Reference > Quotations > Hoyt & Roberts, comps. > Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations
Hoyt & Roberts, comps.  Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations.  1922.
This dance of death which sounds so musically
Was sure intended for the corpse de ballet.
        Anon.—On the Danse Macabre of Saint-Saëns.
O give me new figures! I can’t go on dancing
The same that were taught me ten seasons ago;
The schoolmaster over the land is advancing,
Then why is the master of dancing so slow?
It is such a bore to be always caught tripping
In dull uniformity year after year;
Invent something new, and you’ll set me a skipping:
I want a new figure to dance with my Dear!
        Thomas Haynes Bayly—Quadrille a la Mode.
My dancing days are done.
        Beaumont and Fletcher—Scornful Lady. Act V. Sc. 3.
A thousand hearts beat happily; and when
Music arose with its voluptuous swell,
Soft eyes look’d love to eyes which spake again,
And all went merry as a marriage bell.
        Byron—Childe Harold. Canto III. St. 21.
On with the dance! let joy be unconfin’d;
No sleep till morn, when Youth and Pleasure meet.
        Byron—Childe Harold. Canto III. St. 22.
And then he danced;—all foreigners excel
The serious Angles in the eloquence
Of pantomime;—he danced, I say, right well,
With emphasis, and also with good sense—
A thing in footing indispensable:
He danced without theatrical pretence,
Not like a ballet-master in the van
Of his drill’d nymphs, but like a gentleman.
        Byron—Don Juan. Canto XIV. St. 38.
Imperial Waltz! imported from the Rhine
(Famed for the growth of pedigrees and wine),
Long be thine import from all duty free,
And hock itself be less esteem’d than thee.
        Byron—The Waltz. L. 29.
Endearing Waltz—to thy more melting tune
Bow Irish jig, and ancient rigadoon.
Scotch reels, avaunt! and country-dance forego
Your future claims to each fantastic toe!
Waltz—Waltz alone—both legs and arms demands,
Liberal of feet, and lavish of her hands.
        Byron—The Waltz. L. 109.
Hot from the hands promiscuously applied,
Round the slight waist, or down the glowing side.
        Byron—The Waltz. L. 234.
What! the girl I adore by another embraced?
What! the balm of her breath shall another man taste?
What! pressed in the dance by another’s man’s knee?
What! panting recline on another than me?
Sir, she’s yours; you have pressed from the grape its fine blue,
From the rosebud you’ve shaken the tremulous dew;
What you’ve touched you may take. Pretty waltzer—adieu!
        Sir Henry Englefield—The Waltz. Dancing.
Such pains, such pleasures now alike are o’er,
And beaus and etiquette shall soon exist no more
  At their speed behold advancing
  Modern men and women dancing;
Step and dress alike express
Above, below from heel to toe,
Male and female awkwardness.
Without a hoop, without a ruffle,
One eternal jig and shuffle,
Where’s the air and where’s the gait?
Where’s the feather in the hat?
Where the frizzed toupee? and where
Oh! where’s the powder for the hair?
        Catherine Fanshawe—The Abrogation of the Birth-Night Ball.
    To brisk notes in cadence beating
Glance their many-twinkling feet.
        Gray—Progress of Poesy. Pt. I. St. 3. L. 10.
Alike all ages: dames of ancient days
Have led their children through the mirthful maze;
And the gay grandsire, skill’d in gestic lore,
Has frisk’d beneath the burden of threescore.
        Goldsmith—Traveller. L. 251.
And the dancing has begun now,
And the dancers whirl round gaily
In the waltz’s giddy mazes,
And the ground beneath them trembles.
        Heine—Book of Songs. Don Ramiro. St. 23.
Twelve dancers are dancing, and taking no rest,
And closely their hands together are press’d;
And soon as a dance has come to a close,
Another begins, and each merrily goes.
        Heine—Dream and Life.
Merrily, merrily whirled the wheels of the dizzying dances
Under the orchard-trees and down the path to the meadows;
Old folk and young together, and children mingled among them.
