Monday, June 4, 2007


Happiness 383 I am happier even than Jane; she only smiles, I laugh. Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice.

Happiness 410 Happiness, he [Kennedy] often said, paraphrasing Aristotle, is the full use of one’s faculties along lines of excellence, and to him the Presidency offered the ideal opportunity to pursue excellence. Sorenson, Kennedy [Happiness is the use of one’s faculties to achieve excellence.]

Happiness 628 Ham and eggs, and after these a pipe…a “downgrade,” a flying coach, a fragrant pipe and a contented heart—these make happiness…what all the ages have struggled for. Twain, Roughing It [Happiness is ham and eggs, a pipe, a flying coach and a contented heart.]

Happiness 81 Simply to breathe was an act of joy. Irving Stone, The Passions of the Mind (Life of Freud).

Happiness 53 For men are made for happiness, and anyone who is completely happy has a right to say to himself, ‘I am doing God’s will on Earth.” Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov. [Happiness is the belief that one is doing God’s will on earth.]

Happiness 135 You’ll be happy with her, but perhaps—not tranquilly happy. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov. [You’ll be happy but not tranquil.]

Happiness 234 Too, too well they know the value of complete submission; and until men know that, they will be unhappy. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov. [Men are only happy when they completely submit.]

Happiness 257 Life will bring you many misfortunes, but you will find your happiness in them. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov. [You can find happiness in misfortunes.]

Happiness 260 One day is enough for a man to know all happiness. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov. [To live the day fully is to know happiness.]

Happiness 78 …though external goods and relationships are necessary to happiness, its essence remains within us. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Aristotle. [Material goods and relationships are necessary to happiness, but happiness resides within us.]

Happiness 112 F. Bacon: Is there then any such happiness as for a man’s mind to be raised above the confusion of things, where he may have a respect of the order of nature and the error of men? Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Francis Bacon. [Happiness is to rise above confusion to see order in nature and in the errors of men.]

Happiness 180 Spinoza…begins by making happiness the goal of conduct; and he defines happiness very simply as the presence of pleasure and the absence of pain. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Spinoza. [Happiness is the presence of pleasure and the absence of pain.]

Happiness 226 Voltaire: This world, this theater of pride and wrong,/ Swarms with sick fools who talk of happiness….. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Voltaire. [Those who talk of happiness are sick fools.]

Happiness 344 …man’s happiness depends on what he is, rather than on external circumstance. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Schopenhauer. [Happiness depends on what a person is, not on external circumstances.]

Happiness 239 …and the secret of happiness in this world is not only to be useful, but to be forever elevating one’s uses. Jewett, A Country Doctor. [Happiness is the feeling of being useful.]

Happiness 124 My own happiness in the past often approached such an ecstasy that I could not share it even with the person dearest to me but had to walk it away in quiet streets and lanes…. F. Scott Fitzgerald on Writing. [I could never communicate my happiness to others, but had to walk in quiet places.]

Happiness 749 …and happiness (which never comes but incidentally) will come to us unawares. Hawthorne, The Blithedale Romance. [Happiness always comes incidentally and catches us unawares.]

Happiness 421 The fountain-head of happiness is not without but within us…. Tolstoi, War and Peace. [Happiness is not outside of us but within us.]

Happiness 1198 Here and now for the first time in his life Pierre fully appreciated the enjoyment of eating because he was hungry, of drinking because he was thirsty, of sleep because he was sleepy, of warmth because he was cold, of talking to a fellow creature because he felt like talking and wanted to hear a human voice. Tolstoi, War and Peace [For the first time he knew the happiness of eating, drinking, sleeping, warmth and talking because he was hungry, thirsty, tired, cold and wanted to hear a human voice.]

Happiness 1199 …a superfluity of the comforts of life destroys all joy in gratifying one’s needs…. Tolstoi, War and Peace [Having too much of anything destroys the joy in it.]

Happiness 7 …none of the other animals is happy, since they in no way share in contemplation. Aristotle, Ethics. Adler and VanDoren, eds. Great Treasury of Western Thought. [Animals cannot be happy because they cannot contemplate.]

Happiness 48 True happiness…arises…from the enjoyment of one’s self. Addison, 3/17/1711. The Spectator. [True happiness is when one enjoys oneself.]

Happiness 153 A dreary look-forward this, for a man who felt it to be the best definition of happiness to live throughout the whole range of his faculties and sensibilities. Introductory: “The Custom House.” Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter. [Happiness is to live the whole range of faculties and sensibilities.]

Happiness 380 It was the sort of afternoon that might induce a couple of elderly gentlemen, in a lonely field, to take off their great-coats and play at leap-frog in pure lightness of heart and gaiety. Dickens, Pickwick. [It was the kind of afternoon that would tempt elderly gentlemen to play leap frog.]

Happiness 71 Mr. Pickwick thought he had never felt so happy in his life, and at no time so much disposed to enjoy, and make the most of, the passing moment. Dickens, Pickwick. [Happiness is making the most of the passing moment.]

Happiness 799 Let us leave our old friend in one of those moments of unmixed happiness, of which…there are ever some, to cheer our transitory existence. Dickens, Pickwick. [We have moments of happiness in our transitory existence.]

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