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The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations

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All kinds of sores, and shames, on my bare head, Steeped me in poverty to the very lips,

Given to captivity me and my utmost hopes, I should have found in some part of my soul A drop of patience; but, alas! to make me The fixéd figure for the time of scorn

To point his slow and moving finger at; Yet could I bear that too; well, very well.

But there, where I have garnered up my heart, Where either I must live or bear no life,

The fountain from the which my current runs Or else dries up; to be discarded thence!

Or keep it as a cistern for foul toads

To knot and gender in! Turn thy complexion there, Patience, thou young and rose-lipped cherubin; Ay, there, look grim as hell!

‘Othello’ (1602-4) act 4, sc. 2, l. 46

O thou weed!

Who art so lovely fair and smell’st so sweet

That the sense aches at thee, would thou hadst ne’er been born!

‘Othello’ (1602-4) act 4, sc. 2, l. 66

Heaven stops the nose at it and the moon winks.

‘Othello’ (1602-4) act 4, sc. 2, l. 76

I cry you mercy, then;

I took you for that cunning whore of Venice That married with Othello. You, mistress, That have the office opposite to Saint Peter, And keep the gate of hell!

‘Othello’ (1602-4) act 4, sc. 2, l. 87

Those that do teach young babes

Do it with gentle means and easy tasks;

He might have chid me so; for, in good faith, I am a child to chiding.

‘Othello’ (1602-4) act 4, sc. 2, l. 111

I will be hanged, if some eternal villain, Some busy and insinuating rogue,

Some cogging cozening slave, to get some office, Have not devised this slander.

‘Othello’ (1602-4) act 4, sc. 2, l. 130

Unkindness may do much;

And his unkindness may defeat my life, But never taint my love.

‘Othello’ (1602-4) act 4, sc. 2, l. 159

emilia: I would you had never seen him.

desdemona: So would not I; my love doth so approve him, That even his stubbornness, his checks and frowns...

Have grace and favour in them.

‘Othello’ (1602-4) act 4, sc. 3, l. 18

My mother had a maid called Barbara;

She was in love, and he she loved proved mad And did forsake her; she had a song of ‘willow;’ An old thing ’twas, but it expressed her fortune, And she died singing it; that song to-night

Will not go from my mind.

‘Othello’ (1602-4) act 4, sc. 3, l. 26

The poor soul sat sighing by a sycamore tree, Sing all a green willow;

Her hand on her bosom, her head on her knee, Sing willow, willow, willow:

The fresh streams ran by her, and murmured her moans; Sing willow, willow, willow:

Her salt tears fell from her, and softened the stones;— Sing willow, willow, willow:

Sing all a green willow must be my garland.

‘Othello’ (1602-4) act 4, sc. 3, l. [41].

desdemona: Mine eyes do itch; Doth that bode weeping?

emilia: ’Tis neither here nor there.

‘Othello’ (1602-4) act 4, sc. 3, l. [59]

Who would not make her husband a cuckold to make him a monarch?

‘Othello’ (1602-4) act 4, sc. 3, l. [76]

He hath a daily beauty in his life. That makes me ugly.

‘Othello’ (1602-4) act 5, sc. 1, l. 19

This is the night

That either makes me or fordoes me quite.

‘Othello’ (1602-4) act 5, sc. 1, l. 128

It is the cause, it is the cause, my soul;

Let me not name it to you, you chaste stars! It is the cause. Yet I’ll not shed her blood,

Nor scar that whiter skin of hers than snow, And smooth as monumental alabaster.

Yet she must die, else she’ll betray more men. Put out the light, and then put out the light:

If I quench thee, thou flaming minister, I can again thy former light restore,

Should I repent me; but once put out thy light, Thou cunning’st pattern of excelling nature,

I know not where is that Promethean heat

That can thy light relume. When I have plucked the rose, I cannot give it vital growth again,

It needs must wither: I’ll smell it on the tree. O balmy breath, that dost almost persuade

Justice to break her sword! One more, one more. Be thus when thou art dead, and I will kill thee, And love thee after. One more, and this the last: So sweet was ne’er so fatal. I must weep,

But they are cruel tears; this sorrow’s heavenly, It strikes where it doth love.

‘Othello’ (1602-4) act 5, sc. 2, l. 1

Alas! why gnaw you so your nether lip? Some bloody passion shakes your very frame; These are portents, but yet, I hope, I hope They do not point on me.

