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Frank J. Wilstach, comp. A Dictionary of Similes. 1916.

William Congreve

Shallow artifice begets suspicion,
And, like a cobweb veil, but thinly shades
The face of thy design.

Artless as Nature’s notes in birds untaught.

Bright as the moon she shone, with silver light,
And charmed his sense with wonder and delight.

Calm as a discharged culverin.

Critics avaunt! for you are fish of prey, and feed, like sharks, upon an infant play.
Beat every monster of the deep away; let’s a fair trial have, and a clear sea.

Fat as a barn-door fowl.

Fight like a cock.

Heavy as a panegyric.

High as the head of Fame.

High as the spheres.

Hooded like a hawk.

Ill-natured as an old maid.

Jealous as a barren wife.

Knowing as the stars.

Lost, like autumnal leaves, when North winds rage.

Love, like death, a universal leveller of mankind.

Prattle like a magpie.

Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned.

Secret as the head of Nilus.

Secret as the night.

Silly as an old maid at a marriage.

Sound as a biscuit.

Stick like pitch.

Struggled, like an old lawyer between two fees.

Harder to be understood than a piece of Egyptian antiquity, or an Irish manuscript.

Unwelcome to a woman as a looking-glass after the small-pox.

Various as flowers on unfrequented plains.

Wanton as a young widow.

Women are like tricks by sleight of hand,
Which to admire, we should not understand.