Top Idle Quotes

Browse top 514 famous quotes and sayings about Idle by most favorite authors.

Favorite Idle Quotes

1. "You can no more bridle passions with logic than you can justify them in the law courts. Passions are facts and not dogmas."
Author: Alexander Herzen
2. "A well- informed mind,' he would say, 'is the best security against the contagion of folly and of vice. The vacant mind is ever on the watch for relief, and ready to plunge into error, to escape from the languor of idleness. Store it with ideas, teach it the pleasure of thinking; and the temptations of the world without, will be counteracted by the gratifications derived from the world within. Thought, and cultivation, are necessary equally to the happiness of a country and a city life; in the first they prevent the uneasy sensations of indolence, and afford a sublime pleasure in the taste they create for the beautiful, and the grand; in the latter, they make dissipation less an object of necessity, and consequently of interest."
Author: Ann Radcliffe
3. "In fact, I shall drink several, and perchance the wine will send me straight to Paradise that I may meet her in person and …" Friar Lorenzo sprung forward and hissed, for no apparent reason, "Before it throws you from grace, Messer Romeo, bridle your tongue!" The young man grinned, "… pay my respects."
Author: Anne Fortier
4. "By what seemed then and still seems a chance, the suggestion of a moment's idle thought followed up upon familiar lines and paths that I had tracked a hundred times already, the great truth burst upon me, and I saw, mapped out in lines of light, a whole world, a sphere unknown; continents and islands, and great oceans in which no ship has sailed (to my belief) since a Man first lifted up his eyes and beheld the sun, and the stars of heaven, and the quiet earth beneath."
Author: Arthur Machen
5. "Work is the best of narcotics, providing the patient be strong enough to take it. I dread idleness as if it were Hell."
Author: Beatrice Webb
6. "But the great artists like Michelangelo and Blake and Tolstoi--like Christ whom Blake called an artist because he had one of the most creative imaginations that ever was on earth--do not want security, egoistic or materialistic. Why, it never occurs to them. "Be not anxious for the morrow," and "which of you being anxious can add one cubit to his stature?"So they dare to be idle, i.e. not to be pressed and duty-driven all the time. They dare to love people even when they are very bad, and they dare not to try and dominate others to show them what they must do for their own good."
Author: Brenda Ueland
7. "It is a funny thing. A man can make a promise to his God, break it five minutes later and never think about it. With an idle shrug of his shoulders, a man can break solemn promises to his mother, wife or sweetheart, and, except for a slight momentary twinge of conscience, he still won't be bothered very much. But if a man ever breaks a promise to himself he disintegrates. His entire personality and character crumble into tiny pieces, and he is never the same man again.I remember very well a sergeant I knew in the army. Before a group of five men he swore off smoking forever. An hour later he sheepishly lit a cigarette and broke his vow to the five of us and to himself. He was never quite the same man again, not to me, and not to himself."
Author: Charles Willeford
8. "Picture me then idle, basking, plump, and happy, stretched on a cushioned deck, warmed with constant sunshine, rocked by breezes indolently soft."
Author: Charlotte Brontë
9. "I want to be as idle as I can, so that my soul may have time to grow."
Author: Elizabeth Von Arnim
10. "I have lost the faculty of enjoying their destruction, and I am too idle to destroy for nothing."
Author: Emily Brontë
11. "O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, faintheartedness, lust of power, and idle talk."But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience and love to your servant."Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own sin and not to judge my brother, for You are blessed from all ages to all ages. Amen"
Author: Ephrem The Syrian
12. "Words were one of the most powerful forces known— or unknown— to man. The Most High had created this world with His words. And humans, who had been fashioned in His image, could direct the entire course of their lives with their words, their mouths as the rudder on a ship, as the bridle on a horse. They produced with their words. They destroyed with their words."
Author: Gena Showalter
13. "A learned man is an idler who kills time by study."
Author: George Bernard Shaw
14. "The Squire's life was quite as idle as his sons', but it was a fiction kept up by himself and his contemporaries in Raveloe that youth was exclusively the period of folly, and that their aged wisdom was constantly in a state of endurance mitigated by sarcasm."
Author: George Eliot
15. "The oak was, of course, a great stealer of the surrounding pasture—its only value to provide shade for the livestock—but it was a magnificent tree. It had been there at least as long as Luxtons had owned the land. To have removed it would have been unthinkable (as well as a forbidding practical task). It simply went with the farm. No one taking in that view for the first time could have failed to see that the tree was the immovable, natural companion of the farmhouse, or, to put it another way, that so long as the tree stood, so must the farmhouse. And no mere idle visitor—especially if they came from a city and saw that tree on a summer's day—could have avoided the simpler thought that it was a perfect spot for a picnic."
