W. Gurney (William Gurney) Benham.

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

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to crawl upon the surface of the earth. lb,

**He was amazed how so impotent and
grovelling an insect as I " (these were his
expressions) " could entertain such inhuman
ideas, and in so familiar a manner." lb.

And he gave it for his opim'on, *'that
■whoever could make two ears of com, or
two blades of grass, to grow upon a spot of
groimd where only one ^w before, would
deserve better of mannnd, and do more
essential service to his country, than the
whole race of politicians put together." lb.

He had been eight years upon a project
for extracting simbeams out of cucumbers,
which were to be put into phials hermetically
sealed, and let out to warm the air in raw
inclement simimers. Voyage to Laputa,

The women were proposed to be taxed
according to their oeauty and skill in
dressing . . . but constancy, charity, good
sense, and good nature were not rated,
because they would not bear the charge of
collecting. lb.

I heard a whisper from a ghost who shall
be nameless, '* that these commentators
always kept in the most distant quarters
from their principals in the lower world,
through a consciousness of shame and guilt,
because they had so horribly misrepresented
the meaning of thu»c authors to posterity."


M&j your celestial majesty ouiliye the
sun, deven moons and a half ! Jb,

I told him . . . that we ate when we were
not hungry, and drank without the provo*
cation of uurst.

Voyage to the Souyhnhnrne,

Spleen, which only seizes on the lazy, the
luxurious, and the nch. Jb,

A giddy son of a gun.

The Battle of the Books.
War is the child of pride, and pride the
daughter of ridies.* lb,

A virtue but at second-hand ;
They blush because they understand.

Gadenas and Vanessa.
All humble worth she strove to raise ;
Would not be praised, yet loved to praise.

Tlb an old maxim in the schools.
That flattery's the food of fools ;
Tet now and then your men of wit
Will condescend to take a bit Jb,

What some invent the rest enlarge.

Journal of a Modern Lady.
ConvejT a libel in a frown,
And wink a reputation down. Jb,

Could maul a minister of state.

On the Death of Dr. Swift.
In all distresses of our friends
We first consult our private ends.t L 7.

Faith ! he must make his stories shorter
Or change his comrades once a quarter.

Some great misfortune to portend,
No enemy can match a friend. /. 1J9,

He*d rather choose that I should die

Than his predictions prove a lie. /. ISJ,

His time was come ; he ran Ins race ;

We hope he*s in a better place. /. f ^/.

Attacking, when he took the whim,

Courtf city, mmj?,— all one to him. /. Sf7,

Tet malice never was his aim ;

He lashed the vice, but spared the name.

No individual oould resent.

Where thousands equally were meant

Fair Libebtt was all his cry ;
For her he stood prepared to die ;
For her he boldly stood alone ;
For her he oft exposed his own. /. ^i.
A servile race in follv nursed,
Who truckle most wnen treated worst

* Quoted as "an alnuuiac saying."

t " Dam radversitA de nos tneilleoni amis nons
trouvons toidoara qnelque chose qui ne nous
deplaist pas. ' — Old French saying, quoted l^


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He gaTe the little wealth he had
To buHd a house for fools and mad ;
To show, by one satiric touch.
No nation wanted it so much.

On the Death of Dr. Bwift /. 5SS.

See now comes the captain all daubed with
gold lace. The Grand Qaeatlon Debated.

Can hardly tell how to cry ^ to a goose. lb.

Say, Britain^ could you ever boast,

Three poets in an age at most ?

Our chilling climate hardly bears

A tprig of bays in fifty years. On Poetry.

As learned commentators view

In Homer more than Homer knew. lb.

So geographers, in Afric maps,

WiUi savage pictures fill their gaps,

And o*er mihabitable downs

Place elephants for want of towns. lb.

To Cerberus they give a sop,

His ^ple barking mouth to stop. lb.

He gives directions to the town

To cry it up or run it down. lb,

Hobbes clearly proves that every creature

Is in a state of war by nature. lb.

