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


Work is alone noble.


Always at work.


In books, or work, or healthful play.

Isaac Watts.

Work first, and then rest.


And still be doing, never done.


Plough deep while sluggards sleep.

Benj. Franklin.

We live not to ourselves, our work is life.


We work and that is godlike.

J. G. Holland.

Better to wear out than to rust out.

Bishop Cumberland.

Nothing is impossible to industry.

Periander of Corinth.

Thine to work as well as pray.


Work is the means of living, but it is not living.

J. G. Holland.

The modern majesty consists in work.


  • When Adam dolve, and Eve span,
  • Who was then the gentleman?
  • John Ball.

  • Hard toil can roughen form and face,
  • And want can quench the eye’s bright grace.
  • Scott.

  • The work under our labour grows
  • Luxurious by restraint.
  • Milton.

  • In every rank, or great or small,
  • ’Tis industry supports us all.
  • Gay.

  • Free men freely work:
  • Whoever fears God, fears to sit at ease.
  • Mrs. Browning.

    Work, ah! that talisman to guard one against one’s self.

    Mrs. Campbell Praed.

    Never idle a moment, but thrifty and thoughtful of others.


    Get work! Be sure it is better than what you work to get.

    Mrs. E. B. Browning.

  • Chase brave employments with a naked sword
  • Throughout the world.
  • Herbert.

  • Get leave to work
  • In this world,—’tis the best you get at all.
  • E. B. Browning.

    Too busy with the crowded hour to fear to live or die.


  • He that well his warke beginneth
  • The rather a good ende he winneth.
  • Gower.

    This we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.


    God did anoint thee with His odorous oil, to wrestle not to reign.

    Mrs. Browning.

    Unless a man works he cannot find out what he is able to do.


    You never will be saved by works; but let us tell you most solemnly that you never will be saved without works.

    T. L. Cuyler.

    The rather since every man is the son of his own works.


    The fruit derived from labor is the sweetest of pleasures.


    Work, according to my feeling, is as much or a necessity to man as eating and drinking.

    Wilhelm von Humboldt.

    Unless we put heart and soul into our labor we but brutify our actions.

    H. W. Shaw.

    Avowed work, even when uncongenial, is far less trying to patience than feigned pleasure.


    Without labor there were no ease, no rest, so much as conceivable.


    Genuine work alone, what thou workest faithfully, that is eternal as the Almighty Founder and World-Builder Himself.


    Why has no religion this command before all others: Thou shalt work?


    It is our actual work which determines our value.

    George Bancroft.

    Man’s record upon this wild world is the record of work, and of work alone.

    J. G. Holland.

    I doubt if hard work, steadily and regularly carried on, ever yet hurt anybody.

    Lord Stanley.

    Work is the inevitable condition of human life, the true source of human welfare.


    Patience, persistence, and power to do are only acquired by work.

    J. G. Holland.

  • On bravely through the sunshine and the showers!
  • Time hath his work to do, and we have ours.
  • Emerson.

    We enjoy ourselves only in our work, our doing; and our best doing is our best enjoyment.


    It is far better to give work which is above the men than to educate the men to be above their work.


    The Lord thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto.


  • For men must work and women must weep,
  • And the sooner it’s over the sooner to sleep,
  • And good-bye to the bar and its moaning.
  • Chas. Kingsley.

    It is the primal curse, but softened into mercy, made the pledge of cheerful days and nights without a groan.


  • Work is its own best earthly meed,
  • Else have we none more than the sea-born throng
  • Who wrought those marvellous isles that bloom afar.
  • Jean Ingelow.

    Mind, it is our best work that He wants, not the dregs of our exhaustion. I think He must prefer quality to quantity.

    George MacDonald.

    Lie not down wearied ’neath Woe’s weeping willow; work with a stout heart and resolute will.

    Mrs. Osgood.

    Yet hence the poor are clothed, the hungry fed; health to himself, and to his infants bread, the laborer bears.


    No work is worse than overwork; the mind preys on itself,—the most unwholesome of food.

    Charles Lamb.

    Ease and speed in doing a thing do not give the work lasting solidity or exactness of beauty.


  • For hearts where wakened love doth lurk,
  • How fine, how blest a thing is work!
  • For work does good when reasons fail.
  • Jean Ingelow.

  • All service is the same with God—
  • With God, whose puppets, best and worst,
  • Are we: there is no last nor first.
  • Robert Browning.

    Work was made for man, and not man, for work. Work is man’s servant, both in its results to the worker and the world. Man is not work’s servant, save as an almost universal perversion has made him such.

    J. G. Holland.

  • What work’s, my countrymen, in hand? where go you
  • With bats and clubs? The matter? speak, I pray you.
  • Shakespeare.

  • Thine to work as well to pray,
  • Clearing thorny wrongs away;
  • Plucking up the weeds of sin,
  • Letting heaven’s warm sunshine in.
  • Whittier.

    It is not work that kills men; it is worry. Work is healthy; you could hardly put more upon a man than he can bear. Worry is rust upon the blade. It is not the revolution that destroys the machinery, but the friction.


    Man hath his daily work of body or mind appointed, which declares his dignity; while other animals unactive range, and of their doings God takes no account.


    No man is born into the world whose work is not born with him. There is always work, and tools to work withal, for those who will; and blessed are the horny hands of toil.


  • Joy to the toiler!—him that tills
  • The fields with plenty crowned;
  • Him with the woodman’s axe that thrills
  • The wilderness profound.
  • Benjamin Hathaway.

  • Beloved, let us love so well,
  • Our work shall still be better for our love,
  • And still our love be sweeter for our work,
  • And both, commended, for the sake of each,
  • By all true workers and true lovers born.
  • Mrs. Browning.

  • Work is my recreation,
  • The play of faculty; a delight like that
  • Which a bird feels in flying, or a fish
  • In darting through the water,—
  • Nothing more.
  • Longfellow.

    God is a worker. He has thickly strewn infinity with grandeur. God is love; He yet shall wipe away Creation’s tears, and all the worlds shall summer in His smile. Why work I not? the veriest mote that sports its one-day life within the sunny beam has its stern duties.

    Alexander Smith.

  • By the way,
  • The works of women are symbolical.
  • We sew, sew, prick our fingers, dull our sight,
  • Producing what? A pair of slippers, sir,
  • To put on when you’re weary—or a stool
  • To tumble over and vex you***curse that stool!
  • Or else at best, a cushion where you lean
  • And sleep, and dream of something we are not,
  • But would be for your sake. Alas, alas!
  • This hurts most, this***that, after all, we are paid
  • The worth of our work, perhaps.
  • E. B. Browning.