Home  »  Dictionary of Quotations  »  A spark neglected to Avarice has ruined

James Wood, comp. Dictionary of Quotations. 1899.

A spark neglected to Avarice has ruined

A spark neglected makes a mighty fire.Herrick.

A species is a succession of individuals which perpetuates itself.Cuvier.

Asperæ facetiæ ubi multum ex vero traxere, acrem sui memoriam relinquunt—Satire, when it comes near the truth, leaves a sharp sting behind it.Tacitus.

Asperius nihil est humili, cum surgit in altum—Nothing is more offensive than a low-bred man in a high station.Claudius.

Aspettare e non venire, Stare in letto e non dormire, / Ben servire e non gradire, / Son tre cose da morire—To wait for what never comes, to lie abed and not sleep, to serve and not be advanced, are three things to die of.Italian Proverb.

A spirit may be known from only a single thought.Swedenborg.

As poor as Job.Merry Wives, v. 5.

A spot is most seen on the finest cloth.Proverb.

As proud go behind as before.Proverb.

A spur in the head is worth two in the heels.Proverb.

As reason is a rebel unto faith, so is passion unto reason.Sir Thomas Browne.

Assai acqua passa per il molino, che il molinaio non se n’accorge—A good deal of water passes by the mill which the miller takes no note of.Italian Proverb.

Assai basta, e troppo guasta—Enough is enough, and too much spoils.Italian Proverb.

Assai ben balla, à chi fortuna suona—He dances well to whom fortune pipes.Italian Proverb.

Assai è ricco à chi non manca—He is rich enough who has no wants.Italian Proverb.

Assai guadagna chi vano sperar perde—He gains a great deal who loses a vain hope.Italian Proverb.

Assai sa, chi non sa, se tacer sa—He who knows not, knows a good deal if he knows how to hold his tongue.Italian Proverb.

Assez a qui se contente—He has enough who is content.French Proverb.

Assez dort qui rien ne fait—He sleeps enough who does nothing.French Proverb.

Assez gagne qui malheur perd—He gains enough who gets rid of a sorrow.French Proverb.

Assez sait qui sait vivre et se taire—He knows enough who knows how to live and how to keep his own counsel.French Proverb.

Assez tôt si assez bien—Soon enough if well enough.French Proverb.

Assez y a, si trop n’y a—There is enough where there is not too much.French Proverb.

Associate with the good, and you will be esteemed one of them.Spanish Proverb.

As some tall cliff, that lifts its awful form, / Swells from the vale, and midway leaves the storm, / Though round its breast the rolling clouds are spread. / Eternal sunshine settles on its head.Goldsmith.

As soon as a man is born he begins to die.German Proverb.

As soon as beauty is sought, not from religion and love, but for pleasure, it degrades the seeker.Emerson.

As soon as the soul sees any object, it stops before that object.Emerson.

Assume a virtue, if you have it not.Hamlet, iii. 4.

Assumpsit—An action on a verbal promise.Law.

Assurance is two-thirds of success.Gaelic Proverb.

A state is never greater than when all its superfluous hands are employed in the service of the public.Hume.

A state of violence cannot be perpetual, or disaster and ruin would be universal.Bp. Burnet.

A statesman requires rather a large converse with men, and much intercourse in life, than deep study of books.Burke.

A stern discipline pervades all Nature, which is a little cruel that it may be very kind.Spenser.

As the births of living creatures at first are ill-shapen, so are all innovations, which are the births of time.Bacon.

As the first order of wisdom is to know thyself, so the first order of charity is to be sufficient for thyself.Ruskin.

As the fool thinks, the bell clinks.Proverb.

As the good man saith, so say we: / As the good woman saith, so it must be.Proverb.

As the husband is, the wife is: / Thou art mated with a clown, / And the grossness of his nature / Will have weight to drag thee down.Tennyson.

As the man is, so is his strength.Bible.

As the old cock crows, the young one learns.Proverb.

As there is no worldly gain without some loss, so there is no worldly loss without some gain.Quarles.

As the sun breaks through the darkest clouds, / So honour peereth in the meanest habit.Tam. of Shrew, iv. 3.