So, naturalists observe, a flea

Hath smaller fleas that on him prey ;

And these have smaller still to bite 'em,

And so proceed ad injinitum ;

Thus every poet in ms kind

Is bit by him that comes behind.* lb.

Your panegyrics here provide ;

You cannot err on flattery's side, lb,

A coming shower your shooting corns
presage. Description of a City Bhower.

He who betrays his friend, shall never be
Under one roof, or in one ship, with me.

Horace. Book ^, t.
And though the villain 'scape awhile, he

Blow vengeance, like a bloodhound at his

heels. lb.

His two«year coat so smooth and bare.
Through every thread it lets in air.

Progress of Poetry.
Proper words in proper places.

Definition of a Good Btyle.

His talk was now of tithes and dues.

Baucis and Philemon.
Philoiophy ! the lumber of the schools.

Odo to Sir W. Temple, i.
*' Lfbertas et natale solum ! "
Fine words, indeed ! I wonder where he
stole 'emu

Lines wrItUn in ITS! m Chief Justice
ffAiUhetT* motto on hit eoach,
after ih s trial of Drapier,

• StM Waifs and SUitys, p. 448,

Censure's to be understood,

Th' authentic mark of the elect ;
The public stamp Heav'n sets on all that's
great and good.
Our shallow search and judgment to

Ode to the Athenian Society.

Men who lived and died without a narae.
Are the chief heroes in the sacred list of
fame. lb.

Where I am not understood, it shall be
concluded that something very useful and
profound is couched underneath.

Tale of a Tub. Prtface,

" Bread," says he, ** dear brothers, is the
staff of life." Sec. 4.

Censure is the tax a man pays to the
public for being eminent

Thou^ts on Various Bubjecta.

Few are qualified to shine in company, but
it is in most men's power to be agreeable.


We have just enough religion to make us
hate, but not enough to make us love one
another. lb.

Party is the madness of the many, for the
gain of a few. lb.

To endeavour to work upon the vulgar
with fine sense is like attempting to hew
blocks with a razor. lb,

A man should never be ashamed to own
he has been in the wrong, which is but
saying, in other words, that he is wiser
to-day than he was yesterday. lb,

A nice man is a man of nasty ideas. lb.

Oh how our neighbour lifts his nose
To tell what every schoolboy knows.

The Country Life.

A wise man is never less alone than when
he is alone.f

Essay on the Faculties of the Mind.

Laws are like cobwebs, which may catch
small files, but let wasps and hornets break
through .X lb.

There is nothing in this world constant,
but inconstancy. lb.

We were to do more business after dinner ;
but after dinner is after dinner — an old
saying and a true, Much drinking, little

Letters.^ To Mrt, Johnson (Stella).
Feb, t6, 1711'i.
Monday is parson's holiday.
lb., March 3, m i-t,

t S<e Rogers : " Never loss alone than when
X >S(f Bacon, p. \%\ also Miscellaneous, p.453.


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People win pretend to srieTe more fhaa
thej really do, and that takes off from their
tme grief.

Letters. To Mrs, Dingley, Jan. U, I71S-S,

What a foolish thing is time ! And how
foolish is man, who would he as angry if
time stopped, as if it passed !

To Misi Vanhomrigh (VanesM).

Aug, 7, trn.

I am weary of friends, and friendships are
all monsters. To Stella, Oct. tS, HIO,

Method is good in all things. Order
governs the world. The Devil is the author
of confusion. /*., Oct. t6, 17 JO.

Plaguy twelve-penny weather.* lb.

'Tis very warm weather when one's in bed.
lb., JVw. 8, 1710.
As I hope to live, I despise the credit of
it, out of an excess of priae.

/*„ Nov. tl 1710.
In war opinion is nine parts in ten.

Ib.y Jan. 7, 1710-1.
We are so fond of each other, because
our ailments are the same.

lb., Feb. 1, 1710-1.

We con ailments, which makes us very

fond of each other. lb. Feb. U, 1710-1.

I love good creditable acquaintance; I
love to be the worst of the company.

lb., April 17,1710-1,
Opinion is a mighty matter in war.

lb., Jan. 1, 1711.

