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C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
 
Court—Courtiers
 
  A court is an assemblage of noble and distinguished beggars.
Talleyrand.    
  1
  The court does not render a man contented, but it prevents his being so elsewhere.
Bruèyre.    
  2
        The caterpillars of the commonwealth,
Which I have sworn to weed and pluck away.
Shakespeare.    
  3
        Courts can give nothing to the wise and good,
But scorn of pomp, and love of solitude.
Young.    
  4
                  Poor wretches that depend
On greatness’ favor, dream as I have done;
Wake, and find nothing.
Shakespeare.    
  5
  Not a courtier, although they wear their faces to the bent of the king’s looks, hath a heart that is not glad at the thing they scowl at.
Shakespeare.    
  6
        They smile and bow, and hug, and shake the hand,
E’en while they whisper to the next assistant
Some curs’d plot to blast its owner’s head.
Beller.    
  7
        A lazy, proud, unprofitable crew,
The vermin gender’d from the rank corruption
Of a luxurious state.
Cumberland.    
  8
        Fly from the court’s pernicious neighborhood;
Where innocence is sham’d, and blushing modesty
Is made the scorner’s jest; where hate, deceit,
And deadly ruin wear the mask of beauty,
And draw deluded fools with shows of pleasure.
Rowe.    
  9
  The chief requisites for a courtier are a flexible conscience and an inflexible politeness.
Lady Blessington.    
  10
        I am no courtier, no fawning dog of state,
To lick and kiss the hand that buffets me;
Nor can I smile upon my guest and praise
His stomach, when I know he feeds on poison,
And death disguised sits grinning at my table.
Sewell.    
  11
                            Live loath’d and long,
Most smiling, smooth, detested parasites,
Courteous destroyers, affable wolves, meek bears,
You fools of fortune, trencher friends, time’s flies,
Cap and knee slaves, vapors, and minute jacks.
Shakespeare.    
  12
        Men that would blush at being thought sincere,
And feign, for glory, the few faults they want;
That love a lie, where truth would pay as well;
As if to them, vice shone her own reward.
Young.    
  13
                        How many men
Have spent their blood in their dear country’s service,
Yet now pine under want; while selfish slaves,
That even would cut their throats whom now they fawn on,
Like deadly locusts, eat the honey up,
Which those industrious bees so hardly toil’d for.
Otway.    
  14
        Those that go up hill, use to bow,
Their bodies forward, and stoop low
To poise themselves, and sometimes creep,
When th’ way is difficult and steep:
So those at court, that do address,
By low ignoble offices,
Can stoop at anything that’s base,
To wriggle into trust and grace,
Are like to rise to greatness sooner,
Than those that go by worth and honor.
Butler.    
  15
        See there he comes, th’ exalted idol comes!
The circle’s form’d, and all his fawning slaves
Devoutly bow to earth; from every mouth
The nauseous flattery flows, which he returns
With promises which die as soon as born.
Vile intercourse, where virtue has no place!
Frown but the monarch, all his glories fade;
He mingles with the throng, outcast, undone,
The pageant of a day; without one friend
To soothe his tortur’d mind; all, all are fled,
For though they bask’d in his meridian ray,
The insects vanish as his beams decline.
Somerville.    
  16
 
 
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