W. Gurney (William Gurney) Benham.

Cassell's book of quotations, proverbs and household words .. online

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His conduct still right, with his argument
wrong. lb.

A flattering painter, who made it his care
To diaw men as they ought to be, not as
they are. lb.

Here lies David Garrick, describe him who

An abridgment of all that was pleasant in



• *♦ like KiwtDg a pair of laced ruffles to a man
at bss omr a obirton his back."— Tom Brown's

As a wit, if not first, in the very first line.

On the stage he was natural, simple,

'Twas only that, when he was off, he was

acting. lb.

He cast off his friends as a huntsman his

For he knew, when he pleased, he could

whistle them back.
Of praise a mere glutton, he swallowed

what came,
And the puff of a dunce he mistook it for

fame. Ih,

Who peppered the highest was surest to
please. lb.

Yet one fault he had, and that was a
thumper —

He was, could he help it P a special attomev.

He has not left a wiser or better behind, lb.

When they talked of their Raphaels,

Corregios, and stuff.
He shifted his trumpet, and only took snuff.

Thou best humoured man with the worst

humoured muse.t FosUcript,

Taught by the power that pities me,

I learn to piiy them. The Hermit

Man wants but little here below.

Nor wants that little long. Ih,

And what is friendship but a nanie f Ih

t Sf WUmot Karl of Rocherter : " The beat
good man, with the worst natured muse " (p. 268\.


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WiBdom and worth were all be liad,
But these were all to me. The Hermit.

The sigh that rends thy constant heart,
ShaU break thy Edwin's too. lb.

Who ever knew an honest bmte
At law his neighbour persecute ?

The LoKiolans Refuted.

No politics disturb their mind. lb.

Brutes never meet in bloody fray,

Nor cut each other's throats for pay. lb.

Good people all, of every sort,

Give ear unto my song ;
And if you find it wondrous short,

It cannot hold you long.

Eletfy on the Death of a Mad Dotf.

The naked every day he clad,*
When he put on ms clothes. lb.

And in that town a do^ was found,

As many dogs there be,
Both mongrel, puppy, whelp, and hound,

And curs of low degree. lb.

The dog, to gain his private ends.
Went mad, and bit the man. lb.

The man recovered of the bite.
The dog it was that died. lb.

The king himself has followed her —
When she has walked before.

Ele^ on Mrs. Mary Blalie.

The doctor found, when she was dead,
Her last disorder mortal. lb.

When lovely woman stoops to folly.

And finds, too late, that men betray.
What charm can soothe her melancholy ?

What art can wash her guilt away ?
The only art her guilt to cover.

To hide her shame from every eye.
To give repentance to her lover.

And wnng his bosom, is— to die.

Stanzas on Woman.

Hope, like the glimmering taper's light.

Adorns and cheers the way,
And still, as darker grows the night.

Emits a brighter ray.

Bontf. The Wretch Condemned^ ete,

memory ! thou fond deceiver,
Still importunate and vain.

Son^. Memory I

For life is ended when our honour ends.

Prologue. Translated from Zaberiui.

This same philosophy is a good horse in

the stable, but an arrant jade on a journey.

The Oood-Hatored Man. Act 1,

Don't let us make imaginary evils, when
you know we have so many real ones to
encounter. Jb.

If they have a bad master, they keep
quarreUine with him ; if they have a gooa
master, tney keep quarrelling with one
another. lb.

I am now no more than a mere lodger in
my own house. lb.

Silence is become his mother- tongue.


Measures, not men, have always been my
mark.* IS,

All men have their faults; too much
modesty is his. lb.

Lawyers are always more ready to get a
man into troubles than out of them. Jict S.

In my time the follies of the town crept
slowly among us, but now they travel faster
than a stage-coach.

She Stoops to Conquer. Act i.

I love everjrthing that's old : old friends,
old times, old manners, old books, old wine.


Ab for disappointing them, I should not
80 much mind ; but I can't abide to disap-
point myself. lb,

1 never could teach the fools of this age
that the indi^nt world could be clothed out
of the trinmungs of the vain. lb.

The very pink of perfection. lb.