He was a fiddler, and consequently a

rogue. lb., July t5, nil.

He showed me his bill of fare to tempt
roe to dine with him. " Foh," said I, *• I
value not your bill of fare, give me your
bill of company." lb., Sept. $, 1711.

No man ever made an ill figure who
understood his owd talents, nor a good one
who mistook them. Eiiays. p. 705.

He was a bold man that first ate an
oyster. Polite ConYersatlon. 9.

BURNE (1837-1909).

Some dead lute-player
That in dead years had done delicious things.
Ballad of Life.
And sleep beholds me from afar awake.

Lans Veneris.
With nerve and bone she weaves and mul-
Exceeding pleasure ont of extreme pain. lb.

* An expreftsion freqnently used by Swift.
Gay, tn a letter to Swift, speaks of "shilling
weather. ' The allusion is to weather when chair-
hire or coach-hire was necessary.

For I was of Christ's ohoodng, I Ond*9

No bunkard heathen stumbling for scant
light. lb.

Smitten with sunbeams, mined witli Tain.

The Triomph of Time.

I have put my days and dreams out of mind.

Days that are over, dreams that are done.

Ont of the world's way, out of the light.
Out of the ages of worldly weather,
Forgotten oi all men altogether. lb.

At the door of life, by the gate of breath,
There are worse things waiting for men than
death. lb.

But you, had you chosen, had you stretched
Had you seen good such a thing were done,
I too might have stood with the souls that
In the sun's sight, clothed with the light
of the sun. lb,

I will go back to the great sweet mother.

Mother and lover of men, the sea. lb.
I shall never be friends again with roses ;
I shall loathe sweet tmies, where a note
grown strong
Relents and reoous, and climbs and closes.

I shall hate sweet music my whole life long.

Marvellous merdee and infinite love.


And though she saw all heaven in flower
She woiud not love. A Leave-taking.

Let life bum down, and dream it is not
death. Anactorla.

I would ray love could kill thee; I am

With seeing thee live, and fain would have

thee dead. lb.

I would find grievous wajrs to have thee

Intense device, and superflux of pain, lb.

The world is not sweet in the end ;
For the old faiths loosen and fall, the new
years ruin and rend.

Hymn to Proserpine.

Thou hast conquered, O pale Gralilean.t lb.
The end is come of pleasant places.
The end of tender words ana faces.
The end of all, the poppied sleep. lUoeC

Oood-night, good sleep, good rest from

To these that shall not have good morrow :

The gods be gentle to all these ! lb,

t See Hiscellaneou* : "Thon hast conqoerad.


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A. litUe sorrow, a Utile pleasnre,
Fate metes hb from the dusty measure

That hold* the date of all of us ;
We are bom wiUi travaO and strong crying,
And from the birth'-da^ to the dying
The Ukeneaa of our life is thus. Illeet.

I turn to thee as some green afternoon
Turns toward sunset, and is loth to die ;
Ah God, ah God, that day should be so
I ! In the Orchard.

Forget that I remember,
Ajad dream that I forget.

Yet leare me not ; yet, if thou wilt, be free ;
LoTe me no more, but love my love of thoo.


And thoee high songs of thine

That stung the sense like wine.
Or fell more soft than dew or snow by night,

Or wailed as in some flooded cave
Sobs the strong broken spirit of a wave.

To Victor Hnio.
Delight, the rootless flower.
And lore, the bloomless bower ;
Delight that lives an hour.

And love that lives a day. Before Dawn*

But love to lightly plighted.
Our love with torch unlighted.
Paused near us unaffrighted.
Who found and left nim free. Ih,

We shift and bedeck and bedrape us.
Thou art noble and nude and antique.

Men toudi them, and change in a trice

The lilies and languors of virtue

For the raptures and roses of vice. Ih.

Ah beautiful passionate body

That never nas ached with a heart ! lb.

But sweet as the rind was the core is ;

We are fain of thee still, we are fain,
O sanguine and subtle Dolores,

Our Lady of Pain. lb.

