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


This world is God’s world, after all.

Charles Kingsley.

There is another and a better world.


Keep thyself unspotted from the world.


What is this world? thy school, O Misery!


But it does move.


Its pomp, its pleasures, and its nonsense all.


The world itself makes us sick of the world.


The world is ashamed of being virtuous.


A mad world, my masters.


Creation’s heir, the world, the world, is mine.


Allured to brighter worlds, and led the way.


O, how full of briars is this working-day world!


This world is God’s workshop for making men in.

Henry Ward Beecher.

The world is all title-page without contents.


For the fashion of this world passeth away.


There was all the world and his wife.


They most the world enjoy who least admire.


The world is the same everywhere.


I am a citizen of the world.

Diogenes Laërtius.

Such stuff the world is made of.


  • In this bad, twisted, topsy-turvy world,
  • Where all the heaviest wrongs get uppermost.
  • E. B. Browning.

  • The wide world is all before us—
  • But a world without a friend.
  • Burns.

  • Hanging in a golden chain
  • This pendent world.
  • Milton.

    Come, follow me, and leave the world to its babblings.


    I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given me.


  • To know the world, not love her, is thy point;
  • She gives but little, nor that little long.
  • Young.

    We may despise the world, but we cannot do without it.

    Baron Wessenberg.

    How surely a knowledge of the world hardens the heart!


    He who best knows the world will love it least.


    The world is his who can see through its pretension.


    The world is a great ocean, upon which we encounter more tempestuous storms than calms.

    Edgar A. Poe.

    I am sick of this bad world! The daylight and the sun grow painful to me.


    The world is a comedy to those who think, a tragedy to those who feel.

    Horace Walpole.

    Contact with the world either breaks or hardens the heart.


    Happy is she that from the world retires, and carries with her what the world admires.


    All this world’s noise appears to me a dull, ill-acted comedy!


    Let the great world spin forever down the ringing grooves of change.


    Everybody in this world wants watching, but nobody more than ourselves.

    H. W. Shaw.

    And the whole world would henceforth be a wider prison unto me.


    O world, what pictures and what harmonies are thine!


    Everything is for the best to this best of possible worlds.


    Why, then the world’s mine oyster, which I with sword will open.


    For some must watch, while some must sleep; so runs the world away.


  • Let not the cooings of the world allure thee;
  • Which of her lovers ever found her true?
  • Young.

    Trust not the world, for it never payeth that it promiseth.

    St. Augustine.

    The only fence against the world is a thorough knowledge of it.


  • The world is a great poem, and the world’s
  • The words it is writ in, and we souls the thoughts.
  • Bailey.

    The world is a beautiful book, but of little use to him who cannot read it.


    The world is not made for the prosperous alone, nor for the strong.

    George William Curtis.

  • O, what a world is this, when what is comely,
  • Envenoms him that bears it!
  • Shakespeare.

  • You have too much respect upon the world:
  • They lose it that do buy it with much care.
  • Shakespeare.

    Wise men sometimes avoid the world, that they may not be surfeited with it.

    La Bruyère.

    Manners carry the world for the moment, character for all time.

    A. Bronson Alcott.

    The world is an excellent judge in general, but a very bad one in particular.

    Lord Greville.

    The judgment of the world stands upon matter of fortune.

    Sir P. Sidney.

  • Anchorite, who didst dwell
  • With all the world for cell!
  • Francis Thompson.

    This world surely is wide enough to hold both thee and me.


    The world is a wheel, and it will all come round right.

    Benj. Disraeli.

  • One day with life and heart,
  • Is more than time enough to find a world.
  • Lowell.

  • All the world’s a stage,
  • And all the men and women merely players.
  • Shakespeare.

  • Feast, and your halls are crowded;
  • Fast, and the world goes by.
  • Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

    This world, where much is to be done and little to be known.

    Samuel Johnson.

  • I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano:
  • A stage where every man must play a part.
  • Shakespeare.