If so be that a gentleman bees in a con-
catenation accordingly. lb.

Women and music should never be dated.


Ask me no questions, and I'll tell you no

fibs. Jb.

One writer, for instance, excels at a plan

or title-nage. another works away at the

book, ana a third is a dab at an index.

The Bee. Ifo. 1

The true use of speech is not so much to
express our wants, as to conceal them.t

No, S.
He who fights and runs away

May live to fight another aay ;
But he who is in battle slain,
Can never rise to fight again. ^

Art of Poetry on a Hew Plan. Vol. t.

By every remove I only drag a greater
length of cnain.f

The GltisoB of the World. No. 3.

The volume of nature is the book of
knowledge. No, 4-

* See Burke : "Jfetsores not men.**

t See French quotation : *' Us n'emploient les
paroles/' &c.

X See Greek. " 'Ai^p 6 ^ywr." ete.

i See ante, '* And diMS at emm remove a length*
ening chain,"— "The ftaveller."


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k nan wlio leaTes borne to mend himself
tnd oOkfln ia a philoaopher; bat he who
con from oountrj to ooimizy, guided bj the
uind im]NilBe of cmiocitj, ii a yagabond.

Tha Cttlzan of the World. JVb. 7.

There is notlung so ridiculous that has not
at some tim* been said by some philosopher.

For twenty yeazs upon the yery verge of
starring, without erer being starred.

If we take a farthing from a thousand
it will be a thousand pounds no

He writes ind e xes to perfection. JVb. tO,

To a |»hilo0opher no drcumstance, how-
erer triflmg, is too minute. Ho. SO.

They who travel in pursuit of wisdom
walk only in a circle, and, after all their
labour, at last return to their pristine
ignorance. No. 57.

On whatever side we regard the history
of Europe, we shall oeroeiye it to be a tissue
of dimes, follies, and misfortunes.* No. 4^.

The f oDt of others is ever most ridiculous
to thoee who are themselves most foolish.


A Hf e of pleasure is therefore the most
anpleasing Hf e in the world. No, 44*

The door must either be shut, or it must
be open. I must either be natural or
unnaturaLf No. 51,


" Did I say so? " replied he. coolly

be sure, if I said so, it was so.


No, 64.

There is a disorder peculiar to the country,
whi^ every season makes strange ravages
. . . weU known to foreign physicians
br the appellation of tpidmnic terror,
^ *^*^^ No. 69,

However we tofl, or wheresoever we
wander, our fatigued wishes still recur to
home for tranqumity.t -^Vb. lOS.

They moi^ often change^ says Confucius,
who would be constant m bappiness or
wisdom. No. ItS.

A book may be *^m««Tig with numerous
errors, or it may be very dull without a
sin^ absurdity.

The Ylcar of Wakefield. Frtfaee,

A mutilated curtsey. Chap- 1-

Handsome is as handsome does. lb.

• Set Gibbon. ^ ^ .^^

♦ Sm ProTcrbs— •* A door must be either open
or sboL"

J S4i anU, " Where'er I roam,- etc—" The

One virtue he had in perfection, which
was prudence— often the only one that is
left us at seventy-two. Chap, t.

I wasnevei much displeased with those
harmless delusions that tend to make us
more happy. Chap $,

Let us draw upon content for the defi-
ciencies of fortune. lb.

The nakedness of the indigent world may
be clothed from the trimmings of the vain.$

Chap. 4,

There is no character so contemptible as
a man that is a fortune-hunter. Chap, 5.

The Jests of the rich are ever sucusaiful.

Chap. 7,

I find you want me to furnish you with
argument and intdlecte too. No, sir, these,
I protest you, are too hard for me. lb.

With other fashionable topics, such as
pictures, taste, Shakespeare, and the musical
glasses. Chap. 9.

To say the truth, I was tired of being
always wise. Chap. 10.

Mr. Burchell ... at the conclusion of
every sentence would cry out ** Fudge ! "—
an expression which displeased us all.

Chap, 11.

The pe&teBt object in the universe, says
a certam philosopner, is a good man strug-
gling with adversity; yet there ia a still
greater, which is the gcx)d man that comes
to relieve it. Chap. 30.

