W. Gurney (William Gurney) Benham.

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

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. ^ . lb,

ACormthian, a lad of mettle, a good boy

As merry as cncketsL /^^

Call you that backing of your friends ? A

tteoTE^sf "^^^ ^^' "^^ ^5?:




A plague on all cowards, still say I.

I am a Jew else ; an Ebrew Jew,

Two rogues in buckram suits

Three misbegotten knayes in Kendal green.

If reasons were as plenty as blackberries,
1 would giye no man a reason upon com-
pulsion, I. lb

Mark now, how a plain tale shall put you
down. *^ •'^^

Instinct is a great matter ; I was now a
coward on instmct. /^,

Watch to-night, pray to-morrow. lb.

Ah ! No more of that, Hal, an thou
loyest me. yj

What doth grayity out of his bed a! mid-
night? 2^

I will do It in King Cambyses' yein. lb.

If sack and sugar be a fault, heayen help
the wicked I j(^

Banish plump Jack, and banish all *he
world. n^

Play out the play. fj,

O monstrous! but one half-pennywrrth
of bread to this intolerable deal of sack I lb.

At my natiyity,
The front of heayen was full of fiery shapes
Of burning cressets. Act $ 1.

And all the courses of my life do show,
I am not in the roll of common men. lb,

Glend, I can call spirits from the yasty

llotspur. Why, so can I, or so can any

But will they come when you do call for
them? Jb.

O, while you liye, tell truth, and shame
the deyil. lb,

I had rather be a kitten and cry mew,
Than one of these same metre ballad




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Mhidng poetry, —
Tifl like the forced gait of a shuiO^g nag.
Kiii< Henry lY. Part 1. Act S. L

But in the way of bargain, mark you me,
1*11 cavil on the ninth part of a hair. Ih,

And such a deal of skimble-skamble iituff
As puts me ftx)m my faith. lb,

O, he's as tedious
As a tired horse, a railing wife :
Worse than a smoky house : — I had rather

With cheese and garlic in a windmill. Jh,

A good mouth-filling oath. Pj.

A fellow of no mark, nor likelihood. Act 3^ t.

By being seldom seen, I could not stir,
But, like a comet, I was wondered at. lb.

To loathe the taste of sweetness.


An I have not forgotten what the inside
of a churdi is made of, I am a peppercorn, a
brewer's horse. Act 5, 3.

Company, villainous company, hath been
the spod of me. Jb.

Tou are so fretful, you cannot lire long.


Shall I not take mine ease in mine inn ?

If speaking truth
In this fine age were not thought flattery.

Act 4, t
Zounds I how has he the leisure to be sick.
In such a jusUing time ? Jb,

This sickness doth infect
The very life-blood of our enterprise. lb.

I saw yoimg Harry, with his beaver on,
His cuissee on his thighs, gallantly armed,
Rise from the ground like feathered Mercury
And vaulted with such ease into his seat,
As if an angel dropped down from the

To turn and wind a fier^ Pegasus,
And witch the world with noble horseman-
ship, lb.

If I be not ashamed of my soldiers, I am
a soused gurnet. Act 4, 2.

The cankers of a calm world and a long
peace. lb.

There's but a shirt and a half in all my
company. 76.

Food for powder, food for powder ; they'll
All a pit as well as better. lb.

To the latter end of a fray, and the beginning

of a feast,
Fite a dull fighter, and a keen guest. lb.

I do not think a braver gentleman,

More active-valiant, nor more valiant-

More daring, or more bold, is now alive.
To grace tlus latter age with noble deedji.

Act 5, L
I would it were bed -time, Hal, and all weU.


Honour pricks me on. Yea, but how if
honour prick me off, when I come on ? how
then ? Can honour set to a leg ? No. Or
an arm ? No. Or take away the grief of a
wound? No. Honour hath no skiU in
surgery, then? No. What is honour? A
word .... Who hath it ? He that died o'
Wednesday. Doth he feel it ? No. Doth
he hear it? No. Is it insensible, then?
Yea, to the dead. But will it not live with
the living? No. Why? Detraction will
not suffer it — therefore, 1*11 none of it:
honour is a mere 8Cttt4^eon: — and so ends
my catechism. lb.

