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The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations

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Up and down the City Road, In and out the Eagle,

That’s the way the money goes— Pop goes the weasel!

‘Pop Goes the Weasel’ (1853 song)

1.57 Winnie Mandela 1936—

With that stick of matches, with our necklace, we shall liberate this country.

Speech in black townships, 14 April 1986, in ‘Guardian’ 15 April 1986

1.58 Osip Mandelstam 1891-1938

Perhaps my whisper was already born before my lips.

‘Selected Poems’ (1973, translated by D. McDuff) p. 129 ‘Poems Published Posthumously’ (written 1934)

1.59 Manilius (Marcus Manilius)

Eripuitque Jovi fulmen viresque tonandi, et sonitum ventis concessit, nubibus ignem.

And snatched from Jove the lightning shaft and power to thunder, and attributed the noise to

the winds, the flame to the clouds.

‘Astronomica’ bk. 1, l. 104 (on human intelligence)

1.60 Joseph L. Mankiewicz 1909—

Fasten your seat-belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.

Spoken by Bette Davis in ‘All About Eve’ (1950 film)

1.61 Mrs Manley 1663-1724

No time like the present.

‘The Lost Lover’ (1696) act 4, sc. 1

1.62 Horace Mann 1796-1859

The object of punishment is, prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.

‘Lectures and Reports on Education’ (1867 ed.) lecture 7

Lost, yesterday, somewhere between Sunrise and Sunset, two golden hours, each set with sixty diamond minutes. No reward is offered, for they are gone forever.

‘Lost, Two Golden Hours’

1.63 Thomas Mann 1875-1955

Our capacity for disgust, let me observe, is in proportion to our desires; that is in proportion to the intensity of our attachment to the things of this world.

‘The Confessions of Felix Krull’ (1954) pt. 1, ch. 5

Time has no divisions to mark its passage, there is never a thunderstorm or blare of trumpets to

announce the beginning of a new month or year. Even when a new century begins it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols.

‘The Magic Mountain’ (1924) ch. 4, sect. 4 (translation by H. T. Lowe-Porter)

And waiting means hanging on ahead, it means regarding time and the present moment not as a boon, but an obstruction; it means making their actual content null and void, by mentally overleaping them. Waiting we say is long. We might just as well—or more accurately—say it is short, since it consumes whole spaces of time without our living them or making any use of them as such.

‘The Magic Mountain’ (1924) ch. 5, sect. 5 (translation by H. T. Lowe-Porter)

We come out of the dark and go into the dark again, and in between lie the experiences of our life. But the beginning and end, birth and death, we do not experience; they have no subjective character, they fall entirely in the category of objective events, and that’s that.

‘The Magic Mountain’ (1924) ch. 6, sect. (translation by H. T. Lowe-Porter)

Human reason needs only to will more strongly than fate, and she is fate.

‘The Magic Mountain’ (1924) ch. 6

All interest in disease and death is only another expression of interest in life.

‘The Magic Mountain’ (1924) ch. 6, sect. 7

Unser Sterben mehr eine Angelegenheit der Weiterlebenden als unserer selbst.

A man’s dying is more the survivor’s affair than his own.

‘The Magic Mountain’ (1924) ch. 6, sect. 8, (translation by H. T. Lowe-Porter)

For time is the medium of narration, as it is the medium of life. Both are inextricably bound up with it, as are bodies in space. Similarly, time is the medium of music; music divides, measures, articulates time, and can shorten it, yet enhance its value, both at once.

‘The Magic Mountain’ (1924) ch. 7, sect. 1, (translation by H. T. Lowe-Porter)

1.64 Lord John Manners, Duke of Rutland 1818-1906

Let wealth and commerce, laws and learning die, But leave us still our old nobility!

‘England’s Trust’ (1841), pt. 3, l. 227

1.65 Katherine Mansfield (Kathleen Mansfield Beauchamp) 1888-1923

E. M. Forster never gets any further than warming the teapot. He’s a rare fine hand at that. Feel this teapot. Is it not beautifully warm? Yes, but there ain’t going to be no tea.

‘Journal’ May 1917 (1927) p. 69

Whenever I prepare for a journey I prepare as though for death. Should I never return, all is in order.

‘Journal’ 29 January 1922 (1927) p. 224

1.66 Lord Mansfield 1705-93

The constitution does not allow reasons of state to influence our judgements: God forbid it

should! We must not regard political consequences; however formidable soever they might be: if rebellion was the certain consequence, we are bound to say ‘fiat justitia, ruat caelum’.

Rex v. Wilkes, 8 June 1768.

Consider what you think justice requires, and decide accordingly. But never give your reasons; for your judgement will probably be right, but your reasons will certainly be wrong.

