Boy, take my advice, and never try to invent any thing buthappiness.
(Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. "The Happy Failure" (1854), The Piazza Tales and Other Prose Pieces 1839-1860, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 9, eds. Harrison Hayford, Alma A. MacDougall, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1987).
Spoken by the failed inventor.)
There are as many kinds of beauty as there are habitual ways of seeking happiness.
(Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet. repr. In The Mirror of Art, ed. Jonathan Mayne (1955). "Salon of 1846," sct. 2, Curiosités Esthétiques (1868).
Baudelaire may have been recalling a footnote in ch. 110 of Stendhal's Histoire de la Peinture en Italie: "La beauté est l'expression d'une certaine manière habituelle de chercher le bonheur.")
Doing nothing is happiness for children and misery for old men.
(Victor Hugo (1802-1885), French poet, novelist, playwright, essayist. Trans. by Lorenzo O'Rourke. "Thoughts," Postscriptum de ma vie, in Victor Hugo's Intellectual Autobiography, Funk and Wagnalls (1907).)
The happiness of society is the end of government.
(John Adams (1735-1826), U.S. statesman, president. Thoughts on Government (1776).
The purpose of government to secure, among other rights, the pursuit of happiness, is one of the "self-evident truths" enshrined in the Declaration of Independence. See Jefferson on independence.)