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A Collection of Quotations from British and American
Authors, with many Thousands of Proverbs, Famih'ar
Phrases and Sayings, from all sources, including the
Hebrew, Arabic, Greek, Latin, French, German, Spanish,
Italian, and other Languages




Lick Observatory Library
Alt Hamilton, Calilomifl^

MAY 1 8 '60

Lrondooy New York, Toronto and Melbourne



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•* Prefacet are great wastes of tiaie, and though they teem to proceed of modesty^
ikey are hrawr^y Francis Bacon.

THIS book is a collection of what is quotable, as well as of what is
quoted. Passages have not been included unless they have either
proved their right by actual and effective quotation, or have seemed likely
to be of general acceptability and usefulness, as " words which come home
to men's business and bosoms.'' The method of arrangement adopted will,
it is hoped, commend itself to all lovers of literature as preferable to the
plan, sometimes employed in similar compilations, of " classification "
under " subject " headings. The best classification is a very ample index,
and in this respect "Cass ell's Book op Quotations" will be found to
be most thoroughly supplied. Many excellent handbooks of proverbs,
and also of classical and foreign quotations, have already been published^
but none, as far as I am aware, with a full verbal index.

Mr. Lawrence Dawson has given valuable editorial assistance in the
revision of this edition, and I gladly place on record my indebtedness to
him, as well as to many correspondents, for suggestions, corrections, and
additions. Of these a considerable number have been utilized. I must
also again acknowledge the important help derived from that useful reposi-
tory of literaiy research, "Notes and Queries," not only in regard to
tracing many English quotations, but also in the elucidation of the origin
of many proverbs and household words, and notable passages from Greeki
Latin, and modem languages. This collection is, however, in every
section, the result of careful personal research and reference, extending
over a period of more than fifteen years. Perfection is not possible in
such a compilation, because absolute completeness is not attainable. At
least — and at most — this volume can claim to be more elaborate and more
comprehensive, as a book of reference, than any of its predecessors ; and
I venture to hope that, whilst its main purpose is utility, it may also
justify the saying of Emerson, "Neither is a dictionary a bad book
to read."


WkUefriara C^uh,


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British and Amsrican Authors . . . . c . 1

Holy Biblb 411

Book of Common Prater 4S7

Miscellaneous Quotations : —

Waifs and Strays 441

Naturalised Phrases and Quotations .... 450

Phrases and Household Words 457

Historical and Traditional 459

Political Phrases 461

Forensic 462

ToAjns 463

FoLK-LoRB AND Weather Rhymes ^63

London Street Sayings 465

The Koran 466

Book Inscriptions .... ... 466

Greek Quotations 467

Latin Quotations . 483

Modern Languages : —

French Quotations 713

German Quotations 732

Italian Quotations . 736

Spanish Quotations 737

Dutch Quotations 738


Ikdkx 891

List of Authors, etc, Quoted. . .... 1249


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Cassell's Book of Quotations.


JOSEPH ADDISON (1672-1719).
The great, th' important day, big with the

Of OatoandofBomau Cato. Act 1,1,

Th J iteady temper, Portia,
Oui look on gmlt, rebellion, fraad, and

In the cahn li^ta of mild philoeophy. lb.
Greatly nnfortmiate, be fights the cause
Of honour, Tirtoe, liberty and Bome. lb.
Lore is not to be reasoned down, or lost
Lk high ambition axid a thirst of greatness ;
lis second life, it grows into the soaL lb,
*Tis not in mortals to command success,
But we'll do more, Sempronius, we*U

^BMiTe it Act i, f .

Tour cold hypo<9i8y'B a stale derioe,
A worn oat tnek : wonld*st thoa be thought

in earnest?
Clothe thy feigned seal in rage, in fire, in

finy! Act 1,3,

*Tb not my tnlent to conceal my thoughts,
Or carry smflea and sunshine in my face,
When disoontent aits heayy at my heart

Act i, 4-
And if, the following day, he chance to find
A new repast, or an untasted spring.
Blesses bia stars, and thinks it luzuiy. lb.
Hie pale miripened beauties of the north. lb.
My Toioe if still for war. Aeii, 1,

A day, an hour of virtuous liber^.
Is worth a whole eternity in bondage. lb.

