To a man of pleasure every moment appears to be lost, which partakes not of the vivacity of amusement.
—Joseph Addison (1672–1719) English Essayist, Poet, Playwright, Politician
Pleasant it to behold great encounters of warfare arrayed over the plains, with no part of yours in peril.
—Lucretius (c.99–55 BCE) Roman Epicurean Poet, Philosopher
Pleasure is often spoiled by describing it.
—Stendhal (Marie-Henri Beyle) (1783–1842) French Writer
For some, pleasure is a fever they can’t shake. For others, it’s a disease they cannot seem to catch.
Perhaps one has to be very old before one learns how to be amused rather than shocked.
—Pearl S. Buck (1892–1973) American Novelist, Human Rights Activist
Pleasure is the first good. It is the beginning of every choice and every aversion. It is the absence of pain in the body and of troubles in the soul.
—Epicurus (c.341–270 BCE) Greek Philosopher
You can’t live on amusement. It is the froth on water—an inch deep and then the mud.
—George MacDonald (1824–1905) Scottish Novelist, Lecturer, Poet
Men may scoff, and men may pray, but they pay every pleasure with a pain.
—William Ernest Henley (1849–1903) English Poet, Critic, Editor
The aim of the wise is not to secure pleasure, but to avoid pain.
—Aristotle (384BCE–322BCE) Ancient Greek Philosopher, Scholar
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 A. Russell (1872–1970) British Philosopher, Mathematician, Social Critic
Pleasure is the object, duty and the goal of all rational creatures.
—Voltaire (1694–1778) French Philosopher, Author
Indulge yourself in pleasures only in so far as they are necessary for the preservation of health.
—Baruch Spinoza (1632–77) Dutch Philosopher, Theologian
The most delicate, the most sensible of all pleasures, consists in promoting the pleasure of others.
—Jean de La Bruyere (1645–96) French Satiric Moralist, Author
Pleasure is Nature.
—Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) Irish Poet, Playwright
Speed, it seems to me, provides the one genuinely modern pleasure.
—Aldous Huxley (1894–1963) English Humanist, Pacifist, Essayist, Short Story Writer, Satirist
Novelty is the great parent of pleasure.
—Robert South (1634–1716) English Theologian, Preacher
Scratching is one of nature’s sweetest gratifications, and the one nearest at hand.
—Michel de Montaigne (1533–92) French Essayist
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 (1930–2014) American Psychotherapist
He buys honey too dear who licks it from thorns.
Pleasure is the greatest incentive to evil.
—Plato (428 BCE–347 BCE) Ancient Greek Philosopher, Mathematician, Educator
Happiness is not pleasure, it’s victory.
—Zig Ziglar (1926–2012) American Author
We smile at the ignorance of the savage who cuts down the tree in order to reach its fruit; but the same blunder is made by every person who is over eager and impatient in the pursuit of pleasure.
—William Ellery Channing (1780–1842) American Unitarian Theologian, Poet
I take it as a prime cause of the present confusion of society that it is too sickly and too doubtful frankly to use pleasure as a test of value.
—Rebecca West (1892–1983) English Author, Journalist, Literary Critic
Look upon pleasures not upon that side that is next the sun, or where they look beauteously, that is, as they come toward you to be enjoyed, for then they paint and smile, and dress themselves up in tinsel, and glass gems, and counterfeit imagery.
All earthly delights are sweeter in expectation than enjoyment; but all spiritual pleasures more in fruition than expectation.
—Owen Feltham (1602–1668) English Essayist
Pleasure and pain spring not so much from the nature of things, as from our manner of considering them.—Pleasure especially, is never an invariable effect of particular circumstances.—Largely that is pleasure which is thought to be so.
—Christian Nestell Bovee (1820–1904) American Writer, Aphorist
We must always skim over pleasures. They are like marshy lands that we must travel nimbly, hardly daring to put down our feet.
—Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle (1657–1757) French Essayist, Polymath, Philosopher
Pleasure is in general, dangerous and pernicious to virtue.—To be able, therefore, to furnish pleasure that is harmless and pure and unalloyed, is as great a power as man can possess.
—Samuel Johnson (1709–84) British Essayist
Pleasure is the most real good in this life.
—Frederick II of Prussia (1712–86) Prussian Monarch
Pleasure therefore, (or Delight,) is the appearance or sense of Good; and Molestation or Displeasure, the appearance or sense of Evil.
—Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679) English Political Philosopher