The aim of the wise is not to secure pleasure, but to avoid pain.
Business is really more agreeable than pleasure; it interests the whole mind, the aggregate nature of man more continuously, and more deeply. But it does not look as if it did.
The English Constitution (1867)
It is the paradox of life that the way to miss pleasure is to seek it first. The very first condition of lasting happiness is that a life should be full of purpose, aiming at something outside self. As a matter of experience, we find that true happiness comes in seeking other things, in the manifold activities of life, in the healthful outgoing of all human powers.
Culture and Restraint (1901)
I reckon being ill as one of the great pleasures of life, provided one is not too ill and is not obliged to work till one is better.
One of the pleasures of reading old letters is the knowledge that they need no answer.
The whole story of human and personal progress is an unmitigated tale of denials today-denials of rest, denials or repose and comfort and ease and pleasure-that tomorrow may be richer.
The Mastery of Nervousness: Based Upon Self Reeducation (1918)
Next to doing things that deserve to be written, nothing gets a man more credit, or gives him more pleasure than to write things that deserve to be read.
Moving between the legs of tables and of chairs, rising or falling, grasping at kisses and toys, advancing boldly, sudden to take alarm, retreating to the corner of arm and knee, eager to be reassured, taking pleasure in the fragrant brilliance of the Christmas tree.
False facts are highly injurious to the progress of science, for they often endure long; but false views, if supported by some evidence, do little harm, for everyone takes a salutory pleasure in proving their falseness; and when this is done, one path toward errors is closed and the road to truth is often at the same time opened.
The Descent of Man
As soon as beauty is sought not from religion and love, but for pleasure, it degrades the seeker.
Freedom is not procured by a full enjoyment of what is desired, but by controlling the desire.
The great danger for family life, in the midst of any society whose idols are pleasure, comfort and independence, lies in the fact that people close their hearts and become selfish.
Poetry is the art of uniting pleasure with truth.
The Puritan hated bear-baiting, not because it gave pain to the bear, but because it gave pleasure to the spectators.
History of England
Tragedy delights by affording a shadow of the pleasure which exists in pain.
Pride is pleasure arising from a man's thinking too highly of himself.
Self-complacency is pleasure accompanied by the idea of oneself as cause.
...the human being, like the immortals, natually places sexual intercourse far and away above all other joys -- yet he has left it out of his heaven! The very thought of it excites him; opportunity sets him wild; in this state he will risk life, reputation, everything -- even his queer heaven itself -- to make good that opportunity and ride it to the overwhelming climax. From youth to middle age all men and all women prize copulation above all other pleasures combined, yet it actually as I have said: it is not in their heaven; prayer takes its place.
Letters from the Earth
Pleasure is the only thing one should live for. Nothing ages like happiness.
Phrases And Philosophies For The Use Of The Young, 1894
It’s something very personal, a very important thing. Hell! It’s a family motto. Are you ready Jerry? I wanna make sure you’re ready, brother. Here it is: Show me the money. SHOW! ME! THE! MONEY! Jerry, it is such a pleasure to say that! Say it with me one time, Jerry.
Jerry Maguire (1996). By Rod Tidwell.