Look how we caxx. or sad, or merrily,
Interpretation will misquote our looks.

Act 5, t.
Two stars keep not their moUon in one

sphere. Act 5, ^

Fare thee well, great heart !
Hl-weaved ambition, how much art thou

When that this body did contain a spirit,
A kingdom for it was too small a bound :
But now two paces of the vilest earth
Is room enough:— This earth, that bears

thee dead.
Bears not aUve so stout a gentleman. P>.

Poor Jack; farewell!
I could have better spared a better man.

The better part of valour is discretion. lb.

Full bravelv hast thou fleshed
Thy maiden sworo. Ih.

Lord, lord, how the world is given to lying !

I'll purge, and leave sack, and live
cleanly, as a nobleman should do. lb.

Even such a man, so faint, so spiritless,
So dull, so dead in look, so woe-begone,
Drew Priam's curtain in the dead of night.
And would have told him, half his Troy was

King Henry IT. Part a. Act 7, 7.

See what a ready tongue suspicion hath. 7&.

Yet the first bringer of unwelcome news
Hath but a losing office ; and his tongue
Sounds ever after as a sullen bell,
Hemembered knoUing a departed friend. 7^.

I am not only witty in myself, but the
cause that wit is in other men. Act 7, f .


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Your lordBhip, though not clean pa«t your
youth, hath jet some smack of age in you,
some relish of the saltness of time.

King Henry lY. Part a. Act 1, t,

I am poor aa Joh, my lord, hut not so
patient. lb.

We that are in the yaward of our youth. lb.

For my voice, I have lost it with holla-
ing, and singing of anthems. lb.

Wake not a sleeping woU lb.

It was always yet the trick of our English
nation, if they have a good thing to make it
too common. * lb,

O, thoughts of men accurst I
Past, and to come, seem best; things present,
worst Act 1, 3,

We are time's subjects, lb.

Ha hath eaten me out of house and home.

Act i, 1.

Thus we play the fool with the time ; and

the spirits cif the wise sit in the clouds and

mock us. Act f , B,

So that, in speech, in gait,
In diet, in affections of delight.
In military rules, humours of blood,
He was the mark and glass, <x>py and book,
That fashioned others. And mm — O won-
drous hJTTl I

O miracle of men ! Aet f , S,

A good hearths worth gold. Aet t, ^

Then death rock me asleep, abridge my

doleful days !
Why then let grievous, ghastly, gaping

Untwine the sisters three ! lb,

Pktch up thine old body for heayen. lb,

sleep ! O gentle sleep !
27atare's soft nux0e,how have I frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh mine eyelids

And steep my senses in forgetfulness?

Act S, 1,
Witib an i^ypliances and means to boot. lb.
Uneasy Ues the head that wears a crown, lb.

Death, as tiie Psalmist saith, is certain to
afl; all shall die. How a good yoke of
tmOocks at Stamford fair P Aet 5, f .

I will maintain the word with my sword
to be a soldier-like word, and a word of
exceeding good command, by heayen.
Accommodated : That is, when a man is,
as they aaj, accommodated: or, when a
man is, — being, — whereby,— he ma^ be
thought to be accommodated ; which is an
excmmt thing. £^

•Hiis passage is not ^ the Folio edition.

Thou wilt be as valiant as the wrathful
doye, or most magnanimous mouse. lb.

Most forcible Feeble. /\

We haye heard the diimes at midnight. lb,

I care not ; a man can die but once ; —
we owe Ood a death. Jb,

He that dies this year is quit for the next.


How subject we old men are to this yice

of lying ! lb.

He was, for all the world, like a forked
radish, with a head fantastically caryed
upon it with a knife. lb.

A rotten case abides no handling.

Aet 4, 1,
Against ill chances men are ever meny ;
But heayinees foreruns the good eyent.

A peace is of the nature of a conquest ;
For then both parties nobly are subdued,
And neither pfl^ty loser. Ib^

I may justly say with the hook-nosed
fellow of Bome — *' 1 came, saw, and oyer-
came." Aet 4, S,

A man cannot make him laugh; — but
that's no manrel ; he drinks no wine. lb.

