Reference > Quotations > Hoyt & Roberts, comps. > Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations
Hoyt & Roberts, comps.  Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations.  1922.
Cowardice; Cowards
  To see what is right and not to do it is want of courage.
        Confucius—Analects. Bk. II. Ch. XXIV.
Grac’d with a sword, and worthier of a fan.
        Cowper—Task. Bk. I. L. 771.
That all men would be cowards if they dare,
Some men we know have courage to declare.
        Crabbe—Tale I. The Dumb Orators. L. 11.
The coward never on himself relies,
But to an equal for assistance flies.
        Crabbe—Tale III. The Gentleman Farmer. L. 84.
Cowards are cruel, but the brave
Love mercy, and delight to save.
        Gay—Fables. Pt. I. Fable 1.
Der Feige droht nur, wo er sicher ist.
  The coward only threatens when he is safe.
        Goethe—Torquato Tasso. II. 3. 207.
When desp’rate ills demand a speedy cure,
Distrust is cowardice, and prudence folly.
        Samuel Johnson—Irene. Act IV. Sc. 1.
That kills himself to avoid misery, fears it,
And, at the best, shows but a bastard valour.
This life’s a fort committed to my trust,
Which I must not yield up, till it be forced:
Nor will I. He’s not valiant that dares die,
But he that boldly bears calamity.
        Massinger—Maid of Honour. Act IV. Sc. 3.
  Men lie, who lack courage to tell truth—the cowards!
        Joaquin Miller—Ina. Sc. 3.
Timidi est optare necem.
  To wish for death is a coward’s part.
        Ovid—Metamorphoses. IV. 115.
Virtutis expers verbis jactans gloriam
Ignotos fallit, notis est derisui.
  A coward boasting of his courage may deceive strangers, but he is a laughing-stock to those who know him.
        Phædrus—Fables. I. 11. 1.
  Vous semblez les anguilles de Melun; vous criez devant qu’on vous escorche.
  You are like the eels of Melun; you cry out before you are skinned.
  Canis timidus vehementius latrat quam mordet.
  A cowardly cur barks more fiercely than it bites.
        Quintus Curtius Rufus—De Rebus Gestis Alexandri Magni. VII. 4. 13.
When all the blandishments of life are gone,
The coward sneaks to death, the brave live on.
        Dr. Sewell—The Suicide.
      Who knows himself a braggart,
Let him fear this, for it will come to pass
That every braggart shall be found an ass.
        All’s Well That Ends Well. Act IV. Sc. 3. L. 369.
          You souls of geese,
That bear the shapes of men, how have you run
From slaves that apes would beat!
        Coriolanus. Act I. Sc. 4. L. 35.
  What a slave art thou, to hack thy sword as thou hast done, and then say it was in fight!
        Henry IV. Pt. I. Act II. Sc. 4. L. 286.
          I may speak it to my shame,
I have a truant been to chivalry.
        Henry IV. Pt. I. Act V. Sc. 1. L. 93.
  I would give all my fame for a pot of ale and safety.
        Henry V. Act III. Sc. 2. L. 13.
So bees with smoke and doves with noisome stench
Are from their hives and houses driven away.
They call’d us for our fierceness English dogs;
Now like to whelps, we crying run away.
        Henry VI. Pt. I. Act I. Sc. 5. L. 23.
Becomes it thee to taunt his valiant age
And twit with cowardice a man half dead?
        Henry VI. Pt. I. Act III. Sc. 2. L. 55.
So cowards fight when they can fly no further;
As doves do peck the falcon’s piercing talons;
So desperate thieves, all hopeless of their lives,
Breathe out invectives ’gainst the officers.
        Henry VI. Pt. III. Act I. Sc. 4. L. 39.
          I hold it cowardice
To rest mistrustful where a noble heart
Hath pawn’d an open hand in sign of love.
        Henry VI. Pt. III. Act IV. Sc. 2. L. 6.
Thou slave, thou wretch, thou coward!
Thou little valiant, great in villany!
Thou ever strong upon the stronger side!
Thou Fortune’s champion, that dost never fight
But when her humorous ladyship is by
To teach thee safety!
        King John. Act III. Sc. 1. L. 116.
Dost thou now fall over to my foes?
Thou wear a lion’s hide! doff it for shame,
And hang a calf’s skin on those recreant limbs.
        King John. Act III. Sc. 1. L. 127.
              Milk-liver’d man!
That bear’st a cheek for blows, a head for wrongs,
Who hast not in thy brows an eye discerning
Thine honor from thy suffering.
        King Lear. Act IV. Sc. 2. L. 50.
          Wouldst thou have that
Which thou esteem’st the ornament of life,
And live a coward in thine own esteem,
Letting “I dare not” wait upon, “I would”;
Like the poor cat i’ the adage?
        Macbeth. Act I. Sc. 7. L. 41.
How many cowards, whose hearts are all as false
As stairs of sand, wear yet upon their chins
The beards of Hercules and frowning Mars,
Who, inward search’d, have livers white as milk.
        Merchant of Venice. Act III. Sc. 2. L. 83.
That which in mean men we entitle patience
Is pale cold cowardice in noble breasts.
        Richard II. Act I. Sc. 2. L. 33.
  By this good light, this is a very shallow monster!—I afear’d of him!—A very weak monster!—The man i’ the moon!—A most poor, credulous monster!—Well drawn, monster, in good sooth!
        Tempest. Act II. Sc. 2. L. 144.
A coward, a most devout coward, religious in it.
        Twelfth Night. Act III. Sc. 4. L. 427.
Timidus se vocat cautum, parcum sordidus.
  The coward calls himself cautious, the miser thrifty.
  Ignavissimus quisque, et ut res docuit, in periculo non ausurus, nimis verbis et lingua feroces.
  Every recreant who proved his timidity in the hour of danger, was afterwards boldest in words and tongue.
        Tacitus—Annales. IV. 62.
The man that lays his hand on woman,
Save in the way of kindness, is a wretch
Whom ’twere gross flattery to name a coward.
        Tobin—The Honeymoon. Act II. Sc. 1.
Adieu, canaux, canards, canaille.
        Voltaire, summing up his Impressions de Voyage, on his return from the Netherlands.

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