‘Othello’ (1602-4) act 5, sc. 2, l. 43

Kill me to-morrow; let me live to-night!

‘Othello’ (1602-4) act 5, sc. 2, l. 80

It is the very error of the moon;

She comes more near the earth than she was wont, And makes men mad.

‘Othello’ (1602-4) act 5, sc. 2, l. 107

Murder’s out of tune,

And sweet revenge grows harsh.

‘Othello’ (1602-4) act 5, sc. 2, l. 113

emilia: O! who hath done this deed? desdemona: Nobody; I myself; farewell.

‘Othello’ (1602-4) act 5, sc. 2, l. 121

othello: She’s like a liar gone to burning hell; ’Twas I that killed her.

emilia: O! the more angel she,

And you the blacker devil.

‘Othello’ (1602-4) act 5, sc. 2, l. 127

Nay, had she been true,

If heaven would make me such another world Of one entire and perfect chrysolite,

I’d not have sold her for it.

‘Othello’ (1602-4) act 5, sc. 2, l. 141

May his pernicious soul

Rot half a grain a day! he lies to the heart: She was too fond of her most filthy bargain.

‘Othello’ (1602-4) act 5, sc. 2, l. 153

Thou hast not half the power to do me harm As I have to be hurt.

‘Othello’ (1602-4) act 5, sc. 2, l. 160

Are there no stones in heaven But what serve for the thunder?

‘Othello’ (1602-4) act 5, sc. 2, l. 232

Every puny whipster gets my sword.

‘Othello’ (1602-4) act 5, sc. 2, l. 242

I will play the swan, And die in music.

‘Othello’ (1602-4) act 5, sc. 2, l. 245

Who can control his fate?

‘Othello’ (1602-4) act 5, sc. 2, l. 264

Be not afraid, though you do see me weaponed; Here is my journey’s end, here is my butt, And very sea-mark of my utmost sail.

‘Othello’ (1602-4) act 5, sc. 2, l. 265

O ill-starred wench!

Pale as thy smock! when we shall meet at compt, This look of thine will hurl my soul from heaven, And fiends will snatch at it. Cold, cold, my girl!

Even like thy chastity.

O! curséd, curséd slave. Whip me, ye devils, From the possession of this heavenly sight! Blow me about in winds! roast me in sulphur! Wash me in steep-down gulfs of liquid fire! O Desdemona! Desdemona! dead!

‘Othello’ (1602-4) act 5, sc. 2, l. 271

An honourable murderer, if you will;

For nought did I in hate, but all in honour.

‘Othello’ (1602-4) act 5, sc. 2, l. 293

I have done the state some service, and they know ’t; No more of that. I pray you, in your letters,

When you shall these unlucky deeds relate, Speak of me as I am; nothing extenuate,

Nor set down aught in malice: then, must you speak Of one that loved not wisely but too well;

Of one not easily jealous, but, being wrought, Perplexed in the extreme; of one whose hand, Like the base Indian, threw a pearl away

Richer than all his tribe; of one whose subdued eyes Albeit unuséd to the melting mood,

Drop tears as fast as the Arabian trees Their med’cinable gum. Set you down this; And say besides, that in Aleppo once, Where a malignant and a turbaned Turk Beat a Venetian and traduced the state,

I took by the throat the circumcised dog, And smote him thus.

‘Othello’ (1602-4) act 5, sc. 2, l. 338

gratiano: All that’s spoke is marred.

othello: I kiss’d thee ere I kill’d thee, no way but this, Killing myself to die upon a kiss.

‘Othello’ (1602-4) act 5, sc. 2, l. 356

7.66.26 Pericles, Prince Of Tyre

See where she comes apparelled like the spring.

‘Pericles, Prince Of Tyre’ (1606-8) act 1, sc. 1, l. 12

Few love to hear the sins they love to act.

‘Pericles, Prince Of Tyre’ (1606-8) act 1, sc. 1, l. 92

Third Fisherman: Master, I marvel how the fishes live in the sea.

First Fisherman: Why, as men do a-land: the great ones eat up the little ones.

‘Pericles, Prince Of Tyre’ (1606-8) act 2, sc. 1, l. [29]

O you gods!

Why do you make us love your goodly gifts, And snatch them straight away?

