Time is a veil interposed between God and ourselves, as our eyelid is between our eye and the light.

—François-René de Chateaubriand, c. 1820

Years are nothing to me—they should be nothing to you. Who asked you to count them or to consider them? In the world of wild nature, time is measured by seasons only—the bird does not know how old it is—the rose tree does not count its birthdays!

—Marie Corelli, 1911

We wish away whole years, and travel through time as through a country filled with many wild and empty wastes, which we would fain hurry over, that we may arrive at those several little settlements or imaginary points of rest which are dispersed up and down in it.

—Joseph Addison, 1711

The best way to fill time is to waste it.

—Marguerite Duras, 1987

A watch is always too fast or too slow. I cannot be dictated to by a watch.

—Jane Austen, 1814

My stern chase after time is, to borrow a simile from Tom Paine, like the race of a man with a wooden leg after a horse.

—John Quincy Adams, 1844

We should not say that one man’s hour is worth another man’s hour, but rather that one man during an hour is worth just as much as another man during an hour. Time is everything, man is nothing; he is, at most, time’s carcass.

—Karl Marx, 1847

Our allotted time is the passing of a shadow.

—Book of Wisdom, c. 100 BC

Time, when it is left to itself and no definite demands are made on it, cannot be trusted to move at any recognized pace. Usually it loiters, but just when one has come to count upon its slowness, it may suddenly break into a wild irrational gallop.

—Edith Wharton, 1905

No preacher is listened to but time, which gives us the same train and turn of thought that elder people have in vain tried to put into our heads before.

—Jonathan Swift, 1706

The past is always tense and the future, perfect.

—Zadie Smith, 2000

Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid.

—Frank Zappa, 1989

Time’s ruins build eternity’s mansions.

—James Joyce, 1922