C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


  • A politician must like lightning melt
  • The very marrow, and not taint the skin;
  • His ways must not be seen.
  • All the soul
  • Of man is resolution; which expires
  • Never from valiant men, till their last breath;
  • And then with it, like a flame extinguish’d
  • For want of matter; it does not die, but
  • Rather ceases to live.
  • And as great seamen, using all their wealth
  • And skills in Neptune’s deep invisible paths,
  • In tall ships richly built and ribbed with brass,
  • To put a girdle round about the world.
  • For as the light
  • Not only serves to show, but render us
  • Mutually profitable; so our lives,
  • In acts exemplary, not only win
  • Ourselves good names, but do to others give
  • Matter for virtuous deeds, by which we live.
  • Fortune, the great commandress of the world,
  • Hath divers ways t’ enrich her followers:
  • To some she honor gives without deserving;
  • To other some, deserving without honor;
  • Some, wit—some, wealth—and some, wit without wealth;
  • Some, wealth without wit—some, nor wit nor wealth.
  • He is at no end of his actions blest
  • Whose ends will make him greatest and not best.
  • He that bears himself like a gentleman, is
  • Worth to have been born a gentleman.
  • Let no man value at a little price
  • A virtuous woman’s counsel; her wing’d spirit
  • Is feather’d oftentimes with heavenly words.
  • Like clocks, one wheel another on must drive,
  • Affairs by diligent labors only thrive.
  • Measure not thy carriage by any man’s eye,
  • Thy speech by no man’s ear; but be resolute
  • And confident in doing and saying;
  • And this is the grace of a right gentleman.
  • O the dangerous siege
  • Sin lays about us! And the tyranny
  • He exercises when he hath expung’d,
  • Like to the horror of a winter’s thunder,
  • Mix’d with a gushing storm; that suffers nothing
  • To stir abroad on earth, but their own rages,
  • Is sin, when it hath gather’d head above us:
  • No roof, no shelter can secure us so,
  • But he will drown our cheeks in fear or woe.
  • So our lives
  • In acts exemplarie, not only winne
  • Ourselves good Names, but doth to others give
  • Matter for virtuous Deedes, by which wee live.
  • ’Tis immortality to die aspiring,
  • As if a man were taken quick to heaven.
  • Virtue is not malicious; wrong done her
  • Is righted even when men grant they err.
  • Who ’scapes the snare
  • Once, has a certain caution to beware.
  • Blood, though it sleep a time, yet never dies.

    Enough is as good as a feast.

    Envy is like a fly that passes all a body’s sounder parts, and dwells upon the sores.

    Extremes, though contrary, have the like effect; extreme heat mortifies, like extreme cold; extreme love breeds satiety, as well as extreme hatred.

    I’ll have no more beggars. Fools shall have wealth, and the learned shall live by his wits. I’ll have no more bankrupts.

    Keep thy shop, and thy shop will keep thee. Light gains make heavy purses. ’Tis good to be merry and wise.

    Let no man value at little price a virtuous woman’s counsel.

    Let pride go afore, shame will follow after.

    Marriage is ever made by destiny.

    Men’s judgments sway on that side fortune leans.

    News as wholesome as the morning air.

    None ever loved, but at first sight they loved.

    Promise is most given when the least is said.

    Sin is ashamed of sin.

    The blind goddess of fools.

    The old Scythians painted blind fortune’s powerful hands with wings, to show her gifts come swift and suddenly, which, if her favorite be not swift to take, he loses them forever.

    The use of time is fate.

    To put a girdle round about the world.

    Up start as many aches in his bones, as there are ouches in his skin.

    Who to himself is law no law doth need.

    Wit is of the true Pierian spring, that can make anything of anything.

    Words writ in waters.

    Young men think old men are fools; but old men know young men are fools.

    Your noblest natures are most credulous.