If I had a thousand sons, the first himian
principle I would teach them should be— to
forswear thin potations. lb.

He hath a tear for pity, and a hand
Open as day for melting charity :
Tet, notwithstanding, being incensed, he's
flint. Aet 4, 4,

polished perturbation ! golden care !

Aet 4, 6,

Thy wish was father, Hairy, to that
tnought. lb.


The oldest sins the newest kind of ways. lb,
A joint of mutton, and any pretty little

tiny kick-shaws. Aet 6, 1,

It is certain that either wise bearing or
ignorant carriage is caught, as men take
<£seasee, one of another : therefore let men
take heed of tiieir company. lb,

A foutra for the world, and worldlings

1 speak of Africa and golden joys. Aet 6, 3,

Under which king, Bezonian ? speak, or die I

Where is the life that late I led P lb.

How ill white haiis become a fool and

jester ! Aet 5, 5,

Presume not that I am the thing I was. lb,

U you look for a good speech now, you
undo me. Epilogu4,


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Consideration, like an angel, came,

And whipped the offen&ig Adam out of

him. King Henry Y. Act i, i.

Turn him to any cause of policy,
The Gk>rdian knot of it he will unloose,
Familiar aa his garter: that, when he

The air, a chartered libertine, is stilL lb.

The strawberry grows underneath the nettle,
And wholesome berries thrive and ripen

Neighboured by fruit of baser quality, lb.
And make her chronicle as rich with praise
As is the ooze and bottom of the sea
With sunken wrack and similess treasuries.

Act i, f .
For now sits Expectation in the air.

Act i. Chorus,

Though patience be a tired mare, yet she
will plod. Jet f , I,

Base is the slaye that pays. lb.

He's in Arthur's bosom, if ever man went
to Arthur's bosom. 'A made a finer end,
and went away, an it had been any christom
chUd. Act f , S.

I knew there was but one way; for his
nose was as sharp as a pen, and 'a babbled
of green fields. Jb.

Now I. to comfort him, bid him *a should
not think of (>od; I hoped there was no
need to trouble himseli with any such
thoughts yet. /j,

»A said once^ the devil would have him
about women. /^,

_ , Trust none ;

For oaths are straws, men's faiths are

wafer- cakes,
And hold-fast is the only dog. Jb,

Covering discretion with a coat of folly.

Act g, ^
Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin
As self-neglecting. jf,.

Once more unto the breach, dear friends,

once more,
Or close the wall up with our English dead I

Act S, 1,
1 see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. Jj,

What rein can hold licentious wickedness,
When down the hill he holds his fierce
career? Act 3, 3.

Is not their climate foggy, raw, and dull ?

Act 3, 6,
And giddy Fortune's furious fickle wheel.

Act 5, 6
Advantage is a better soldier than rashness.


I thought upon one pair of TUngliffh legs
Did march tnree Frenchmen. lb.

There is some soul of goodness in things

Would men observingly distil it out.

Act 4,1,
Thus may we gather honey from the weed.
And make a moral of the devil himself. lb.

Art thou officer ?
Or art thou base, common and popular P lb.

From my heart-string
I love the lovely bully, lb.

Every subject's duty is the king's ; but
every subjects soul is his own. lb.

Gets him to rest, crammed with distreesful
bread. lb.

Winding up days with toil, and nights with
sleep. lb.

The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
^ . . Act 4, 3.

But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive. lb.

Our names,
Familiar in his mouth* as household worda

^e in their flowing cups freshly remem-
bered. Jb.

This story shall the good man teach his son.


We few, we happy few, we band of

brothers. ii.

As I suck blood, I will some mercy show.

Act 4. 1

The saying is true—** The empty vessel

makes the greatest sound." lb.

And so espoused to death, with blood he

A testament of noble-ending love. Act 4, 6.

And all my mother came into mine eyes.
And gave me up to lean, lb.

There is occasions and causes why and
wherefore in all things. Act 6, X

I pray you, fall to; if you can mock a
leek, you can eat a leek. lb.

