his triumphs, in retirement great.


That woman is happiest whose life is passed in the shadow of a manly, loving heart.

Mme. Necker.

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


Virtues that shun the day, and lie concealed in the smooth seasons and the calm of life.


Woman is a flower that breathes its perfume in the shade only.


  • O happiness of sweet retir’d content!
  • To be at once secure and innocent.
  • Denham.

  • Retiring from the popular noise, I seek
  • This unfrequented place to find some ease.
  • Milton.

    No noise, no care, no vanity, no strife; men, woods and fields, all breathe untroubled life.


  • Remote from man, with God he passed the days,
  • Prayer all his business, all his pleasure praise.
  • Parnell.

    Oh, blest retirement! friend to life’s decline, how blest is he who crowns, in shades like these, a youth of labor with an age of ease!


  • Hath not old custom made this life more sweet
  • Than that of painted pomp? Are not these woods
  • More free from peril than the envious court?
  • Shakespeare.

  • How miserable a thing is a great man:
  • Take noisy vexing greatness they that please,
  • Give me obscure, and safe, and silent ease.
  • Crown.

    How much they err who, to their interest blind, slight the calm peace which from retirement flows!

    Mrs. Tighe.

    How use doth breed a habit in a man! This shadowy desert, unfrequented woods, I better brook than flourishing peopled towns.


  • O sacred solitude! divine retreat!
  • Choice of the prudent! envy of the great!
  • By thy pure stream, or in thy waving shade,
  • We court fair Wisdom, that celestial maid.
  • Young.

  • Welcome, ye shades! ye bowery thickets, hail!
  • Ye lofty pines! ye venerable oaks!
  • Ye ashes wild, resounding o’er the steep!
  • Delicious is your shelter to the soul.
  • Thomson.

  • An elegant sufficiency, content,
  • Retirement, rural quiet, friendship, books,
  • Ease and alternate labor, useful life,
  • Progressive virtue, and approving heaven!
  • Thomson.

  • Happy the man, whose wish and care
  • A few paternal acres bound,
  • Content to breathe his native air
  • In his own ground.
  • Pope.

  • The fall of waters and the song of birds,
  • And hills that echo to the distant herds,
  • Are luxuries excelling all the glare
  • The world can boast, and her chief favorites share.
  • Cowper.

    He who lives wisely to himself and his own heart looks at the busy world through the loopholes of retreat, and does not want to mingle in the fray.


  • Nature I’ll court in her sequester’d haunts,
  • By mountain, meadow, streamlet, grove or cell;
  • Where the poised lark his evening ditty chaunts,
  • And health, and peace, and contemplation dwell.
  • Smollett.

  • Now purer air
  • Meets his approach, and to the heart inspires
  • Vernal delight and joy, able to drive
  • All sadness but despair: Now gentle gales
  • Fanning their odoriferous wings, dispense
  • Native perfumes, and whisper whence they stole
  • Those balmy spoils.
  • Milton.

    Depart from the highway, and transplant thyself in some enclosed ground; for it is hard for a tree that stands by the wayside to keep her fruit till it be ripe.

    St. Chrysostom.

    Demean thyself more warily in thy study than in the street. If thy public actions have a hundred witnesses, thy private have a thousand. The multitude looks but upon thy actions; thy conscience looks into them: the multitude may chance to excuse thee, if not acquit thee; thy conscience will accuse thee, if not condemn thee.


    Exert your talents and distinguish yourself, and don’t think of retiring from the world until the world will be sorry that you retire. I hate a fellow whom pride or cowardice or laziness drives into a corner, and who does nothing when he is there but sit and growl. Let him come out as I do, and bark.


  • Thy shades, thy silence, now be mine,
  • Thy charms my only theme;
  • My haunt the hollow cliff, whose pine
  • Waves o’er the gloomy stream.
  • Where the sacred owl, on pinions gray,
  • Breaks from the rustling boughs,
  • And down the lone vale sails away,
  • To more profound repose.
  • Beattie.

  • The fall of kings,
  • The rage of nations, and the crush of states,
  • Move not the man, who, from the world escap’d,
  • In still retreats, and flowery solitudes,
  • To Nature’s voice attends, from month to month,
  • And day to day, through the revolving year;
  • Admiring, sees her in her every shape;
  • Feels all her sweet emotions at his heart;
  • Takes what she liberal gives, nor thinks of more.
  • Thomson.

  • The statesman, lawyer, merchant, man of trade
  • Pants for the refuge of some rural shade,
  • Where all his long anxieties forgot
  • Amid the charms of a sequester’d spot,
  • Or recollected only to gild o’er
  • And add a smile to what was sweet before,
  • He may possess the joys he thinks he sees,
  • Lay his old age upon the lap of ease,
  • Improve the remnant of his wasted span,
  • And having lived a trifler, die a man.
  • Cowper.