I can't say whether we had more wit
amongst us now than usual, but I am
certain we had more laughing, which
answered the end as welL Chap. St.

Books teach us very little of the world.
Letter. To Henry Ooldemith, Feb., 17 S9,

Could a man live by it, it were not un-
pleasant employment to be a poet. lb,

I do not love a man who is zealous for

Bxpun^ed passage In ** The Vicar of
Wakefield " {quoted by Johnson),

At this every lady drew up her mouth as
if going topronounce the letter P.
Letter. 2b £obt, Bryanton, Sept. t6,I75S.

("Peter Parfey**) (1798-1860).
'Tis as true as the fairy tales told in the


Birthrl^t of the Hamming Birds.

% Also fomid in "She Stoops to Oonqner.**
Act 1, 1. Su p. 148.


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No game was ever yet worth a rap

For a rational man to play,
Into which no accident, no mishapi

Oould possibly find its way.

life is mostly froth and bubble*;

Two things stand like stone :
Kindness in another's trouble

Courage in our own.
Te Weary Wayfarer. Itnis Exoptatw,

Goiehen (1831-1907).

I have a passion for stati<)tics.

Bpeecb. 'To the Statistical Society.

STEPHEN GOSSON (1554-1624).

A bad excuse is better, they say, than
none at all. The Bchool of Abuse.

The same water that drives the mill
■decayeth it. /^'.


He went to the windows of those who slept,
And over each pane, like a fairy, crept ;
Wherever he breathed, wherever he stepped,

By the light of the morn, were seen
Most beautiful things; there were flowers

and trees:
There were bevies of birds, and swarms of

bees ;
There were cities, with temples and towers ;
and these
All pictured in silver sheen !

The Frost.

JOHN GOWER (13267-1408).

The heven is fer, the worlde is nigh.

Oonfeaiio JLmantii. ^roL, £61.

For every world^s thinge is vain,

And ever goth the whele aboute. lb., 560,

Now here, now there, now to, now fro,
Now up, now down, the world goth so.
And ever hath done and ever shal. lb . , 669,

For love*s lawe is out of reule. Book 1, 18,

And netheUes there is no man

In al this world so wise, that can

Of love temper the mesure. lb., H.

It hath and shal be evermore

That love Is maister where he will. Ji^., $S.

Bat she that is the source and welle
Ofweleorwo. (Venus.) Ib.^ IJpt,

And thus the gyler is begyled. Book 6, 1383.

* He sometimes signed himself *' Liuuel


JAMES GRAHAME (1766-1811).

Hail Sabbath ! thee I hail, the poor man's
day. The Sabbath. /. t9 a»id I. 40.

What strong, mysterious links enchain the

To regions where the mom of life was spent.

Dr. JAMES GRAINGER(1721 7-1766).
What is fame ? an empty bubble ;
Gk>ld P a transient, shining trouble.

Ode to BoUtada.

Man*s not worth a moment's pain.

Base, ungrateful, fickle, vain. lb.

Now, Muse, let's sing of rats.f

The Sugar Gane.


downe (1667-1736).
There is no vulture like despair.

Pelena and ThetU. A Ifasque.

There is no heaven like mutual love. lb.

T\\ be this abject thing no more ;
Love, give me back my heart again.

JLdlea rJUnour

By harmony our souls are swayed ;
By harmony the world was made.

The British Enohanten. Act 2, L

Who to a woman trusts his peace of mind,
Trusts a frail bark, with a tempestuous
wind. Act f , 1.

Of all the plagues with which the world is

Of every ill, a woman is the worst. lb.

Marriage the happiest bond of love might

If hands were only joined where hearts

agree. Act 5, i.

Our present joys are sweeter for past pain ;
To Love and Heaven by suffering we attain.

Act 5, 2.
No vengeance like a woman's. lb.

Beauty to no complexion is confined,
Is of all colours, and by none defined.

The Progresi of Beauty. I, 77,

But oh, what mighty magic can assuage
A woman's envy, and a bigot's rage ?

/. 161.

