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James Wood, comp. Dictionary of Quotations. 1899.

Avarus to Best men are moulded

Avarus, nisi cum moritur, nil recte facit—A miser does nothing right except when he dies.Proverb.

Avec un Si on mettrait Paris dans une bouteille—With an “if” one might put Paris in a bottle.French Proverb.

A verbis ad verbera—From words to blows.

A verse may find him who a sermon flies, / And turn delight into a sacrifice.George Herbert.

A very excellent piece of villany.Tit. Andron., ii. 3.

A very good woman may make but a paltry man.Pope.

A veste logorata poco fede vien prestata—A shabby coat finds small credit.Italian Proverb.

A vinculo matrimonii—From the bond or tie of marriage.

A virtuous name is the sole precious good for which queens and peasants’ wives must contest together.Schiller.

Avise la fin—Consider the end.French.

Avito viret honore—He flourishes with inherited honours.Motto.

Avoid the evil, and it will avoid thee.Gaelic Proverb.

A volonté—At will.French.

A votre santé—To your health.French.

A wee bush is better than nae bield (shelter).Scotch Proverb.

A weel-bred dog gaes oot when he sees them preparing to kick him oot.Scotch Proverb.

A well-bred man is always sociable and complaisant.Montaigne.

A well-cultivated mind is, so to say, made up of all the minds of the centuries preceding.Fontenelle.

A well-governed appetite is a great part of liberty.Seneca.

A well-written life is almost as rare as a well-spent one.Carlyle.

A wicked fellow is the most pious when he takes to it. He’ll beat you all in piety.Johnson.

A wilful man must have his way.Proverb.

A willing mind makes a light foot.Proverb.

A wise man gets learning frae them that hae nane.Scotch Proverb.

A wise man is never less alone than when alone.Proverb.

A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.Bible.

A wise man neither suffers himself to be governed, nor attempts to govern others.La Bruyère.

A wise man should have money in his head, but not in his heart.Swift.

A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.Bacon.

A wise physician, skill’d our wounds to heal, / Is more than armies to the public weal.Pope.

A wise scepticism is the first attribute of a good critic.Lowell.

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

A witless heed (head) mak’s weary feet.Scotch Proverb.

A wit with dunces, and a dunce with wits.Pope.

A wolf in sheep’s clothing.Proverb.

A woman conceals what she does not know.Proverb.

A woman has two smiles that an angel might envy: the smile that accepts the lover before the words are uttered, and the smile that lights on the first-born baby, and assures it of a mother’s love.Haliburton.

A woman in love is a very poor judge of character.J. G. Holland.

A woman moved is like a fountain troubled, / Muddy, ill-seeming, thick, bereft of beauty.Tam. of Shrew, v. 2.

A woman’s friendship borders more closely on love than a man’s.Coleridge.

A woman’s head is always influenced by her heart; but a man’s heart is always influenced by his head.Lady Blessington.

A woman sometimes scorns what best contents her.Two Gent. of Verona, iii. 1.

A woman’s whole life is a history of the affections.W. Irving.

A word and a stone let go cannot be recalled.Proverb.

A word from a friend is doubly enjoyable in dark days.Goethe.

A word once vulgarised can never be rehabilitated.Lowell.

A word sooner wounds than heals.Goethe.

A word spoken in season, at the right moment, is the mother of ages.Carlyle.

A word spoken in due season, how good is it?Bible.

A work of real merit finds favour at last.A. B. Alcott.

A world all sincere, a believing world; the like has been; the like will again be—cannot help being.Carlyle.

A world in the hand is worth two in the bush.Emerson.

A world this in which much is to be done, and little to be known.Goethe.

A worn-out sinner is sometimes found to make the best declaimer against sin.Lamb.

A worthless man will always remain worthless, and a little mind will not, by daily intercourse with great minds, become an inch greater.Goethe.

A wounded spirit who can bear?Bible.

A wound never heals so well that the scar cannot be seen.Danish Proverb.

A wreck on shore is a beacon at sea.Dutch Proverb.

A wretched soul, bruised with adversity, / We bid be quiet when we hear it cry; / But were we burdened with like weight of pain, / As much, or more, we should ourselves complain.Comedy of Errors, ii. 1.