Author: Graham Swift
16. "I didn't want to be educated. It wasn't the right time of my life for concentration, it really wasn't. The spirit of the age among the people I knew manifested itself as general drift and idleness. We didn't want money. What for? We could get by, living off parents, friends or the State And if we were going to be bored, and we were usually bored, rarely being self-motivated, we could at least be bored on our own terms, lying smashed on mattresses in ruined houses rather than working in the machine. I didn't want to work in a place where I couldn't wear my fur coat."
Author: Hanif Kureishi
17. "And here, right at the start, one encounters a new difficulty. For the task of reestablishing the notion of God's authority is obstructed not only by the depreciation of authority itself, but also by a false, pre-established picture of God- found even within the church. Certainly, the church has preserved the concept of a loving God, a merciful God, a compassionate God. But have Christians generally themselves any vivid sense of God's power and dominion? Do we, when we worship God, or when we reflect on His nature, catch a clear echo of His resounding and indomitable majesty?... It cannot be denied that this is the God we are supposed to worship- not just a companionable God who is to be sidled up to and nestled against, but and awesome God before whom the worshipper prostrates himself, a wrathful God whose raised right arm can shake the universe."
Author: Harry Blamires
18. "Sit in reverie and watch the changing color of the wavesthat break upon the idle seashore of the mind."
Author: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
19. "The extreme inequality of our ways of life, the excess of idleness among some and the excess of toil among others, the ease of stimulating and gratifying our appetites and our senses, the over-elaborate foods of the rich, which inflame and overwhelm them with indigestion, the bad food of the poor, which they often go withotu altogether, so hat they over-eat greedily when they have the opportunity; those late nights, excesses of all kinds, immoderate transports of every passion, fatigue, exhaustion of mind, the innumerable sorrows and anxieties that people in all classes suffer, and by which the human soul is constantly tormented: these are the fatal proofs that most of our ills are of our own making, and that we might have avoided nearly all of them if only we had adhered to the simple, unchanging and solitary way of life that nature ordained for us."
Author: Jean Jacques Rousseau
20. "If the beginning of wisdom is in realizing that one knows nothing, then the beginning of understanding is in realizing that all things exist in accord with a single truth: Large things are made of smaller things. Drops of ink are shaped into letters, letters form words, words form sentences, and sentences combine to express thought. So it is with the growth of plants that spring from seeds, as well as with walls built from many stones. So it is with mankind, as the customs and traditions of our progenitors blend together to form the foundation for our own cities, history, and way of life. Be they dead stone, living flesh, or rolling sea; be they idle times or events of world-shattering proportion, market days or desperate battles, to this law, all things hold: Large things are made from small things. Significance is cumulative--but not always obvious. --Gaius Secondus"
Author: Jim Butcher
21. "Idleness is the stupidity of the body, and stupidity is the idleness of the mind."
Author: Johann G. Seume
22. "For the normative self-understanding of modernity, Christianity has functioned as more than just a precursor or catalyst. Universalistic egalitarianism, from which sprang the ideals of freedom and a collective life in solidarity, the autonomous conduct of life and emancipation, the individual morality of conscience, human rights and democracy, is the direct legacy of the Judaic ethic of justice and the Christian ethic of love. This legacy, substantially unchanged, has been the object of a continual critical reappropriation and reinterpretation. Up to this very day there is no alternative to it. And in light of the current challenges of a post-national constellation, we must draw sustenance now, as in the past, from this substance. Everything else is idle postmodern talk."
Author: Jürgen Habermas
23. "Why are you fighting like this? You're acting like Reece and Ridley."
Author: Kami Garcia
24. "Idleness does drive me crazy, but I'd rather read or write than do anything just to work. A kind of respect has been instilled in me for acting: I love it too much to ever have a bad relationship with it."
Author: Karen Allen
25. "But, look, it is good to have a dream so long as you do not let it gnaw at the substance of your present. I have seen men consumed by their dreams, and it is a sour business. If you cling too tightly to a dream—a poodle bitch or a personal sausage chef or whatever—then you miss the felicity of your heart beating and the smell of the grass growing and the sounds lizards make when you run through the neighborhood with our friend. Your dream should be like a favorite old bone that you savor and cherish and chew upon gently. Then, rather than stealing from you a wasted sigh or the life of an idle hour, it nourishes you, and you become strangely contented by nostalgia for a possible future, so juicy with possibility and redolent of sautéed garlic and decadent slabs of bacon that you feel full when you've eaten nothing. And then, one fine day when the sun smiles upon your snout, then the time is right, you bite down hard. The dream is yours. And then youchew on the next one."