‘Pericles, Prince Of Tyre’ (1606-8) act 3, sc. 1, l. 22

7.66.27 Richard II

Old John of Gaunt, time-honour’d Lancaster.

‘Richard II’ (1595) act 1, sc. 1, l. 1

Let’s purge this choler without letting blood.

‘Richard II’ (1595) act 1, sc. 1, l. 153

The purest treasure mortal times afford Is spotless reputation; that away,

Men are but gilded loam or painted clay. A jewel in a ten-times-barred-up chest Is a bold spirit in a loyal breast.

Mine honour is my life; both grow in one; Take honour from me, and my life is done.

‘Richard II’ (1595) act 1, sc. 1, l. 177

We were not born to sue, but to command.

‘Richard II’ (1595) act 1, sc. 1, l. 196

The language I have learned these forty years, My native English, now I must forego;

And now my tongue’s use is to me no more Than an unstringéd viol or a harp.

‘Richard II’ (1595) act 1, sc. 3, l. 159

How long a time lies in one little word!

Four lagging winters and four wanton springs End in a word; such is the breath of kings.

‘Richard II’ (1595) act 1, sc. 3, l. 213

Things sweet to taste prove in digestion sour.

‘Richard II’ (1595) act 1, sc. 3, l. 236

Must I not serve a long apprenticehood To foreign passages, and in the end, Having my freedom, boast of nothing else But that I was a journeyman to grief?

‘Richard II’ (1595) act 1, sc. 3, l. 271

All places that the eye of heaven visits Are to a wise man ports and happy havens. Teach thy necessity to reason thus;

There is no virtue like necessity.

‘Richard II’ (1595) act 1, sc. 3, l. 275

O! who can hold a fire in his hand By thinking on the frosty Caucasus? Or cloy the hungry edge of appetite, By bare imagination of a feast?

Or wallow naked in December snow

By thinking on fantastic summer’s heat? O, no! the apprehension of the good Gives but the greater feeling to the worse.

‘Richard II’ (1595) act 1, sc. 3, l. 294

More are men’s ends marked than their lives before: The setting sun, and music at the close,

As the last taste of sweets, is sweetest last,

Writ in remembrance more than things long past.

‘Richard II’ (1595) act 2, sc. 1, l. 11

Methinks I am a prophet new inspired, And thus expiring do foretell of him: His rash fierce blaze of riot cannot last,

For violent fires soon burn out themselves;

Small showers last long, but sudden storms are short; He tires betimes that spurs too fast betimes.

‘Richard II’ (1595) act 2, sc. 1, l. 31

This royal throne of kings, this sceptered isle, This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,

This other Eden, demi-paradise,

This fortress built by Nature for herself Against infection and the hand of war, This happy breed of men, this little world, This precious stone set in the silver sea, Which serves it in the office of a wall, Or as a moat defensive to a house, Against the envy of less happier lands,

This blesséd plot, this earth, this realm, this England, This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings, Feared by their breed and famous by their birth, Renownéd for their deeds as far from home,—

For Christian service and true chivalry,— As is the sepulchre in stubborn Jewry

Of the world’s ransom, blesséd Mary’s Son: This land of such dear souls, this dear, dear land, Dear for her reputation through the world,

Is now leased out,—I die pronouncing it,— Like to a tenement or pelting farm: England, bound in with the triumphant sea,

Whose rocky shore beats back the envious siege Of watery Neptune, is now bound in with shame,

With inky blots, and rotten parchment bonds: That England, that was wont to conquer others, Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.

‘Richard II’ (1595) act 2, sc. 1, l. 40

I am a stranger here in Gloucestershire: These high wild hills and rough uneven ways

Draw out our miles and make them wearisome.

‘Richard II’ (1595) act 2, sc. 3, l. 2

I count myself in nothing else so happy As in a soul remembering my good friends.

‘Richard II’ (1595) act 2, sc. 3, l. 46

Grace me no grace, nor uncle me no uncle.

‘Richard II’ (1595) act 2, sc. 3, l. 87

The caterpillars of the commonwealth.

‘Richard II’ (1595) act 2, sc. 3, l. 166

Things past redress are now with me past care.

‘Richard II’ (1595) act 2, sc. 3, l. 171

Eating the bitter bread of banishment.

