Hoyt & Roberts, comps. Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations. 1922.


For it is most true that a natural and secret hatred and aversation towards society in any man, hath somewhat of the savage beast.
Bacon—Essays. Civil and Moral. Of Friendship.

A people is but the attempt of many
To rise to the completer life of one—
And those who live as models for the mass
Are singly of more value than they all.
Robert Browning—Luria. Act V. L. 334.

But now being lifted into high society,
And having pick’d up several odds and ends
Of free thoughts in his travels for variety,
He deem’d, being in a lone isle, among friends,
That without any danger of a riot, he
Might for long lying make himself amends;
And singing as he sung in his warm youth,
Agree to a short armistice with truth.
Byron—Don Juan. Canto III. St. 83.

Those families, you know, are our upper crust, not upper ten thousand.
Cooper—The Ways of the Hour. Ch. VI.

The rout is Folly’s circle, which she draws
With magic wand. So potent is the spell,
That none decoy’d into that fatal ring,
Unless by Heaven’s peculiar grace, escape.
There we grow early gray, but never wise.
Cowper—Task. Bk. II. L. 627.

Every man is like the company he is wont to keep.
Euripides—Phœmissæ. Frag. 809.

For every social wrong there must be a remedy. But the remedy can be nothing less than the abolition of the wrong.
Henry George—Social Problems. Ch. IX.

The noisy and extensive scene of crowds without company, and dissipation without pleasure.
Gibbon—Memoirs. Vol. I. P. 116.

I live in the crowds of jollity, not so much to enjoy company as to shun myself.
Samuel Johnson—Rasselas. Ch. XVI.

Le sage quelquefois évite le monde de peur d’être ennuyè.
The wise man sometimes flees from society from fear of being bored.
La Bruyère—Les Caractères. V.

He might have proved a useful adjunct, if not an ornament to society.
Lamb—Captain Starkey.

Society is like a large piece of frozen water; and skating well is the great art of social life.
L. E. Landon.

The Don Quixote of one generation may live to hear himself called the savior of society by the next.
Lowell—Don Quixote.

A system in which the two great commandments were, to hate your neighbour and to love your neighbour’s wife.
Macaulay—Essays. Moore’s Life of Lord Byron.

Old Lady T-sh-nd [Townshend] formerly observed that the human race might be divided into three separate classes—men, women and H-v-eys [Herveys].
Attributed to Lady Mary Wortley Montague in Lord Wharncliffe’s Ed. of her Letters and Works. Lady Louisa Stuart, in introductory anecdotes to the same, also credits the saying to Lady Montague. Vol. I. P. 67. Attributed to Charles Pigott in The Jockey Club. Pt. II. P. 4. (Ed. 1792).

La Société est l’union des hommes, et non pas les hommes.
Society is the union of men and not the men themselves.
Montesquieu—De l’Esprit. X. 3.

This new rage for rhyming badly,
Which late hath seized all ranks and classes,
Down to that new estate ‘the masses.’
Moore—The Fudges in England. Letter 4. The classes and the masses. A phrase used by Gladstone.

What will Mrs. Grundy say?
Thos. Morton—Speed the Plough. Act I. Sc. 1. (Ed. 1808).

Heav’n forming each on other to depend,
A master, or a servant, or a friend,
Bids each on other for assistance call,
Till one man’s weakness grows the strength of all.
Pope—Essay on Man. Ep. II. L. 249.

Sociale animal est.
[Man] is a social animal.
Seneca—De Beneficiis. Bk. VII. 1.

Society is no comfort
To one not sociable.
Cymbeline. Act IV. Sc. 2. L. 12.

Whilst I was big in clamour came there in a man,
Who, having seen me in my worst estate,
Shunn’d my abhorr’d society.
King Lear. Act V. Sc. 3. L. 208.

To make society
The sweeter welcome, we will keep ourself
Till supper-time alone.
Macbeth. Act III. Sc. 1. L. 42.

Men lived like fishes; the great ones devoured the small.
Algernon Sidney—Discourses on Government. Ch. II. Sec. XVIII.

As the French say, there are three sexes,—men, women, and clergymen.
Sydney Smith—Lady Holland’s Memoir. Vol. I. P. 262.

Ah, you flavour everything; you are the vanille of society.
Sydney Smith—Lady Holland’s Memoir. Vol. I. P. 262.

It is impossible, in our condition of Society, not to be sometimes a Snob.
Thackeray—Book of Snobs. Ch. III.

Society therefore is as ancient as the world.
Voltaire—Philosophical Dictionary. Policy.

Other people are quite dreadful. The only possible society is oneself.
Oscar Wilde—An Ideal Husband. Act III.

I suppose Society is wonderfully delightful.
To be in it is merely a bore. But to be out of it is simply a tragedy.
Oscar Wilde—Woman of No Importance. Act III.

At present there is no distinction among the upper ten thousand of the city.
N. P. Willis—Necessity for a Promenade Drive.

Society became my glittering bride,
And airy hopes my children.
Wordsworth—The Excursion. Bk. III.

Nor greetings where no kindness is, nor all
The dreary intercourse of daily life.
Wordsworth—Lines composed a few miles above Tintern Abbey.

There is
One great society alone on earth:
The noble Living and the noble Dead.
Wordsworth—The Prelude. Bk. XI.