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James Wood, comp. Dictionary of Quotations. 1899.

Adversity is to A life that

Adversity is a great schoolmistress, as many a poor fellow knows that has whimpered over his lesson before her awful chair.Thackeray.

Adversity’s sweet milk—philosophy.Romeo and Juliet, iii. 3.

Adversus solem ne loquitor—Speak not against the sun, i.e., don’t argue against what is sun-clear.Proverb.

Ad vitam aut culpam—Till some misconduct be proved (lit. for life or fault).

Ad vivum—To the life.

A dwarf sees farther than the giant when he has the giant’s shoulders to mount on.Coleridge.

Ægis fortissima virtus—Virtue is the strongest shield.Motto.

Ægrescit medendo—The remedy is worse than the disease (lit. the disorder increases with the remedy).

Ægri somnia vana—The delusive dreams of a sick man.Horace.

Ægroto, dum anima est, spes est—While a sick man has life, there is hope.Proverb.

Ae half o’ the world doesna ken how the other half lives.Scotch Proverb.

Ae man may tak’ a horse to the water, but twenty winna gar (make) him drink.Scotch Proverb.

Ae man’s meat is anither man’s poison.Scotch Proverb.

Æmulatio æmulationem parit—Emulation begets emulation.Proverb.

Æmulus atque imitator studiorum ac laborum—A rival and imitator of his studies and labours.Cicero.

Aendern und bessern sind zwei—To change, and to change for the better, are two different things.German Proverb.

Æquabiliter et diligenter—By equity and diligence.Motto.

Æquâ lege necessitas / Sortitur insignes et imos—Necessity apportions impartially to high and low alike.Horace.

Æquam memento rebus in arduis / Servare mentem, non secus in bonis / Ab insolenti temperatam / Lætitiâ—Be sure to preserve an unruffled mind in adversity, as well as one restrained from immoderate joy in prosperity.Horace.

Æquam servare mentem—To preserve an even temper.Motto.

Æquanimiter—With equanimity.Motto.

Æqua tellus / Pauperi recluditur / Regumque pueris—The impartial earth opens alike for the child of the pauper and of the king.Horace.

Æquo animo—With an even or equable mind.Motto.

Æquum est / Peccatis veniam poscentem reddere rursus—It is fair that he who begs to be forgiven should in turn forgive.Horace.

Ære perennius—More enduring than brass.Horace.

Ærugo animi, rubigo ingenii—Rust, viz., idleness, of mind is the blight of genius, i.e., natural capability of every kind.

Æs debitorem leve, gravius inimicum facit—A slight debt makes a man your debtor; a heavier one, your enemy.Labertius.

Ætatem non tegunt tempora—Our temples do not conceal our age.

Æternum inter se discordant—They are eternally at variance with each other.Terence.

Ævo rarissima nostro simplicitas—Simplicity a very rare thing now-a-days.Ovid.

A fact is a great thing: a sentence printed, if not by God, then at least by the Devil.Carlyle.

A fact in our lives is valuable, not so far as it is true, but as it is significant.Goethe.

A facto ad jus non datur consequentia—Inference from the fact to the law is not legitimate.Law Maxim.

“A fair day’s wages for a fair day’s work,” is as just a demand as governed men ever made of governing; yet in what corner of this planet was that ever realised?Carlyle.

A fair face may hide a foul heart.Proverb.

A faithful friend is a true image of the Deity.Napoleon.

A fault confessed is half redressed.Proverb.

A favour does not consist in the service done, but in the spirit of the man who confers it.Seneca.

A fellow-feeling makes one wondrous kind.Garrick.

A fellow who speculates is like an animal on a barren heath, driven round and round by an evil spirit, while there extends on all sides of him a beautiful green meadow-pasture.Goethe.

“A few strong instincts and a few plain rules” suffice us.Emerson, from Wordsworth.

Affaire d’amour—A love affair.French.

Affaire d’honneur—An affair of honour; a duel.French.

Affaire du cœur—An affair of the heart.French.

Affairs that depend on many rarely succeed.Guicciardini.

Affection lights a brighter flame / Than ever blazed by art.Cowper.

Affirmatim—In the affirmative.

Afflavit Deus et dissipantur—God sent forth his breath, and they are scattered.Inscription on medal struck to commemorate the destruction of the Spanish Armada.

Afflictions are blessings in disguise.Proverb.

A fiery soul, which, working out its way / Fretted the pigmy body to decay.Dryden.

A fin—To the end.

