We must select the illusion which appeals to our temperament and embrace it with passion if we want to be happy.

—Cyril Connolly, 1944

One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats.

—Iris Murdoch, 1978

Happiness, whether in business or private life, leaves very little trace in history.

—Fernand Braudel, 1979

One is never as unhappy as one thinks, nor as happy as one hopes.

—La Rochefoucauld, 1664

How to gain, how to keep, how to recover happiness is in fact for most men at all times the secret motive of all they do.

—William James, 1902

The right to the pursuit of happiness is nothing else than the right to disillusionment phrased in another way.

—Aldous Huxley, 1956

I take it as a prime cause of the present confusion of society that it is too sickly and too doubtful to use pleasure frankly as a test of value.

—Rebecca West, 1939

Human happiness never remains long in the same place.

—Herodotus, c. 430 BC

All those who suffer in the world do so because of their desire for their own happiness.

—Shantideva, c. 750

Whatever the apparent cause of any riots may be, the real one is always want of happiness.

—Thomas Paine, 1792

The happiness of society is the end of government.

—John Adams, 1776

Happiness (as the mathematicians might say) lies on a curve, and we approach it only by asymptote.

—Christopher Morley, 1919

When one has a famishing thirst for happiness, one is apt to gulp down diversions wherever they are offered.

—Alice Hegan Rice, 1917