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


Hold him alone truly fortunate who has ended his life in happy well-being.
Æschylus—Agamemnon. 928.

’Twas a jolly old pedagogue, long ago,
Tall and slender, and sallow and dry;
His form was bent, and his gait was slow,
His long thin hair was white as snow,
But a wonderful twinkle shone in his eye.
And he sang every night as he went to bed,
“Let us be happy down here below;
The living should live, though the dead be dead,”
Said the jolly old pedagogue long ago.
George Arnold—The Jolly Old Pedagogue.

Real happiness is cheap enough, yet how dearly we pay for its counterfeit.
Hosea Ballou—MS. Sermons.

To have been happy, madame, adds to calamity.
Beaumont and Fletcher—The Fair Maid of the Inn. Act I. Sc. 1. L. 250.

La massima felicita divisa nel maggior numero.
The greatest happiness of the greatest number.
Beccaria—Trattato dei Delitti e delle Pene (Treatise of Crimes and of Punishment). Introd. (1764).

Priestly was the first (unless it was Beccaria) who taught my lips to pronounce this sacred truth—that the greatest happiness of the greatest number is the foundation of morals and legislation.
Bentham—Vol. X. P. 142.

Quid enim est melius quam memoria recte factorum, et libertate contentum negligere humana?
What can be happier than for a man, conscious of virtuous acts, and content with liberty, to despise all human affairs?
Brutus—to Cicero. Cicero’s Letters. I. 16. 9.

Oh, Mirth and Innocence! Oh, Milk and Water!
Ye happy mixtures of more happy days!
Byron—Beppo. St. 80.

***all who joy would win
Must share it,—Happiness was born a twin.
Byron—Don Juan. Canto II. St. 172.

There comes
For ever something between us and what
We deem our happiness.
Byron—Sardanapalus. Act I. Sc. 2.

Quid datur a divis felici optatius hora?
What is there given by the gods more desirable than a happy hour?
Catullus—Carmina. LXII. 30.

The message from the hedge-leaves,
Heed it, whoso thou art;
Under lowly eaves
Lives the happy heart.
John Vance Cheney—The Hedge-bird’s Message.

In animi securitate vitam beatam ponimus.
We think a happy life consists in tranquillity of mind.
Cicero—De Natura Deorum. I. 20.

Le bonheur semble fait pour être partagé.
Happiness seems made to be shared.
Corneille—Notes par Rochefoucauld.

If solid happiness we prize,
Within our breast this jewel lies,
And they are fools who roam;
The world has nothing to bestow,
From our own selves our bliss must flow,
And that dear hut,—our home.
Nathaniel Cotton—The Fireside.
Thus happiness depends, as Nature shows,
Less on exterior things than most suppose.
Cowper—Table Talk. L. 246.

Domestic Happiness, thou only bliss
Of Paradise that hast survived the Fall!
Cowper—Task. Bk. III. L. 41.

Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others,
And in their pleasure takes joy, even as though t’were his own.

Das beste Glück, des Lebens schönste Kraft
Ermattet endlich.
The highest happiness, the purest joys of life, wear out at last.
Goethe—Iphigenia auf Tauris. IV. 5. 9.

Still to ourselves in every place consign’d,
Our own felicity to make or find.
Goldsmith—The Traveller. L. 431.

Now happiness consists in activity: such is the constitution of our nature: it is a running stream, and not a stagnant pool.
Good—The Book of Nature. Series III. Lecture VII.

The loss of wealth is loss of dirt,
As sages in all times assert;
The happy man’s without a shirt.
John Heywood—Be Merry Friends.

And there is ev’n a happiness
That makes the heart afraid.
Hood—Ode to Melancholy.

Fuge magna, licet sub paupere tecto
Reges et regum vita procurrere amicos.
Avoid greatness; in a cottage there may be more real happiness than kings or their favorites enjoy.
Horace—Epistles. I. 10. 32.

Non possidentem multa vocaveris
Recte beatum; rectius occupat
Nomen beati, qui Deorum
Muneribus sapienter uti,
Duramque callet pauperiem pati,
Pejusque leto flagitium timet.
You will not rightly call him a happy man who possesses much; he more rightly earns the name of happy who is skilled in wisely using the gifts of the gods, and in suffering hard poverty, and who fears disgrace as worse than death.
Horace—Carmina. IX. Bk. 4. 9. 45.

That Action is best which procures the greatest Happiness for the greatest Numbers; and that worst, which, in like manner, occasions misery.
Frances Hutcheson—Inquiry into the Original of our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue. (1725). Treatise II. Sec. 3. An Inquiry concerning Moral Good and Evil.

Upon the road to Romany
It’s stay, friend, stay!
There’s lots o’ love and lots o’ time
To linger on the way;
Poppies for the twilight,
Roses for the noon,
It’s happy goes as lucky goes,
To Romany in June.
Wallace Irwin—From Romany to Rome.

Happiness consists in the multiplicity of agreeable consciousness.
Samuel Johnson—Boswell’s Life. (1766).

Ducimus autem
Hos quoque felices, qui ferre incommoda vitæ,
Nec jactare jugum vita didicere magistra.
We deem those happy who, from the experience of life, have learned to bear its ills, without being overcome by them.
Juvenal—Satires. XII. 20.

On n’est jamais si heureux, ni si malheureux, qu’on se l’imagine.
We are never so happy, nor so unhappy, as we suppose ourselves to be.
La Rochefoucauld—Maximes.