As the youth lives in the future, so the man lives with the past; no one knows rightly how to live in the present.Grillparzer.

As thy days, so shall thy strength be.Bible.

A still, small voice.Bible.

A stitch in time saves nine.Proverb.

As to the value of conversions, God alone can judge.Goethe.

Astra castra, numen lumen—The stars my camp, the deity my light.Motto.

Astræa redux—Return of the goddess of justice.

A straight line is the shortest in morals as well as in geometry.Rahel.

A strange fish.Tempest, ii. 2.

Astra regunt homines, sed regit astra Deus—The stars govern men, but God governs the stars.

A strenuous soul hates cheap success.Emerson.

A strong memory is generally joined to a weak judgment.Montaigne.

A strong soil that has produced weeds may be made to produce wheat with far less difficulty than it would cost to make it produce nothing.Colton.

Astronomy has revealed the great truth that the whole universe is bound together by one all-pervading influence.Leitch.

A’ Stuarts are no sib (related) to the king (the family name of the Scotch kings being Stuart).Scotch Proverb.

Astutior coccyge—More crafty than the cuckoo (who deposits her eggs in another bird’s nest).Proverb.

A subject’s faults a subject may proclaim, / A monarch’s errors are forbidden game.Cowper.

A substitute shines brightly as a king, until a king be by.Mer. of Ven., v. 1.

A sudden thought strikes me, / Let us swear an eternal friendship.Canning.

A sunbeam passes through pollution unpolluted.Eusebius.

A surfeit of sweetest things.Mid. N.’s Dream, ii. 3.

As water spilt upon the ground, which cannot be gathered up again.Bible.

As we advance in life, we learn the limits of our abilities.Froude.

As we are born to work, so others are born to watch over us while working.Goldsmith.

As weel be oot o’ the world as oot o’ the fashion.Scotch Proverb.

As wholesome meat corrupteth to little worms, so good forms and orders corrupt into a number of petty observances.Bacon.

As yet a child, not yet a fool to fame, / I lisp’d in numbers, for the numbers came.Pope.

As you do to others, expect others to do to you.Proverb.

As you make your bed you must lie on it.Proverb.

As you sow you shall reap.Proverb.

A tale never loses in the telling.Proverb.

A talisman that shall turn base metal into precious, Nature acknowledges not; but a talisman to turn base souls into noble, Nature has given us; and that is a “philosopher’s stone,” but it is a stone which the builders refuse.Ruskin.

A tâtons—Groping.French.

A tattler is worse than a thief.Proverb.

A (man of) teachable mind will hang about a wise man’s neck.Bp. Patrick.

At every trifle scorn to take offence; / That always shows great pride or little sense.Pope.

At first one omits writing for a little while; and then one stays a little while to consider of excuses; and at last it grows desperate, and one does not write at all.Swift.

[Greek]—Reverence, first of all, the immortal gods, as prescribed by law.Pythagoras.

At the gates of the forest the surprised man of the world is forced to leave his city estimates of great and small, wise and foolish.Emerson.

Atheism is rather in the life than in the heart of man.Bacon.

Atheism leaves a man to sense, to philosophy, to natural piety, to laws, to reputation, all which may be guides to an outward moral virtue, though religion were not; but superstition dismounts all these, and erecteth an absolute monarchy in the minds of men.Bacon.

A thief knows a thief, as a wolf knows a wolf.Proverb.

A thing is the bigger of being shared.Gaelic Proverb.

A thing is what it is, only in and by means of its limit.Hegel.

A thing is worth what it can do for you, not what you choose to pay for it.Ruskin.

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever; / Its loveliness increases; it will never / Pass into nothingness.Keats.

A thing you don’t want is dear at any price.Proverb.

A thinking man is the worst enemy the Prince of Darkness can have.Carlyle.

A third interprets motion, looks, and eyes, / At every word a reputation dies.Pope.

A thorn is a changed bud.T. Lynch.

A thorough-paced antiquary not only remembers what others have thought proper to forget, but he also forgets what others think proper to remember.Colton.

