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


A sunny temper gilds the edges of life’s blackest cloud.


And mistress of herself though china fall.


The happiness and misery of men depend no less on temper than fortune.

La Rochefoucauld.

  • In vain he seeketh others to suppress,
  • Who hath not learn’d himself first to subdue.
  • Spenser.

    But certain winds will make men’s temper bad.

    George Eliot.

  • Oh! blest with temper, whose unclouded ray
  • Can make to-morrow cheerful as to-day.
  • Pope.

    The difficult part of good temper consists in forbearance, and accommodation to the ill-humors of others.


  • I’ll make them live as brothers should with brother,
  • And keep them in good-humor with each other.
  • Churchill.

    Those who are surly and imperious to their inferiors, are generally humble, flattering, and cringing to their superiors.


    The brain may devise laws for the blood; but a hot temper leaps o’er a cold decree: such a hare is madness, the youth, to skip o’er the meshes of good counsel, the cripple.


    With “gentleness” to his own character, “comfort” In his house, and “good temper” in his wife, the earthly felicity of man is complete.

    From the German.

    Courtesy of temper, when it is used to veil churlishness of deed, is but a knight’s girdle around the breast of a base clown.

    Sir Walter Scott.

    Nothing leads more directly to the breach of charity, and to the injury and molestation of our fellow-creatures than the indulgence of an ill temper.


    Through certain humors or passions, and from temper merely, a man may be completely miserable, let his outward circumstances be ever so fortunate.

    Lord Shaftesbury.

    Instability of temper ought to be checked when it disposes men to wander from one scheme to another; since such a fickleness cannot but be attended with fatal consequences.


    If we desire to live securely, comfortably, and quietly, that by all honest means we should endeavor to purchase the good will of all men, and provoke no man’s enmity needlessly; since any man’s love may be useful, and every man’s hatred is dangerous.

    Isaac Barrow.

    A cheerful temper, joined with innocence, will make beauty attractive, knowledge delightful, and wit good natured. It will lighten sickness, poverty and affliction; convert ignorance into an amiable simplicity, and render deformity itself agreeable.


  • Think you, a little din can daunt mine ears?
  • Have I not in my time heard lions roar?
  • Have I not heard the sea, puff’d up with winds,
  • Rage like an angry boar, chafed with sweat
  • Have I not heard great ordnance in the field,
  • And heaven’s artillery thunder in the skies?
  • Have I not in a pitched battle heard
  • Loud ’larums, neighing steeds, and trumpets’ clang
  • And do you tell me of a woman’s tongue?
  • Shakespeare.

    Too many have no idea of the subjection of their temper to the influence of religion, and yet what is changed, if the temper is not? If a man is as passionate, malicious, resentful, sullen, moody, or morose after his conversion as before it, what is he converted from or to?

    John Angel James.