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


The universal medicine of life.

Sir W. Temple.

Temperance is the nurse of chastity.


Temperance in everything is requisite for happiness.

B. R. Haydon.

Satan o’ercomes none but by willingness.


Temperance adds zest to pleasure.

Mme. de Lambert.

That cardinal virtue, temperance.


Drinking water neither makes a man sick, nor in debt, nor his wife a widow.

John Neal.

Use, do not abuse; neither abstinence nor excess ever renders man happy.


Temperance to be a virtue must be free, and not forced.


He who would keep himself to himself should imitate the dumb animals, and drink water.


Every inordinate cup is unblessed, and the ingredient is a devil.


In temperance there is ever cleanliness and elegance.


If you wish to keep the mind clear and the body healthy, abstain from all fermented liquors.

Sydney Smith.

Temperance is a bridle of gold; he who uses it rightly is more like a god than a man.


Moderation is the silken string running through the pearl chain of all virtues.


Temperance is corporeal piety; it is the preservation of divine order in the body.

Theodore Parker.

Great men should drink with harness on their throats.


Above all, let the poor hang up the amulet of temperance in their homes.

Horace Mann.

  • And he that will to bed go sober,
  • Falls with the leaf still in October.
  • Beaumont and Fletcher.

    Though I look old, yet I am strong and lusty, for in my youth I never did apply hot and rebellious liquors in my blood.


    Except thou desire to hasten thine end, take this for a general rule, that thou never add any artificial heat to thy body by wine or spice.

    Sir Walter Raleigh.

    Men live best on moderate means: Nature has dispensed to all men wherewithal to be happy, if mankind did but understand how to use her gifts.


    It is all nonsense about not being able to work without ale and cider and fermented liquors. Do lions and cart-horses drink ale?

    Sydney Smith.

    The smaller the drink, the clearer the head, and the cooler the blood; which are great benefits in temper and business.

    William Penn.

    Temperance is reason’s girdle and passion’s bridle, the strength of the soul and the foundation of virtue.

    Jeremy Taylor.

    The first draught serveth for health, the second for pleasure, the third for shame, and the fourth for madness.


    Every moderate drinker could abandon the intoxicating cup if he would; every inebriate would if he could.

    J. B. Gough.

    Temperance gives nature her full play, and enables her to exert herself in all her force and vigor.


  • With riotous banquets, sicknesses came in,
  • When death ’gan muster all his dismal band
  • Of pale diseases.
  • May.

    If it is a small sacrifice to discontinue the use of wine, do it for the sake of others; if it is a great sacrifice, do it for your own.

    Samuel J. May.

    Temperance is a tree which has for a root very little contentment, and for fruit, calm and peace.


    If temperance prevails, then education can prevail; if temperance fails, then education must fail.

    Horace Mann.

    There is hardly any noble quantity or endowment of the mind but must own temperance, either for its parent or its nurse.


  • Make less thy body hence, and more thy grace;
  • Leave gormandizing.
  • Shakespeare.

  • Ask God for temperance; that’s the appliance only
  • Which your disease requires.
  • Shakespeare.

    Temperance puts wood on the fire, meal in the barrel, flour in the tub, money in the purse, credit in the country, contentment in the house, clothes on the back, and vigor in the body.


    A Spartan, being asked why his people drank so little, replied: “That we may consult concerning others, and not others concerning us.”


  • Call’d to the temple of impure delight
  • He that abstains, and he alone, does right.
  • If a wish wander that way, call it home;
  • He cannot long be safe whose wishes roam.
  • Cowper.

  • Fools! not to know how far an humble lot
  • Exceeds abundance by injustice got;
  • How health and temperance bless the rustic swain,
  • While luxury destroys her pamper’d train.
  • Hesiod.

  • Temp’rate in every place,—abroad, at home,
  • Thence will applause, and hence will profit come;
  • And health from either—he in time prepares
  • For sickness, age, and their attendant cares.
  • Crabbe.

