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


Sensibility is nature’s celestial spring.

Sir Walter Scott.

Men have marble, women waxen, minds.


Breasts that beat, and cheeks that glow.

Dr. Johnson.

Feeling loves a subdued light.

Mme. Swetchine.

And the touch’d needle trembles to the pole.


Susceptible persons are more affected by a change of tone than by unexpected words.

George Eliot.

Too much sensibility creates unhappiness, too much insensibility creates crime.


The heart that is soonest awake to the flowers is always the first to be touched by the thorns.


Excessive sensibility is only another name for morbid self-consciousness.


The really sensitive are too sensitive to ever talk about it.

Mme. de Rieux.

  • Chords that vibrate sweetest pleasure,
  • Thrill the deepest notes of wo.
  • Burns.

    Where bright imagination reigns, the fine-wrought spirit feels acuter pains.

    Hannah More.

    Sensibility cannot be acquired; people are born thus, or they have it not.

    Mme. de Genlis.

    Dearly bought the hidden treasure finer feelings can bestow.


    The soul of music slumbers in the shell, till waked and kindled by the master’s spell.


    That chastity of honor that felt a stain like a wound.


    Women are more susceptible to pain than to pleasure.


    Women are ever the dupes or victims of their extreme sensitiveness.


    It appears to me that strong sense and acute sensibility together constitute genius.

    G. P. Morris.

    The wild-flower wreath of feeling, the sunbeam of the heart.


    The wounded limb shrinks even from the gentlest touch, and to the nervous the smallest shadow excites alarm.


  • Feeling hearts—touch them but lightly—pour
  • A thousand melodies unheard before.
  • Rogers.

    Sensibility would be a good portress if she had but one hand; with her right she opens the door to pleasure, but with her left to pain.


    It is with feeling as with religion; if a man really have any, he will have “none to speak of.”

    H. N. Hudson.

    Forbear sharp speeches to her; she’s a lady so tender of rebukes that words are strokes, and strokes death to her.


    If sensuality were happiness, beasts were happier than men; but human felicity is lodged in the soul, not in the flesh.


    How many women are born too finely organized in sense and soul for the highway they must walk with feet unshod!

    O. W. Holmes.

    The sensibility of man to trifles, and his insensibility to great things, are the marks of a strange inversion.


    There are moments when petty slights are harder to bear than even a serious injury. Men have died of the festering of a gnat-bite.

    Cecil Danby.

    Laughter and tears are meant to turn the wheels of the same machinery of sensibility; one is wind-power, and the other water-power, that is all.


  • Prompt sense of equity! to thee belongs
  • The swift redress of unexamined wrongs!
  • Eager to serve, the cause perhaps untried,
  • But always apt to choose the suffering side!
  • Hannah More.

  • Nor peace, nor ease the heart can know
  • Which, like the needle true,
  • Turns at the touch of joy or woe,
  • But turning, trembles too.
  • Mrs. Greville.

  • A sensitive plant in a garden grew,
  • And the young winds fed it with silver dew,
  • And it opened its fan-like leaves to the light,
  • And closed them beneath the kisses of night.
  • Shelley.

    Women endowed with remarkable sensibilities enjoy much, but they also suffer much. The greater the light, the stronger will be the shadow.

    Anna Cora Mowatt.

    Men’s feelings are always purest and most glowing in the hour of meeting and of farewell; like the glaciers, which are transparent and rosy-hued only at sunrise and sunset, but throughout the day gray and cold.


  • It seem’d as if each thought and look
  • And motion were that minute chain’d
  • Fast to the spot such root she took,
  • And—like a sunflower by a brook,
  • With face upturn’d—so still remain’d!
  • Moore.

    The hearts of some women tremble like leaves at every breath of love which reaches them, and they are still again. Others, like the ocean, are moved only by the breath of a storm, and not so easily lulled to rest.


    We care not how many see us in choler, when we rave and bluster, and make as much noise and bustle as we can; but if the kindest and most generous affection comes across us, we suppress every sign of it, and hide ourselves in nooks and covert.


  • Since trifles make the sum of human things,
  • And half our misery from our foibles springs;
  • Since life’s best joys consist in peace and ease,
  • And though but few can serve, yet all may please;
  • Oh, let th’ ungentle spirit learn from hence,
  • A small unkindness is a great offence.
  • Hannah More.

    Sensibility appears to me to be neither good nor evil in itself, but in its application. Under the influence of Christian principle, it makes saints and martyrs; ill-directed, or uncontrolled, it is a snare, and the source of every temptation; besides, as people cannot get it if it is not given them, to descant on it seems to me as idle as to recommend people to have black eyes or fair complexions.

    Hannah More.

    Where virtue is, sensibility is the ornament and becoming attire of virtue. On certain occasions it may almost be said to become virtue. But sensibility and all the amiable qualities may likewise become, and too often have become, the panders of vice and the instruments of seduction.