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


A tender smile, our sorrow’s only balm.


With a smile on her lips, and a tear in her eye.


Smiles are the language of love.

J. C. and A. W. Hare.

The smile that was childlike and bland.

Bret Harte.

One may smile, and smile, and be a villain.


The face that cannot smile is never fair.


Their smiles and censures are to me the same.


The smiler with the knife under his cloak.


A smile recures the wounding of a frown.


A villain with a smiling cheek.


I can smile, and murther while I smile.


Loose now and then a scattered smile, and that I will live upon.


Softness of smile indicates softness of character.


  • Eternal smiles his emptiness betray,
  • As shallow streams run dimpling all the way.
  • Pope.

  • For smiles from reason flow
  • To brute deny’d, and are of love the food.
  • Milton.

  • A smile that glow’d
  • Celestial rosy red, love’s proper hue.
  • Milton.

  • Her very frowns are fairer far
  • Than smiles of other maidens are.
  • Hartley Coleridge.

    Sweet intercourse of looks and smiles; for smiles from reason flow.


    Struck blind with beauty! shot with a woman’s smile.

    Beaumont and Fletcher.

    In came Mrs. Fezziwig, one vast substantial smile.


    Many a withering thought lies hid, not lost, in smiles that least befit those who wear them most.


    The smiles of infants are said to be the first fruits of human reason.

    H. N. Hudson.

    She turned to him and smiled, but in that sort which makes not others smile.


    The Italians say that a beautiful woman by her smiles draws tears from our purse.

    N. P. Willis.

    Smiles are smiles only when the heart pulls the wire.

    Theodore Winthrop.

    There are few faces that can afford to smile: a smile is sometimes bewitching, in general vapid, often a contortion.

    Earl of Beaconsfield.

    The cheek may be tinged with a warm sunny smile, though the cold heart to ruin runs darkly the while.


    Something of a person’s character may be discovered by observing when and how he smiles. Some people never smile; they merely grin.


    A soul only needs to see a smile in a white-crape bonnet in order to enter the palace of dreams.

    Victor Hugo.

    He smiled as men smile when they will not speak, because of something bitter in the thought.

    Mrs. Browning.

    Is it not a thing divine to have a smile which, none know how, has the power to lighten the weight of that enormous chain which all the living in common drag behind them?

    Victor Hugo.

  • A man I knew who lived upon a smile;
  • And well if fed him: he look’d plumb and fair,
  • While rankest venom foam’d through every vein.
  • Dr. Young.

    A smile is ever the most bright and beautiful with a tear upon it. What is the dawn without the dew? The tear is rendered by the smile precious above the smile itself.


  • The smile of her I love is like the dawn
  • Whose touch makes Memnon sing:
  • O see where wide the golden sunlight flows—
  • The barren desert blossoms as the rose!
  • R. W. Gilder.

  • Seldom he smiles, and smiles in such a sort
  • As if he mock’d himself, and scorn’d his spirit
  • That could be mov’d to smile at anything.
  • Shakespeare.

    A beautiful smile is to the female countenance what the sunbeam is to the landscape; it embellishes an inferior face and redeems an ugly one.


    It is a proof of boorishness to confer a favor with a bad grace; it is the act of giving that is hard and painful. How little does a smile cost!

    La Bruyère.

    Those happy smilets that played on her ripe lip seemed not to know what guests were in her eyes; which parted thence as pearls from diamonds dropped.


    A woman has two smiles that an angel might envy—the smile that accepts a lover afore words are uttered, and the smile that lights on the first-born baby.


  • The harper smiled, well pleased; for ne’er
  • Was flatt’ry lost on poet’s ear:
  • A simple race! they waste their toil
  • For the vain tribute of a smile.
  • Scott.

    What smiles! They were the effluence of fine intellect, of true courage; they lit up her marked lineaments, her thin face, her sunken gray eye, like reflections from the aspect of an angel.

    Charlotte Brontë.

    It is the color which love wears, and cheerfulness, and joy—these three. It is the light in the window of the face by which the heart signifies to father, husband, or friend that it is at home and waiting.


    The passing years had drunk a portion of the light from her eyes, and left their traces on her cheeks, as birds that drink at lakes leave their footprints on the margin. But the pleasant smile reminded him of the bygone days.


    What a sight there is in that word “smile!” it changes like a chameleon. There is a vacant smile, a cold smile, a smile of hate, a satiric smile, an affected smile; but, above all, a smile of love.


    Loud laughter is the mirth of the mob, who are only pleased with silly things; for true wit or good sense never excited a laugh since the creation of the world. A man of parts and fashion is therefore only seen to smile, but never heard to laugh.


  • Nobly he yokes
  • A smiling with a sigh, as if the sigh
  • Was that it was, for not being such a smile:
  • The smile mocking the sigh, that it would fly
  • From so divine a temple, to commix
  • With winds that sailors rail at.
  • Shakespeare.

    What sun is there within us that shoots his rays with so sudden a vigor? To see the soul flash in the face at this rate one would think would convert an atheist. By the way, we may observe that smiles are much more becoming than frowns. This seems a natural encouragement to good-humor; as much as to say, if people have a mind to be handsome, they must not be peevish and untoward.

    Jeremy Collier.

  • Her smile was prodigal of summery shine,—
  • Gaily persistent,—like a morn in June
  • That laughs away the clouds, and up and down
  • Goes making merry with the ripening grain,
  • That slowly ripples,—its bent head drooped down,
  • With golden secret of the sheathèd seed.
  • Margaret J. Preston.

    There are many kinds of smiles, each having a distinct character. Some announce goodness and sweetness, others betray sarcasm, bitterness, and pride; some soften the countenance by their languishing tenderness, others brighten by their spiritual vivacity.