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IDLENESS
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[ Also see Action Activity Business Delay Ease Employment Ennui Forgetfulness Inaction Inactivity Indifference Indolence Laziness Leisure Neglect Occupations Rest Retirement Sloth Solitude Study Time Work ]

Drones suck not eagles' blood, but rob beehives.
      - William Shakespeare

What is a man,
  If his chief good and market of his time
    Be but to sleep and feed? A beast, no more.
      Sure he that made us with such large discourse,
        Looking before and after, gave us not
          That capability and godlike reason
            To fust in us unused.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Hamlet Prince of Denmark
         (Hamlet at IV, iv)

Were't not affection chains thy tender days
  To the sweet glances of thy honored love,
    I rather would entreat thy company
      To see the wonders of the world abroad
        Than, living dully sluggardized at home,
          Wear out thy youth with shapeless idleness.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Two Gentlemen of Verona
         (Valentine at I, i)

A man who has no office to go to--I don't care who he is--is a trial of which you can have no conception.
      - George Bernard Shaw, The Irrational Knot
         (ch. XVIII)

Stagnation is something worse than death, it is corruption also.
      - William Gilmore Simms

Stagnant satisfaction!
      - Samuel Smiles

If idleness do not produce vice or malevolence, it commonly produces melancholy.
      - Sydney Smith

He is not only idle who does nothing, but he is idle who might be better employed.
      - Socrates

Idleness is both a great sin, and the cause of many more.
      - Bishop Robert South

Sluggish idleness--the nurse of sin.
      - Edmund Spenser

Idleness is the key of beggary.
      - Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Other men have acquired fame by industry, but this man by indolence.
  [Lat., Utque alios industria, ita hunc ignavia ad vamam protulat.]
      - Tacitus (Caius Cornelius Tacitus), Annales
         (XVI, 18)

So long as idleness is quite shut out from our lives, all the sins of wantonness, softness, and effeminacy are prevented; and there is but little room for temptation.
      - Jeremy Taylor

Their only labour was to kill the time;
  And labour dire it is, and weary woe,
    They sit, they loll, turn o'er some idle rhyme,
      Then, rising sudden, to the glass they go,
        Or saunter forth, with tottering steps and slow.
      - James Thomson (1), Castle of Indolence
         (canto I, 72)

Indolence is the sleep of the mind.
  [Fr., L'indolence est le sommeil des esprits.]
      - Luc de Clapier de Vauvanargues, Reflexions
         (390)

There is no remedy for time misspent;
  No healing for the waste of idleness,
    Whose very languor is a punishment
      Heavier than active souls can feel or guess.
      - Sir Aubrey de Vere,
        A Song of Faith--Devout Exercises and Sonnets

I pity the man overwhelmed with the weight of his own leisure.
      - Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire)

For Satan finds some mischief still
  For idle hands to do.
      - Isaac Watts, Against Idleness

'Tis the voice of the sluggard; I heard him complain,
  "You have waked me too soon, I must slumber again."
    As the door on its hinges, so he on his bed,
      Turns his sides and his shoulders and his heavy head.
        "A little more sleep, and a little more slumber;"
          Thus he wastes half his days, and his hours without number,
            And when he gets up, he sits folding his hands,
              Or walks about sauntering, or trifling he stands.
      - Isaac Watts, Moral Songs--The Sluggard
         (l. 1)

To do nothing at all is the most difficult thing in the world, the most difficult and the most intellectual.
      - Oscar Wilde (Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde)

Worse than idle is compassion if it ends in tears and sighs.
      - William Wordsworth

But how can he expect that others should
  Build for him, sow for him, and at his call
    Love him, who for himself will take no heed at all?
      - William Wordsworth,
        Resolution and Independence (st. 6)

Worldings revelling in the fields
  Of strenuous idleness.
      - William Wordsworth,
        This Lawn, a Carpet all alive

If you ask me which is the real hereditary sin of human nature, do you imagine I shall answer pride or luxury or ambition or egotism? No; I shall say indolence. Who conquers indolence will conquer all the rest. Indeed, all good principles must stagnate without mental activity.
      - Johann Georg von Zimmermann

Indolent people, whatever taste they may have for society, seek eagerly for pleasure, and find nothing. They have an empty head and seared hearts.
      - Johann Georg von Zimmermann


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