There is room enough in human life to crowd almost every art and science in it. If we pass “no day without a line”—visit no place without the company of a book—we may with ease fill libraries, or empty them of their contents. The more we do, the more busy we are, the more leisure we have.
—William Hazlitt (1778–1830) English Essayist
It should be noted that children’s games are not merely games. One should regard them as their most serious activities.
—Michel de Montaigne (1533–92) French Essayist
Leisure is a form of silence, not noiselessness. It is the silence of contemplation such as occurs when we let our minds rest on a rosebud, a child at play, a Divine mystery, or a waterfall.
—Fulton J. Sheen (1895–1979) American Catholic Religious Leader, Theologian
The basis on which good repute in any highly organized industrial community ultimately rests is pecuniary strength; and the means of showing pecuniary strength, and so of gaining or retaining a good name, are leisure and a conspicuous consumption of goods
—Thorstein Veblen (1857–1929) American Economist, Social Critic
Put off thy cares with thy clothes; so shall thy rest strengthen thy labor; and and so shall thy labor sweeten thy rest.
—Francis Quarles (1592–1644) English Religious Poet
Play is the exultation of the possible.
—Martin Buber (1878–1965) Austrian Jewish Theologian, Philosopher, Novelist
Absence of occupation is not rest; a mind quite vacant is a mind distressed.
—William Cowper (1731–1800) English Anglican Poet, Hymn writer
Leisure and solitude are the best effect of riches, because mother of thought. Both are avoided by most rich men, who seek company and business; which are signs of their being weary of themselves.
—William Temple (1881–1944) British Clergyman, Theologian
How many inner resources one needs to tolerate a life of leisure without fatigue.
—Natalie Clifford Barney (1876–1972) American Playwright, Poet, Novelist
Leisure only means a chance to do other jobs that demand attention.
—Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (1841–1935) American Jurist, Author
Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time
—John Lubbock (1834–1913) English Politician, Biologist
If you are losing your leisure, look out! You are losing your soul.
—Logan Pearsall Smith (1865–1946) American-British Essayist, Bibliophile
Leisure is the mother of philosophy.
—Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679) English Political Philosopher
Rest, rest, shall I have not all eternity to rest.
—Antoine Arnauld (1612–94) French Philosopher, Lawyer, Mathematician, Theologian
A man can never be idle with safety and advantage until he has been so trained by work that he makes his freedom from times and tasks more fruitful than his toil has been.
—Hamilton Wright Mabie (1846–1916) American Essayist, Editor
Many concerns now make part or the whole of their dividends from by-products that formerly went to waste. How do we, as individuals, utilize our principal by-product? Our principal by-product is, of course, our leisure time. Many years of observation forces the conclusion that a man’s success or failure in life is determined as much by how he acts during his leisure as by how he acts during his work hours. Tell me how a young man spends his evenings and I will tell you how he is likely to spend the latter part of his life.
—B. C. Forbes (1880–1954) Scottish-born American Journalist, Publisher
Employ thy time well if thou meanest to gain leisure; and since thou art not sure of a minute, throw not away an hour. Leisure is time for doing something useful, and this leisure the diligent man will obtain, but the lazy man never, for a life of leisure and a life of laziness are two things.
—Benjamin Franklin (1706–90) American Political Leader, Inventor, Diplomat
Let the world have whatever sports and recreations please them best, provided they be followed with discretion.
—Richard Burton (1925–84) Welsh Actor
Your hair may be brushed, but your mind’s untidy. You’ve had about seven hours of sleep since Friday. No wonder you feel that lost sensation. You’re sunk from a riot of relaxation.
—Ogden Nash (1902–71) American Writer of Sophisticated Light Verse