A fine quotation is a diamond on the finger of a man of wit, and a pebble in the hand of a fool.Joseph Roux.

A fixed idea ends in madness or heroism.Victor Hugo.

A flute lay side by side with Frederick the Great’s baton of command.Jean Paul.

A fly is as untamable as a hyena.Emerson.

A fog cannot be dispelled with a fan.Japanese Proverb.

A fond—Thoroughly (lit. to the bottom).

A fonte puro pura defluit aqua—From a pure spring pure water flows.Proverb.

A fortiori—With stronger reason.

A fool always accuses other people; a partially wise man himself; a wholly wise man, neither himself nor others.Herder.

A fool always finds a greater fool to admire him.Boileau.

A fool and his money are soon parted.Proverb.

A fool flatters himself, a wise man flatters the fool.Bulwer Lytton.

A fool is often as dangerous to deal with as a knave, and always more incorrigible.Colton.

A fool is wise in his own conceit.Proverb.

A fool knows more in his own house than a wise man in another’s.Proverb.

A fool may give a wise man counsel.Proverb.

A fool may make money, but it takes a wise man to spend it.Proverb.

A fool may sometimes have talent, but he never has judgment.La Rochefoucauld.

A fool may speer (ask) mair questions than a wise man can answer.Scotch Proverb.

A fool resents good counsel, but a wise man lays it to heart.Confucius.

A fool’s bolt is soon shot.Henry V., iii. 7.

A fool’s bolt may sometimes hit the mark.Proverb.

A fool when he is silent is counted wise.Proverb.

A fool who has a flash of wit creates astonishment and scandal, like a hack-horse setting out to gallop.Chamfort.

A fop is the mercer’s friend, the tailor’s fool, and his own foe.Lavater.

A force de mal aller tout ira bien—By dint of going wrong all will go right.French Proverb.

A force de peindre le diable sur les murs, il finit par apparaître en personne—If you keep painting the devil on the walls, he will by and by appear to you in person.French Proverb.

A friend in court makes the process short.Proverb.

A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere.Emerson.

A friend is never known till needed.Proverb.

A friend loveth at all times.Bible.

A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of Nature.Emerson.

A friend’s eye is a good looking-glass.Gaelic Proverb.

A friendship will be young at the end of a century, a passion old at the end of three months.Nigu.

A friend to everybody is a friend to nobody.Proverb.

A fronte præcipitium, a tergo lupus—A precipice before, a wolf behind.Proverb.

After dinner rest awhile; after supper walk a mile.Proverb.

After life’s fitful fever he sleeps well.Macbeth, iii. 2.

After meat mustard—i.e., too late.

After the spirit of discernment, the next rarest things in the world are diamonds and pearls.La Bruyère.

After-wit is everybody’s wit.Proverb.

A full cup is hard to carry.Proverb.

A ganging fit (foot) is aye getting.Scotch Proverb.

A gauche—To the left.French.

Age does not make us childish, as people say; it only finds us still true children.Goethe.

Age is a matter of feeling, not of years.G. W. Curtis.

Age without cheerfulness is a Lapland winter without a sun.Colton.

A genius is one who is endowed with an excess of nervous energy and sensibility.Schopenhauer.

Agent de change—A stockbroker.French.

A gentleman makes no noise; a lady is serene.Emerson.

A gentleman’s first characteristic is fineness of nature.Ruskin.

A gentleman that will speak more in a minute than he will stand to in a month.Romeo and Juliet, ii. 4.

Age quod agis—Attend to (lit. do) what you are doing.

Agere considerate pluris est quam cogitare prudenter—It is of more consequence to act considerately than to think sagely.Cicero.


A giving hand, though foul, shall have fair praise.Love’s L’s. Lost, iv. 1.

Agnosco veteris vestigia flammæ—I own I feel traces of an old passion.Virgil.

A God all mercy is a God unjust.Young.

A God speaks softly in our breast; softly, yet distinctly, shows us what to hold by and what to shun.Goethe.

A gold key opens every door.Proverb.

A good bargain is a pick-purse.Proverb.

A good beginning makes a good ending.Proverb.

A good book is the precious life-blood of a master-spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life.Milton.

A good friend is my nearest relation.Proverb.

A good horse should be seldom spurred.Proverb.

A good inclination is only the first rude draught of virtue, but the finishing strokes are from the will.South.

A good king is a public servant.Ben Jonson.

A good laugh is sunshine in a house.Thackeray.

A good law is one that holds, whether you recognise it or not; a bad law is one that cannot, however much you ordain it.Ruskin.

