James Wood, comp. Dictionary of Quotations. 1899.
Mischief to Mountains never
Mischief, thou art afoot; / Take thou what course thou wilt.Julius Cæsar, iii. 2.
Mise en scène—The getting up or putting in preparation for the stage.French.
Misera contribuens plebs!—The poor tax-paying people.Verböczy.
Misera est magni custodia census—The custody of a large fortune is a wretched business.Juvenal.
Misera est servitus ubi jus est aut vagum aut incognitum—Obedience to the law is a hardship where the law is either unsettled or unknown.Law.
Miserable beyond all names of wretchedness is that unhappy pair who are doomed to reduce beforehand to the principles of abstract reason all the details of each domestic day.Johnson.
Miseram pacem vel bello bene mutari—An unhappy peace may be profitably exchanged for war.Tacitus.
Misericordia Domini inter pontem et fontem—Between bridge and stream the Lord’s mercy may be found.St. Augustine.
Miseros prudentia prima relinquit—Prudence is the first thing to forsake the wretched.Ovid.
Miserrima est fortuna quæ inimico caret—Most wretched is the lot of him who has not an enemy.Publius Syrus.
Miserum est aliorum incumbere famæ / Ne collapsa ruant subductis tecta columnis—It is a wretched thing to lean for support on the reputation of others, lest the roof should fall in ruins when the pillars are withdrawn.Juvenal.
Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.Tempest, ii. 2.
Misery and ruin to thousands are in the blast that announces the destructive demon (war).Burns.
Misery doth part / The flux of company.As You Like It, ii. 1.
Misery is like love; to speak its language truly, the author must have felt it.Burns.
Misery is trodden down by many, / And, being low, never relieved by any.Shakespeare.
Misery that I miss is a new mercy.Isaak Walton.
Misfortune is never mournful to the soul that accepts it; for such do always see that every cloud is an angel’s face.Mrs. L. M. Child.
Misfortune sprinkles ashes on the head of the man, but falls like dew on the head of the woman, and brings forth germs of strength of which she herself had no conscious possession.Anna C. Mowatt.
Misfortune, when we look upon it with our eyes, is smaller than when our imagination sinks the evil down into the recesses of the soul.Goethe.
Misfortunes come on wings and depart on foot.Proverb.
Misfortunes have their dignity and their redeeming power.G. S. Hillard.
Misfortunes never come single.Proverb.
Misfortunes when asleep are not to be wakened.Proverb.
Mislike me not for my complexion, / The shadow’d livery of the burnish’d sun, / To whom I am a neighbour and near bred.Mer. of Ven., ii. 1.
Misreckoning is no payment.Proverb.
Mist of words, / Like halos round the moon, though they enlarge / The seeming size of thoughts, make the light less / Doubly.Bailey.
Mistake not, man; the devil never sleeps.Thomas à Kempis.
Mistrust the man who finds everything good, and the man who finds everything evil, and still more the man who is indifferent to everything.Lavater.
Misunderstanding brings lies to town.Proverb.
Misunderstanding goes on like a fallen stitch in a stocking, which in the beginning might have been taken up with a needle.Goethe.
Mit deinem Meister zu irren ist dein Gewinn—To err with thy master is thy gain.Goethe.
Mit dem Genius steht die Natur im ewigen Bunde! / Was der eine verspricht, leistet die andre gewiss—Nature stands in eternal league with genius; what the one promises the other as surely performs.Schiller.
Mit dem Wissen wächst der Zweifel—Doubt ever grows alongside of knowledge.Goethe.
Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens—With stupidity the gods themselves fight in vain.Schiller.
Mit Frauen soll man sich nie unterstehn zu scherzen—One should never venture to joke with ladies.Mephistopheles in Goethe’s “Faust.”
Mit fremdem Gut ist leicht ein Prasser sein—It is easy to live riotously (be a rake) at another’s expense.Platen.