Patience is the virtue of an ass.
That trots beneath his burden, and is auiet.
Heroio Love. Tragedy. Act i.

t Stated by Boswell to have been in the MS. of
Dr. Grainger's poem. It was eliminated from the
printed version.


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Oh liOTe ! thou bane of tbe most generous

Thou doubtful pleasure, and thou certain

pain. Herole LoYa. Act t, I.

Go then, Patrodus, 'where thy glory calls.

Act 4, 1
Fate liolds the strings, and men like children

But as they're led ; suooeas is from above.

Act 5, t.
WhiniAey, not reaeon, is the female guide.
The Vision. I 81.

*Tis the talk and not the intrigne that's the
crime. The She Oailants. Aei 5, 1.

Cowards in scariet pass for men of war.

Act 5, i.
Tonth is the proper time for love,
And age is virtue's season. Corlnna.

But ah ! in vain from Fate I fly,
For first, or last, as all most die,
So 'tis as much decreed above.
That first, or last, we all must love.


HENRY GRATTAN (l746>l8ao).

At twenty years of age, the will reigns ;
at thirty, the wit ; and at forty, the judg-

THOMAS GRAY (I7ie>1771).
What sorrow was, thou had'st her know,
And from her own, she learned to melt at

otbea' woe.*

Hymn to JLdvenlty. /. IS.
Seared at thy frown terrific, fly

Self-pleasmg FoUy's idle brood. I 17.

And Melancholy, sUent maid,

With leaden eye that loves the ground.

/. f7.
The corfew tolls the knell of parting day,
Tbe lowing herd winds slowly o'er the
XIm ploughman homeward i>lods his weary
And leaves the world to darkness and to
me. Ele^ la a Coontry Churchyard.

Now fades the gUnunering landscape on the

And afl the air a aolemn stillness holds.t


Save that, from yonder ivy-mantled tower.

The moping owl does to the Moon com-

plain.f lb.

* 5er WbHehetd*

t *' Th« lowing heida wind."— Ut. Bd.

t " Then reigned a solemn stillness over sIL**

— SrawsBR. ** Faerie Queene.'*
f "The wailing owl

• solitary to the mounifbl moon."

— Majllbtx. " Excursion.'*

Each in his narrow cdl for ever laid.
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.

The breezy call of incense-breathing Mom,

The swallow twittering from the straw-

baOt shed.

The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing


No more shall rouse them from their

lowly bed. lb.

Let not ambition mock their useful toil.
Their homelv joys and destiny obscure ;

Nor grandeur hear with a disdainful smile.
The short and simple annals of the poor.


The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power.
And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er
Await alike th' inevitable hour, |
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.


Where through the long drawn aisle and
fretted vault
The pealing anthem swells the note of
praise. lb.

Can storied urn or animated bust

Back to its mansion call the fleeting


Can Honour's voice provoke the silent duBt.

Or Flattery soothe the dull, cold ear of

Death? lb.

Hands that the rod of empire might have


Or walked to ecstasy the living lyre.

But knowledge to their eyes her ample page,
Bich with the spoils of time, did ne^er
Chill Penury repre ss ed their noble rage,
And froze the genial current of the soul.


Full many a gem of purest ray serene.

The dark, unfathomed caves of ocean


Full many a flower b bom to blush unseen,^

And waste its sweetness on the desert air.


Q *' Ah me I what boots ns all oar boasted power,
Our golden treasure, and our purple state.
They cannot ward the inevitable hour.
Nor stay the fearful violence of fate.**
—West. " Monody on Queen Caroline.**
Y " Like roses that in deserts bloom and die.**

— Popi. *' Rape of the Lock," 4, 167.
**Llke beauteous flowers which vainly waste
their scent
Of odours in nnhaanted deserts."
— Ohambxrlatnb. " Pharonida," Part 2, Book 4.
'* And waste their music on the savage race."

^YoUHQ. '• Universal Passion," Sat. ft.


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Some village Hampden, that with daimtleas
The little tyrant of his fields withstood ;
Some mute, inglorious Milton here may rest,
Some Cromwell guiltless of his country's
blood. Eletfy In a Conntry Churchyard.
The applause of listening senates to com-
mand. Jh,

To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land. Ih,

Far from the madding crowd's ignoble
Their sober wishes never learned to
stray ;•
Along the cool, sequestered vale of life,
They kept uie noiseless tenonr of their
way. lb.

