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The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations

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That she beloved knows nought that knows not this: Men prize the thing ungained more than it is.

‘Troilus And Cressida’ (1602) act 1, sc. 2, l. [310]

The heavens themselves, the planets, and this centre Observe degree, priority, and place,

Insisture, course, proportion, season, form, Office, and custom, in all line of order.

‘Troilus And Cressida’ (1602) act 1, sc. 3, l. 85

O! when degree is shaked,

Which is the ladder to all high designs, The enterprise is sick.

‘Troilus And Cressida’ (1602) act 1, sc. 3, l. 101

Take but degree away, untune that string,

And, hark! what discord follows; each thing meets In mere oppugnancy.

‘Troilus And Cressida’ (1602) act 1, sc. 3, l. 109

The general’s disdained

By him one step below, he by the next, That next by him beneath; so every step, Exampled by the first pace that is sick Of his superior, grows to an envious fever Of pale and bloodless emulation.

‘Troilus And Cressida’ (1602) act 1, sc. 3, l. 129

We are soldiers;

And may that soldier a mere recreant prove, That means not, hath not, or is not in love!

‘Troilus And Cressida’ (1602) act 1, sc. 3, l. 286

And in such indexes, although small pricks To their subsequent volumes, there is seen The baby figure of the giant mass

Of things to come at large.

‘Troilus And Cressida’ (1602) act 1, sc. 3, l. 343

The plague of Greece upon thee, thou mongrel beef-witted lord!

‘Troilus And Cressida’ (1602) act 2, sc. 1, l. [13]

Achilles...who wears his wit in his belly, and his guts in his head, I’ll tell you what I say of him.

‘Troilus And Cressida’ (1602) act 2, sc. 1, l. [78]

You have both said well;

And on the cause and question now in hand Have glozed but superficially; not much Unlike young men, whom Aristotle thought

Unfit to hear moral philosophy.

‘Troilus And Cressida’ (1602) act 2, sc. 2, l. 163

Thus to persist

In doing wrong extenuates not wrong, But makes it much more heavy.

‘Troilus And Cressida’ (1602) act 2, sc. 2, l. 186

I am giddy, expectation whirls me round. The imaginary relish is so sweet

That it enchants my sense.

‘Troilus And Cressida’ (1602) act 3, sc. 2, l. [17]

This is the monstruosity in love, lady, that the will is infinite, and the execution confined; that the desire is boundless, and the act a slave to limit.

‘Troilus And Cressida’ (1602) act 3, sc. 2, l. [85]

To be wise, and love, Exceeds man’s might.

‘Troilus And Cressida’ (1602) act 3, sc. 2, l. [163]

I am as true as truth’s simplicity, And simpler than the infancy of truth.

‘Troilus And Cressida’ (1602) act 3, sc. 2, l. [176]

Time hath, my lord, a wallet at his back, Wherein he puts alms for oblivion,

A great-sized monster of ingratitudes:

Those scraps are good deeds past; which are devoured As fast as they are made, forgot as soon

As done.

‘Troilus And Cressida’ (1602) act 3, sc. 3, l. 145

Perseverance, dear my lord,

Keeps honour bright: to have done, is to hang Quite out of fashion, like a rusty mail

In monumental mockery.

‘Troilus And Cressida’ (1602) act 3, sc. 3, l. 150

Time is like a fashionable host

That slightly shakes his parting guest by the hand, And with his arms outstretched, as he would fly, Grasps in the comer: welcome ever smiles,

And farewell goes out sighing.

‘Troilus And Cressida’ (1602) act 3, sc. 3, l. 165

Beauty, wit,

High birth, vigour of bone, desert in service, Love, friendship, charity, are subjects all

To envious and calumniating time.

One touch of nature makes the whole world kin, That all with one consent praise new-born gawds, Though they are made and moulded of things past, And give to dust that is a little gilt

More laud than gilt o’er-dusted.

‘Troilus And Cressida’ (1602) act 3, sc. 3, l. 171

A plague of opinion! a man may wear it on both sides, like a leather jerkin.

‘Troilus And Cressida’ (1602) act 3, sc. 3, l. [267]

How my achievements mock me!

‘Troilus And Cressida’ (1602) act 4, sc. 2, l. [72]

What a pair of spectacles is here!

