An aphorism is nothing else but the slightest
form of writing raised to the highest level of expressive communication. Carl William Brown





The important question is not, what will yield to man a few scattered pleasures, but what will render his life happy on the whole amount.


Joseph Addison (1672-1719, British essayist, poet, statesman)


Sooner or later we all discover that the important moments in life are not the advertised ones, not the birthdays, the graduations, the weddings, not the great goals achieved. The real milestones are less prepossessing. They come to the door of memory.


Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906, American social reformer and women's suffrage leader)


A fool bolts pleasure, then complains of moral indigestion.


Minna Antrim (1861-1950, American epigrammist)


The aim of the wise is not to secure pleasure, but to avoid pain.


Aristotle (BC 384-322, Greek philosopher)


One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other.


Jane Austen (1775-1817, British novelist)


There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.


Jane Austen (1775-1817, British novelist)


For most men, and most circumstances, pleasure -- tangible material prosperity in this world -- is the safest test of virtue. Progress has ever been through the pleasures rather than through the extreme sharp virtues, and the most virtuous have leaned to excess rather than to asceticism.


Samuel Butler (1612-1680, British poet, satirist)


A great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.


Walter Bagehot (1826-1977, British economist, critic)


In diving to the bottom of pleasure we bring up more gravel than pearls.


Honore De Balzac (1799-1850, French novelist)


Pleasure is continually disappointed, reduced, deflated, in favor of strong, noble values: Truth, Death, Progress, Struggle, Joy, etc. Its victorious rival is Desire: we are always being told about Desire, never about Pleasure.


Roland Barthes (1915-1980, French semiologist)


Pleasure only starts once the worm has got into the fruit, to become delightful happiness must be tainted with poison.


Georges Bataille (1897-1962, French novelist, critic)


It is within the experience of everyone that when pleasure and pain reach a certain intensity they are indistinguishable.


Arnold Bennett (1867-1931, British novelist)


What would life be without art? Science prolongs life. To consist of what-eating, drinking, and sleeping? What is the good of living longer if it is only a matter of satisfying the requirements that sustain life? All this is nothing without the charm of art.


Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923, French actress)


Don't mistake pleasure for happiness. They are a different breed of dogs.


Josh Billings (1815-1885, American humorist, lecturer)


Draw your pleasure, paint your pleasure, and express your pleasure strongly.


Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947, French painter, lithographer)


For the rational, psychologically healthy man, the desire for pleasure is the desire to celebrate his control over reality. For the neurotic, the desire for pleasure is the desire to escape from reality.


Nathaniel Branden (1930- Canadian-born American psychologist, author, expert on self-esteem)

Author's website:


We enjoy the process far more than the proceeds.


Warren Buffett (1930-, American investment entrepreneur)


A life of pleasure makes even the strongest mind frivolous at last.


Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873, British novelist, poet)


The rule of my life is to make business a pleasure, and pleasure my business.


Aaron Burr (1756-1836, American statesman)


To make pleasures pleasant shorten them.


Charles Buxton (1823-1871, British author)


There is no sterner moralist than pleasure.


Lord Byron (1788-1824, British poet)


Whenever I meet with anything agreeable in this world it surprises me so much -- and pleases me so much (when my passions are not interested in one way or the other) that I go on wondering for a week to come.


Lord Byron (1788-1824, British poet)


There are half hours that dilate to the importance of centuries.


Mary Catherwood


Pleasure may come from illusion, but happiness can come only of reality.


Sebastien-Roch Nicolas De Chamfort (1741-1794, French writer, journalist, playwright)


Pleasure and pain, though directly opposite are contrived to be constant companions.


Pierre Charron (1541-1603, French philosopher)


Moderation. Small helpings. Sample a little bit of everything. These are the secrets of happiness and good health.


Julia Child (1912-2004, American gourmet cook, author, and television personality)


Pleasure is a shadow, wealth is vanity, and power a pageant; but knowledge is ecstatic in enjoyment, perennial in frame, unlimited in space and indefinite in duration.


De Witt Clinton


Isn't it a pleasure to consistently study, and apply what you have learned?


Confucius (BC 551-479, Chinese ethical teacher, philosopher)


As clouds are blown away by the wind, the thirst for material pleasures will be driven away by the utterance of the Lord's name.


Sri Sarada Devi


Pleasure is none, if not diversified.