  • Philosophy, religious solitude
  • And labour wait on temperance; in these
  • Desire is bounded; they instruct the mind’s
  • And body’s action.
  • Nabb.

    There is no difference between knowledge and temperance; for he who knows what is good and embraces it, who knows what is bad and avoids it, is learned and temperate.


    The receipts of cookery are swelled to a volume, but a good stomach excels them all; to which nothing contributes more than industry and temperance.


    O temperance, thou fortune without envy; thou universal medicine of life, that clears the head and cleanses the blood, eases the stomach, strengthens the nerves, and perfects digestion.

    Sir W. Temple.

    Temperance, in the nobler sense, does not mean a subdued and imperfect energy; it does not mean a stopping short in any good thing, as in love or in faith; but it means the power which governs the most intense energy, and prevents its acting in any way but as it ought.


    We ought to love temperance for itself, and in obedience to God who has commanded it and chastity; but what I am forced to by catarrhs, or owe to the stone, is neither chastity nor temperance.


  • If all the world
  • Should in a pet of temp’rance, feed on pulse,
  • Drink the clear stream, and nothing wear but frieze,
  • Th’ All-giver would be unthank’d, would be unprais’d.
  • Milton.

  • Impostor! do not charge most innocent Nature
  • As if she would her children should be riotous
  • With her abundance. She, good cateress,
  • Means her provision only to the good,
  • That live according to her sober laws,
  • And holy dictate of spare Temperance.
  • Milton.

  • O madness, to think use of strongest wines
  • And strongest drinks our chief support of health
  • When God, with these forbidden, made choice to rear
  • His mighty champion, strong above compare,
  • Whose drink was only from the liquid brook.
  • Milton.

  • Health and liberty
  • Attend on these bare meals; if all were blest
  • With such a temperance, what man would fawn,
  • Or to his belly sell his liberty?
  • There would be then no slaves, no sycophants
  • At great men’s tables.
  • May.

    Temperance keeps the senses clear and unembarrassed, and makes them seize the object with more keenness and satisfaction. It appears with life in the face, and decorum in the person; it gives you the command of your head, secures your health, and preserves you in a condition for business.

    Jeremy Collier.

    Temperance, that virtue without pride, and fortune without envy, that gives indolence of body with an equality of mind; the best guardian of youth and support of old age; the precept of reason as well as religion, and physician of the soul as well as the body; the tutelar goddess of health and universal medicine of life.

    Sir W. Temple.

    Temperance is a virtue which casts the truest lustre upon the person it is lodged in, and has the most general influence upon all other particular virtues of any that the soul of man is capable of; indeed so general, that there is hardly any noble quality or endowment of the mind, but must own temperance either for its parent or its nurse; it is the greatest strengthener and clearer of reason, and the best preparer of it for religion, the sister of prudence, and the handmaid to devotion.

    Dean South.

  • From our tables here, no painful surfeits,
  • No fed diseases grow, to strangle nature,
  • And suffocate the active brain; no fevers,
  • No apoplexies, palsies or catarrhs
  • Are here; where nature, not entic’d at all
  • With such a dang’rous bait as pleasant cates,
  • Takes in no more than she can govern well.
  • May.

  • Drink not the third glass, which thou canst not tame,
  • When once it is within thee; but before
  • Mayst rule it, as thou list; and pour the shame,
  • Which it would pour on thee, upon the floor.
  • It is most just to throw that on the ground,
  • Which would throw me there, if I keep the round.
  • Herbert.

  • If thou well observe
  • The rule of—not too much,—by temperance taught
  • In what thou eat’st and drink’st, seeking from thence
  • Due nourishment, not gluttonous delight,
  • Till many years over thy head return:
  • So may’s thou live, till like ripe fruit thou drop,
  • Into thy mother’s lap, or be with ease
  • Gather’d, not harshly pluck’d; in death mature.
  • Milton.