Ay, but to die, and go we know not where; / To lie in cold obstruction and to rot.Meas. for Meas., iii. 1.

Aye free, aff-han’ your story tell, when wi’ a bosom crony; / But still keep something to yoursel’ / Ye scarcely tell to ony.Burns.

Aye in a hurry, and aye ahint.Scotch Proverb.

Ay, every inch a king.King Lear, iv. 6.

Ay me! for aught that ever I could read, / Could ever hear by tale or history, / The course of true love never did run smooth.Mid. N.’s Dream, i. 1.

Aymez loyauté—Love loyalty.Motto.

A young man idle, an old man needy.Italian Proverb.

Ay, sir, to be honest as this world goes, is to be one man picked out of two thousand.Hamlet, ii. 2.

Bachelor, a peacock; betrothed, a lion; wedded, an ass.Spanish Proverb.

“Bad company,” muttered the thief, as he stepped to the gallows between the hangman and a monk.Dutch Proverb.

Bad is by its very nature negative, and can do nothing; whatsoever enables us to do anything, is by its very nature good.Carlyle.

Bad laws are the worst sort of tyranny.Burke.

Bad men excuse their faults; good men will leave them.Ben Jonson.

Bal abonné—A subscription ball.French.

Bal champêtre—A country ball.French.

Ballon d’essai—A balloon sent up to ascertain the direction of the wind; any test of public feeling.French.

Banish the canker of ambitious thoughts.2 Henry VI., i. 2.

Bankrupt of life, yet prodigal of ease.Dryden.

Barba bagnata è mezza rasa—A beard well lathered is half shaved.Italian Proverb.

Barbæ tenus sapientes—Wise as far as the beard goes.Proverb.

Barbarism is no longer at our frontiers; it lives side by side with us.Amiel.

Barbarism is the non-appreciation of what is excellent.Goethe.

Barbarus hic ego sum, quia non intelligor ulli—I am a barbarian here, for no one understands what I say.Ovid.


Barking dogs seldom bite.Proverb.

Bas bleu—A blue-stocking.French.

Base envy withers at another’s joy, / And hates that excellence it cannot reach.Thomson.

Base in kind, and born to be a slave.Cowper.

Base men, being in love, have then a nobility in their natures more than is native to them.Othello, ii. 1.

Base souls have no faith in great men.Rousseau.

Bashfulness is an ornament to youth, but a reproach to old age.Aristotle.

Bashfulness is but the passage from one season of life to another.Bp. Hurd.

Basis virtutum constantia—Constancy is the basis of all the virtues.Motto.

Battering the gates of heaven with storms of prayer.Tennyson.

Battle’s magnificently stern array.Byron.

Be a philosopher; but, amidst all your philosophy, be still a man.Hume.

Beard was never the true standard of brains.Fuller.

Bear one another’s burdens.St. Paul.

Bear wealth, poverty will bear itself.Proverb.

Be a sinner and sin manfully (fortiter), but believe and rejoice in Christ more manfully still.Luther to Melanchthon.

Be as you would seem to be.Proverb.

Beatæ memoriæ—Of blessed memory.

Beati monoculi in regione cæcorum—Blessed are the one-eyed among those who are blind.Proverb.

Beatus ille qui procul negotiis, / Ut prisca gens mortalium, / Paterna rura bobus exercet suis, / Solutus omni fœnore—Happy the man who, remote from busy life, is content, like the primitive race of mortals, to plough his paternal lands with his own oxen, freed from all borrowing and lending.Horace.

Beaucoup de mémoire et peu de jugement—A retentive memory and little judgment.French Proverb.

Beau idéal—Ideal excellence, or one’s conception of perfection in anything.French.

Beau monde—The fashionable world.French.

Beauté et folie sont souvent en compagnie—Beauty and folly go often together.French Proverb.

Beauties in vain their pretty eyes may roll; / Charms strike the sight, but merit wins the soul.Pope.

Beautiful it is to understand and know that a thought did never yet die; that as thou, the originator thereof, hast gathered it and created it from the whole past, so thou wilt transmit to the whole future.Carlyle.