‘Troilus And Cressida’ (1602) act 4, sc. 4, l. [13] (Pandarus, of the lovers)

We two, that with so many thousand sighs Did buy each other, must poorly sell ourselves With the rude brevity and discharge of one. Injurious time now with a robber’s haste Crams his rich thievery up, he knows not how: As many farewells as be stars in heaven,

With distinct breath and consigned kisses to them, He fumbles up into a loose adieu,

And scants us with a single famished kiss, Distasted with the salt of broken tears.

‘Troilus And Cressida’ (1602) act 4, sc. 4, l. [39]

Fie, fie upon her!

There’s language in her eye, her cheek, her lip, Nay, her foot speaks; her wanton spirits look out At every joint and motive of her body.

‘Troilus And Cressida’ (1602) act 4, sc. 5, l. 54

What’s past, and what’s to come is strewed with husks And formless ruin of oblivion.

‘Troilus And Cressida’ (1602) act 4, sc. 5, l. 165

The end crowns all,

And that old common arbitrator, Time, Will one day end it.

‘Troilus And Cressida’ (1602) act 4, sc. 5, l. 223

Lechery, lechery; still, wars and lechery: nothing else holds fashion.

‘Troilus And Cressida’ (1602) act 5, sc. 2, l. 192

Words, words, mere words, no matter from the heart.

‘Troilus And Cressida’ (1602) act 5, sc. 3, l. [109]

Hector is dead; there is no more to say.

‘Troilus And Cressida’ (1602) act 5, sc. 10, l. 22

O world! world! world! thus is the poor agent despised. O traitors and bawds, how earnestly are you set a-work, and how ill requited! why should our endeavour be so loved, and the performance so loathed?

‘Troilus And Cressida’ (1602) act 5, sc. 10, l. [36]

7.66.35 Twelfth Night

If music be the food of love, play on; Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting, The appetite may sicken, and so die. That strain again! it had a dying fall:

O! it came o’er my ear like the sweet sound That breathes upon a bank of violets, Stealing and giving odour! Enough! no more: ’Tis not so sweet now as it was before.

O spirit of love! how quick and fresh art thou, That notwithstanding thy capacity

Receiveth as the sea, nought enters there, Of what validity and pitch soe’er,

But falls into abatement and low price, Even in a minute: so full of shapes is fancy, That it alone is high fantastical.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 1, sc. 1, l. 1

O! when mine eyes did see Olivia first, Methought she purged the air of pestilence. That instant was I turned into a hart,

And my desires, like fell and cruel hounds, E’er since pursue me.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 1, sc. 1, l. 19

And what should I do in Illyria? My brother he is in Elysium.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 1, sc. 2, l. 2

He’s as tall a man as any’s in Illyria.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 1, sc. 3, l. [21]

He plays o’ the viol-de-gamboys, and speaks three or four languages word for word without book, and hath all the good gifts of nature.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 1, sc. 3, l. [27]

Methinks sometimes I have no more wit than a Christian or an ordinary man has; but I am a great eater of beef, and I believe that does harm to my wit.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 1, sc. 3, l. [90]

Sir Andrew: I would I had bestowed that time in the tongues that I have in fencing, dancing, and bear-baiting. O! had I but followed the arts!

Sir Toby: Then hadst thou had an excellent head of hair.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 1, sc. 3, l. [99]

Wherefore are these things hid? wherefore have these gifts a curtain before ’em? are they like to take dust, like Mistress Mall’s picture? why dost thou not go to church in a galliard, and come home in a coranto? My very walk should be a jig.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 1, sc. 3, l. [135]

Is it a world to hide virtues in?

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 1, sc. 3, l. [142]

They shall yet belie thy happy years That say thou art a man: Diana’s lip

Is not more smooth and rubious; thy small pipe Is as the maiden’s organ, shrill and sound; And all is semblative a woman’s part.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 1, sc. 4, l. 30

Many a good hanging prevents a bad marriage.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 1, sc. 5, l. [20]

What says Quinapalus? ‘Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.’

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 1, sc. 5, l. [37]

Virtue that transgresses is but patched with sin; and sin that amends is but patched with virtue.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 1, sc. 5, l. [52]

Good my mouse of virtue, answer me.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 1, sc. 5, l. [68]

A plague o’ these pickle herring!

