Frank J. Wilstach, comp. A Dictionary of Similes. 1916.
Beaumont and Fletcher
Ambitious as the devil.Thoughts as black as hell, as hot and bloody.Blind as ignorance.Blind as moles.Like a field of standing corn, that’s moved with a stiff gale, their heads bow all one way.Break him like a biscuit.Quickly changed as are the winds.Chaste as ice.Children …
Like bells rung backwards,
Nothing but noise and giddiness.Close as a cockle.Close as wax.As cold as cucumbers.Crack’d your skull through like a bottle.Cranky as a holy friar fed with hailstones.Hang you up cross-legg’d, like a hare at a poulterer.Dance like a town top.Dissembling as the sea, that now wears brows as smooth as virgins’ be, tempting the merchant to invade his face, and in an hour calls his billows up, and shoots ’em at the sun, destroying all he carries on him.Drink like a fish.Dull as a dormouse.Dull as the earth.Easily—as you’ll go to bed.Eyes like flames of sulphur.Eyes, like torches, fling their beams around.His face looks like a warrant.Fair as the bud unblasted.Familiar as my sleep, or want of money.Fickle as the flying air.Flat as a flounder.Flee like desires.Fly, like a full sail.Follow one another like ducks in a gutter.Free as Phœbus.Mouths that gap’d like bung-holes.Gape like an oyster.Glorious as the sun.Hates as Heaven hates falsehood.Labour like a thresher.As lecherous as a she-ferret.A lip like ripest cherries.The Circassian damsel’s … lips are like taverns of wine.Will live together like two wanton vines.Crying your name as loud and hastily as men i’ th’ streets do fire.Mad as May butter.March like a rough tumbling storm.Melancholy … like a gamester that has lost his money.Naked as a frog.Paleness, like winter.Peaceful as sleep.Plain as your own miniken-breeches.Quiet as a woman the first day and a half after she’s married.Rail like a rude costermonger.Right as a gun.Shakes like a tenant recreant.Shine like dragon’s scales.Sickly as faint weather.Sleep like a top.Smug as April.Heart as sound as an oak.Sound as old wine.Stale as a black velvet cloak.Stinks like a poison’d cat behind a hanging.Straight as truth.Stuck on like burrs.Sure as wedlock.Sweet as applause to the actor.As sweet as April.Sweet as the Spring.We all live together like two wanton vines,
Circling our souls and loves in one another.True as the gospel.Universal as the sun.Virtuous as holy truth.Her voice is like the harmony of angels.Watchful as a bellman.Soul as white as heaven.White as innocence herself.Wild as Winter.As wonderful as calves with five legs.Wriggles, as though she had the itch.