        Longfellow—Evangeline. Pt. I. IV.
      He who esteems the Virginia reel
A bait to draw saints from their spiritual weal,
And regards the quadrille as a far greater knavery
Than crushing His African children with slavery,
Since all who take part in a waltz or cotillon
Are mounted for hell on the devil’s own pillion,
Who, as every true orthodox Christian well knows,
Approaches the heart through the door of the toes.
        Lowell—Fable for Critics. L. 492.
Come, knit hands, and beat the ground
In a light fantastic round.
        MiltonComus. L. 143.
Come and trip it as ye go,
On the light fantastic toe.
        MiltonL’Allegro. L. 33.
Dancing in the chequer’d shade.
        MiltonL’Allegro. L. 96.
        Dear creature!—you’d swear
When her delicate feet in the dance twinkle round,
That her steps are of light, that her home is the air,
And she only par complaisance touches the ground.
        Moore—Fudge Family in Paris. Letter V. L. 50.
Others import yet nobler arts from France,
Teach kings to fiddle, and make senates dance.
        Pope—Dunciad. Bk. IV. L. 597.
Oh! if to dance all night, and dress all day,
Charm’d the small-pox, or chas’d old age away;
    *    *    *    *    *    *
To patch, nay ogle, might become a saint,
Nor could it sure be such a sin to paint.
        Pope—Rape of the Lock. Canto V. L. 19.
I know the romance, since it’s over,
  ’Twere idle, or worse, to recall;—
I know you’re a terrible rover;
  But, Clarence, you’ll come to our ball.
        Praed—Our Ball.
I saw her at a country ball;
  There when the sound of flute and fiddle
Gave signal sweet in that old hall,
  Of hands across and down the middle
Hers was the subtlest spell by far
  Of all that sets young hearts romancing:
She was our queen, our rose, our star;
  And when she danced—oh, heaven, her dancing!
        Praed—The Belle of the Ball.
He, perfect dancer, climbs the rope,
And balances your fear and hope.
        Prior—Alma. Canto II. L. 9.
Once on a time, the wight Stupidity
For his throne trembled,
When he discovered in the brains of men
Something like thoughts assembled,
And so he searched for a plausible plan
One of validity,—
And racked his brains, if rack his brains he can
None having, or a very few!
At last he hit upon a way
For putting to rout,
And driving out
From our dull clay
These same intruders new—
This Sense, these Thoughts, these Speculative ills—
What could he do? He introduced quadrilles.
        Ruskin—The Invention of Quadrilles.
We are dancing on a volcano.
        Comte de Salvandy. At a fête given to the King of Naples. (1830).
    They have measured many a mile,
To tread a measure with you on this grass.
        Love’s Labour’s Lost. Act V. Sc. 2. L. 186.
He capers nimbly in a lady’s chamber
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.
        Richard III. Act I. Sc. 1. L. 12.
For you and I are past our dancing days.
        Romeo and Juliet. Act 1. Sc. 5.
    When you do dance, I wish you
A wave o’ th’ sea, that you might ever do
Nothing but that.
        Winter’s Tale. Act IV. Sc. 4. L. 140.
Inconsolable to the minuet in Ariadne!
        Sheridan—The Critic. Act II. Sc. 2.
While his off-heel, insidiously aside,
Provokes the caper which he seems to chide.
        Sheridan—Pizarro. The Prologue.
But O, she dances such a way!
No sun upon an Easter-day,
Is half so fine a sight.
        Suckling—A Ballad Upon a Wedding. St. 8.
Dance light, for my heart it lies under your feet, love.
        John Francis Waller—Kitty Neil. Dance Light.
And beautiful maidens moved down in the dance,
With the magic of motion and sunshine of glance:
And white arms wreathed lightly, and tresses fell free
As the plumage of birds in some tropical tree.
        Whittier—Cities of the Plain. St. 4.
Jack shall pipe, and Jill shall dance.
        George Wither—Poem on Christmas.

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