Author: Kevin Hearne
26. "You didn't feed from her," he said, and this was not a question."Swill poison? Not my kind of fun, little brother."One corner of Stefan's mouth quirked up. He made no response to this, but simply looked at Damon with eyes that were... knowing. Damon bridled."I told the truth!""Going to take it up as a hobby?"
Author: L.J. Smith
27. "The idea presented itself definitely to his mind that it was in his power to exchange the dreary, artificial, idle, and individualistic life he was leading for this laborious, pure, and socially delightful life."
Author: Leo Tolstoy
28. "It requires emphasis that the states established the American Republic and, through the Constitution, retained for themselves significant authority to ensure the republic's durability. This is not to say that the states are perfect governing institutions. Many are no more respectful of unalienable rights than is the federal government. But the issue is how best to preserve the civil society in a world of imperfect people and institutions. The answer, the Framers concluded, is to diversify authority with a combination of governing checks, balances, and divisions, intended to prevent the concentration of unbridled power in the hands of a relative few imperfect people."
Author: Mark R. Levin
29. "We used to languish when we walked, or sidle down the street like dogs that have just done something wrong. Now Rube walks upright, because he's on the attack."
Author: Markus Zusak
30. "The purpose of marriage is not to have pleasure and to be idle, but to procreate and bring up children, to support a household. This, of course, is a huge burden full of great cares and toils. But you have been created by God to be a husband or a wife that you may learn to bear these troubles. Those who have no love for children are... unworthy of being called men or women; for they despise the blessing of God, the creator and author of marriage."
Author: Martin Luther
31. "Lucian's father had warned him to fear idle men. Without the pride gained from a good day's work, they were left to their vices and the doubts that crowded their head. Their hatred. Their envy."
Author: Melina Marchetta
32. "I have no other passion to keep me in breath. What avarice, ambition, quarrels, law suits do for others who, like me, have no particular vocation, love would much more commodiously do; it would restore to me vigilance, sobriety, grace, and the care of my person; it would reassure my countenance, so that the grimaces of old age, those deformed and dismal looks, might not come to disgrace it; would again put me upon sound and wise studies, by which I might render myself more loved and esteemed, clearing my mind of the despair of itself and of its use, and redintegrating it to itself; would divert me from a thousand troublesome thoughts, a thousand melancholic humours that idleness and the ill posture of our health loads us withal at such an age; would warm again, in dreams at least, the blood that nature is abandoning; would hold up the chin, and a little stretch out the nerves, the vigour and gaiety of life of that poor man who is going full drive towards his ruin."
Author: Michel De Montaigne
33. "You either do something yourself, you create something, or you follow somebody. If you want to follow anybody, you have to wait for them to get in front of you to follow them. I want to be a winner, so I want to create. I cannot lie back and be idle, because I want everybody to work as hard as I do. How can I ask people to do things I'm not doing?"
Author: Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum
34. "The dictionary also invites a playful reading. It challenges anyone to sit down with it in an idle moment. There are worse ways to kill time."
Author: Mortimer J. Adler
35. "I am credited with being one of the hardest workers and perhaps I am, if thought is the equivalent of labour, for I have devoted to it almost all of my waking hours. But if work is interpreted to be a definite performance in a specified time according to a rigid rule, then I may be the worst of idlers."
Author: Nikola Tesla
36. "Sure, it is weak and illiberal to speak slightingly of any considerable body of men; yet it so happens that the only judges I have known have been froward companions, and it occurs to me that not only are they subjected to the evil influence of authority but also to that of righteous indignation, which is even more deleterious. Those who judge and sentence criminals address them with an unbridled, vindictive righteousness that would be excessive in an archangel and that is indecent to the highest degree in one sinner speaking to another, and he defenceless. Righteous indignation every day, and publicly applauded!"
Author: Patrick O'Brian
37. "For Delta blueman Robert Johnson and his contemporaries, the train was the eternal metaphor for the travelling life, and it still holds true today. There is no travel like it. Train lines carve through all facets of a nation. While buses stick to major highways and planes reduce the unfolding of lives to a bird's eye view, trains putter through the domains of the rich and the poor, the desperate and the idle, rural and urban, isolated and cluttered. Through train windows you see realities rarely visible in the landscaped tourist areas. Those frames hold the untended jungle of a nation's truth. Despite my shredded emotions, there was still no feeling like dragging all your worldly possessions onto a carriage, alone and anonymous, to set off into the unknown; where any and all varieties of adventures await, where you might meet a new best friend, where the love of your life could be hiding in a dingy cafe. The clatter of the tracks is the sound of liberation."