A thousand years scarce serve to form a state; / An hour may lay it in the dust.Byron.

A thread will tie an honest man better than a rope will do a rogue.Scotch Proverb.

A threatened blow is seldom given.Proverb.

A threefold cord is not quickly broken.Bible.

A thrill passes through all men at the reception of a new truth, or at the performance of a great action, which comes out of the heart of nature…. By the necessity of our constitution, a certain enthusiasm attends the individual’s consciousness of that Divine presence.Emerson.

At ingenium ingens / Inculto latet hoc sub corpore—Yet under this rude exterior lies concealed a mighty genius.Horace.

A tocherless dame sits lang at hame.Scotch Proverb.

A toom (empty) pantry maks a thriftless guidwife.Scotch Proverb.

A tort et à travers—Without consideration; at random.French.

A toute force—With all one’s force.French.

A toute seigneur tout honneur—Let every one have his due honour.French Proverb.

At pulchrum est digito monstrari et dicier hic est—Yet it is a fine thing to be pointed at with the finger and have it said, This is he!Persius.

Atque in rege tamen pater est—And yet in the king there is the father.Ovid.

Atqui vultus erat multa et præclara minantis—And yet you had the look of one that promised (lit. threatened) many fine things.Horace.

A trade of barbarians.Napoleon on war.

A tragic farce.Lille.

A travelled man has leave to lie.Proverb.

A traveller of taste at once perceives that the wise are polite all the world over, but that fools are only polite at home.Goldsmith.

A tree is known by its fruit.Proverb.

Atria regum hominibus plena sunt, amicis vacua—The courts of kings are full of men, empty of friends.Seneca.

Atrocitatis mansuetudo est remedium—Gentleness is the antidote for cruelty.Phædrus.

A true-bred merchant is the best gentleman in the nation.Daniel Defoe.

A true genius may be known by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.Swift.

A true man hates no one.Napoleon.

A truly great genius will be the first to prescribe limits for its own exertions.Brougham.

A truth / Looks freshest in the fashion of the day.Tennyson.

A truth to an age that has rejected and trampled on it, is not a word of peace, but a sword.Henry George.

At spes non fracta—Yet hope is not broken.Motto.

Attempts at reform, when they fail, strengthen despotism; as he that struggles tightens those cords he does not succeed in breaking.Colton.

Attempt the end, and never stand to doubt; / Nothing’s so hard, but search will find it out.Herrick.

Attendez à la nuit pour dire que le jour a été beau—Wait till night before saying that the day has been fine.French Proverb.

Attention makes the genius; all learning, fancy, and science depend on it.Willmott.

At the sight of a man we too say to ourselves, Let us be men.Amiel.

At thirty, man suspects himself a fool, / Knows it at forty, and reforms his plan. / At fifty, chides his infamous delay, / Pushes his prudent purpose to resolve. / Resolves—and re-resolves; then dies the same.Young.

At twenty years of age, the will reigns; at thirty, the wit; and at forty, the judgment.Grattan.

A tu hijo, buen nombre y oficio—To your son a good name and a trade.Spanish Proverb.

A tutti non si adatta una sola scarpa—One shoe does not fit every foot.Italian Proverb.

At vindictum bonum vita jucundius ipsa. Nempe hoc indocti—But revenge is a blessing sweeter than life itself; so rude men feel.Juvenal.

At whose sight all the stars / Hide their diminished heads.Milton.

Au bon droit—By good right.French.

Au bout de son Latin—At his wit’s end (lit. at the end of his Latin).French.

Au bout du compte—After the close of the account; after all.French.

Auch aus entwölkter Höhe Kann der zündende Donner schlagen; / Darum in deinen fröhlichen Tagen, Fürchte des Unglücks tückische Nähe—Even out of a cloudless heaven the flaming thunderbolt may strike; therefore in thy days of joy have a fear of the spiteful neighbourhood of misfortune.Schiller.

Auch Bücher haben ihr Erlebtes, das ihnen nicht entzogen werden kann—Even books have their lifetime, of which no one can deprive them.Goethe.