Despair the twin-bom of devotion. Jb.

The deUght that consumes the desire.
The desire that outruns the delight. 76.

Then love was the pearl of his oyster,
And TenuB rose red out of wine. lb.

O daughter of Death and Priapus,

OurLidy of Pain. 76.

From too much lore of living,
From hope and fear set free.
We thank with brief thanksgiving

Whatever gods may be
Ihat no life fires for ever ;
That dead men rise up never ;
That even the weariest river
Winds somewhere safe to sea.

The Oarden of Proserpine.

Land me, she says, where love

Shows but one shaft, one dove,

One heart, one hand.

A shore like that, m v dear,

Lies where no man wiU steer,

No maiden land.

Love at Sea. (Imitated from
TMophiU Oautier.)
My heart will never ache or break
For your heart's sake. FAise.

fervent eyelids letting through
Thoffe eyes the greenest of things blue,

Ti;e bluest of things grey. lb,

1 remember the way we parted,
The day and the way we met ;

Tou hoped we were both broken-hearted.
And knew we should both forget.

An Interlude.

And the best and the worst of this is
That neither is most to blame.

If you've forgotten my kisses.
And I've forgotten your name. Ih,

For thou, if ever godlike foot there trod
These fields of ours, wert surely like a god.
In the Bay. St. 18.
The shadow stayed not, but the splendour

Our brother, till the last of English days.

St. 19.
Who cannot hate, can love not. St. SI.

Nor can belief touch, kindle, smite, reprieve
His heart who has not heart to disbelieve. lb.
A kingly flower of knights, a sunflower.
That snone against the sunlight like the sun.
The Complaint of Lisa.
Sleep ; and if life was bitter to thee, pardon ;
If sweet, give thanks ; thou hast no more

to live J
And to give thanks is good, and to forgive.
Ave atque Yale.
The old dew still falls on the old sweet


The old sun revives the new-fledffed hours.

The old summer rears the new-bom roses.

Age and Song.

Old thanks, old thoughts^ old aspirations,

Outlive men's lives and hves of nations. lb.

Time takes them home that we loved, fair
names and famous.
To the soft long sleep, to the broad sweet
bosom of death ;
But the flower of their souls he shall not
take away to shame us.
Nor the lips lack song for ever that now
lack breath.
For with us shall the music and perfume

that die not, dwell.
Though tbo dead to our dead bid welcome,
and we farewell.
In Memory of Barry Cornwall. St. 6,


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Not a kindlier life or sweeter
Timey that lights and quenches men,
Now may quench or light again.

Epicede. (7. X. Graham, died 1876.)

Prince of sweet songs made out of tears and

A harlot was thy nurse, a God thy sire ;
Shame soiled thy song, and song aasoiled
thy shame.
But from thy feet now death hath washed

the mire,
Love reads out first, at head of all our choir,
Villon, our sad bad glad mad brother's

A Ballad of Fran9oii Villon. Envoi,

And sweet red splendid kissing mouth.

Translation of Yillon. Complaint of

the Fair Amumress.

And song is as foam that the sea-winds


Though the thought at his heart should be

deep as the sea.

Dedieatlon to Poams and Ballads.
Second Series,

Change lays not her hand upon truth.

Dedication. 1865,

Man is a beast when shame stands off from
him. PhsBdnu Hippolytus,

Thy works and mine are ripples on the sea.
Take heart, I say : we know not yet their
end. Locrina.

Look, ye say well, and know not what ye
say. Atalanta in Calydon. Althact.

Small praise man gets dispraising the hi^^h
gods. Chorus,

His life is a watch or a vision
Between a sleep and a sleep. lb.

But the gods hear men's hands before their
lips. Althaa.

The sweet wise death of old men honourable.

And, best beloyed of best men, liberty,
Free lives and lips, free hands of men free-
bom, lb,
A child and weak.
Mine, a delight to no man, sweet to me. lb.

What ailed thee then to be bom ? Chorus,

Peace and be wise ; no gods love idle speech.