An angel is like you, Kate, and you are
like an angel. Act 5, B.

For these fellows of infinite tongue, that
can rhyme themselves into ladies' favours,
ihej do always reason themselves out
again! Jh,

If he be not fellow with the best king,
thou shalt find the best king of good fellows.

Nice customs oourt'sey to great kings. lb.

* " Their months " in the quarto.


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Hong be &e heaveiiB with black, jiM day


Kint Henry VL Parti. Act 1, t
Expect Saint Martin*! summer, halcyon

oays. Act /, f.

Olory is like a circle in the water
Which never ceaseth to enlarge itself.
Tin, by broad spreading, n diipeorSe to

nongnt. Ih,

Thj promises are \\k» Adonis' gardens,
That one day bloomed, and traitful were

the next. Ad i, 6,

Unbidden guests
Are often welcomest when they are gone.

Act 2, f .
But in these nice sharp quillets of the law,
Good faith, I am no wiser than a daw.

Act f , 4.
Undaunted spirit in a dying breast !

Act 5, S.
One drop of blood drawn from thy country *s

Should griere thee more than streams of
foreign gore. Act S, 3,

He then that is not furnished in this sort
Both but usurp the sacred name of knight.

Act 4, J.
I owe him little duty and less love.

Act 14.
She*s beautiful, and therefore to be woo*d;
She is a woman, therefore to be won.

Act 6, S,
I am a soldier, and unapt to weep,
Or to exclaim on fortune's fickleness. lb.

For what is wedlock forcM but a hell ?

Act 5, 5.
Banoour will out.

King Henry TL Part a. Act i, 1.

Could I come near your beau^with my nails,
I'd set my ten commandments in your face.

Act i, S.
&nooth runs the water where the brook is

de^. Act Sf 1,

The fox barks not when he would steal the

lamb. lb,

A heart unspotted b not easily daunted. lb.

What know I how the world may deem of

me. Act 3 J 8,

Who finds the heifer dead, and bleeding

And sees fiut by a bntcher with an axe.
Bat will suspect 'twaa he that made the

•laughter P
Who finds the partridge in the puttock's

But may imagine how the bird was dead.
Although tha kite aoar with unbloodied

Eren bo snspicioiia la this tragedy. lb.

What stronger breastplate than a heart

untainted r
Thrice is he armed that hath his quarrel

just. ij.

Disturb him not, let him pass peaceably !

Act 3, 3,

He dies, and makes no sign : O GK>d, f orgiye

him! Jb,

Forbear to judge, for we are sinners all. —
Close up his eyes, and draw the curtain close ;
And let us all to meditation. lb.

The gaudy, blabbing, and remorseful day
Is crept into the bosom of the sea. Act 4, 1.

Small things make base men proud. lb,

There^s no better sign of a braye mind than
a hard hand. Act ^, t.

Beggary is yaliant. lb.

The first thing we do, let's kill all the
lawyers. lb.

Is not this a lamentable thing, that of the
skin of an innocent lamb should be made
parchment ? That parchment, being scrib-
bled o'er should undo a man ? Ih,

Thou hast most traitorously corrupted the
youth of the realm in erectmg a grammar
school. Act 4- 7,

Kent, in the commentaries of Caesar writ.
Is tenned the dvillest place of all this isle.

Ignorance is the curse of God,
^owledge the wing wherewith we fiy to
heayen. lb.

Was eyer feather so lightly blown to and

As this multitude P Act 4, 8,

Was neyer subject longed to be a king,
As I do long and wish to be a subject.

Act 4, 9,
Lord, who would liye turmpiled in the court,
And may enjoy such quiet walks as these !

Act 4, 10.
The unconquered soul of Cade is fied. lb,

A subtle traitor needs no sophister.

Act 6, 1.
Hold, Warwick, seek thee out some other

For I myself must hunt this deer to death.

Act 5, f .

To make a shambles of the parliament

house. King Henry TI. Part 8. Act i, 1,

Frowns, words, and threats,
Shall be the war that Henry means to use.


In whose cold blood no spark of honour

bides. lb.