Mit Kleinen thut man kleine Thaten, / Mit Grossen wird der Kleine gross—With little people we do little deeds, with great people the little one becomes great.Goethe.
Mit seltsamen Geberden / Giebt man sich viele Pein; / Kein Mensch will etwas werden, / Ein jeder will schon was sein—We are easily disconcerted by strange manners; no man is willing to become anything, every one gives himself out as already something.Goethe.
Mit vier Strangschlägern zu fahren ist gefährlich, aber ich werde es versuchen—It is risky to drive with four horses that kick over the traces, but I shall try.Bismarck.
Mit Worten lässt sich trefflich streiten / Mit Worten ein System bereiten, / An Worten lässt sich trefflich glauben, / Von einem Wort lässt sich kein Iota rauben—With words disputes may be effectively carried on; with words a system may be built up; on words one may rest religious belief; from a word must not one iota be taken.Mephistopheles in Goethe’s “Faust.”
Mit Worten nicht, mit Thaten lasst mich danken—Let me thank you with deeds, not with words.Körner.
Mitgefühl erweckt Vertrauen; / Und Vertrauen ist der Schlüssel / Der des Herzens Pforte öffnet—Sympathy awakens confidence, and confidence is the key which unlocks the doors of the heart.Bodenstedt.
Mittagsschlaf ist ein brennend Licht am Tage—Sleep at midday is a candle burning in the daytime.Hippel.
Mitte hanc de pectore curam—Dismiss these anxieties from your breast.Virgil.
Mittimus—We send. A writ for transferring records from one court to another; a precept committing an accused person to prison by a justice of the peace.Law.
Mobilis et varia est ferme natura malorum—Misfortunes generally are of a variable and changeable nature.Juvenal.
Mobilitate viget, viresque acquirit eundo—It grows by moving, and gathers strength as it speeds on.Virgil, of Fame.
Mobilium turba Quiritium—A crowd of fickle citizens.Horace.
Mock me not with the name of free, when you have but knit up my chains into ornamental festoons.Carlyle.
Mockery is the fume of little hearts.Tennyson.
Moderari animo et orationi, cum sis iratus, non mediocris ingenii est—To be able to temper your indignation and language when you are angry is evidence of a chastened disposition.Cicero.
Moderata durant—Things we use in moderation last long.Seneca.
Moderate lamentation is the right of the dead, excessive grief the enemy to the living.All’s Well, i. 1.
Moderate riches will carry you; if you have more, you must carry them.Proverb.
Moderation and judgment are, for most purposes, more than the flash and the glitter even of genius.J. Morley.
Moderation is good, but moderation alone is no virtue (Tugend).Rückert.
Moderation is the inseparable companion of wisdom, but with genius it has not even a nodding acquaintance.Colton.
Moderation is the silken string running through the pearl chain of all virtues.Thomas Fuller.
Moderation is the virtue best adapted to the dawn of prosperity.Pitt.
Modern education has devoted itself to the teaching of impudence, and then we complain we can no more manage our mobs.Ruskin.
Modern education too often covers the fingers with rings, and at the same time cuts the sinews at the wrists.J. Sterling.
Modern poets put a great deal of water in their ink.Goethe.
Modern Protestantism sees in the cross, not a furca to which it is to be nailed, but a raft on which it, and all its valuable properties, are to be floated into Paradise.Ruskin.
Modern revolution has nothing grand about it; it is merely the resolution of society into its component atoms.Froude.
Modern science gives lectures on botany, to show there is no such thing as a flower; on humanity, to show there is no such thing as a man; and on theology, to show there is no such thing as a God. No such thing as a man, but only a mechanism. No such thing as a God, but only a series of forces.Ruskin.
Modest demeanour’s the jewel of a’!Burns.
Modest dogs miss much meat.Proverb.
Modest doubt is called / The beacon of the wise, the tent that searches / To the bottom of the worst.Troil. and Cress., ii. 2.
Modest expression is a beautiful setting to the diamond of talent and genius.Chapin.