Have all thy will of words ; talk out thine

heart lb,

A little fruit a little while is oun,
And the worm finds it soon. Chorus,

* 5m Browning : ■' How sad and mad and bad it

But ye, keep ye on earth
Your lips from over- speech,
Loud words and longing are so little worth ;

And the end is hard to reach.
For silence after grievous things is good,
And reverence, and the fear that makes
men whole.
And shame, and righteous governance of
And lordship of the soul.
But from sharp words and wits men pluck

no fruit,
And gathering thorns they shake the tree at

For words divide and rend ;
But silence is most noble till the end. lb.

No man doth well but Gk>d hath part in him.


A name to be washed out with all men's

tears. Alihtta,

What shaU be said ? for words are thorns to
grief. Chorus,

Thy cradled brows and loveliest loving lips,
The floral hair, the httle lightening oyes,
And all thy goodly glory. Althaa,

Lament, with a long lamentation,
Cry, for an end is at hand. Semi-chorus,

Mother, thou sole and only, thou not these.
Keep me in mind a little when I die,
Because I was thv first-bom ... ...

Forget not, nor think shame ; I was thy son.
Time was I did not shame thee ; and time

I thought to live and make thee honourable.

Ay, not yet may the land forget that bore

and loved thee and praised and wept,
Sidney, lord of the stamless sword, tiie name

of names that her heart's love kept.

AstropheL f , /. 4,

All the spell that on all souls fell who saw
thy spirit and held them boimd.

Lives tor all that have heard the call and
cadence yet of its music sound. t, L 11,

Music bright as the soul of light, for wings
an eagle, for notes a dove. f , L &.

Men that wrought by the grace of thought
and toil things goodlier than praise d^e
trace. On the Bonth Coast. St, I4,

Faith, haggard as Fear that hath borne her,
and dark as the sire that begot her.
Despair. An Aatumn Vision. 7, /. 9,

A purer passion, a lordlier leisure,

A peace more happy than lives on land.

Fulfils with pulse of diviner pleasure.
The dreammg head and the steering hand.
A Bvimmar's Dream. 5, sL f.


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Not tni earth be aunleas, not till death
strike btind the skies,

May the deathless love that waits on death*
lea deeds be dead.

Ormca Darling. /. lOS.

India knelt at her feet, and felt her sway
more fruitful of life than spring.

England: An Ode. ly tt, S.

All oup past proclaims our future : Shake-
speare s voice and Nelson's hand,

Milton's faith and Wordsworth's trust in
this our chosen and chainleas land,

B^ us witness; come the world against
her, England yet shall stand. f , gt. 6,

No man ever spake as he that bade our

England be but true,
Keep but faith with England fast and firm,

and none should bid her rue ;
None may speak as he : but all may know
the sign that Shakespeare knew. ;?, st, 7.
Hope knows not if fear speaks truth, nor

fear whether hope be not blind as she :
But the sun is in heaven that beholds her
immortal, and girdled with life by the sea.

S, it, 7,

Bright with names that men remember

loud with names that men forget. '

Eton : An Ode. S,

01orious Ireland, sword and song

Gird and crown thee : none may wrong

Save thy sons alone.
The sea that laughs around us
Hath sundered not but botmd us :
The Sim's first rising found us

Throned on its equal throne.

The Union. St. S,
Cover thine eyes and weep, O chfld of heU,
Grey spouse of Satan, Church of name

The Monument of Giordano Bruno, f .
Stately, kindly, lordly friend.

Here to sit by me. To a Cat. St. 1,

For if we live, we die not,
And if we die, we live.

Jaoobito Sonf. St. 9.

Hearts bruised with loss, and eaten through

with shame. A Taar's Burden. St,S.

The woman that cries hush bids kiss : I learnt

So much of her that taught me kissing.

Martno Pallero. Act 1, t

Slume, that stings sharpest of the worms in

'"^ Act IP, 1.

A brave man, were he seven times king

la but a brave man's peer. Act *i i.

Though our works
find r^hteons or unri^teous judgment, this
At lesat 13 ouTBf to make them righteous.

Act S, 1.