A good man in his dark striving is, I should say, conscious of the right way.Goethe.

A good man shall be satisfied from himself.Bible.

A good marksman may miss.Proverb.

A good name is sooner lost than won.Proverb.

A good presence is a letter of recommendation.Proverb.

A good reader is nearly as rare as a good writer.Willmott.

A good rider on a good horse is as much above himself and others as the world can make him.Lord Herbert of Cherbury.

A good road and a wise traveller are two different things.Proverb.

A good solid bit of work lasts.George Eliot.

A good surgeon must have an eagle’s eye, a lion’s heart, and a lady’s hand.Proverb.

A good thought is a great boon.Bovee.

A good wife and health are a man’s best wealth.Proverb.

A gorge déployée—With full throat.French.

A government for protecting business and bread only is but a carcase, and soon falls by its own corruption to decay.A. B. Alcott.

A government may not waver; once it has chosen its course, it must, without looking to right or left, thenceforth go forward.Bismarck.

A grands frais—At great expense.French.

A grave and a majestic exterior is the palace of the soul.Chinese Proverb.

A great anguish may do the work of years, and we may come out from that baptism of fire with a soul full of new awe and new pity.George Eliot.

A great deal may and must be done which we dare not acknowledge in words.Goethe.

A great genius takes shape by contact with another great genius, but less by assimilation than by friction.Heine.

A great licentiousness treads on the heels of a reformation.Emerson.

A great man is he who can call together the most select company when it pleases him.Landor.

A great man is one who affects the mind of his generation.Disraeli.

A great man living for high ends is the divinest thing that can be seen on earth.G. S. Hillard.

A great man quotes bravely, and will not draw on his invention when his memory serves him with a word as good.Emerson.

A great master always appropriates what is good in his predecessors, and it is this which makes him great.Goethe.

A great observer, and he looks / Quite through the deeds of men.Julius Cæsar, i. 2.

A great reputation is a great noise; the more there is made, the farther off it is heard.Napoleon.

A great revolution is never the fault of the people, but of the government.Goethe.

A great scholar is seldom a great philosopher.Goethe.

A great spirit errs as well as a little one, the former because it knows no bounds, the latter because it confounds its own horizon with that of the universe.Goethe.

A great thing can only be done by a great man, and he does it without effort.Ruskin.

A great thing is a great book, but greater than all is the talk of a great man.Disraeli.

A great writer does not reveal himself here and there, but everywhere.Lowell.

Agree, for the law is costly.Proverb.

A green winter makes a fat churchyard.Proverb.

A grey eye is a sly eye; a brown one indicates a roguish humour; a blue eye expresses fidelity; while the sparkling of a dark eye is like the ways of Providence, always a riddle.Bodenstedt.

A growing youth has a wolf in his belly.Proverb.

Agues come on horseback and go away on foot.Proverb.

A guilty conscience needs no accuser.Proverb.

A hair of the dog that bit him.Proverb.

A haute voix—Loudly; audibly.French.

A heart to resolve, a head to contrive, and a hand to execute.Gibbon.

A hedge between, keeps friendship green.Proverb.

Ah! il n’y a plus d’enfants—Ah! there are no children now-a-days!Molière.

Ah me! for aught that ever I could read… / The course of true love never did run smooth.Mid. N.’s Dream, i. 1.

Ah me! how sweet this world is to the dying!Schiller.

A hook’s well lost to catch a salmon.Proverb.

A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse.Richard III., v. 4.

Ah! pour être dévot, je n’en suis pas moins homme—Though I am a religious man, I am not therefore the less a man.Molière.

Ah! quam dulce est meminisse—Ah! how sweet it is to remember!Motto.

Ah! that deceit should steal such gentle shapes / And with a virtuous visor hide deep vice.Richard III., ii. 2.

A hundred years cannot repair a moment’s loss of honour.Proverb.

A hungry belly has no ears.Proverb.

Ah! vitam perdidi operose nihil agendo—I have lost my life, alas! in laboriously doing nothing.Grotius.

Aide-toi, et le ciel l’aidera—Help yourself and Heaven will help you.French.

[Greek]—Misfortunes make men talk loquaciously.Appian.

[Greek]—Modesty has died out.Theognis.

Ainsi que son esprit, tout peuple a son langage—Every nation has its own language as well as its own temperament.Voltaire.

Air de fête—Looking festive.French.

Air distingué—Distinguished looking.French.

Airs of importance are the credentials of impotence.Lavater.