Yet even these bones from insult to protect.
Some frail memorial still erected nigh,

With uncouth rhymes and diapelees sculp-
ture decked,
Implores the passing tribute of a sigh. Ih.

And many a holy text around she strews,
That teach the rustic moralist to die. /9.

For who, to dumb Forgetfulness a prey,
Thifl pleasing anxious being e*er resigned.

Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day,

Kor cast one longing, lingering look

behind? lb.

On some fond breast the puting soul relies,
Some pious drops the closing eye requires ;

Ey'n from the tomb the voice of l^ature cries,
Ev'n in our ashes live our wonted fires, f


Mindful of th' unhonoured dead. lb.

His listless length at noontide would he
And pore upon the brook that babbles by.

Here rests his head upon the lap of Earth,

A youth to fortune and to fame unknown,
Fair Science frowned not on his humble
And Melancholy marked him for her own.


Lam was his bounty, and his soul sinoere,

Heaven did a recompense as largely send :

Hegave to Misery (all he had) a tear,

He gained from Heaven ('twas all he

wiiuied) a friend. lb.

No further seek his merits to disclose,
Or draw his frailties from their dread

(There they alike in trembling hope repose),
The bosom of his Father and his Grod. lb.

• "With all thy sober charms possest.
Whose wishes nerer learnt to stray."
— LANOBORinE. •* Poems," 2, p. 128 (Park's Ed.),
f •* Yet In our ashes cold is fireyreken."

—Chatjouu " Reve's Prologue,- 28.

Now the rich stream of music winds along
Deep, majestic, smooth, and strong.

Progress of Poesy, i, 8,

Glance their many-twinkling feet i, S5.,

0*et her warm cheek, and rising bosom,

The bloom of young Desire, and purple light

of Love. i, 41,

Nature's darling.^ 5, 8^,

Or ope the sacred source of sympathetic
tears. S, 94.

Nor second he,{ that rode sublime
Upon the seraph wings of Ecstasy,
The secrets of th' abyss to spy.
He passed the flaming bounds of space and

The living throne, the sapphire-blaze,
Where angels tremble as uiey gaze,
He saw ; but, blasted with excess of light
Closed his eyes in endless night. ^, 97-

Thoughts that breathe and words that
bum. II S, no.

Beyond the limits of a vulgar fate.
Beneath the good how far— but far above
the great 5, 12^.

Hence, avaunt ('tis holy groxmd),
Comus and his midnight-crew !

Ode for Hnale. /. 1.
Servitude that hugs her chain. L 6.

While bright-eyed Science watches round.

/. 11.
There sit the sainted sage, the bard divine.
The few, whom genius gave to shine
Through every unborn age, and undis-
covered clime. I, IS.

Their tears, their little triumphs o'er.
Their human passions now no more. /. 48,

What is grandeur, what is power P
Heavier toil, superior pain. /. S7.

Sweet music's melting fall, but sweeter yet
The stiU small voice of Gratitude. /. 6S.

What female heart can gold despise.
What cat's averse to &h P

Ode on the Death of a Cat.
A favourite has no friend. lb.

Ye distant spires, ye antique towers,
That crown the wat'ry glade.
Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton CoUega.

Ah, happy hills, ah, pleasing shade,

Ah, nelds beloved m vain.
Where once my careless childhood strayed,

A stranger yet to pain ! i^.

i Shakespeare.
i MUton.

II See Ck)wley, " Words that weep, etc" ; and
MaUett, " Strains that sigh."


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6131 as they nm ihey look behind,
They hear a Yoice in evexj wind,

And match a fearful joy.

Od« on a Distant Proapeet of Eton Oolla^a.
Oaj Hope is theirs, by Fancy fed.

Leas plfiasLog when posseeaed. Jb,

Alaa, Tegardleea of their doom,

The utUe Tiotimi play !
^o sense haye they of ula to come,

Nor caie beyona to-day. Jb.