John Donne (1572-1632, British metaphysical poet)


The rare pleasure of being seen for what one is, compensates for the misery of being it.


Margaret Drabble (1939-, British novelist)


The rare pleasure of being seen for what one is, compensates for the misery of being it.


Margaret Drabble (1939-, British novelist)


Pleasure's couch is virtue's grave.


Augustine J. Duganne


Sinful and forbidden pleasures are like poisoned bread; they may satisfy appetite for the moment, but there is death in them at the end.


Tryon Edwards (1809-1894, American theologian)


It is the nature of the wise to resist pleasures, but the foolish to be a slave to them.


Epictetus (50-138, Phrygian philosopher)


Our pleasures are short, and can only charm at intervals; love is a method of protraction our greatest pleasure.


Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774, Anglo-Irish author, poet, playwright)


We all try to escape pain and death, while we seek what is pleasant.


Albert Einstein (1879-1955, German-born American physicist)


Whenever you are sincerely pleased you are nourished.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)


The greatest and noblest pleasure which men can have in this world is to discover new truths; and the next is to shake off old prejudices.


(Frederick II) Frederick The Great (1712-1786, Born in Berlin, King of Prussia (1740-1786),)


The goal towards which the pleasure principle impels us -- of becoming happy -- is not attainable: yet we may not -- nay, cannot -- give up the efforts to come nearer to realization of it by some means or other.


Sigmund Freud (1856-1939, Austrian physician, founder of Psychoanalysis)


Pleasure is sweeter as recreation than as a business.


Raymond Hitchcock


Give me books, fruit, French wine and fine weather and a little music out of doors, played by someone I do not know. I admire lolling on a lawn by a water-lilied pond to eat white currants and see goldfish: and go to the fair in the evening if I'm good. There is not hope for that -- one is sure to get into some mess before evening.


John Keats (1795-1821, British poet)


Do not bite at the bait of pleasure, till you know there is no hook beneath it.


Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826, American President (3rd))


Even the worse of jobs has their pleasures, if I were a grave digger or a hangmen, there are some people I could work for with a great deal of enjoyment.


Douglas William Jerrold (1803-1857, British humorist, playwright)


If pleasure was not followed by pain, who would forbear it?


Samuel Johnson (1709-1784, British author)


No man is a hypocrite in his pleasures.


Samuel Johnson (1709-1784, British author)


Pleasure is very seldom found where it is sought. Our brightest blazes are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks.


Samuel Johnson (1709-1784, British author)


Most men pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it.


Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855, Danish philosopher, writer)


Scratching is one of nature's sweetest gratifications, and the one nearest at hand.


Michel Eyquem De Montaigne (1533-1592, French philosopher, essayist)


The pleasures of the world are deceitful; they promise more than they give. They trouble us in seeking them, they do not satisfy us when possessing them and they make us despair in losing them.


Madame De Lambert


God whispers in our pleasures, but shouts in our pain.


C. S. Lewis (1898-1963, British academic, writer, Christian apologist)


There is no pleasure in having nothing to do. The fun is in having lots to do and not doing it.


Mary Little


Pleasure that isn't paid for is as insipid as everything else that's free.


Anita Loos (1893-1981, American novelist, screenwriter)


Pleasure that isn't paid for is as insipid as everything else that's free.


Anita Loos (1893-1981, American novelist, screenwriter)


Pleasant it is, when over a great sea the winds trouble the waters, to gaze from shore upon another's great tribulation; not because any man's troubles are a delectable joy, but because to perceive you are free of them yourself is pleasant.


Lucretius (c.95-55 BC, Roman poet and philosopher)


The average man does not get pleasure out of an idea because he thinks it is true; he thinks it is true because he gets pleasure out of it.


H. L. Mencken (1880-1956, American editor, author, critic, humorist)


Women have simple tastes. They get pleasure out of the conversation of children in arms and men in love.


H. L. Mencken (1880-1956, American editor, author, critic, humorist)


It's true Heaven forbids some pleasures, but a compromise can usually be found.


Jean Baptiste Moliere (1622-1673, French playwright)


I conceive that pleasures are to be avoided if greater pains be the consequence, and pains to be coveted that will terminate in greater pleasures.


Michel Eyquem De Montaigne (1533-1592, French philosopher, essayist)


To find recreation in amusement is not happiness.


