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


I had rather believe all the fables in the Legends and the Talmud and the Alcoran, than that this universal frame is without a mind.
Bacon—Essays. Of Atheism.

That last infirmity of noble mind.
The Tragedy of Sir John Van Olden Barnevelt. (1622).

All the choir of heaven and furniture of earth—in a word, all those bodies which compose the mighty frame of the world—have not any subsistence without a mind.
George Berkeley (Bishop of Cloyne)—Principles of Human Knowledge.

Measure your mind’s height by the shade it casts.
Robert Browning—Paracelsus. II.

The march of the human mind is slow.
Burke—Speech on the Conciliation of America.

Such as take lodgings in a head
That’s to be let unfurnished.
Butler—Hudibras. Pt. I. Canto I. L. 161.

I love my neighbor as myself,
Myself like him too, by his leave,
Nor to his pleasure, power or pelf
Came I to crouch, as I conceive.
Dame Nature doubtless has designed
A man the monarch of his mind.
John Byrom—Careless Content.

When Bishop Berkeley said “there was no matter,”
And proved it,—’Twas no matter what he said.
Byron—Don Juan. Canto IX. St. 1. Allusion to a dissertation by Berkeley on Mind and Matter, found in a note by Dr. Hawkesworth to Swift’s Letters, pub. 1769.

’Tis strange the mind, that very fiery particle,
Should let itself be snuff’d out by an article.
Byron—Don Juan. Canto XI. St. 60.

Constant attention wears the active mind,
Blots out our pow’rs, and leaves a blank behind.
Churchill—Epistle to Hogarth. L. 647.

Animi cultus quasi quidam humanitatis cibus.
The cultivation of the mind is a kind of food supplied for the soul of man.
Cicero—De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum. V. 19.

Frons est animi janua.
The forehead is the gate of the mind.
Cicero—Oratio De Provinciis Consularibus. XI.

Morbi perniciores pluresque animi quam corporis.
The diseases of the mind are more and more destructive than those of the body.
Cicero—Tusculanarum Disputationum. III. 3.

In anime perturbato, sicut in corpore, sanitas esse non potest.
In a disturbed mind, as in a body in the same state, health can not exist.
Cicero—Tusculanarum Disputationum. III. 4.

Absence of occupation is not rest,
A mind quite vacant is a mind distress’d.

His mind his kingdom, and his will his law.
Cowper—Truth. Line 405.

How fleet is a glance of the mind!
Compared with the speed of its flight,
The tempest itself lags behind,
And the swift-winged arrows of light.
Cowper—Verses supposed to be written by Alexander Selkirk.

Nature’s first great title—mind.
George Croly—Pericles and Aspasia.

As that the walls worn thin, permit the mind
To look out through, and his Frailty find.
Samuel Daniel—History of the Civil War. Bk. IV. St. 84.

Babylon in all its desolation is a sight not so awful as that of the human mind in ruins.
Scrope Davies—Letter to Thomas Raikes. May 25, 1835.

My mynde to me a kingdome is
Such preasent joyes therein I fynde
That it excells all other blisse
That earth afforde or growes by kynde
Though muche I wante which moste would have
Yet still my mynde forbiddes to crave.
Edward Dyer—Rawlinson MSS. 85. P. 17. (In the Bodleian Library at Oxford.) Words changed by Byrd when he set it to music. Quoted by Ben Jonson—Every Man out of his Humour. I. 1. Found in Percy’s Reliques. Series I. Bk. III. No. V. And in J. Sylvester’s Works. P. 651.

My minde to me a kingdome is,
Such perfect joy therein I finde
As farre exceeds all earthly blisse
That God or Nature hath assignde
Though much I want that most would have
Yet still my minde forbids to crave.
Wm. Byrd’s rendering of Dyer’s verse, when he set it to music. See his Psalmen, Sonets and Songs made into Musicke. Printed by Thomas East. (No date. Later edition, 1588).

God is Mind, and God is all; hence all is Mind.
Mary B. G. Eddy—Science and Health. Ch. XIV.

A great mind is a good sailor, as a great heart is.
Emerson—English Traits. Voyage to England. Ch. II.

Each mind has its own method.
Emerson—Essays. Intellect.

Wer fertig ist, dem ist nichts recht zu machen,
Ein Werdender wird immer dankbar sein.
A mind, once formed, is never suited after,
One yet in growth will ever grateful be.
Goethe—Faust. Vorspiel auf dem Theater. L. 150.

Vain, very vain, my weary search to find
That bliss which only centers in the mind.
Goldsmith—Traveler. L. 423.

A noble mind disdains to hide his head,
And let his foes triumph in his overthrow.
Robert Greene—Alphonso, King of Arragon. Act I.

The mind is like a sheet of white paper in this, that the impressions it receives the oftenest, and retains the longest, are black ones.
J. C. and A. W. Hare—Guesses at Truth.

Lumen siccum optima anima.
The most perfect mind is a dry light.
The “obscure saying” of Heraclitus, quoted by Bacon, who explains it as a mind not “steeped and infused in the humors of the affections.”