JUi, tell them, they are men ! Jb,

To each his Hofferings : all are men

Condemned alike to groan ;
The tender for another's pain,

Th' unfeeling for his own. Jb,

Yet, ah ! why should they know their fate.
Since sorrow never comes too late,
And happiness too swiftly flies ?
Thought wonld destroy their Paradise.*
'No more ;~where ignorance is bliss,

*Tis folly to be wise. Jb,

finin seize thee, ruthless king !
Confosion on thy banners wait !

The Bard. Canto 1.

To arms ! cried Mortimer, and couched his

qniTering lance. lb.

With haggard eyes the poet stood ;
rijooae his beard, and hoary hair
Streamed like a meteor to the troubled

air).t Jb,

Dear lost companions of my tuneful art.
Dear, as the light that visits these sad eyes,
Dear, as the ruddy drops that warm my

heart: Jb,

Weave the waip. and weave the woof,

The winding sneet of Edward's race ;
Give ample room and verge enough ^

The characters of Hell to trace. Uanto t.

Fair laughs the Mom and soft the Zephyr

While proudly riding o*er the azure realm.
In gallant trim the ^ded vessel goes ;
Touth on the prow, and Pleasure at the

helm. Jb,

Ye towen of Julius, fl London's lasting

With many a foul and midnight murder fed.

And Truth severe, by fairy Fiction drest

Iron-sleet ot arrowy shower

Hurtles in the darkened air.

The Fatal Sisters.

• Set **^Em -nf ^powtlv."
fSit "Pundiae LoMt," 537.

dear to mesa are the rnddydrops.
^^rS^den, J* Don Sebastian. 1.1:"

sjs staple shield/"

§ The Tower of liondon.


How vain the ardour of the crowd.
How low, how little are the proud.

How indigent the great !

Ode. Onth$ Spring, I, J8.
To Contemplation's sober eye

Such is the race of man :
And they that creep, and they that fly

Shall end where they began. /. SI.

When love could teach a monarch to be

And gospel-light first dawned from Bullen's

JLlUanoa of Bdneation and OoTemment.
A Fragment,
Bich windows that exclude the light,
And passages that lead to nothing.

h Lon^ Story. 1, 7.
Full oft within the spacious walls.

When he had fifty winters o'er him,
Myerave Lord Keeper* • led the brawls;
The seals and maces danced before him.

The meanest floweret of the vale,
The simplest note that swells the gale,
The common sim, the air, the skies,
To him are opening paradise.

Ode. On the Pleasure Arising from
r%€%ssitude, I 6S.

Happier he, the peasant, far,
From the pangs of passion free.

That breathes the keen yet wholesome air
Of ragged penuiy.f t /. 81.

Rich, from the very want of wealth,

In heaven's best treasures, peace and
bealth.tt 1.95.

Benefits too great

To be repaid, sit he&ryr on the soul.

Agrlppina {ur\finished play). Act i, 1,

Too poor for a bribe, and too proud to

He had not the method of making a fortune.
Sketch of his own Character.

HORACE GREELEY (1811-1872).

Then hail to the Press ! chosen guardian of

Strong sword-arm of justice! bright sun-
beam of truth ! The Press.

JOSEPH H. GREEN (1791-1863).
The house is a prison, the schoolroom's a

Leave study and books for the upland and

dell. Morning Invitation to a Child.

f This couplet was not incorporated with the
rest of the poem.

• * 8Jr Christopher Hatton.

1 1 These lines are stated to have been added to
Gray's poem by the Rev. William Mason, Gray's
UogiapW (1724.1797).


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MATTHEW GREEN (1696-17S7).

Fling but a stone, the giant dies ;

Laugh and be well. The Spleen. /. 93.

Musio haa charms. /. I4S.

News, the manna of a day. /. 169.

Who their ill-tasted, home-brewed prayer
To ihe State's mellow forms prefer. /. S66,

By happy alchymy of mind

Tney turn to pleasure all they find. I. 630,

Though pleased to see the dolphins play,
I mind my compass and my way. L 846,

Online LibraryW. Gurney (William Gurney) BenhamCassell's book of quotations, proverbs and household words .. → online text (page 24 of 198)