    The tree of the world hath its poisons, but beareth two fruits of exquisite flavor, the nectar of poetry and the society of noble men.


  • This restless world
  • Is full of chances, which by habit’s power
  • To learn to bear is easier than to shun.
  • John Armstrong.

    The highest philosophers, in explaining the mystery of this world, are obliged to call in the aid of another.

    H. W. Shaw.

  • The world is grown so bad,
  • That wrens make prey where eagles dare not perch.
  • Shakespeare.

  • When the fretful stir
  • Unprofitable, and the fever of the world
  • Have hung upon the beatings of my heart.
  • Wordsworth.

  • Even the linked fantasies, in whose blossomy twist
  • I swung the earth a trinket at my wrist.
  • Francis Thompson.

    The world is deceitful; her end is doubtful, her conclusion is horrible, her judge is terrible, and her judgment is intolerable.


  • The world in all doth but two nations bear,
  • The good, the bad, and these mixed everywhere.
  • Marvell.

    The world is a thing that a man must learn to despise, and even to neglect, before he can learn to reverence it, and work in it and for it.


  • Brightest seraph, tell
  • In which of all these shining orbs hath man
  • His fixed seat, or fixed seat hath none,
  • But all these shining orbs his choice to dwell.
  • Milton.

  • I have my beauty,—you your art—
  • Nay, do not start:
  • One world was not enough for two
  • Like me and you.
  • Oscar Wilde.

  • If all the world must see the world
  • As the world the world hath seen,
  • Then it were better for the world
  • That the world had never been.
  • Leland.

  • The world’s great age begins anew,
  • The golden years return,
  • The earth doth like a snake renew
  • Her winter weeds outworn.
  • Shelley.

  • Thou seest, we are not all alone unhappy:
  • This wide and universal theatre
  • Presents more woeful pageants than the scene
  • Wherein we play in.
  • Shakespeare.

  • Laugh and the world laughs with you,
  • Weep and you weep alone;
  • For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
  • But has trouble enough of its own.
  • Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

  • O Earth! all bathed with blood and tears, yet never
  • Hast thou ceased putting forth thy fruit and flowers.
  • Madame de Staël.

  • The world is too much with us; late and soon,
  • Getting and spending we lay waste our powers;
  • Little we see in Nature that is ours.
  • Wordsworth.

  • It is a very good world to live in,
  • To lend, or to spend, or to give in;
  • But to beg, or to borrow, or to get a man’s own,
  • It’s the very worst world that ever was known.
  • Earl of Rochester.

    He who imagines he can do without the world deceives himself much; but he who fancies the world cannot do without him is still more mistaken.

    La Rochefoucauld.

    Once kick the world, and the world and you live together at a reasonable good understanding.


  • How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable
  • Seem to me all the uses of this world!
  • Fye on’t! oh, fye! ’tis an unweeded garden,
  • That grows to seed; things rank, and gross in nature,
  • Possess it merely.
  • Shakespeare.

  • The world was all before them, where to choose
  • Their place of rest, and Providence their guide.
  • Milton.

  • Well, well, the world must turn upon its axis,
  • And all mankind turn with it, heads or tails,
  • And live and die, make love and pay our taxes,
  • And as the veering winds shift, shift our sails.
  • Byron.

  • What is this world?—A term which men have got,
  • To signify not one in ten knows what;
  • A term, which with no more precision passes
  • To point out herds of men than herds of asses;
  • In common use no more it means, we find,
  • Than many fools in same opinions joined.
  • Churchill.

  • How beautiful is all this visible world!
  • How glorious in its action and itself!
  • But we, who name ourselves its sovereigns, we,
  • Half dust, half deity, alike unfit
  • To sink or soar, with our mix’d essence make
  • A conflict of its elements, and breathe
  • The breath of degradation and of pride,
  • Contending with low wants and lofty will,
  • Till our mortality predominates,
  • And men are—what they name not to themselves,
  • And trust not to each other.
  • Byron.