Whose little body lodged a mighty mind.
Homer—Iliad. Bk. V. L. 999. Pope’s trans.

A faultless body and a blameless mind.
Homer—Odyssey. Bk. III. L. 138. Pope’s trans.

The glory of a firm capacious mind.
Homer—Odyssey. Bk. IV. L. 262. Pope’s trans.

And bear unmov’d the wrongs of base mankind,
The last, and hardest, conquest of the mind.
Homer—Odyssey. Bk. XIII. L. 353. Pope’s trans.

Sperat infestis, metuit secundis
Alteram sortem, bene preparatum
A well-prepared mind hopes in adversity and fears in prosperity.
Horace—Carmina. II. 10. 13.

Quæ lædunt oculum festinas demere; si quid
Est animum, differs curandi tempus in annum.
If anything affects your eye, you hasten to have it removed; if anything affects your mind, you postpone the cure for a year.
Horace—Epistles. I. 238.

Acclinis falsis animus meliora recusat.
A mind that is charmed by false appearances refuses better things.
Horace—Satires. II. 2. 6.

Quin corpus onustum
Hesternis vitiis, animum quoque prægravat una
Atque affigit humo divinæ particulam auræ.
The body loaded by the excess of yesterday, depresses the mind also, and fixes to the ground this particle of divine breath.
Horace—Satires. II. 2. 77.

The true, strong, and sound mind is the mind that can embrace equally great things and small.
Samuel Johnson—Boswell’s Life of Johnson. (1778).

What is mind? No matter. What is matter? Never mind.
T. H. Key, once Head Master of University School—On the authority of F. J. Furnivall.

Seven Watchmen sitting in a tower,
Watching what had come upon Mankind,
Showed the Man the Glory and the Power
And bade him shape the Kingdom to his mind.
. . . . . .
That a man’s mind is wont to tell him more
Than Seven Watchmen sitting in a tower.
Kipling—Dedication to Seven Watchmen.

La gravité est un mystère du corps inventé pour cacher les défauts de l’esprit.
Gravity is a mystery of the body invented to conceal the defects of the mind.
La Rochefoucauld—Maximes. 257.

Nobody, I believe, will deny, that we are to form our judgment of the true nature of the human mind, not from sloth and stupidity of the most degenerate and vilest of men, but from the sentiments and fervent desires of the best and wisest of the species.
Archbishop Leighton—Theological Lectures. No. 5. Of the Immortality of the Soul.

Stern men with empires in their brains.
Lowell—The Biglow Papers. Second Series. No. 2.

O miseras hominum menteis! oh, pectora cæca!
How wretched are the minds of men, and how blind their understandings.
Lucretius—De Rerum Natura. II. 14.

Cum corpore ut una
Crescere sentimus pariterque senescere mentem.
We plainly perceive that the mind strengthens and decays with the body.
Lucretius—De Rerum Natura. III. 446.

The conformation of his mind was such, that whatever was little seemed to him great, and whatever was great seemed to him little.
Macaulay—On Horace Walpole.

Rationi nulla resistunt.
Claustra nec immensæ moles, ceduntque recessus:
Omnia succumbunt, ipsum est penetrabile cœlum.
No barriers, no masses of matter, however enormous, can withstand the powers of the mind the remotest corners yield to them; all things succumb, the very heaven itself is laid open.
Manilius—Astronomica. I. 541.

Clothed, and in his right mind.
Mark. V. 15; Luke. VIII. 35.

The social states of human kinds
Are made by multitudes of minds,
And after multitudes of years
A little human growth appears
Worth having, even to the soul
Who sees most plain it’s not the whole.
Masefield—Everlasting Mercy. St. 60.

The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.
Milton—Paradise Lost. Bk. I. L. 254.

Mensque pati durum sustinet ægra nihil.
The sick mind can not bear anything harsh.
Ovid—Epistolæ Ex Ponto. I. 5. 18.

Mens sola loco non exulat.
The mind alone can not be exiled.
Ovid—Epistolæ Ex Ponto. IV. 9. 41.

Conscia mens recti famæ mendacia risit.
A mind conscious of right laughs at the falsehoods of rumour.
Ovid—Fasti. Bk. IV. 311.

Pro superi! quantum mortalia pectora cæcæ,
Noctis habent.
Heavens! what thick darkness pervades the minds of men.
Ovid—Metamorphoses. VI. 472.

It is the mind that makes the man, and our vigour is in our immortal soul.
Ovid—Metamorphoses. XIII.

Corpore sed mens est ægro magis ægra; malique
In circumspectu stat sine fine sui.
The mind is sicker than the sick body; in contemplation of its sufferings it becomes hopeless.
Ovid—Tristium. IV. 6. 43.

Be ye all of one mind.
I Peter. III. 8.

Animus quod perdidit optat,
Atque in præterita se totus imagine versat.
The mind wishes for what it has missed, and occupies itself with retrospective contemplation.
Petronius Arbiter—Satyricon.

Habet cerebrum sensus arcem; hic mentis est regimen.
The brain is the citadel of the senses: this guides the principle of thought.
Pliny the Elder—Historia Naturalis. XI. 49. 2.

