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James Wood, comp. Dictionary of Quotations. 1899.


Compound for sins they are inclined to / By damning those they have no mind to.

Daring nonsense seldom fails to hit, / Like scattered shot, and pass with some for wit.

Doubtless the pleasure is as great / Of being cheated as to cheat.

Far greater numbers have been lost by hopes / Than all the magazines of daggers, ropes, / And other ammunitions of despair, / Were ever able to despatch by fear.

Folly, as it grows in years, / The more extravagant appears.

Fools are known by looking wise.

Fools for arguments use wagers.

For all a rhetorician’s rules / Teach nothing but to name his tools.

For all he did he had a reason, / For all he said, a word in season; / And ready ever was to quote / Authorities for what he wrote.

For all men live and judge amiss / Whose talents do not jump with his.

For as a fly that goes to bed / Rests with his tail above his head, / So, in this mongrel state of ours, / The rabble are the supreme powers.

For he, by geometric scale, / Could take the size of pots of ale.

For men are brought to worse diseases / By taking physic than diseases, / And therefore commonly recover / As soon as doctors give them over.

For rhetoric, he could not ope / His mouth, but out there flew a trope.

For rhyme the rudder is of verses, / With which, like ships, they steer their courses.

For truth is precious and divine, / Too rich a pearl for carnal swine.

For wealth is all things that conduce / To man’s destruction or his use; / A standard both to buy and sell / All things from heaven down to hell.

For when disputes are wearied out, / ’Tis interest still resolves the doubt.

Full oft have letters caused the writers / To curse the day they were inditers.

Have a care o’ the main chance.

He could distinguish and divide / A hair ’twixt south and south-west side.

He knew what’s what, and that’s as high / As metaphysic wit can fly.

He that complies against his will, / Is of the same opinion still.

He that imposes an oath makes it, / Not he that for convenience takes it.

Justice gives sentence many times / On one man for another’s crimes.

Justice, while she winks at crimes, / Stumbles on innocence sometimes.

Lawyers, of whose art the basis / Is raising feuds and splitting cases.

Nature has made man’s breast no windows / To publish what he does within doors, / Nor what dark secrets there inhabit, / Unless his own rash folly blab it.

Night is the Sabbath of mankind, / To rest the body and the mind.

Nothing’s more dull and negligent / Than an old lazy government, / That knows no interest of state, / But such as serves a present strait, / And, to patch up or shift, will close, / Or break alike, with friends or foes.

The Bible contains many truths as yet undiscovered.

The trenchant blade, Toledo trusty, / For want of fighting was grown rusty, / And ate into itself; for lack / Of somebody to hew and hack.

Those that fly may fight again, / Which he can never do that’s slain.

What makes all doctrines plain and clear? / About two hundred pounds a year. / And that which was prov’d true before / Prove false again, two hundred more.

Whatever sceptic could inquire for, / For every why he had a wherefore.

Why should not conscience have vacation / As well as other courts o’ th’ nation?