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Hadst thou but loved him half so well as I
Or felt that pain which I did for him once,
Or nourishea him, a« I did with my blood.
King Htnry YL Part 8. AeC 1, 1.

Such safety finds
The trembling lamb, enTiron^ with wolyes.

An oath is of no moment, being not took
Before a true and lawful magistrate.

Act 1, t.
How sweet a thing it is to wear a crown,
Within whose circuit is Elvsium,
And all that poets feign ox bliss and joy.

A crown, or else a glorious tomb !
A sceptre, or an earthly sepulchre! Act 1, 4*

Unless the adage must be rerifled
That beggars mounted, run their horse to
death. lb.

Thou art as opposite to eyery good,

As the Antipoaes are unto us,

Or as the south to the septentrion. lb.

But Hercules himself must yield to odds ;
And many strokes, though with a little axe.
Hew down, and fell tl:^ hardest timbered
oak. Act f , 1,

The smallest worm will turn, being trodden
on. Act tj B,

Didst thou neyer hear

That things ill got had ever bad success ?

And happy always was it for that son.

Whose lather, for his hoarding, went to
heUP Ih.

And I, like one lost in a thorny wood,
That rents the thorns, and is rent with the

Seeking a way, and straying from the way ;
Not knowinff how to find the open air.
But toiling aeq)erately to find it out.

Act Sy i.

For though usurpers sway the rule a while,

Tet heayens are just, and time suppresseth

wrongs. Act 3^ S,

Warwick, peace !
Proud setter-up ana puller-down of kings !

Hasty marriage seldom proyeth well.

Act 4, 1.
Trust not him that hath once broken faith.

Act 4, 4.
A little fire is quickly trodden out.
Which, being sujffered, riyers cannot quench.

Act 4, 8.
Suspicion always haunts the guflty mind ;
The thief doth fear each bush an officer.

Act 6, 6,

Down, down to hell ; and ^j I sent thee

thither. ' lb,

I, that haye neither pity, loye, nor fear.

Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York.
King Richard IIL Act /, i.

Our stem alarums changed to merry meet-
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures,
Ghim-yisaged war hath smoothed his wrin-
kled front,
And now,— instead of mounting barbM

steeds, . . .
He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber.
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute. lb.

Deformed, unfinished, sent before my time
Into this oreathing world, scarce half made

And that so lamely and unfashionable
That dogs bark at me, as I halt by them. lb.

This weak piping time of peace.


Simple, plain Clarence, I do love thee so,
That I will shortly send thy soul to heaven.


No beast so fierce but knows some touch of

pity. Act If t.

Vouchsafe, divine perfection of a woman.

Vouchsafe, diffused infection of a man. Jb,

To leave this keen encounter of our wits.

I never sued to friend, nor enemy ;
My tongue could never learn sweet smooth-

mg words ;
But, now thy beauty is proposed my fee.
My proud neart sues, and prompts my

tongue to speak. Ih.

Teach not thy lip such scorn; for it was

For kissing, lady, not for such contempt.

Was ever woman in this humour wooed ?
Was ever woman in this humour won ? lb.

Framed in the prodigality of nature. /&.

Because I cannot flatter and speak* fair.
Smile in men's faces, smooth, deceive, and

Duck with French nods and apish courtesy,
I must be held a rancorous enemy.
Cannot a plain man live, and think no harm.
But thus nis simple trutn must be abused
By silken, sly, insinuating Jacks P Act i, S,

The world is grown so bad,
That wrens make prey where eagles dara

not perch ;
Since every Jack became a gentleman,
There's many a gentle person made a Jack.

• " Speak - to the quartos ; " look " in the folio.


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TynatB tbemselTea wept when it was
reported. King Blchard IIL AH i, 3,

And thns I clothe my naked villainy
With odd old ends stoPn forth of holy writ ;
And seem a saint, when most I play the
dcTiL i*.

We will not stand to prate ;
Talkeis are no good doers. lb.

Your eyes drop mill-stones, when fools' eyes

drop tears. lb.

Ob I have passed a miserable night,
So fall of ugly sights, of ghastly dreams,
That, as I am a Christian faitfaiol man,
I woold not spend another such a night,
Though 'twere to buy a world of happy

davs ;
So full of dismal terror was the time !