Beauty blemished once, for ever’s lost.Shakespeare.

Beauty can afford to laugh at distinctions; it is itself the greatest distinction.Bovee.

Beauty carries its dower in its face.Danish Proverb.

Beauty depends more on the movement of the face than the form of the features.Mrs. Hall.

Beauty doth varnish age, as if new-born, / And gives the crutch the cradle’s infancy. / O, ’tis the sun that maketh all things shine.Love’s L’s. Lost, iv. 3.

Beauty draws us with a single hair.Pope.

Beauty is a good letter of introduction.German Proverb.

Beauty is a hovering, shining, shadowy form, the outline of which no definition holds.Goethe.

Beauty is an all-pervading presence.Channing.

Beauty is a patent of nobility.G. Schwab.

Beauty is as summer fruits, which are easy to corrupt and cannot last.Bacon.

Beauty is a witch, / Against whose charms faith melteth into blood.Much Ado, ii. 1.

Beauty is bought by judgment of the eye, / Not utter’d by base sale of chapmen’s tongues.Love’s L’s. Lost, ii. 1.

Beauty is but a vain and doubtful good.Shakespeare.

Beauty is everywhere a right welcome guest.Goethe.

Beauty is never a delusion.Hawthorne.

Beauty is the flowering of virtue.Greek Proverb.

Beauty is the highest principle and the highest aim of art.Goethe.

Beauty is the pilot of the young soul.Emerson.

Beauty is the purgation of superfluities.Michael Angelo.

Beauty is truth, truth beauty—that is all / Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.Keats.

Beauty is worse than wine; it intoxicates both holder and the beholder.Zimmermann.

Beauty, like wit, to judges should be shown; / Both most are valued where they best are known.Lyttelton.

Beauty lives with kindness.Two Gent. of Verona, iv. 2.

Beauty provoketh thieves sooner than gold.As You Like It, i. 3.

Beauty should be the dowry of every man and woman.Emerson.

Beauty stands / In the admiration only of weak minds, / Led captive.Milton.

Beauty’s tears are lovelier than her smile.Campbell.

Beauty too rich for use; for earth too dear.Romeo and Juliet, i. 5.

Beauty, when unadorned, adorned the most.Thomson.

Beauty without expression tires.Emerson.

Beauty without grace is a violet without smell.Proverb.

Beaux esprits—Men of wit.French.

Be bold, be bold, and everywhere be bold.Spenser.

Be checked for silence, / But never tax’d for speech.All’s Well, i. 1.

Be commonplace and cringing, and everything is within your reach.Beaumarchais.

Bedenkt, der Teufel der ist alt, / So werdet alt ihn zu verstehen—Consider, the devil is old; therefore grow old to understand him.Goethe.

Be discreet in all things, and so render it unnecessary to be mysterious about any.Wellington.

Be England what she will, / With all her faults she is my country still.Churchill.

Bees will not work except in darkness; thought will not work except in silence; neither will virtue work except in secrecy.Carlyle.

Before a leaf-bud has burst, its whole life acts; in the full-blown flower there is no more; in the leafless root there is no less.Emerson.

Before every one stands an image (Bild) of what he ought to be; so long as he is not that, his peace is not complete.Rückert.

Before honour is humility.Bible.

Before man made us citizens, great Nature made us men.Lowell.

Before the curing of a strong disease, / Even in the instant of repair and health, / The fit is strongest; evils that take leave, / On their departure most of all show evil.King John, iii. 4.

Before the immense possibilities of man, all mere experience, all past biography, however spotless and sainted, shrinks away.Emerson.

Before the revelations of the soul, Time, Space, and Nature shrink away.Emerson.

Before you trust a man, eat a peck of salt with him.Proverb.

Beggars, mounted, run their horse to death.3 Henry VI., i. 4.

Beggars must not be choosers.Proverb.

Beggar that I am, I am even poor in thanks.Hamlet, ii. 2.

Begnügt euch doch ein Mensch zu sein—Let it content thee that thou art a man.Lessing.

Begun is half done.Proverb.

Behaupten ist nicht beweisen—Assertion is no proof.German Proverb.

Behaviour is a mirror in which each one shows his image.Goethe.