Auch das Schöne muss sterben—Even what is beautiful must die.Schiller.

Auch der Löwe muss sich vor der Mücke wehren—Even the lion has to defend itself against flies.German Proverb.

Auch die Gerechtigkeit trägt eine Binde, / Und schliesst die Augen jedem Blendwerk zu—Even Justice wears a bandage, and shuts her eyes on everything deceptive.Goethe.

Auch die Kultur, die alle Welt beleckt, / Hat auf den Teufel sich erstreckt—Culture, which has licked all the world into shape, has reached even the devil.Goethe.

Auch die Kunst ist Himmelsgabe, / Borgt sie gleich von ird’scher Glut—Art is a gift of Heaven, yet does it borrow its fire from earthly passion.Schiller.

Auch ein Haar hat seinen Schatten—Even a hair casts its shadow.German Proverb.

Auch für die rauhe Brust giebt’s Augenblicke / Wo dunkle Mächte Melodien wecken—Even the rude breast has moments in which dark powers awaken melodies.Körner.

Auch ich war ein Jüngling mit lockigem Haar, / An Mut und an Hoffnungen reich—I too was once a youth with curly locks, rich in courage and in hopes.Lortzing.

Auch ich war in Arkadien geboren, Und ward daraus entführt vom neidischen Glücke. / Ist hier der Rückweg? fragt’ ich jede Brücke, / Der Eingang hier? fragt’ ich an allen Thoren—I too was born in Arcadia, and was lured away by envious Fortune. “Is this the way back?” asked I at every bridge-way; “This the entrance?” asked I at every portal.Rückert.

Auch in der That ist Raum für Ueberlegung—Even in the moment of action there is room for consideration.Goethe.

Auch was Geschriebenes forderst du, Pedant? / Hast du noch keinen Mann, nicht Mannes-Wort gekannt?—Dost thou, O pedant, require something written too? Hast thou never yet known a man, not word of man?Faust.

Au courant—Perfectly acquainted with.French.

Auctor pretiosa facit—The giver makes the gift valuable.Motto.

Aucto splendore resurgo—I rise again with access of splendour.Motto.

Aucun chemin de fleurs ne conduit à la gloire—No path of flowers conducts to glory.La Fontaine.

Audacia pro muro habetur—Daring is regarded as a wall.Sallust.

Audacter calumniare, semper aliquid hæret—Calumniate boldly, always some of it sticks.Bacon.

Audacter et sincere—Boldly and heartily.Motto.

Audax ad omnia fœmina, quæ vel amat vel odit—A woman, when she either loves or hates, will dare anything.Proverb.

Audax omnia perpeti / Gens humana ruit per vetitum et nefas—Daring to face all hardships, the human race dashes through every human and divine restraint.Horace.

Aude aliquid brevibus Gyaris et carcere dignum, / Si vis esse aliquis—Dare to do something worthy of transportation and imprisonment, if you wish to be somebody.Juvenal.

Audendo magnus tegitur timor—Great fear is concealed under daring.Lucan.

Audentes Fortuna juvat—Fortune favours the brave.Virgil.

Au dernier les os—For the last the bones.French Proverb.

Aude sapere—Dare to be wise.

Au désespoir—In despair.French.

Audi alteram partem—Hear the other party; hear both sides.Law Maxim.

Audiatur et altera pars—Let the other side also have a hearing.Seneca.

Audio sed taceo—I hear, but say nothing.Motto.

Audita querela—The complaint having been investigated.Law.

Auditque vocatus Apollo—And Apollo hears when invoked.Virgil.

Audi, vide, tace, si vis vivere in pace—Use your ears and eyes, but hold your tongue, if you would live in peace.

Au fait—Expert; skilful.French.

Auf dem Grund des Glaubenmeeres / Liegt die Perle der Erkenntniss; / Heil dem Taucher, der sie findet—At the bottom of the faith-sea lies the pearl of knowledge; happy the diver that finds it.Bodenstedt.

Auf den Bergen ist Freiheit—On the mountains is freedom.Schiller.