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 1, sc. 5, l. [127]

Not yet old enough for a man, nor young enough for a boy; as a squash is before ’tis a peascod, or a codling when ’tis almost an apple: ’tis with him in standing water, between boy and man. He is very well-favoured, and he speaks very shrewishly: one would think his mother’s milk were scarce out of him.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 1, sc. 5, l. [166]

I would be loath to cast away my speech, for besides that it is excellently well penned, I have taken great pains to con it.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 1, sc. 5, l. [184]

I can say little more than I have studied, and that question’s out of my part.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 1, sc. 5, l. [191]

Olivia: ’Tis in grain, sir; ’twill endure wind and weather. Viola: ’Tis beauty truly blent, whose red and white Nature’s own sweet and cunning hand laid on:

Lady, you are the cruell’st she alive

If you will lead these graces to the grave And leave the world no copy.

Olivia: O! sir I will not be so hard-hearted; I will give out divers schedules of my beauty: it shall be inventoried, and every particle and utensil labelled to my will: as Item, Two lips, indifferent red; Item, Two grey eyes with lids to them; Item, One neck, one chin, and so forth.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 1, sc. 5, l. [257]

Make me a willow cabin at your gate, And call upon my soul within the house; Write loyal cantons of contemnéd love,

And sing them loud even in the dead of night; Halloo your name to the reverberate hills, And make the babbling gossip of the air

Cry out, ‘Olivia!’ O! you should not rest Between the elements of air and earth, But you should pity me!

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 1, sc. 5, l. [289]

‘What is your parentage?’

‘Above my fortune, yet my state is well: I am a gentleman.’

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 1, sc. 5, l. [310]

She is drowned already, sir, with salt water, though I seem to drown her remembrance again with more.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 2, sc. 1, l. [31]

Not to be a-bed after midnight is to be up betimes.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 2, sc. 3, l. 1

O mistress mine! where are you roaming? O! stay and hear; your true love’s coming, That can sing both high and low.

Trip no further, pretty sweeting; Journeys end in lovers meeting, Every wise man’s son doth know...

What is love? ’tis not hereafter; Present mirth hath present laughter; What’s to come is still unsure:

In delay there lies no plenty;

Then come kiss me, sweet and twenty,

Youth’s a stuff will not endure.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 2, sc. 3, l. [42]

Am not I consanguineous? am I not of her blood? Tillyvally, lady.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 2, sc. 3, l. [85]

He does it with a better grace, but I do it more natural.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 2, sc. 3, l. [91]

Is there no respect of place, persons, nor time, in you?

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 2, sc. 3, l. [100]

Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 2, sc. 3, l. [124]

Maria: Marry, sir, sometimes he is a kind of puritan. Sir Andrew: O, if I thought that, I’d beat him like a dog!

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 2, sc. 3, l. [153]

I will drop in his way some obscure epistles of love; wherein by the colour of his beard, the shape of his leg, the manner of his gait, the expressure of his eye, forehead, and complexion, he shall find himself most feelingly personated.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 2, sc. 3, l. [171]

I was adored once too.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 2, sc. 3, l. [200]

My purpose is, indeed, a horse of that colour.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 2, sc. 3, l. [184]

Now, good Cesario, but that piece of song, That old and antique song we heard last night; Methought it did relieve my passion much, More than light airs and recollected terms

Of these most brisk and giddy-paced times: Come, but one verse.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 2, sc. 4, l. 2

Duke: If ever thou shalt love,

In the sweet pangs of it remember me; For such as I am all true lovers are: Unstaid and skittish in all motions else, Save in the constant image of the creature

That is beloved. How dost thou like this tune? Viola: It gives a very echo to the seat

Where love is enthroned.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 2, sc. 4, l. 15

Let still the woman take

An elder than herself, so wears she to him, So sways she level in her husband’s heart: For, boy, however we do praise ourselves, Our fancies are more giddy and unfirm,

More longing, wavering, sooner lost and worn,

Than women’s are.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 2, sc. 4, l. 29

Then let thy love be younger than thyself, Or thy affection cannot hold the bent.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 2, sc. 4, l. 36

Mark it, Cesario; it is old and plain. The spinsters and the knitters in the sun

And the free maids that weave their thread with bones Do use to chant it: it is silly sooth,

And dallies with the innocence of love, Like the old age.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 2, sc. 4, l. 43

Come away, come away, death, And in sad cypress let me be laid; Fly away, fly away, breath:

I am slain by a fair cruel maid.