But what is life P
Tts not to stalk about, and draw fresh air,
From time to time, or gaae upon the sun ;
Tis to be Free. When Liber^ is gone,
Life grows insipid, and has lost its relish.

^ ^ Aci2,S.

Chains or conquest, liberty or death.

Toung men soon gire, and soon forget

Old age is slow in both. Act f, 5.

When lore's well timed, 'tis not a fault to

The strong, the braTe, the yirtuous, and the

Bink in the soft o^Tily together. ^e< 5, i.

Then do not strike him dead with a denial.
But hold him op in life, and cheer his soul
With the fsint glinmiering of a doubtful

hope. Acts, t.

When lore once pleads admission to our

In spiteV>f an the virtue we can boast.
The woman that deliberates is loet^^^ J ^

Curse on his Tirtnes! they've undone his

Such popular humanity ii treason. Act 4y 4-

Falsehood and fraud shoot up on every soil.
The product of all dimea lb.

How beautiful is death when earned by

virtue! Jo,

When vice prevails, and impious men bear

The post of honour is a private station, lb.

Once more farewell I
If e'er we meet hereafter, we shall meet
In h^pier climes, and on a safer shore. lb.
It must be so,— Plato, thou reasonest well ! —
Else whence this pleasing hope, this fond

This longing after immortality P AetS, 1,
Eternity, thou pleasing, dreadful thought

Unhurt amidst tlie war of elements.
The wrecks of matter, and the crush of

worlds. lb.

He knows not how to wink at human frailty,
Or pardon weakness that he never felt

Act 5, 4-
Whilst I yet live, let me not live in vain. lb.
The best may err. lb.

From hence, let fierce contending nations

What dire effects from civil discord fiow. lb.
Here swarthy Charles appears, and there
His brother with dejectea air.

To Sir Qodfirey Knellsr.

That is wen said, John, an honei^ man,
that is not quite sober, has nothing to fear.
ThsDnunmer. Actl, 1,

1 should think myself a very bad woman
if I had done what I do for a nirthing less.



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We are growing MriouB, and, let me tell

you, that*8 the very next step to being dull.

The Drummer. Act 4, 6.

There is nothing more requisite in busi-
ness than despatch. AetSf 1,
Critics in rust Dialo^e— Ancient Medals.

To have a relish for ancient coins, it is
necessary to have a contempt for the modem.

They are all of them men of concealed
fire, that doth not break out witii noise and
heat in the ordinary circumstances of life,
but shows itself sufficiently in all great
enterprises that require it.

The Present Btate of the War.

He more had pleased us had he pleased

^ 1^« Bn^lsh Poets.

{Referring to Cowley.)

For wheresoever I turn my ravished eyes,
Gay gilded scenes and shining prospects

Poetic fields encompass me around,
And still I seem to tread on classic ground.
Letter tr^m Italy.

How has kind Heaven adorned the happy

And scattered blessings with a wasteful

hand! lb,

A painted meadow, or a purling stream. lb.
Unbounded courage and compassion joined,
Tempering each other in the victor's mind,
Alternately proclaim him good and great.
And make the hero and the man complete.
The Campaign.

Rides in the whirlwind, and directs the

storm. lb.

Such easy greatness, such a graceful port,

So turned and finished for the camp or

court ! lb.

And those who paint them truest, praise
them most* lb,

Musi^ the greatest good that mortals know,

And all of heaven we have below.

Song for 8t Cecilia's Day. St. S,

Nothing is capable of being well set to
music that is not nonsense.

The Bpeototor. Vol, i, Ko. 18,

A perfect tragedy is the noblest production
of human nature. Xo. S9.

The seeds of punning are in the minds of
all men, and though they may be subdued
by reason, reflection, and good sense, they
will be very apt to shoot up in the greatest
genius. Ko. 61,

*Cf. Pope, *• He best can psint them who can
feel them most'*

In all thy humours, whether grave or

Thou'rt such a touchy, testy, pleasant

Hast so much wit and mirth and spleen

about thee,
There is no living with thee or without thee.
Ko. 68. Tr. of Martial, Epig..
Bk.12,47. 5«r"Difficilis,£aciE"

There is not so variable a thing in Nature
as a Udy's head-dress. Vol. f , Ko. 98.