Advice to a newly appointed colonial governor ignorant in the law, in John Lord Campbell ‘The Lives of the Chief Justices of England’ (1849) vol. 2, ch. 40

1.67 Mao Tse-Tung 1893-1976

A revolution is not the same as inviting people to dinner, or writing an essay, or painting a picture...A revolution is an insurrection, an act of violence by which one class overthrows another.

Report, March 1927, in ‘Selected Works’ (1954) vol. 1, p. 27

Politics is war without bloodshed while war is politics with bloodshed.

Lecture, 1938, in ‘Selected Works’ (1965) vol. 2, p. 153

Every Communist must grasp the truth, ‘Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun’.

Speech at 6th Plenary Session of 6th Central Committee, 6 November 1938, in ‘Selected Works’ (1965) vol. 2, p. 224

The atom bomb is a paper tiger which the United States reactionaries use to scare people. It looks terrible, but in fact it isn’t ... All reactionaries are paper tigers.

Interview with Anne Louise Strong, August 1946, in ‘Selected Works’ (1961) vol. 4, p. 100

Letting a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend is the policy for promoting progress in the arts and the sciences and a flourishing socialist culture in our land.

Speech at Peking, 27 February 1957, in ‘Quotations of Chairman Mao’ (1966) p. 302

1.68 William Learned Marcy 1786-1857

The politicians of New York...see nothing wrong in the rule, that to the victor belong the spoils of the enemy.

Speech to the Senate, 25 January 1832, in James Parton ‘Life of Andrew Jackson’ (1860) vol. 3, ch. 29

1.69 Miriam Margoyles

Life, if you’re fat, is a minefield—you have to pick your way, otherwise you blow up.

In ‘Observer’ 9 June 1991

1.70 Marie-Antoinette 1755-93

Qu’ils mangent de la brioche.

Let them eat cake.

On being told that her people had no bread, though much older in origin. In Confessions (1740) Rousseau refers to a similar remark being a well known saying; in Relation d’un Voyage á Bruxelles et á Coblentz en 1791 (1823, p. 59) Louis XVIII attributes ‘Que ne mangent-ils de la croûte de pâtè? [Why don’t they eat pastry?]’ to Marie-Thèrése (1638-83), wife of Louis XIV

1.71 Edwin Markham 1852-1940

Bowed by the weight of centuries he leans Upon his hoe and gazes on the ground, The emptiness of ages in his face,

And on his back the burden of the world. Who made him dead to rapture and despair, A thing that grieves not and that never hopes, Stolid and stunned, a brother to the ox?

‘The Man with the Hoe’ (1899)

1.72 Johnny Marks 1909-85

Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer Had a very shiny nose,

And if you ever saw it,

You would even say it glows.

‘Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ (1949 song) based on a Robert L. May story (1939)

1.73 Sarah, first Duchess of Marlborough 1660-1744

The Duke returned from the wars today and did pleasure me in his top-boots.

Oral tradition, attributed in various forms. See, among others, I. Butler ‘Rule of Three’ (1967) ch. 7

If I were young and handsome as I was, instead of old and faded as I am, and you could lay the empire of the world at my feet, you should never share the heart and hand that once belonged to John, Duke of Marlborough.

Refusing the offer of marriage from the Duke of Somerset, in W. S. Churchill ‘Marlborough: His Life and Times’ (1938)

1.74 Bob Marley 1945-81

Get up, stand up.

Title of song

I shot the sheriff.

Title of song

1.75 Christopher Marlowe 1564-93

Sweet Analytics, ’tis thou hast ravished me.

‘Doctor Faustus’ (published 1604) act 1, sc. 1

I’ll have them fly to India for gold, Ransack the ocean for orient pearl.

‘Doctor Faustus’ (1604) act 1, sc. 1

I’ll hae them wall all Germany with brass, And make swift Rhine circle fair Wertemberg. I’ll have them fill the public schools with silk,

Wherewith the students shall be bravely clad.

‘Doctor Faustus’ (1604) act 1, sc. 1

Faustus: And what are you that live with Lucifer? Mephistopheles: Unhappy spirits that fell with Lucifer, Conspired against our God with Lucifer,

And are for ever damned with Lucifer.

‘Doctor Faustus’ (1604) act 1, sc. 3

Why, this is hell, nor am I out of it:

Thinkst thou that I who saw the face of God, And tasted the eternal joys of heaven,

Am not tormented with ten thousand hells In being deprived of everlasting bliss!

‘Doctor Faustus’ (1604) act 1, sc. 3

Hell hath no limits nor is circumscribed In one self place, where we are is Hell,

And to be short, when all the world dissolves, And every creature shall be purified,

All places shall be hell that are not heaven.

‘Doctor Faustus’ (1604) act 2, sc. 1

Have not I made blind Homer sing to me?

