Reference > Quotations > Hoyt & Roberts, comps. > Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations
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Hoyt & Roberts, comps.  Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations.  1922.
 
Thieving
 
Who steals a bugle-horn, a ring, a steed,
  Or such like worthless thing, has some discretion;
’Tis petty larceny: not such his deed
  Who robs us of our fame, our best possession.
        Berni—Orlando Innamorata. Canto LV.
  1
To keep my hands from picking and stealing.
        Book of Common Prayer—Catechism.
  2
                    To live
On means not yours—be brave in silks and laces,
Gallant in steeds; splendid in banquets; all
Not yours. Given, uninherited, unpaid for;
This is to be a trickster; and to filch
Men’s art and labour, which to them is wealth,
Life, daily bread;—quitting all scores with “friend,
You’re troublesome!” Why this, forgive me,
Is what, when done with a less dainty grace,
Plain folks call “Theft.”
        Bulwer-Lytton—Richelieu. Act I. Sc. 2.
  3
No Indian prince has to his palace
More followers than a thief to the gallows.
        Butler—Hudibras. Pt. II. Canto I. L. 273.
  4
Kill a man’s family, and he may brook it,
But keep your hands out of his breeches’ pocket.
        Byron—Don Juan. Canto X. St. 79.
  5
’Tis bad enough in man or woman
To steal a goose from off a common;
But surely he’s without excuse
Who steals a common from the goose.
        Epigram in Carey’s Commonplace Book of Epigrams. (1872). Different versions of the same were prompted by the Enclosure Acts. One version given in Sabrinæ Corolla was written when Charles Pratt, first Earl of Camden, took a common strip of land in front of Camden House. Oct. 7, 1764.
  6
Stolen sweets are best.
        Colley Cibber—Rival Fools. Act I.
  7
  The Friar preached against stealing, and had a goose in his sleeve.
        Herbert—Jacula Prudentum.
        In vain we call old notions fudge
  And bend our conscience to our dealing.
The Ten Commandments will not budge
  And stealing will continue stealing.
        Motto of American Copyright League. Written Nov. 20, 1885.
  8
  Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.
        Proverbs. IX. 17.
  9
Stolen sweets are always sweeter:
Stolen kisses much completer;
Stolen looks are nice in chapels:
Stolen, stolen be your apples.
        Thomas Randolph—Song of Fairies.
  10
Thou hast stolen both mine office and my name;
The one ne’er got me credit, the other mickle blame.
        Comedy of Errors. Act III. Sc. 1. L. 44.
  11
A cutpurse of the empire and the rule,
That from a shelf the precious diadem stole,
And put it in his pocket!
        Hamlet. Act III. Sc. 4. L. 99.
  12
  A plague upon it when thieves cannot be true one to another!
        Henry IV. Pt. I. Act II. Sc. 2. L. 29.
  13
    Let me tell you, Cassius, you yourself
Are much condemn’d to have an itching palm.
        Julius Cæsar. Act IV. Sc. 3. L. 9.
  14
The robb’d that smiles steals something from the thief:
He robs himself that spends a bootless grief.
        Othello. Act I. Sc. 3. L. 208.
  15
He that is robb’d, not wanting what is stol’n,
Let him not know’t, and he’s not robb’d at all.
        Othello. Act III. Sc. 3. L. 342.
  16
In limited professions there’s boundless theft.
        Timon of Athens. Act IV. Sc. 3. L. 430.
  17
The sun’s a thief, and with his great attraction
Robs the vast sea; the moon’s an arrant thief,
And her pale fire she snatches from the sun:
The sea’s a thief, whose liquid surge resolves
The moon into salt tears: the earth’s a thief,
That feeds and breeds by a composture stolen
From general excrement: each thing’s a thief;
The laws, your curb and whip, in their rough power
Have uncheck’d theft.
        Timon of Athens. Act IV. Sc. 3. L. 439.
  18
Well, well, be it so, thou strongest thief of all,
For thou hast stolen my will, and made it thine.
        Tennyson—The Foresters. Act III. Sc. 1.
  19
 
 
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