Everyone that has been long dead has a
due proportion of praise allotted him, in
which wiiilst he lived lus friends were too
profuse and his enemies too sparing.

No lOK

Sunday clean away the rust of the whole
week. 2io, lit.

Sir Boger told them, with the air of a man
who would not give his judgment rashly,
that much might be said on both sides.

Ko. lit.

The kmght is a much stronger Tory in
the country than in town. Ko. 126.

Softly i

and sweetiy smila
^ol. 4, Ko. tt9 (Tr. from Boileau).

There is nothing in Nature so irksome as
general discourses. Ko. t67.

I have often thought, em Sir Boger, it
happens very weU uiat doristmas &ould
fall out in the middle of winter. Ko. t69.

These widows, sir. are the most perverse
creatures in the world. Vol 6, Ko. SS5.

Melancholy is a kind of demon that
haunts our island, and often conveys herself
to us in an easterly wind. Ko, S87.

For oh! Eternity's too short

To utter all thy praise.

Vol. 6, K0..45S, Hymn,
" When all thy mercies.'^
The spacious firmament on high.
With all the blue ethereal sky,
And spangled heavens, a shining frame,
Their great Original proclaim.

Ode. Ko.466,
Soon as the evening shades prevail.
The moon takes up the wondrous tale,
And nightly to the listening earth
Repeats the story of her birth. lb.

And spread the truth from pole to pole. lb.
For ever singing as they shine,
*• The Hand that made us is divine." *iJ.

A woman seldom asks advice before she
has bought her wedding clothes.

Vol, 7, Ko. 475.

He dances like an angel ... He is al*
ways laughing, for he has an infinite deal
of wit iJ,


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Our disputants pat me in mind of the
•cuttle-fish, that when he is unable to
extricate himself, blackens the water about
bim till he becomes invisible.

Tha Spectator. VoL 7. Ode, No. 476,

I Tahie my garden more for being full of
bUckbirds toan of cherries, and very frankly
gire them fruit for their songs. So, Jjpti*

There is nothing tmly valuable which

can be purchased without pains and labour.

Tha TtUler. JVo. STt,

I remember when our whole island was
Aaken with an earthquake some years ago,
there was an impudent mountebank who
sold pills, which, as he told the country
peonle, were very good against an earth-

JVb. tifi,

if AHK AKENSIDE (1721-1770).
"Where Truth deigns to come,
Her fliater Liberty will not be far.

Plaaanres of the Imagination.

Booh 7, f».
Sndi and so various are the tastes of men.

Book S, 6G7
Milton' 8 golden lyre.

Oda on a Sermon againMt Glory.
The man forget not, though in ragi he Kes,
And know the mortal trough a crown's
*^&«»c. BplsUe to Curio. W.

Seeks painted trifles and f astastic tojrg,
And eagerly pursues imaginary joys.

The Virtuoso. 10.

Youth calls for Pleasure, Pleasure calls for
love. Love: JLn Elegy.

JAMES ALDRICH (1810-1856).

Her suffering ended with' the day ;

Yet lived the at its close,
And breathed the long, long night away

In statue-Hke repose.* Jl Death-bed.

But when the sun, in all his state,

Illumed the eastern skies,
She passed through Glory's morning gate.

And walked in I'aradise. Ih,

T. BAILEY ALDRICH (1886-1907).
Somewhere in deeolate, wind-swept space,

lo shadow-land, in no man's land,
Two hunying forms met face to face,

And bade each other stand.
" And who are you ? " said one agape,

Shnddeiinf in the gloaming light ;
'* I know no^'^ said the other shape,

'< I only died last night." Identity.

•8€€ Hood.

RICH), Dcaa of Christohvroh,

If aU be true that I do think,
There are five reasons we should drink ;
Good wine — a friend — or being dry—
Or lest we should be bv and by—
Or any other reason why. f

of StirliAf. (Ste STIRLING.)

HENRY ALPORD. Dean cf Caater-

k«ry, (1810-1871).
Law is king of all.

The School of the Heart. Leuon 6.

: Where Day and Night and Day go by
And bring no touch of human sound.

The RnlBed ChapeL Si. 1.

Now autumn's fire bums slowly along the

And day by day the dead leaves fall and melt.
Autumnal Bonnet.
The soft invisible dew on each one's eves.