Aisé à dire est difficile à faire—Easy to say is hard to do.French Proverb.

A jest loses its point when he who makes it is the first to laugh.Schiller.

A jest’s prosperity lies in the ear / Of him that hears it, never in the tongue / Of him that makes it.Love’s L’s. Lost, v. 2.

A Jove principium—Beginning with Jove.

A judge who cannot punish, associates himself in the end with the criminal.Goethe.

A judicious (verständiger) man is of much value for himself, of little for the whole.Goethe.

A king of shreds and patches.Hamlet, iii. 4.

A king’s son is no nobler than his company.Gaelic Proverb.

A knavish speech sleeps in a foolish ear.Hamlet, iv. 2.

A l’abandon—At random; little cared for.French.

A la belle étoile—In the open air.French.

A la bonne heure—Well-timed; very well.French.

A l’abri—Under shelter.French.

A la chandelle la chèvre semble demoiselle—By candlelight a goat looks like a young lady.French Proverb.

A la déobée—By stealth.French.

A la fin saura-t-on qui a mangé le lard—We shall know in the end who ate the bacon.French Proverb.

A la française—In the French fashion.French.

A la lettre—Literally.French.

A la mode—According to the fashion.French.

A l’amour satisfait tout son charme est ôté—When love is satisfied all the charm of it is gone.Corneille.

A la portée de tout le monde—Within reach of every one.French.

A la presse vont les fous—Fools go in crowds.French Proverb.

Alas! the devil’s sooner raised than laid.Sheridan.

A last judgment is necessary, because fools flourish.William Blake.

A last judgment is not for making bad men better, but for hindering them from oppressing the good.William Blake.

A latere—From the side of (sc. the Pope).

A lazy man is necessarily a bad man; an idle, is necessarily a demoralised population.Draper.

Albæ gallinæ filius—The son of a white hen.

Album calculum addere—To give a white stone, i.e., to vote for, by putting a white stone into an urn, a black one indicating rejection.

Al corral con allo—Out of the window with it.Spanish.

Alea belli—The hazard of war.

Alea jacta est—The die is cast.

Alea judiciorum—The hazard or uncertainty of law.

A leaden sword in an ivory scabbard.Proverb.

A learned man is a tank; a wise man is a spring.W. R. Alger.

Al enemigo, si vuelve la espalda, la puente de plata—Make a bridge of silver for the flying enemy.Spanish Proverb.

Alere flammam—To feed the flame.

Ales volat propriis—A bird flies to its own.

Al fin se canta la Gloria—Not till the end is the Gloria chanted.Spanish Proverb.

Al fresco—In the open air.Italian.

Aliam excute quercum—Go, shake some other oak (of its fruit).Proverb.

Alia res sceptrum, alia plectrum—Ruling men is one thing, fiddling to them another.Proverb.

A liar is always lavish of oaths.Corneille.

A liar should have a good memory.Proverb.


Alia tentanda via est—We must try another way.


A lie is like a snowball; the farther you roll it, the bigger it becomes.Luther.

A lie has no legs, but scandal has wings.Proverb.

A lie which is half a truth is ever the blackest of lies.Tennyson.

Aliena negotia centum / Per caput, et circa saliunt latus—A hundred affairs of other people leap through my head and at my side.Horace.

Aliena negotia curo / Excussus propriis—I attend to other people’s affairs, baffled with my own.Horace.

Aliena nobis, nostra plus aliis placent—That which belongs to others pleases us most; that which belongs to us pleases others more.Publius Syrus.

Aliena opprobria sæpe / Absterrent vitiis—We are often deterred from crime by the disgrace of others.Horace.

Aliena optimum frui insania—It is best to profit by the madness of other people.Proverb.

Aliena vitia in oculis habemus; a tergo nostra sunt—We keep the faults of others before our eyes; our own behind our backs.Seneca.

Alieni appetens, sui profusus—Covetous of other men’s property, prodigal of his own.Sallust.

Alieni temporis flores—Flowers of other days.

Alieno in loco haud stabile regnum est—Sovereignty over a foreign land is insecure.Seneca.

Alieno more vivendum est mihi—I must live according to another’s humour.Terence.

Alienos agros irrigas tuis sitientibus—You water the fields of others, while your own are parched.Proverb.

A lie should be trampled on and extinguished wherever found.Carlyle.

A lie which is all a lie may be met and fought with outright / But a lie which is part a truth is a harder matter to fight.Tennyson.

A life that is worth writing at all is worth writing minutely.Longfellow.