Blaise Pascal (1623-1662, French scientist, religious philosopher)


The truth is, I do indulge myself a little the more in pleasure, knowing that this is the proper age of my life to do it; and, out of my observation that most men that do thrive in the world do forget to take pleasure during the time that they are getting their estate, but reserve that till they have got one, and then it is too late for them to enjoy it.


Samuel Pepys (1633-1703, British diarist)


We tire of those pleasures we take, but never of those we give.


John Petit-Senn (1792-1870, French poet)


Pleasure is the greatest incentive to evil.


Plato (BC 427?-347?, Greek philosopher)


We women ought to put first things first. Why should we mind if men have their faces on the money, as long as we get our hands on it?


Ivy Baker Priest


People have many different kinds of pleasure. The real one is that for which they will forsake the others.


Marcel Proust (1871-1922, French novelist)


When pleasure interferes with business, give up business.


American Proverb (Sayings of American origin)


Pleasure for one hour, a bottle of wine. Pleasure for one year a marriage; but pleasure for a lifetime, a garden.


Chinese Proverb (Sayings of Chinese origin)


Physical pleasure is a sensual experience no different from pure seeing or the pure sensation with which a fine fruit fills the tongue; it is a great unending experience, which is given us, a knowing of the world, the fullness and the glory of all knowing. And not our acceptance of it is bad; the bad thing is that most people misuse and squander this experience and apply it as a stimulant at the tired spots of their lives and as distraction instead of a rallying toward exalted moments.


Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926, German poet)


I can think of nothing less pleasurable than a life devoted to pleasure.


John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937, American industrialist, philanthropist, founder Exxon)


You are quaffing drink from a hundred fountains: whenever any of these hundred yields less, your pleasure is diminished. But when the sublime fountain gushes from within you, no longer need you steal from the other fountains.


Jalal-Uddin Rumi (1207-1273, Persian sufi, mystic poet)


The people who are regarded as moral luminaries are those who forego ordinary pleasures themselves and find compensation in interfering with the pleasures of others.


Bertrand Russell (1872-1970, British philosopher, mathematician, essayist)


A person should never try to purchase pleasure at the cost of pain, or even at the risk of incurring it.


Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860, German philosopher)


Pleasures are all alike simply considered in themselves: he that hunts, or he that governs the commonwealth, they both please themselves alike, only we commend that, whereby we ourselves receive some benefit.


John Selden (1584-1654, British jurist, statesman)


Enjoy present pleasures in such a way as not to injure future ones.


Marcus Annaeus Seneca (BC 3-65 AD, Roman philosopher, dramatist, statesman)


So enjoy present pleasures as to not mar those to come.


Marcus Annaeus Seneca (BC 3-65 AD, Roman philosopher, dramatist, statesman)


No pleasure endures unseasoned by variety.


Publilius Syrus (85 BC- 43BC, Roman writer)


He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man.


The Holy Bible (Sacred scriptures of Christians and Judaism)


Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.


The Holy Bible (Sacred scriptures of Christians and Judaism)

Source: Proverbs 9:17


Your enjoyment of the world is never right, till every morning you awake in Heaven: see yourself in your Father's palace; and look upon the skies, the earth, and the air as celestial joys: having such a reverend esteem of all, as if you were among the angels.


Thomas Traherne (1636-1674, British clergyman, poet, mystic)


No pleasure without pain.


Author Unknown


Short lived pleasure is the parent of pain.


Author Unknown


There is one pleasure that the human being cannot tire of and that is the pleasure that comes from helping someone who really needs you.


Author Unknown


The eruption of lived pleasure is such that in losing myself I find myself; forgetting that I exist, I realize myself.


Raoul Vaneigem (1934-, Belgian situationist philosopher)


Everyone is dragged on by their favorite pleasure.


Virgil (c. 70 - 19 BC, Roman poet)


Pleasure is the object, duty and the goal of all rational creatures.


Francois-Marie Arouet de Voltaire (1694-1778, French historian, writer)


The vocabulary of pleasure depends on the imagery of pain.


Marina Warner (1946-, British author, critic)


Pleasure is Nature's test, her sign of approval. When man is happy, he is in harmony with himself and his environment.


Oscar Wilde (1856-1900, British author, wit)


All the things I really like to do are either immoral, illegal, or fattening.


Alexander Woollcott (1887-1943, American columnist, critic)


A young man of pleasure is a man of pains.


Edward Young (1683-1765, British poet, dramatist)


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