Behind a frowning providence / God hides a shining face.Cowper.

Behind us, as we go, all things assume pleasing forms, as clouds do afar off.Emerson.

Behind every individual closes organisation; before him opens liberty.Emerson.

Behind every mountain lies a vale.Dutch Proverb.

Behold how great a matter a little fire kindleth.St. James.

Beholding heaven and feeling hell.Moore.

Behold now is the accepted time.St. Paul.

Behold the child, by Nature’s kindly law, / Pleased with a rattle, tickled with a straw.Pope.

Bei den meisten Menschen gründet sich der Unglaube in einer Sache auf blinden Glauben in einer andern—With most men unbelief in one thing is founded on blind belief in another.Lichtenberg.

Bei Geldsachen hört die Gemütlichkeit auf—When money is in question, good day to friendly feeling.D. Hansemann.

Beinahe bringt keine Mücke um—Almost never killed a fly.German Proverb.

Being alone when one’s belief is firm, is not to be alone.Auerbach.

Being done, / There is no pause.Othello, v. 2.

Being without well-being is a curse; and the greater being, the greater curse.Bacon.

Be in possession, and thou hast the right, and sacred will the many guard it for thee.Schiller.

Be it never so humble, there’s no place like home.J. H. Payne.

Bei wahrer Liebe ist Vertrauen—With true love there is trust.Ph. Reger.

Be just and fear not; / Let all the ends thou aim’st at be thy country’s, / Thy God’s, and truth’s.Henry VIII., iii. 2.

Be just before you be generous.Proverb.

Beleidigst du einen Mönch, so knappen alle Kuttenzipfel bis nach Rom—Offend but one monk, and the lappets of all cowls will flutter as far as Rome.German Proverb.

Bel esprit—A person of genius; a brilliant mind.French.

Belief and love,—a believing love, will relieve us of a vast load of care.Emerson.

Belief consists in accepting the affirmations of the soul; unbelief, in denying them.Emerson.

Believe not each accusing tongue, / As most weak persons do; / But still believe that story wrong / Which ought not to be true.Sheridan.

Believe not every spirit.St. John.

Bella! horrida bella!—War! horrid war!Virgil.

Bella femmina che ride, vuol dire borsa che piange—The smiles of a pretty woman are the tears of the purse.Italian Proverb.

Bella matronis detestata—Wars detested by mothers.Horace.

Belle, bonne, riche, et sage, est une femme en quatre étages—A woman who is beautiful, good, rich, and wise, is four stories high.French Proverb.

Belle chose est tôt ravie—A fine thing is soon snapt up.French Proverb.

Bellet ein alter Hund, so soll man aufschauen—When an old dog barks, one must look out.German Proverb.

Bellicæ virtutis præmium—The reward of valour in war.Motto.

Bellua multorum capitum—The many-headed monster, i.e., the mob.

Bellum internecinum—A war of extermination.

Bellum ita suscipiatur, ut nihil aliud nisi pax quæsita videatur—War should be so undertaken that nothing but peace may seem to be aimed at.Cicero.

Bellum nec timendum nec provocandum—War ought neither to be dreaded nor provoked.Pliny the Younger.

Bellum omnium in omnes—A war of all against all.

Bellum, pax rursus—A war, and again a peace.Terence.

[Greek]—Better die outright than be all one’s life long in terror.Æsop.

Bemerke, höre, schweige. Urteile wenig, frage viel—Take note of what you see, give heed to what you hear, and be silent. Judge little, inquire much.Platen.

Be modest without diffidence, proud without presumption.Goethe.

Benchè la bugia sia veloce, la verità l’arriva—Though a lie may be swift, truth overtakes it.Italian Proverb.

Beneath the loveliest dream there coils a fear.T. Watts.

Beneath the rule of men entirely great, the pen is mightier than the sword.Bulwer Lytton.

Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree’s shade, / Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap, / Each in his narrow cell for ever laid, / The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.Gray.

Ben è cieco chi non vede il sole—He is very blind who does not see the sun.Italian Proverb.

Benedetto è quel male che vien solo—Blessed is the misfortune that comes alone.Italian Proverb.