Strength of mind is exercise, not rest.
Pope—Essay on Man. Ep. II. L. 104.

Love, Hope, and Joy, fair pleasure’s smiling train,
Hate, Fear, and Grief, the family of pain,
These mix’d with art, and to due bounds confin’d
Make and maintain the balance of the mind.
Pope—Essay on Man. Ep. II. L. 117.

My mind’s my kingdom.
Quarles—School of the Heart. Ode IV. St. 3.

Mens mutatione recreabitur; sicut in cibis, quorum diversitate reficitur stomachus, et pluribus minore fastidio alitur.
Our minds are like our stomachs; they are whetted by the change of their food, and variety supplies both with fresh appetite.
Quintilian—De Institutione Oratoria. I. 11. 1.

Whose cockloft is unfurnished.
Rabelais—The Author’s Prologue to the Fifth Book.

Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
Romans. XIV. 5.

Un corps débile affoiblit l’âme.
A feeble body weakens the mind.
Rousseau—Émile. I.

Tanto è miser l’uom quant’ ei si riputa.
Man is only miserable so far as he thinks himself so.
Sannazaro—Ecloga Octava.

Magnam fortunam magnus animus decet.
A great mind becomes a great fortune.
Seneca—De Clementia. I. 5.

Valentior omni fortuna animus est: in utramque partem ipse res suas ducit, beatæque miseræ vitæ sibi causa est.
The mind is the master over every kind of fortune: itself acts in both ways, being the cause of its own happiness and misery.
Seneca—Epistolæ Ad Lucilium. XCVIII.

For I do not distinguish them by the eye, but by the mind, which is the proper judge of the man.
Seneca—Of a Happy Life. Ch. I. (L’Estrange’s Abstract.)

Mens bona regnum possidet.
A good mind possesses a kingdom.
Seneca—Thyestes. Act II. 380.

O, what a noble mind is here o’erthrown!
The courtier’s, soldier’s, scholar’s, eye, tongue, sword!
Hamlet. Act III. Sc. 1. L. 158.

The incessant care and labour of his mind
Hath wrought the mure that should confine it in
So thin that life looks through and will break out.
Henry IV. Pt. II. Act IV. Sc. 4. L. 118.

And when the mind is quicken’d, out of doubt,
The organs, though defunct and dead before,
Break up their drowsy grave and newly move
With casted slough and fresh legerity.
Henry V. Act IV. Sc. 1. L. 20.

’Tis but a base, ignoble mind
That mounts no higher than a bird can soar.
Henry VI. Pt. II. Act II. Sc. 1. L. 13.

For ’tis the mind that makes the body rich.
Taming of the Shrew. Act IV. Sc. 3. L. 174.

’Tis pity bounty had not eyes behind,
That man mignt ae’er be wretched for his mind.
Timon of Athens. Act I. Sc. 2. L. 170.

Now, the melancholy god protect thee; and the tailor make thy doublet of changeable taffeta, for thy mind is a very opal.
Twelfth Night. Act II. Sc. 4. L. 74.

Not body enough to cover his mind decently with; his intellect is improperly exposed.
Sydney Smith—Lady Holland’s Memoir. Vol. I. P. 258.

I feel no care of coin;
Well-doing is my wealth;
My mind to me an empire is,
While grace affordeth health.
Robt. Southwell—Content and Rich. (Look Home.)

Man’s mind a mirror is of heavenly sights,
A brief wherein all marvels summèd lie,
Of fairest forms and sweetest shapes the store,
Most graceful all, yet thought may grace them more.
Robt. Southwell—Content and Rich. (Look Home.)

A flower more sacred than far-seen success
Perfumes my solitary path; I find
Sweet compensation in my humbleness,
And reap the harvest of a quiet mind.
Trowbridge—Twoscore and Ten. St. 28.

Mens sibi conscia recti.
A mind conscious of its own rectitude.
Vergil—Æneid. I. 604.

Mens agitat molem.
Mind moves matter.
Vergil—Æneid. VI. 727.

Nescia mens hominum fati sortisque futuræ,
Et servare modum, rebus sublata secundis.
The mind of man is ignorant of fate and future destiny, and can not keep within due bounds when elated by prosperity.
Vergil—Æneid. X. 501.

The soul’s dark cottage, batter’d and decay’d,
Lets in new light through chinks that Time has made.
Waller—Verses upon his Divine Poesy. Compare Longinus—De Sab. Sect. XXII.

Mind is the great lever of all things; human thought is the process by which human ends are alternately answered.
Daniel Webster—Address at the Laying of the Corner Stone of the Bunker Hill Monument.

You will turn it over once more in what you are pleased to call your mind.
Lord Westbury, to a solicitor. See Nash—Life of Lord Westbury. Vol. II. P. 292.

A man of hope and forward-looking mind.
Wordsworth—Excursion. Bk. VII. 278.

In years that bring the philosophic mind.
Wordsworth—Ode. Intimations of Immortality. St. 10.

Minds that have nothing to confer
Find little to perceive.
Wordsworth—Yes! Thou Art Fair.