Auf die warnenden Symptome sieht kein Mensch, auf die Schmeichelnden und Versprechenden allein ist die Aufmerksamkeit gerichtet—To the warning word no man has respect, only to the flattering and promising is his attention directed.Goethe.

Auf Dinge, die nicht mehr zu ändern sind, / Muss auch kein Blick zurück mehr fallen! Was / Gethan ist, ist gethan und bleibt’s—On things which are no more to be changed a backward glance must be no longer cast! What is done is done, and so remains.Schiller.

Auf ebnem Boden straucheln ist ein Scherz, / Ein Fehltritt stürzt vom Gipfel dich herab—To stumble on a level surface is matter of jest; by a false step on a height you are hurled to the ground.Goethe.

Auferimur cultu: gemmis auroque teguntur / Omnia; pars minima est ipsa puella sui—Dress deceives us: jewels and gold hide everything: the girl herself is the least part of herself.Ovid.

Aufgeschoben ist nicht aufgehoben—Postponed is not abandoned.German Proverb.


Au fond—To the bottom.French.

Aufrichtig zu sein kann ich versprechen; unparteiisch zu sein aber nicht—I can promise to be candid, but not to be impartial.Goethe.

Auf Teufel reimt der Zweifel nur; / Da bin ich recht am Platze—Only Zweifel (doubt) rhymes to Teufel (devil); here am I quite at home.The Sceptic in “Faust.”

Auf Wind und Meer gebautes Glück ist schwankend—The fortune is insecure that is at the mercy of wind and wave.Gutzkow.

Augiæ cloacas purgare—To cleanse the Augean stables, i.e., achieve an arduous and disagreeable work.Seneca.

Augusto felicior, Trajano melior—A more fortunate man than Augustus, and a more excellent than Trajan.Eutropius.

Aujourd’hui marié, demain marri—To-day married, to-morrow marred.French Proverb.

Aula regis—The court of the king.

Auld folk are twice bairns.Scotch Proverb.

Auld Nature swears the lovely dears, / Her noblest work she classes, O; / Her ’prentice han’ she tried on man, / An’ then she made the lasses, O.Burns.

Au nouveau tout est beau—Everything is fine that is new.French Proverb.

Au pis aller—At the worst.French.

Au plaisir fort de Dieu—By the all-powerful will of God.Motto.

Aura popularis—Popular favour (lit. breeze).

Aurea mediocritas—The golden mean.

Aurea nunc vere sunt sæcula; plurimus auro / Venit honos: auro conciliatur amor—The age we live in is the true age of gold; by gold men attain to the highest honour, and win even love itself.Ovid.

Aureo piscari hamo—To fish with a golden hook.

Au reste—For the rest.French.

Au revoir—Farewell, till we meet again.French.

Auri sacra fames—The accursed lust of gold.Virgil.

Auro loquente nihil pollet quævis ratio—When gold speaks, no reason the least avails.Proverb.

Aurora musis amica—Aurora is friendly to the Muses.Proverb.

Aus dem Gebet erwächst des Geistes Sieg—It is from prayer that the spirit’s victory springs.Schillerbuch.

Aus dem Kleinsten setzt / Sich Grosses zusammen zuletzt, / Und keins darf fehlen von allen, / Wenn nicht das Ganze soll fallen—Out of the smallest a great is at length composed, and none of all can fail, unless the whole is fated to break up.Rückert.

Aus dem Leben heraus sind der Wege drei dir geöffnet, / Zum Ideale führt einer, der andre zum Tod—Two ways are open for thee out of life; one conducts to the ideal, the other to death.Schiller.

Aus der Jugendzeit, aus der Jugendzeit / Klingt ein Lied mir immerdar, / O wie liegt so weit, O wie liegt so weit, / Was mein einst war—Out of youth-time, out of youth-time sounds a lay of mine ever; O how so far off lies, how so far off lies, what once was mine!Rückert.

Aus der schlechtesten Hand kann Wahrheit noch mächtig wirken; / Bei dem Schönen allein macht das Gefass den Gehalt—Truth may work mightily though in the hand of the sorriest instrument; in the case of the beautiful alone the casket constitutes the jewel (lit. the vessel makes the content).Schiller.