A crown and justice ? Night and day
ShaU first be yoked together. 2h.

"Wrong and right

Are twain for ever ; nor, though night kiss
dav, ^

Shall right kiss wrong and die not.

Men -"'*''•

May bear the blazon wrought of centuries,

Their armouries higher than arms imperial,

Know that the least their countryman.

whose hand
Hath done his country service, lives their

And peer of aU their fathers. Act 5, f .

My loss may shine yet goodlier than your

len time and God give judgment lb.
I ever held worse than all certitude.
To know not what the worst ahead might be.

Act 5, t.
In hawthorn -time the heart grows light

The Tale of Balen. i, at. 1,
In linden-time the heart is high,
For pride of summer passingby
With lordly Uughter m her eye. f , it. 1.
A true man, pure as faith's own vow.

Whose honour knows not rust 5, it. 18.
A castle girt about and bound

With sorrow, like a spell. ff, 8t. 26.

Strong summer, dumb with rapture, bound
With golden calm the woodlands round

7, it. U.
God's blood ! is law for man's sake made, or

For Uw's sake only, to be held in bonds ?

MaryBtuart. Actt.l.
Wise men may think, what hardly fools
would say. j^ct ^, t.

Peace more sweet
Than music, light more soft than shadow.

A Sunset. St. 4,
Is not Precedent indeed a King of men P

A Word f^m the Psalmist 4,
Is not compromise of old a god among you ?

Is a vote a coat? WiU franchise feed you ?

^ ^*-

The round little fiower of a face that exults
in the sunshine of shadowless days.

After a Reading.' St. S.
Where might is, the right is :

Long purses make strong swords.
Let weakness learn meekness :
God save the House of Lords I

A Word for the Country. St. t


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Not with dreamB, but with blood and with
Shall a nation be moulded at last.

A Word for the Country. St. IS.
With a hero at head, and a nation
Well gagged and well drilled and weU
And a gospel of war and damnation,
Has not Empire a right to be proud ?

^ . St. 14.

He 18 master and lord of his brothers
Who is worthier and wiser than they.

&t. 18.
Silence, uttering love that all things under-
stand. The Cliffkide Path. St. g.
The world ha^ no such flower in any land,
And no such pearl in any gulf the sea.
As any babe on any motner's knee.

Pela^iui. f.

Make bare the poor dead secrets of his heart,

Strip the stark-naked soul, that all may

Spy, snurk. sniff, snap, snort, sniyel,
snarl, ana sneer. In Bepolchretii, t.

Loye han^ like light about your name
As music round the shell !

Adieox A Marie Btuart. 4, st. t
A loying little life of sweet small works.

BothweU. Act 1,1.

Fear that makes faith may break faith.

Act ly S.
Tour merrier songs are moumf uUer some-
Than very tears are. Act i, 6.

*Tis the noblest mood
That takes least hold on anger ; those faint

That hold least fire are fain to show it first.

Act t, 4.
There grows
No herb of help to heal a coward heart.

Act g, IS.
I tell thee, God is in that man's right hand
Whose heart knows when to strike, and
when to stay. Act S, S.

For when all's won all's done, and nought

to do
Is as a chain on him that with void hands
Sits pleasureless and painless. Act 4, 2,

The world is great^
But each has but his own ^d m the world.

Act 5, IS.
Hush, for the holiest thing that lives is here
And heaven's own heart how near !

Where children are not, heaven is not

A Bong of Welcome. U S7.
Babies know the truth.

Cradle Songs. Ifo. 4,

But this thing is Go<!,

To be man with thy might,
To grow straight in the strength of thy
spirit, and Uve out thy life as the light.
HerUia. IB.
Wide and sweet and glorious as compassion.
Dunwich. Fart i, »t. 8.
The thorns he spares when the rose is taken ;
The rocks are left when he wastes the
plain ;
The wind that wanders, the weeds wind-

These remain.

A Forsaken Garden. St. S.


Online LibraryW. Gurney (William Gurney) BenhamCassell's book of quotations, proverbs and household words .. → online text (page 55 of 198)