Aet i, 4-
Lord, Lord ! methooght what pain it was to

drown !
What dreadful noise of waters in mine ears !
"Wbat ugly sights of death within mine eyes !
Methoug^t I saw a thousand fearful wrecks ;
Ten thousand men that fishes gnawed u}x>n ;
Wedges of gold, great anchors, heaps of

Inestimable stones, unvalued jewels.
All scattered in the bottom of the sea ;
Some lay in dead men's skulls : and in those

Where eyes did once inhabit, there weie

(As 'twere in scorn of eyes) reflecting gems.
Which wooed the slimy bottom of the deep.
And mocked the dead bones that lay

scattered by. 2b,

An outward honour for an inward toil. lb.
They often fed a world of restless cares. Jb,

Bracktnbury. Arc you so brief ?

Second Mutderer. O sir, it is better to
be brief than tedious. lb.

Some certain dregs of conscience are yet
within me. Ih.

First Murderer. Eelent ! *tis cowardly, and

Clarence. Not to relent, \s beastly, savage,
devilish. lb,

lis death to me to be at enmity ;
I hate it and desire all good men's love.

Actt, 1.
I do not know that Englishman alive,
With whom my soul is any jot at odds,
More than the infant tiiat is bom to-mght :
I thank my God for my humihty. Jh.

Q. Eliz. Waj never widow had so dear a
CAil. Were never orphans had so dear a

^^h. Was never mother had w dear a

When clouds appear, wise men put on their
cloaks. Act f , 3.

By a divine instinct men's minds mistrust

Ensuing dangers. lb.

Small herbs have grace, great weeds do
grow apace. Act f , ^.

If 'twere not she, I cannot tell who told
me. lb.

You are too senseless-obstinate, my lord.
Too ceremonious and traditional Act 3y X.

So wise, so young, they say, do ne'er live

long. lb,

1 moralise two meanings in one word. 2b,

So cunning, and so young, is wonderful 2b.

He's all the mother's, from the top to toe.

I think there's never man in Christendom
That can less hide his love or hate than he.

Act 5, 4,
Lives, like a drunken sailor, on the mast ;
Ready, with every nod, to tumble down. 2b.

Fear not, mv lord, I'll play the orator.
As if the golden fee, for which I plead.
Were for myself. Act 3, 5.

High -reaching Buckingham grows circum-
spect. Act 4, t.

Gold were as good as twenty orators. lb,

I am not in the giving vein to-day. lb.

Hover about me with yo'^^r airy wings.

Act 4. 4.
Let not the heavens hear these tell-tale

Rail on the Lord's anointed !


Tetchy and wayward.

An honest tale speeds best, being plaiidy

told. Ih.

Relenting fool, and shallow, changing

woman I Ih,

Thus far into the bowels of the land
Have we nuurched on without impediment.

Act 5, t.
True hox>e is swift, and flies with swallow's

Kings it makes gods, and meaner creatures

kings. Ih,

Besides, the king's name is a tower of

strength. Act 5« 3,

I have not that alacrity of spirit,
Nor cheer of mind, that I was wont to have.

Give me another horse, — bind up my

wounds, —
Have mercy, Jesu ! — soft I I did but dream.
O coward consdenoe, how dost thou afflict

me! Ih*


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Mj oonsdence bath a ihouaand seyeral

And evexy tongue brings in a several tale.
And every tale condemns me for a villain.
Sing Biohard III. Act 5, S.

There is no creature loves me ;
And if I die, no soul will pity me. lb.

The early village cock
Hath twice done salutation to the mom. lb.

By the apostle Paul, shadows to-night
tiave struck more terror to the soul of

Than can the substance of ten thousand

soldiers. Ih.

For the self-same heaven
That frowns on me, looks sadly upon him.

A thing devised by the enemy. lb.

Conscience is but a word that cowards use,
Devised at first to keep the strong in awe.


Online LibraryW. Gurney (William Gurney) BenhamCassell's book of quotations, proverbs and household words .. → online text (page 46 of 198)