Aus derselben Ackerkrume / Wächst das Unkraut wie die Blume / Und das Unkraut macht sich breit—Out of the same garden-mould grows the weed as the flower, and the weed flaunts itself abroad.Bodenstedt.

A useful trade is a mine of gold.Proverb.

A useless life is an early death.Goethe.

Aus grauser Tiefe tritt das Höhe kühn hervor; / Aus harter Hülle kämpft die Tugend sich hervor; / Der Schmerz ist die Geburt der höhern Naturen—Out of a horrible depth the height steps boldly forth; out of a hard shell virtue fights its way to the light; pain is the birth (medium) of the higher natures.Tiedge.

Aus jedem Punkt im Kreis zur Mitte geht ein Steg, / Vom fernsten Irrtum selbst zu Gott zurück ein Weg—There is a way from every point in a circle to the centre; from the farthest error there is a way back to God Himself.Rückert.

Aus Mässigkeit entspringt ein reines Glück—Out of moderation a pure happiness springs.Goethe.

Auspicium melioris ævi—The pledge of happier times.Motto.

Aussitôt dit, aussitôt fait—No sooner said than done.French.

Aus ungelegten Eiern werden spät junge Hühner—Chickens are long in coming out of unlaid eggs.German Proverb.

Ausus est vana contemnere—He dared to scorn vain fears.

Aut amat, aut odit mulier; nil est tertium—A woman either loves or hates; there is no alternative.Publius Syrus.

Autant chemine un homme en un jour qu’un limaçon en cent ans—A man travels as far in a day as a snail in a hundred years.French Proverb.

Autant dépend chiche que large, et à la fin plus davantage—Niggard spends as much as generous, and in the end a good deal more.French Proverb.

Autant en emporte le vent—Alt idle talk (lit. so much the wind carries away).French Proverb.

Autant pèche celui que tient le sac que celui qui met dedans—He is as guilty who holds the bag as he who puts in.French Proverb.

Autant vaut l’homme comme il s’estime—A man is rated by others as he rates himself.French Proverb.

Aut bibat, aut abeat—Either drink or go.

Aut Cæsar aut nihil—Either Cæsar or nobody.Motto of Cæsar Borgia.

Authority, not majority.Stahl.

Authors alone, with more than savage rage, / Unnatural war with brother authors wage.Churchill.

Authors are martyrs, witnesses to the truth, or else nothing.Carlyle.

Authors may be divided into falling stars, planets, and fixed stars: the first have a momentary effect; the second, a much longer duration; and the third are unchangeable, possess their own light, and shine for all time.Schopenhauer.

Aut insanit homo, aut versus facit—The man is either mad, or he is making verses.Horace.

Aut non tentaris, aut perfice—Either don’t attempt it, or go through with it.Ovid.

Auto-da-fé—An act of faith; a name applied to certain proceedings of the Inquisition connected with the burning of heretics.

[Greek]—He himself said it; ipse dixit.

Aut prodesse volunt aut delectare poetæ—Poets wish either to profit or to please.Horace.

Autrefois acquis—Acquitted before.French.

Aut regem aut fatuum nasci oportere—A man ought to be born either a king or a fool.Proverb in Seneca.

Autre temps, autres mœurs—Other times, other fashions.French Proverb.

Aut vincere aut mori—Either to conquer or die.

Aut virtus nomen inane est, / Aut decus et pretium recte petit experiens vir—Either virtue is an empty name, or the man of enterprise justly aims at honour and reward.Horace.

Aux armes—To arms.French.

Aux grands maux les grands remèdes—Desperate maladies require desperate remedies.French Proverb.

Auxilium ab alto—Help from above.Motto.

Auxilium meum a Domino—My help cometh from the Lord.Motto.

Avant propos—Prefatory matter.French.

Avaler des couleuvres—To put up with abuse (lit. swallow snakes).French.

A valiant and brave soldier seeks rather to preserve one citizen than to destroy a thousand enemies.Scipio.


Avarice has ruined more men than prodigality.Colton.