A sound Mind in a sound Body, is a short but full description of a happy State in this World.
Locke—Thoughts Concerning Education.

To be strong
Is to be happy!
Longfellow—Christus. The Golden Legend. Pt. II. L. 731.

The rays of happiness, like those of light, are colorless when unbroken.
Longfellow—Kavanagh. Ch. XIII.

Happiness, to some elation;
Is to others, mere stagnation.
Amy Lowell—Happiness.

Now the heart is so full that a drop overfills it,
We are happy now because God wills it.
Lowell—The Vision of Sir Launfal. Prelude to Pt. I. L. 61.

Sive ad felices vadam post funera campos,
Seu ferar ardentem rapidi Phlegethontis ad undam,
Nec sine te felix ero, nec tecum miser unquam.
Heaven would not be Heaven were thy soul not with mine, nor would Hell be Hell were our souls together.
Baptista Mantuanus—Eclogue. III. 108.

Neminem, dum adhuc viveret, beatum dici debere arbitrabatur.
He (Solon) considered that no one ought to be called happy as long as he was alive.
Valerius Maximus. Bk. VII. 2. Ext. 2. Same in Sophocles—Œdipus Rex. End. Herodotus—Clio. 32. Solon to Cræsus. Repeated by Cræsus to Cyrus when on his funeral pyre, thus obtaining his pardon.

And feel that I am happier than I know.
Milton—Paradise Lost. Bk. VIII. L. 282.

No eye to watch and no tongue to wound us,
All earth forgot, and all heaven around us.
Moore—Come o’er the Sea.

The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance;
The wise grows it under his feet.
James Oppenheim—The Wise.

Dicique beatus
Ante obitum nemo supremaque funera debet.
Before he is dead and buried no one ought to be called happy.
Ovid—Metamorphoses. Bk. III. 136.

Thus we never live, but we hope to live; and always disposing ourselves to be happy, it is inevitable that we never become so.
Blaise Pascal—Thoughts. Ch. V. Sec. I.

Said Scopas of Thessaly, “But we rich men count our felicity and happiness to lie in these superfluities, and not in those necessary things.”
Plutarch—Morals. Vol. II. Of the Love of Wealth.

Oh happiness! our being’s end and aim!
Good, Pleasure, Ease, Content! whate’er thy name;
That something still which prompts th’ eternal sigh,
For which we bear to live, or dare to die.
Pope—Essay on Man. Ep. IV. L. 1.

Fix’d to no spot is Happiness sincere;
’Tis nowhere to be found, or ev’rywhere;
’Tis never to be bought, but always free.
Pope—Essay on Man. Ep. IV. L. 15.

Heaven to mankind impartial we confess,
If all are equal in their happiness;
But mutual wants this happiness increase,
All nature’s difference keeps all nature’s peace.
Pope—Essay on Man. Ep. IV. L. 53.

Le bonheur des méchants comme un torrent s’écoule.
The happiness of the wicked flows away as a torrent.
Racine—Athalie. II. 7.

Happiness lies in the consciousness we have of it, and by no means in the way the future keeps its promises.
George Sand—Handsome Lawrence. Ch. III.

Des Menschen Wille, das ist sein Glück.
The will of a man is his happiness.
Schiller—Wallenstein’s Lager. VII. 25.

O mother, mother, what is bliss?
O mother, what is bale?
Without my William what were heaven,
Or with him what were hell?
Scott. Trans. of a ballad of Bürger’s.

Non potest quisquam beate degere, qui se tantum intuetur, qui omnia ad utilitates suas convertit; alteri vivas oportet, si vis tibi vivere.
No man can live happily who regards himself alone, who turns everything to his own advantage. Thou must live for another, if thou wishest to live for thyself.
Seneca—Epistolæ Ad Lucilium. XLVIII.

But, O, how bitter a thing it is to look into happiness through another man’s eyes!
As You Like It. Act V. Sc. 2. L. 47.

Would I were with him, wheresome’er he is, either in heaven or in hell.
Henry V. Act II. Sc. 3. L. 6.

Ye seek for happiness—alas, the day!
Ye find it not in luxury nor in gold,
Nor in the fame, nor in the envied sway
For which, O willing slaves to Custom old,
Severe taskmistress! ye your hearts have sold.
Shelley—Revolt of Islam. Canto XI. St. 17.

Magnificent spectacle of human happiness.
Sydney Smith—America. Edinburgh Review, July, 1824.

Mankind are always happier for having been happy; so that if you make them happy now, you make them happy twenty years hence by the memory of it.
Sydney Smith—Lecture on Benevolent Affections.

Be happy, but be happy through piety.
Madame de Staël—Corinne. Bk. XX. Ch. III.

Wealth I ask not, hope nor love,
Nor a friend to know me;
All I ask, the heavens above,
And the road below me.
Stevenson—The Vagabond.

O terque quaterque beati.
O thrice, four times happy they!
Vergil-Æneid. I. 94.

For it stirs the blood in an old man’s heart;
And makes his pulses fly,
To catch the thrill of a happy voice,
And the light of a pleasant eye.
N. P. Willis—Saturday Afternoon. St. 1.

True happiness is to no spot confined.
If you preserve a firm and constant mind,
’Tis here, ’tis everywhere.
John Huddlestone Wynne—History of Ireland.

We’re charm’d with distant views of happiness,
But near approaches make the prospect less.
Thos. Yalden—Against Enjoyment. L. 23.

True happiness ne’er entered at an eye;
True happiness resides in things unseen.
Young—Night Thoughts. Night VIII. L. 1,021.