Bene est cui Deus obtulit / Parca quod satis est manu—Well for him to whom God has given enough with a sparing hand.Horace.

Benefacta male locata, malefacta arbitror—Favours injudiciously conferred I reckon evils.Cicero.

Benefacta sua verbis adornant—They enhance their favours by their words.Pliny.

Beneficia dare qui nescit injuste petit—He who knows not how to bestow a benefit is unreasonable if he expects one.Publius Syrus.

Beneficia plura recipit qui scit reddere—He receives most favours who knows how to return them.Publius Syrus.

Beneficium accipere libertatem vendere est—To accept a favour is to forfeit liberty.Labertius.

Beneficium dignis ubi des, omnes obliges—Where you confer a benefit on those worthy of it, you confer a favour on all.Publius Syrus.

Beneficium invito non datur—There is no conferring a favour (involving obligation) on a man against his will.Law Maxim.

Beneficus est qui non sua, sed alterius causa benigne facit—He is beneficent who acts kindly, not for his own benefit, but for another’s.Cicero.

Bene merenti bene profuerit, male merenti pax erit—To a well-deserving man God will show favour, to an ill-deserving He will be simply just.Plautus.

Bene merentibus—To the well-deserving.Motto.

Bene nummatum decorat Suedela Venusque—The goddesses of persuasion and of love adorn the train of the well-moneyed man.Horace.

Bene orasse est bene studuisse—To have prayed well is to have striven well.

Bene qui latuit, bene vixit—Well has he lived who has lived well in obscurity.Ovid.

Benevolence is the distinguishing characteristic of man.Mencius.

Benigno numine—By the favour of Providence.Motto.

Benignus etiam dandi causam cogitat—The benevolent man even weighs the grounds of his liberality.Proverb.

Be no one like another, yet every one like the Highest; to this end let each one be perfect in himself.Goethe.

Be not angry that you cannot make others what you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself what you wish to be.Thomas à Kempis.

Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.St. Paul.

Be not righteous overmuch.Bible.

Be not the first by whom the new is tried, / Nor yet the last to lay the old aside.Pope.

Ben trovato—Well invented.Italian.

Be our joy three-parts pain! Strive, and hold cheap the strain; / Learn, nor account the pang; dare, never grudge the throe!Browning.

Berretta in mano non fece mai danno—Cap in hand never harmed any one.Italian Proverb.

Bescheiden freue dich des Ruhms, / So bist du wert des Heiligthums—If thou modestly enjoy thy fame, thou art not unworthy to rank with the holy.Goethe.

Bescheidenheit ist eine Zier, / Doch weiter kommt man ohne ihr—Modesty is an ornament, yet people get on better without it.German Proverb.

Beseht die Gönner in der Nähe! Halb sind sie kalt, halb sind sie roh—Look closely at those who patronise you. Half are unfeeling, half untaught.Goethe.

Besiegt von einem, ist besiegt von allen—Overpowered by one is overpowered by all.Schiller.

Be silent, or say something better than silence.Spanish Proverb.

Be slow in choosing a friend, but slower in changing him.Scotch Proverb.

Be sober, be vigilant.St. Peter.

Besser ein Flick als ein Loch—Better a patch than a hole.German Proverb.

Besser ein magrer Vergleich als ein fetter Prozess—Better is a lean agreement than a fat lawsuit.German Proverb.

Besser frei in der Fremde als Knecht daheim—Better free in a strange land than a slave at home.German Proverb.

Besser freundlich versagen als unwillig gewähren—Better a friendly refusal than an unwilling consent (lit. pledge).German Proverb.

Besser Rat kommt über Nacht—Better counsel comes over-night.Lessing.

Besser was als gar nichts—Better something than nothing at all.German Proverb.

Besser zweimal fragen dann einmal irre gehn—Better ask twice than go wrong once.German Proverb.

Be still and have thy will.Tyndal.

Be stirring as the time; be fire with fire; / Threaten the threatner, and outface the brow / Of bragging horror; so shall inferior eyes, / That borrow their behaviours from the great, / Grow great by your example, and put on / The dauntless spirit of resolution.King John, v. 1.

Best men are moulded out of faults.Meas. for Meas., v. 1.