My shroud of white, stuck all with yew, O! prepare it.

My part of death no one so true Did share it.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 2, sc. 4, l. 51

Now, the melancholy god protect thee, and the tailor make thy doublet of changeable taffeta, for thy mind is a very opal.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 2, sc. 4, l. [74]

There is no woman’s sides

Can bide the beating of so strong a passion As love doth give my heart; no woman’s heart So big, to hold so much; they lack retention. Alas! their love may be called appetite,

No motion of the liver, but the palate, That suffer surfeit, cloyment, and revolt; But mine is all as hungry as the sea, And can digest so much.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 2, sc. 4, l. [95]

Viola: My father had a daughter loved a man, As it might be, perhaps, were I a woman,

I should your lordship.

Duke: And what’s her history?

Viola: A blank, my lord. She never told her love, But let concealment, like a worm i’ the bud,

Feed on her damask cheek: she pined in thought; And with a green and yellow melancholy,

She sat like patience on a monument, Smiling at grief. Was not this love indeed?

We men may say more, swear more; but, indeed, Our shows are more than will; for still we prove Much in our vows, but little in our love.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 2, sc. 4, l. [108]

I am all the daughters of my father’s house, And all the brothers too.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 2, sc. 4, l. [122]

How now, my metal of India!

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 2, sc. 5, l. [17]

’Tis but Fortune, all is Fortune. Maria once told me she did affect me, and I have heard herself come thus near, that, should she fancy, it should be one of my complexion.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 2, sc. 5, l. [23]

Here comes the trout that must be caught with tickling.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 2, sc. 5, l. [25]

Contemplation makes a rare turkey-cock of him: how he jets under his advanced plumes!

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 2, sc. 5, l. [35]

Now is the woodcock near the gin.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 2, sc. 5, l. [93]

I may command where I adore.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 2, sc. 5, l. [117]

But be not afraid of greatness: some men are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 2, sc. 5, l. [158]

Let thy tongue tang arguments of state; put thyself into the trick of singularity. She thus advises thee that sighs for thee. Remember who commended thy yellow stockings, and wished to see thee ever cross-gartered.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 2, sc. 5, l. [165]

Jove and my stars be praised! Here is yet a postscript.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 2, sc. 5, l. [190]

He will come to her in yellow stockings, and ’tis a colour she abhors; and cross-gartered, a fashion she detests.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 2, sc. 5, l. [220]

Now Jove, in his next commodity of hair, send thee a beard.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 3, sc. 1, l. [51]

This fellow’s wise enough to play the fool, And to do that well craves a kind of wit.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 3, sc. 1, l. [68]

Taste your legs, sir; put them to motion.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 3, sc. 1, l. [88]

’Twas never merry world

Since lowly feigning was called compliment.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 3, sc. 1, l. [110]

O world! how apt the poor are to be proud.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 3, sc. 1, l. [141]

O! what a deal of scorn looks beautiful In the contempt and anger of his lip.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 3, sc. 1, l. [159]

Love sought is good, but giv’n unsought is better.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 3, sc. 1, l. [170]

You should then have accosted her, and with some excellent jests, fire-new from the mint, you should have banged the youth into dumbness.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 3, sc. 2, l. [23]

You are now sailed into the north of my lady’s opinion; where you will hang like an icicle on a Dutchman’s beard.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 3, sc. 2, l. [29]

I had as lief be a Brownist as a politician.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 3, sc. 2, l. [35]

As many lies as will lie in thy sheet of paper, although the sheet were big enough for the bed of Ware in England, set ’em down.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 3, sc. 2, l. [51]

If he were opened, and you find so much blood in his liver as will clog the foot of a flea, I’ll eat the rest of the anatomy.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 3, sc. 2, l. [68]

Look, where the youngest wren of nine comes.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 3, sc. 2, l. [73]

He does smile his face into more lines than are in the new map with the augmentation of the Indies.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 3, sc. 2, l. [85]

In the south suburbs, at the Elephant, Is best to lodge.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 3, sc. 3, l. 39

I think we do know the sweet Roman hand.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 3, sc. 4, l. [31]

Why, this is very midsummer madness.

‘Twelfth Night’ (1601) act 3, sc. 4, l. [62]

What, man! defy the devil: consider, he’s an enemy to mankind.

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