We degrade life by our follies and vices, and then complain that the unhappiness which is only their accompaniment is inherent in the constitution of things.
As the ivy twines around the oak, so do misery and misfortune encompass the happiness of man. Felicity, pure and unalloyed, is not a plant of earthly growth; her gardens are the skies.
Man's unhappiness comes of his greatness; it is because there is an infinite in him, which, with all his cunning, he cannot quite bury under the finite.
A perverse temper, and a discontented, fretful disposition, wherever they prevail, render any state of life unhappy.
What is earthly happiness? that phantom of which we hear so much and see so little; whose promises are constantly given and constantly broken, but as constantly believed; that cheats us with the sound instead of the substance, and with the blossom instead of the fruit.
We never enjoy perfect happiness; our most fortunate successes are mingled with sadness; some anxieties always perplex the reality of our satisfaction.
It is better not to be than to be unhappy.
If we cannot live so as to be happy, let us at least live so as to deserve it.
Hardly a man, whatever his circumstances and situation, but if you get his confidence, will tell you that he is not happy. It is however certain that all men are not unhappy in the same degree, though by these accounts we might almost be tempted to think so. Is not this to be accounted for, by supposing that all men measure the happiness they possess by the happiness they desire, or think they deserve?
The most unhappy of all men is he who believes himself to be so.
Perfect happiness, I believe, was never intended by the Deity to be the lot of one of his creatures in this world; but that he has very much put in our power the nearness of our approaches to it is what I have steadfastly believed.
They who have never known prosperity can hardly be said to be unhappy; it is from the remembrance of joys we have lost, that the arrows of affliction are pointed.
In this world of resemblances, we are content with personating happiness; to feel it is in art beyond us.
Oh, how bitter a thing it is to look into happiness through another man's eyes!