Author: Patrick O'Neil
38. "I wonder if gratefulness is the bridge from sorrow to joy, spanning the chasm of our anxious striving. Freed from the burden of unbridled desires, we can enjoy what we have, celebrate what we've attained, and appreciate the familiar. For if we can't be happy now, we'll likely not be happy when."
Author: Philip Gulley
39. "If history is deprived of the Truth, we are left with nothing but an idle, unprofitable tale."
Author: Polybius
40. "As an actor, you try and be cool, but one of the reasons you become an actor is because you're a film fan. And then you're like, 'Oh my God, Ridley Scott just spoke to me!'"
Author: Rafe Spall
41. "He also taught us hundred-dollar words as playthings: Why say "a little" when you could say "a paucity"? Why say "a lot" when "a plethora" was so much more fun? One of our summer games involved him in instructing me and my brother, Hank, to "mosey", "sidle," "amble," "strut," and "skulk" across the room – forcing us to put physical sensations to those words we only read. How did it actually feel to sidle? Do you do it sideways?"
Author: Robert Lane Greene
42. "I also head that Lord Maxwell keeps a goat in his bedchamber, but you don't see me sending someone to milk it. One mustn't let idle gossip govern one's actions."
Author: Sabrina Jeffries
43. "Thanks be to God. Since my leaving the drinking of wine, I do find myself much better, and do mind my business better, and do spend less money, and less time lost in idle company."
Author: Samuel Pepys
44. "What shall I do now? What shall I do?"I shall rush out as I am, and walk the street"With my hair down, so. What shall we do to-morrow?"What shall we ever do?"The hot water at ten.And if it rains, a closed car at four.And we shall play a game of chess,Pressing lidless eyes and waiting for a knock upon the door."
Author: T.S. Eliot
45. "At first I did not love you, Jude; that I own. When I first knew you I merely wanted you to love me. I did not exactly flirt with you; but that inborn craving which undermines some women's morals almost more than unbridled passion--the craving to attract and captivate, regardless of the injury it may do the man--was in me; and when I found I had caught you, I was frightened. And then--I don't know how it was-- I couldn't bear to let you go--possibly to Arabella again--and so I got to love you, Jude. But you see, however fondly it ended, it began in the selfish and cruel wish to make your heart ache for me without letting mine ache for you."
Author: Thomas Hardy
46. "SilenceTHERE is a silence where hath been no sound, There is a silence where no sound may be, In the cold grave—under the deep, deep sea, Or in wide desert where no life is found, Which hath been mute, and still must sleep profound; No voice is hush'd—no life treads silently, But clouds and cloudy shadows wander free, That never spoke, over the idle ground: But in green ruins, in the desolate walls Of antique palaces, where Man hath been, Though the dun fox or wild hyæna calls, And owls, that flit continually between, Shriek to the echo, and the low winds moan— There the true Silence is, self-conscious and alone."
Author: Thomas Hood
47. "Idleness, pleasure, what abysses! To do nothing is a dreary course to take, be sure of it. To live idle upon the substance of society! To be useless, that is to say, noxious! This leads straight to the lowest depth of misery."
Author: Victor Hugo
48. "In schools the rather stupid boys who work always do better than the clever boy who's idle, but when the clever boy works – why then, he does what you've done this term."
Author: W. Somerset Maugham
49. "[My grandfather] returned to what he called ‘studying.' He sat looking down at his lap, his left hand idle on the chair arm, his right scratching his head, his white hair gleaming in the lamplight. I knew that when he was studying he was thinking, but I did not know what about. Now I have aged into knowledge of what he thought about. He thought of his strength and endurance when he was young, his merriment and joy, and how his life's burdens had then grown upon him. He thought of that arc of country that centered upon Port William as he first had known it in the years just after the Civil War, and as it had changed, and as it had become; and how all that time, which would have seemed almost forever when he was a boy, now seemed hardly anytime at all. He thought of the people he remembered, now dead, and of those who had come and gone before his knowledge, and of those who would come after, and of his own place in that long procession."
Author: Wendell Berry
50. "Put a bridle on thy tongue; set a guard before thy lips, lest the words of thine own mouth destroy thy peace... on much speaking cometh repentance, but in silence is safety."
Author: William Drummond

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Dim loneliness came imperceivably into the fields and he turned back. The birds piped oddly; some wind was caressing the higher foliage, turning it all one way, the way home. Telegraph poles ahead looked like half-used pencils; the small cross on the steeple glittered with a sharp and shapely permanence."
Author: A.E. Coppard

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