‘Doctor Faustus’ (1604) act 2, sc. 2

Was this the face that launched a thousand ships, And burnt the topless towers of Ilium?

Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss! Her lips suck forth my soul: see, where it flies! Come Helen, come give me my soul again. Here will I dwell, for heaven be in these lips, And all is dross that is not Helena.

‘Doctor Faustus’ (1604) act 5, sc. 1

Now hast thou but one bare hour to live, And then thou must be damned perpetually.

Stand still, you ever-moving spheres of heaven, That time may cease, and midnight never come. Fair nature’s eye, rise, rise again and make Perpetual day; or let this hour be but

A year, a month, a week, a natural day, That Faustus may repent and save his soul. O lente lente currite noctis equi.

The stars move still, time runs, the clock will strike, The devil will come, and Faustus must be damned.

O I’ll leap up to my God: who pulls me down?

See, see, where Christ’s blood streams in the firmament. One drop would save my soul, half a drop, ah my Christ.

‘Doctor Faustus’ (1604) act 5, sc. 2

You stars that reigned at my nativity, Whose influence hath allotted death and hell, Now draw up Faustus like a foggy mist, Into the entrails of yon labouring cloud, That when you vomit forth into the air,

My limbs may issue from your smoky mouths, So that my soul may but ascend to heaven.

‘Doctor Faustus’ (1604) act 5, sc. 2

Ah, Pythagoras’ metempsychosis, were that true, This soul should fly from me, and I be changed Unto some brutish beast.

‘Doctor Faustus’ (1604) act 5, sc. 2

O soul, be changed into little water drops, And fall into the ocean, ne’er be found: My God, my God, look not so fierce on me.

‘Doctor Faustus’ (1604) act 5, sc. 2

Cut is the branch that might have grown full straight, And burnéd is Apollo’s laurel bough,

That sometime grew within this learned man.

‘Doctor Faustus’ (1604) epilogue

My men, like satyrs grazing on the lawns, Shall with their goat feet dance an antic hay.

‘Edward II’ (1593) act 1, sc. 1

His body was as straight as Circe’s wand etc.

‘Hero and Leander’ (published 1598) First Sestiad, l. 61

It lies not in our power to love, or hate, For will in us is over-ruled by fate.

When two are stripped, long ere the course begin, We wish that one should lose, the other win; And one especially do we affect

Of two gold ingots, like in each respect. The reason no man knows; let it suffice, What we behold is censured by our eyes. Where both deliberate, the love is slight; Who ever loved that loved not at first sight?

‘Hero and Leander’ (published 1598) First Sestiad, l. 167.

I count religion but a childish toy, And hold there is no sin but ignorance.

‘The Jew of Malta’ (written and performed c.1592) prologue

Thus methinks should men of judgement frame Their means of traffic from the vulgar trade, And, as their wealth increaseth, so enclose Infinite riches in a little room.

‘The Jew of Malta’ (c.1592) act 1, sc. 1

As for myself, I walk abroad o’ nights And kill sick people groaning under walls: Sometimes I go about and poison wells.

‘The Jew of Malta’ (c.1592) act 2, sc. 3

Barnardine: Thou hast committed—

Barabas: Fornication? But that was in another country: and besides, the wench is dead.

‘The Jew of Malta’ (c.1592) act 4, sc. 1

Come live with me, and be my love, And we will all the pleasures prove, That valleys, groves, hills and fields, Woods or steepy mountain yields.

‘The Passionate Shepherd to his Love’.

By shallow rivers, to whose falls, Melodious birds sing madrigals.

‘The Passionate Shepherd to his Love’

From jigging veins of rhyming mother-wits, And such conceits as clownage keeps in pay, We’ll lead you to the stately tents of war.

‘Tamburlaine the Great’ (performed c.1588, published 1590) pt. 1, prologue

Zenocrate, lovelier than the Love of Jove, Brighter than is the silver Rhodope, Fairer than whitest snow on Scythian hills.

‘Tamburlaine the Great’ (1590) pt. 1, act 1, sc. 2

Our swords shall play the orators for us.

‘Tamburlaine the Great’ (1590) pt. 1, act 1, sc. 2

With Nature’s pride, and richest furniture?

His looks do menace heaven and dare the Gods.

‘Tamburlaine the Great’ (1590) pt. 1, act 1, sc. 2

Accurst be he that first invented war.

‘Tamburlaine the Great’ (1590) pt. 1, act 2, sc. 4

Is it not passing brave to be a King, And ride in triumph through Persepolis?