* Ih,
His blissful soul was in Heaven, though a

breathing man was he i
He was out of time's dominion, so far as the

living may be. Poems.

Can running water be drunk from gold ?

Can a silver dish the forest hold ?

A rocking twig is the finest chair.

And the softest paths lie through the air,—

Good-bye, good-bye to my lady fair !

The Bird.
W. ALLSTON (1779-1848).
Yet, still, from either beach,
The voice of blood shall reach,
Moro audible than speech,
** We are one ! "

Ameriea to Great Britain.

CHRIS. ANSTEY (1734-1806).
If ever I ate a good supper at night,
I dreamed of the Devil, and waked in a
fright The Mew Bath Onidi.

Letter 4- — -^ Coneultation of the Physiciam.

Granta, sweet Granta,where,8tudiousof ease,

Seven years did I sleep, and then lost my

degrees. Epilogue.

t Translated from a Initio epigram said to be
by Fere Sinuond (16th Century) :—
Si bene cominemini, cansa sunt qninque btbendi ;
Hospitis adventns : pnesens sitis atqne futura ;
£t vini bonitas, aut quaelibet altera c-ausa.

Given in Isaac J. Reeve's " Wild Garland,**



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[Dr.] J. ARBUTHNOT (1667-1785).

Law ii a bottomless Fit.

Title of Pamphlet.

To bliss imknown my lofty soid aspires,
My lot miequal to my Tast desires.

QBothi Seantoiu /. 53,

J. ARMSTRONG, M.D. (1709-1779).
Th' athletic fool, to whom what Heayen

Of soul, is wen compensated in limbs.

in of Preserving Health.
Book 3, L i06.

For want of timely caie
Millions haye died of medicable wonnds.

/. 619.

Virtuous and wise he was, but not seyere ;
He still rememboed that he once was young.
JSook 4t (- f^'
Much had he read,
Much more had seen: he studied from

the life,
And in th* original perused mankind.

Distrust yourself, and sleep before you fight.
'Tis not too late to-morrow to be braye.


Music exalts each joy, allays each grief,
Expels diroases, softens eyery pain,
Subdues the rage of poison and of plague.

T. AUGUSTINE ARNE (1710-1778).

Britain's best bulwarks are her wooden

walls. Britain's Best Bulwarks.

SIR EDWIN ARNOLD (1832-1904).
We are the yoices of the wandering wind.
Which moan for rest, and rest can never

Lo ! as the wind is, so is mortal life,
A moan, a sigh, a sob, a storm, a strife.

The Deva's 8on< to Prince Bidd&rUuu

The slow, duU sinking into withered age.

TheLi^htofAsia. Book 4.

Fity and need
Make all flesh idn. There is no caste in

Which runneth of one hue; nor caste in

Which trickle salt with all. Book 6.

Shall any gazer see with mortal eyes,

Or any searcher know by mortiu mind ?
Veil after yeil will lift— but there must be
Veil upon yeil behind. Book 8.

Nor eyer once ashamed,
So we be named.
Press-men ; Slayes of the Lamp ; Servants
Of Light. Tha Tenth Mum. St. 18.

Our past lives buHd the present, which must

The lives to be. Adznma. Act 1, L

11 hearts be true and fast.
Til fates may hurt us, but not harm, at last.
^ Act i, 3.

One can be a soldier without dying, and a

lover without sighing. Act f , b.

Such sight spreads bright behind that blind-

Which men name *' seeing."

The Ll^ht of the World.
At Bethlehem. I £00.

For love of Him, nation hates nation so
That at His shrine the watchful Islamite
Guards Christian throats.

Book U Mary Magdalene. I. 105.

Death without dying— living, but not Life.*
Book 4. The Parablee. 1 104

MATTHEW ARNOLD (1822-1888).
The barren optimistic sophistries
Of comfortable moles.

To a Republican Friend«

Ennobling this dull pomp, the life of kings.
By contemplation of divmer things.


But deeper their voice grows, and nobler

their bearing.
Whose youth in the fires of anguish hath

died. ^ A Modern Bappho.

Others abide our question. Thou art free.
We ask and ask : thou smilest and art still
Out-topping knowledge. Bhakespeara

But so many books thou readest.
But so many schemes thou breedest,
But so many wishes feedest.
That thy poor head almost turns.

