VIII. Happiness

~ The Clubfoot by Jose de Ribera


He who leaves his house in search of happiness pursues a shadow[1].

Content is happiness.

Children and fools have merry lives.

Pleasant hours fly past.


One day of pleasure is worth two of sorrow.

An ounce of mirth is worth a pound of sorrow.

One joy scatters a hundred griefs[2].

The mirth of the world dureth but a while.


Pleasure has a sting in its tail.

Who will in time present pleasure refrain,

Shall in time to come the more pleasure obtain.

No pleasure without pain.


Who knows much will suffer much.

Who suffers much is silent.

Pain is the price that God puts upon all things[3].

Suffering is bitter, but its fruits are sweet.


Happiness is not a horse, you cannot harness it[4].

Possessed of happiness, don’t exhaust it.

Happiness is a mystery like religion,

And it should never be rationalized[5].


Eden is that old-fashioned House,

We dwell in every day.

Without suspecting our abode,

Until we drive away[6].


Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length[7].

Make happy those who are near,

And those who are far will come[8].

Knowledge of what is possible is the beginning of happiness[9].

[1] A Chinese proverb.

[2] A Chinese proverb.

[3] Adapted from Hesiod’s Works and Days (8th century BC).

[4] A Chinese proverb.

[5] Attributed to G.K. Chesterton.

[6] Poem by Emily Dickinson.

[7] Attributed to Robert Frost.

[8] A Chinese proverb.

[9] Attributed to George Santayana.

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