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


Every wish is like a prayer with God.

Mrs. Browning.

Our wishes lengthen, as our sun declines.


We cannot wish for that we know not.


Thy wish was father, Harry, to that thought.


I have immortal longings in me.


Where nothing wants that want itself doth seek.


What one has wished for in youth, in old age one has in abundance.


If all our wishes were gratified, most of our pleasures would be destroyed.


Wishes, like castles in the air, are inexpensive and not taxable.


Wishes, at least, are the easy pleasures of the poor.

Douglas Jerrold.

  • Why wish for more?
  • Wishing of all employments is the worst.
  • Young.

    Men’s thoughts are much according to their inclination.


  • Fate wings, with every wish, the afflictive dart,
  • Each gift of nature, and each grace of art.
  • Johnson.

    Unattainable wishes are often “pious.” This seems to indicate that only profane wishes are fulfilled.

    Marie Ebner-Eschenbach.

    I could write down twenty cases, wherein I wished God had done otherwise than He did; but which I now see, had I had my own will, would have led to extensive mischief. The life of a Christian is a life of paradoxes.


    The apparently irreconcilable dissimilarity between our wishes and our means, between our hearts and this world, remains a riddle.


    Before we passionately wish for anything, we should carefully examine into the happiness of its possessor.

    La Rochefoucauld.

    We are poor, indeed, when we have no half-wishes left us. The heart and the imagination close the shutters the instant they are gone.


    It is a fearful mistake to believe that because our wishes are not accomplished they can do no harm.


  • Wert thou all that I wish thee, great, glorious and free,
  • First flower of the earth, and first gem of the sea.
  • Moore.

  • I’ve often wished that I had clear,
  • For life, six hundred pounds a year,
  • A handsome house to lodge a friend,
  • A river at my garden’s end,
  • A terrace walk, and half a rood
  • Of land, set out to plant a wood.
  • Swift.

    I respect the man who knows distinctly what he wishes. The greater part of all the mischief in the world arises from the fact that men do not sufficiently understand their own aims. They have undertaken to build a tower, and spend no more labor on the foundation than would be necessary to erect a hut.


  • “Man wants but little here below
  • Nor wants that little long,”
  • ’Tis not with me exactly so;
  • But ’tis so in the song.
  • My wants are many, and, if told,
  • Would muster many a score;
  • And were each wish a mint of gold,
  • I still should long for more.
  • John Quincy Adams.

    Knowest thou the land where the lemon-trees flourish, where amid the shadowed leaves the golden oranges glisten,—a gentle zephyr breathes from the blue heavens, the myrtle is motionless, and the laurel rises high? Dost them know it well? Thither, thither, fain would I fly with thee, my beloved!