The BecoDd Besti

Yet they, believe me, who await
No gifts from chance, have conquered fate.

Curled minion, dancer, coiner of sweet
words. Bohrab and Ruatum.

Truth sits upon the lips of dying men. lb.
Their ineffectual feuds and feeble hates —
Shadows of hates, but they distress them
still. Balder Dead.

To hear the world applaud the hollow

Which blamed the living man.

Growing OId«

Let the long contention oease !

Geese are swans, and swans are geese.

The Laat Word.


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^Mwe'i a Mcnt in hia htmai,
Which will nerer let him rest.

Tristram mnd iMolt. I^t 1,
jw look w»8 like a sad embrace t
rhe ^aze of one who can diyine
A. RTief . and sympathiae. yj^

Now ^e Mdt tide* seaward flow :
Now the white wild horsee play
Champ and chafe and ton m the spray.

The Forsaken Merman.

Ey« too expreesiTe to be blue.

Too loTdy to be grey.

Faded LeaTsa. 4- Onihs Mine.

Wandering between two worlds-one dead,

rhe other powerless to be bom.
Urantm ftpom the Grande Ohartrense. St. IS.
The kinsB of modem thought are dumb

winch without hardness will be soffe
Aiid g»y without frivolity. ^ '^^ ^7

Cadldren of men ! the Unseen Power, whosi

^€» erei doth accompany mankind.
Hath kMked on no rehgion 8comf3ly,
That men did ererfiid. Progress.

S«n hcnt to make some port he knows not

S^j^anding for some false impossible
•■«*'«• A Summer Hl^t.

Th% aame heart beats in every human breast
The Burled Ufa.
And tlien he thinks he knowa
The hills where his life rose,
And the sea where it goea /j,

Nor bring, to see me cease to live,
ScHne doctor full of phrase and fame,
;^Bha^ his sapient head, and give


The iU he cannot cure a name.

Radiant with ardour divine !

Beaeons of hope, ye appear !

languor is not in your heart.

Weakness ia not in your word,

Weariness not on jour brow.


What shelter to grow ripe is ours ?

What leisure to grow wise P

la Memory of the Anther of ** Obermaiin.'*
Too fast we lire, too much are tried,
Too harassed, to attain
Wordsworth's sweet calm, or GK>ethe'8 wide
And laminons view to gain. j^^

For tTiants make man good bevond himself *
Hate to their mle^ wbidh else would die

Thdr dafly-prmetiied chafinga keep alive.


All thia I bear, for, what I seek, I know :
*^^J» P«w» " what I seek, and pubhe

Endless extinction of unhappy hatea Ih.
Old age is more suspicious than the free
And vahant heart of youth, or manhood'i

Unclouded reason. j^

How many noble thoughts,
How many precious feelings of men's heart
How many loves, how many gratitudes,
uo twenty years wear out. and see expire !

When a wretch
*or pnvate gain or hatred takes a life.
We call it murder, crush him, brand his

But when, for some great public cause, an

B, without love or hate, austerely raised
Against a power exempt from common

Dangerous to afl, to be but thus annulled—
Banks any man with murder such an act ?

_. n.

With women the heart argues, not the mind.

Give not thy heart to despair.

No lamentation can loose

Prisoners of death from the grave. Ih,

The man who to untimely death is doomed!

VMnly you hedge him from the assault of

harm ;
He bears the seed of ruin in himself. lb.
Tot this is the true strength of guilty kings.
When they conrupt the souls of those thev

ctn. i/.

^lat even in thy victory thou show,
Mortal, the moderation of a niitn /j^

Be neither saint nor sophist-led, but be a
man. Empedocles on Etna.

But we are all the same— the fools of our
own woes ! j^^

We do not what we ought.

What we ought not, we do,
And lean upon the thought

That chance will bring us through. lb.

The brave, impetuous heart yields everv-

where ''

To the subtle, contriving head. Jb,

And truly he who here
Hath run his bright career,
And served men nobly, and acceptance
found, *^

And home to light and right his wit-
ness high.
What could he better wish than then

Online LibraryW. Gurney (William Gurney) BenhamCassell's book of quotations, proverbs and household words .. → online text (page 1 of 198)