‘Richard II’ (1595) act 3, sc. 1, l. 21

Not all the water in the rough rude sea Can wash the balm from an anointed king; The breath of worldly men cannot depose The deputy elected by the Lord.

For every man that Bolingbroke hath pressedd To lift shrewd steel against our golden crown, God for his Richard hath in heavenly pay

A glorious angel; then, if angels fight,

Weak men must fall, for heaven still guards the right.

‘Richard II’ (1595) act 3, sc. 2, l. 54

O! call back yesterday, bid time return.

‘Richard II’ (1595) act 3, sc. 2, l. 69

Is not the king’s name twenty thousand names? Arm, arm, my name! A puny subject strikes At thy great glory.

‘Richard II’ (1595) act 3, sc. 2, l. 85

The worst is death, and death will have his day.

‘Richard II’ (1595) act 3, sc. 2, l. 103

Of comfort no man speak:

Let’s talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs; Make dust our paper, and with rainy eyes

Write sorrow on the bosom of the earth. Let’s choose executors, and talk of wills.

‘Richard II’ (1595) act 3, sc. 2, l. 144

For God’s sake, let us sit upon the ground And tell sad stories of the death of kings:

How some have been deposed, some slain in war, Some haunted by the ghosts they have deposed, Some poisoned by their wives, some sleeping killed; All murdered: for within the hollow crown

That rounds the mortal temples of a king Keeps Death his court, and there the antick sits, Scoffing his state and grinning at his pomp; Allowing him a breath, a little scene,

To monarchize, be feared, and kill with looks, Infusing him with self and vain conceit

As if this flesh which walls about our life Were brass impregnable; and humoured thus Comes at the last, and with a little pin

Bores through his castle wall, and farewell king!

‘Richard II’ (1595) act 3, sc. 2, l. 155

See, see, King Richard doth himself appear, As doth the blushing discontented sun From out the fiery portal of the east.

‘Richard II’ (1595) act 3, sc. 3, l. 62

The purple testament of bleeding war.

‘Richard II’ (1595) act 3, sc. 3, l. 94

O! that I were as great

As is my grief, or lesser than my name, Or that I could forget what I have been, Or not remember what I must be now.

‘Richard II’ (1595) act 3, sc. 3, l. 136

What must the king do now? Must he submit? The king shall do it: must he be deposed? The king shall be contented: must he lose The name of king? o’ God’s name, let it go. I’ll give my jewels for a set of beads,

My gorgeous palace for a hermitage, My gay apparel for an almsman’s gown, My figured goblets for a dish of wood, My sceptre for a palmer’s walking staff,

My subjects for a pair of carved saints, And my large kingdom for a little grave, A little little grave, an obscure grave; Or I’ll be buried in the king’s highway,

Some way of common trade, where subjects’ feet May hourly trample on their sovereign’s head; For on my heart they tread now whilst I live; And buried once, why not upon my head?

‘Richard II’ (1595) act 3, sc. 3, l. 143

Shall we play the wantons with our woes,

And make some pretty match with shedding tears?

‘Richard II’ (1595) act 3, sc. 3, l. 164

Go, bind thou up yon dangling apricocks, Which, like unruly children, make their sire Stoop with oppression of their prodigal weight.

‘Richard II’ (1595) act 3, sc. 4, l. 29

Old Adam’s likeness, set to dress this garden.

‘Richard II’ (1595) act 3, sc. 4, l. 73

Here did she fall a tear; here, in this place, I’ll set a bank of rue, sour herb of grace; Rue, even for ruth, here shortly shall be seen, In the remembrance of a weeping queen.

‘Richard II’ (1595) act 3, sc. 4, l. 104

Peace shall go sleep with Turks and infidels, And in this seat of peace tumultuous wars Shall kin with kin and kind with kind confound; Disorder, horror, fear and mutiny

Shall here inhabit, and this land be called The field of Golgotha and dead men’s skulls.

‘Richard II’ (1595) act 4, sc. 1, l. 139

God save the king! Will no man say, amen? Am I both priest and clerk? Well then, amen.

‘Richard II’ (1595) act 4, sc. 1, l. 172

Give me the crown. Here, cousin, seize the crown; Here cousin,

On this side my hand and on that side thine. Now is this golden crown like a deep well That owes two buckets filling one another; The emptier ever dancing in the air,

The other down, unseen, and full of water:

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