Reference > Quotations > Hoyt & Roberts, comps. > Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations
Hoyt & Roberts, comps.  Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations.  1922.
“Man wants but little here below
  Nor wants that little long,”
’Tis not with me exactly so;
  But ’tis so in the song.
My wants are many, and, if told,
  Would muster many a score;
And were each wish a mint of gold,
  I still should long for more.
        John Quincy Adams—The Wants of Man.
        Every wish
Is like a prayer—with God.
        E. B. Browning—Aurora Leigh. Bk. II.
O, that I were where I would be,
  Then would I be where I am not;
For where I am I would not be,
  And where I would be I can not.
        Quiller-Couch. Quoted in Ship of Stars. Ch. XII.
  If a man could half his wishes he would double his Troubles.
        Benj. Franklin—Poor Richard. (1752).
  Was man in der Jugend wünscht, hat man im Alter die Fülle.
  What one has wished for in youth, in old age one has in abundance.
        Goethe—Wahrheit und Dichtung. Motto to Part II.
Man wants but little here below,
Nor wants that little long.
        Goldsmith—The Hermit. St. 8.
And the evil wish is most evil to the wisher.
        Hesiod—Works and Days. V. 264.
Little I ask; my wants are few;
  I only wish a hut of stone
(A very plain brown stone will do),
  That I may call my own;
And close at hand is such a one
In yonder street that fronts the sun.
With all thy sober charms possest,
Whose wishes never learnt to stray.
        Langhorne—Poems. II. P. 123. (Park’s Ed.)
I wish I knew the good of wishing.
        Henry S. Leigh—Wishing.
  You pursue, I fly; you fly, I pursue; such is my humor. What you wish, Dondymus, I do not wish, what you do not wish, I do.
        Martial—Epigrams. Bk. V. Ep. 83.
  Vous l’avez voulu, vous l’avez voulu, George Dandin, vous l’avez voulu.
  You have wished it so, you have wished it so, George Dandin, you have wished it so.
        Molière—George Dandin. Act I. Sc. 9.
Wert thou all that I wish thee, great, glorious and free,
First flower of the earth, and first gem of the sea.
        Moore—Remember Thee.
If I live to grow old, as I find I go down,
Let this be my fate in a country town;
May I have a warm house, with a stone at my gate,
And a cleanly young girl to rub my bald pate.
  May I govern my passions with an absolute sway,
  Grow wiser and better as my strength wears away,
  Without gout or stone, by a gentle decay.
        Walter Pope—The Old Man’s Wish. First appeared in A Collection of Thirty one Songs. (1685).
Thy wish was father, Harry, to that thought:
I stay too long by thee, I weary thee.
        Henry IV. Pt. II. Act IV. Sc. 5. L. 93. “Thy wish was father to that thought.” Idea found in Arrian—Anabasis. I. Ch. VII. Æschylus—Prometh. Vinct. I. 928. Achilles Tatius—De Leucippes. Bk. VI. 17. Heliodorus. Bk. VIII. Cæsar—De Bello Gallico. III. 18. Quintilian—Institutes. Bk. VI. Ch. II. Sec. V. (Ed. Bonnell.) (1861).
Where nothing wants that want itself doth seek.
        Love’s Labour’s Lost. Act IV. Sc. 3. L. 237.
I’ve often wished that I had clear,
For life, six hundred pounds a year,
A handsome house to lodge a friend,
A river at my garden’s end,
A terrace walk, and half a rood
Of land, set out to plant a wood.
        Swift—Imitation of Horace. Bk. II. Satire 6.
Quoniam id fieri quod vis non potest
Id velis quod possis.
  As you can not do what you wish, you should wish what you can do.
        Terence—Andria. II. 1. 6.
On ne peut désirer ce qu’on ne connaît pas.
  We cannot wish for that we know not.
        Voltaire—Zaïre. I. 1.
Wishers and woulders be small householders.
        Vulgaria Stambrigi. Pub. by Wynkyn de Worde. Early in the XVI. Cent.
What most we wish, with ease we fancy near.
        Young—Love of Fame. III.
Wishing, of all employments is the worst.
        Young—Night Thoughts. Night IV. L. 71.
He calls his wish, it comes; he sends it back,
And says he called another; that arrives,
Meets the same welcome; yet he still calls on;
Till one calls him, who varies not his call,
But holds him fast, in chains of darkness bound,
Till Nature dies, and judgment sets him free;
A freedom far less welcome than this chain.
        Young—Night Thoughts. Night IV. Lines near end.
Man wants but little, nor that little long;
How soon must he resign his very dust,
Which frugal nature lent him for an hour!
        Young—Night Thoughts. Night IV. L. 118.
What folly can be ranker. Like our shadows,
Our wishes lengthen as our sun declines.
        Young—Night Thoughts. Night V. L. 661.

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