‘Tamburlaine the Great’ (1590) pt. 1, act 2, sc. 5

Nature that framed us of four elements, Warring within our breasts for regiment, Doth teach us all to have aspiring minds:

Our souls, whose faculties can comprehend The wondrous architecture of the world:

And measure every wand’ring planet’s course, Still climbing after knowledge infinite,

And always moving as the restless spheres, Wills us to wear ourselves and never rest, Until we reach the ripest fruit of all,

That perfect bliss and sole felicity, The sweet fruition of an earthly crown.

‘Tamburlaine the Great’ (1590) pt. 1, act 2, sc. 7

Virtue is the fount whence honour springs.

‘Tamburlaine the Great’ (1590) pt. 1, act 4, sc. 4

Ah fair Zenocrate, divine Zenocrate, Fair is too foul an epithet for thee.

‘Tamburlaine the Great’ (1590) act 5, sc. 5

What is beauty saith my sufferings, then? If all the pens that ever poets held

Had fed the feeling of their masters’ thoughts, And every sweetness that inspired their hearts, Their minds, and muses on admired themes:

If all the heavenly quintessence they still From their immortal flowers of Poesy, Wherein as in a mirror we perceive

The highest reaches of a human wit; If these had made one poem’s period,

And all combined in beauty’s worthiness, Yet should there hover in their restless heads

One thought, one grace, one wonder at the least, Which into words no virtue can digest.

‘Tamburlaine the Great’ (1590) pt. 1, act 5, sc. 1

And every warrior that is rapt with love Of fame, of valour, and of victory,

Must needs have beauty beat on his conceits.

‘Tamburlaine the Great’ (1590) pt. 1, act 5, sc. 1

Now walk the angels on the walls of heaven, As sentinels to warn th’ immortal souls,

To entertain divine Zenocrate.

‘Tamburlaine the Great’ (1590) pt. 2, act 2, sc. 4

Yet let me kiss my Lord before I die, And let me die with kissing of my Lord.

‘Tamburlaine the Great’ (1590) pt. 2, act 2, sc. 4

Helen, whose beauty summoned Greece to arms, And drew a thousand ships to Tenedos.

‘Tamburlaine the Great’ (1590) pt. 2, act 2, sc. 4.

More childish valourous than manly wise.

‘Tamburlaine the Great’ (1590) pt. 2, act 4, sc. 1

1.76 Don Marquis 1878-1937

procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.

‘archy and mehitabel’ (1927) ch. 12 ‘certain maxims of archy’

an optimist is a guy that has never had much experience.

‘archy and mehitabel’ (1927) ch. 12 ‘certain maxims of archy’

but wotthehell archy wotthehell it s cheerio

my deario that pulls a lady through.

‘archy and mehitabel’ (1927) ‘cheerio, my deario’

I have got you out here in the great open spaces where cats are cats.

‘archy and mehitabel’ (1927) ch. 14 ‘mehitabel has an adventure’

but wotthehell archy wotthehell jamais triste archy jamais triste that is my motto.

‘archy and mehitabel’ (1927) ch. 46 ‘mehitabel sees paris’

but wotthehell wotthehell oh i should worry and fret death and I will coquette

there s a dance in the old dame yet toujours gai toujours gai.

‘archy and mehitabel’ (1927) ch. 3 ‘the song of mehitabel’

boss there is always a comforting thought

in time of trouble when it is not our trouble

‘archy does his part’ (1935) ‘comforting thoughts’

honesty is a good thing but

it is not profitable to its possessor

unless it is

kept under control.

‘archys life of mehitabel’ (1933) ch. 40 ‘archygrams’

did you ever notice that when a politician does get an idea he usually

gets it all wrong.

‘archys life of mehitabel’ (1933) ch. 40 ‘archygrams’

now and then

there is a person born who is so unlucky

that he runs into accidents which started to happen to somebody else.

‘archys life of mehitabel’ (1933) ch. 41 ‘archy says’

Writing a book of poetry is like dropping a rose petal down the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo.

In E. Anthony ‘O Rare Don Marquis’ (1962) p. 146

The art of newspaper paragraphing is to stroke a platitude until it purrs like an epigram.

In E. Anthony ‘O Rare Don Marquis’ (1962) p. 354

1.77 Captain Marryat 1792-1848

There’s no getting blood out of a turnip.

‘Japhet, in Search of a Father’ (1836) ch. 4

As savage as a bear with a sore head.

‘The King’s Own’ (1830) vol. 2, ch. 6

If you please, ma’am, it was a very little one.

‘Mr Midshipman Easy’ (1836) ch. 3 (the nurse, excusing her illegitimate baby)

All zeal...all zeal, Mr Easy.

‘Mr Midshipman Easy’ (1836) ch. 9

1.78 Arthur Marshall 1910-89

Oh My! Bertha’s got a bang on the boko. Keep a stiff upper lip, Bertha dear. What, knocked a tooth out? Never mind, dear, laugh it off, laugh it off; it’s all part of life’s rich pageant.

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