Reference > Quotations > Hoyt & Roberts, comps. > Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations
Hoyt & Roberts, comps.  Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations.  1922.
Oaths were not purpos’d, more than law,
To keep the Good and Just in awe,
But to confine the Bad and Sinful,
Like mortal cattle in a penfold.
        Butler—Hudibras. Pt. II. Canto II. L. 197.
He that imposes an Oath makes it,
Not he that for Convenience takes it.
Then how can any man be said
To break an oath he never made?
        Butler—Hudibras. Pt. II. Canto II. L. 377.
I will take my corporal oath on it.
        Cervantes—Don Quixote. Pt. I. Bk. IV. Ch. X.
Juravi lingua, mentem injuratam gero.
  I have sworn with my tongue, but my mind is unsworn.
        Cicero—De Officiis. III. 29.
They fix attention, heedless of your pain,
With oaths like rivets forced into the brain;
And e’en when sober truth prevails throughout,
They swear it, till affirmance breeds a doubt.
        Cowper—Conversation. L. 63.
And hast thou sworn on every slight, pretence,
Till perjuries are common as bad pence,
While thousands, careless of the damning sin,
Kiss the book’s outside, who ne’er look’d within?
        Cowper—Expostulation. L. 384.
In lapidary inscriptions a man is not upon oath.
        Samuel Johnson—Boswell’s Life of Johnson. (1775).
  I take the official oath to-day with no mental reservations and with no purpose to construe the Constitution by any hypercritical rules.
        Lincoln—First Inaugural Address. March 4, 1861.
  You can have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the Government; while I shall have the most solemn one to “preserve, protect, and defend” it.
        Lincoln—First Inaugural Address. March 4, 1861.
He that sweareth to his own hurt and changeth not.
        Psalms. XV. 4.
’Tis not the many oaths that makes the truth,
But the plain single vow that is vow’d true.
        All’s Well That Ends Well. Act IV. Sc. 2. L. 21.
                Trust none;
For oaths are straws, men’s faiths are wafer-cakes,
And hold-fast is the only dog.
        Henry V. Act II. Sc. 3. L. 52.
It is a great sin to swear unto a sin,
But greater sin to keep a sinful oath.
        Henry VI. Pt. II. Act V. Sc. 1. L. 182.
Or, having sworn too hard a keeping oath,
Study to break it and not break my troth.
        Love’s Labour’s Lost. Act I. Sc. 1. L. 65.
        What fool is not so wise
To lose an oath to win a paradise?
        Love’s Labour’s Lost. Act IV. Sc. 3. L. 72.
An oath, an oath, I have an oath in heaven:
Shall I lay perjury upon my soul?
No, not for Venice.
        Merchant of Venice. Act IV. Sc. 1. L. 228.
I’ll take thy word for faith, not ask thine oath;
Who shuns not to break one will sure crack both.
        Pericles. Act I. Sc. 2. L. 120.
I write a woman’s oaths in water.
        Sophocles—Fragment. 694.

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