Modest humility is beauty’s crown, for the beautiful is a hidden thing, and shrinks from its own power.Schiller.
Modeste tamen et circumspecto judicio de tantis viris pronunciandum est, ne, quod plerisque accidit, damnent quæ non intelligunt—We should, however, pronounce our opinions with modesty and circumspect judgment of such men, lest, as is the case with many, we should be found condemning what we do not understand.Quintilian.
Modesty and presumption are moral things of so spiritual a nature, that they have little to do with the body.Goethe.
Modesty is a quality in a lover more praised by the women than liked.Sheridan.
Modesty is a very good thing, but a man in this country may get on very well without it.Motto on a banner in the Far West.
Modesty is so pleased with other people’s doings that she has no leisure to lament her own.Ruskin.
Modesty is the beauty of women.Gaelic Proverb.
Modesty is the colour of virtue.Diogenes.
Modesty is the sweet song-bird which no open cage-door can tempt to flight.Hafiz.
Modesty is to merit what the shadows are to the figures on a picture; it imparts to it force and relief.La Bruyère.
Modesty ruins all that bring it to court.Proverb.
Modesty seldom resides in a breast that is not enriched with nobler virtues.Goldsmith.
Modesty when she goes, is gone for ever.Landor.
Modo et forma—In manner and form.
Modo me Thebis, modo ponit Athenis—He sets me down now at Thebes, now at Athens, i.e., the poet does so by his magic art.Horace.
Modo vir, modo femina—Now as a man, now as a woman.Ovid.
Modus operandi—The manner of operation.
Mögt ihr Stück für Stück bewitzeln, / Doch das Ganze zieht euch an—You may jeer at it bit by bit, yet the whole fascinates you.Goethe.
Moi, moi, dis je, et c’est assez—I, I, say I, and that is enough.Corneille.
Moins on pense plus on parle—The less people think, the more they talk.French.
Moles and misers live in their graves.Proverb.
Molesta et importuna salutantium frequentia—A troublesome and annoying crowd of visitors.
Molle meum levibus cor est violabile telis—My tender heart is vulnerable by his (Cupid’s) light arrows.Ovid.
Mollis educatio nervos omnes et mentis et corporis frangit—An effeminate education weakens all the powers both of mind and body.Quintilian.
Mollissima corda / Humano generi dare se natura fatetur, / Quæ lachrymas dedit: hæc nostri pars optima sensus—Nature confesses that she gives the tenderest of hearts to the human race when she gave them tears. This is the best part of our sensations.Juvenal.
Mollissima tempora fandi—The most fitting moment for speaking, or addressing, one.Horace.
Molliter austerum studio fallente laborem—The interest in the pursuit gently beguiling the severity of the toil.Horace.
Molliter ossa cubent—Let his bones softly rest.Ovid.
Momento mare vertitur; / Eodem die ubi luserunt, navigia sorbentur—In a moment the sea is agitated, and on the same day ships are swallowed up where they lately sported gaily along.
Mon âme a son secret, ma vie a son mystère—My soul has a secret of its own, my life its mystery.Arvers.
Mon cœur aux dames, / Ma vie au roi, / A Dieu mon âme, / L’honneur pour moi—My heart to the ladies, my life to the king, and my soul to God, but my honour is my own.On a shield in the Royal Schloss, Berlin.
Mon Dieu est ma roche—My God is my rock.Motto.
Mon frère a mis son bonnet de travers—My brother is cross (lit. has put on his cap the wrong way).French Proverb.
Monarchy is a merchantman, which sails well, but will sometimes strike on a rock and go to the bottom; whilst a republic is a raft, which would never sink, but then your feet are always in water.Fisher Ames.
Monday is the key of the week.Gaelic Proverb.
Monday religion is better than Sunday profession.Proverb.
Mone sale—Advise with salt, i.e., with discretion.Motto.
Money answers everything, / Save a guilty conscience sting.Proverb.
Money begets money.Proverb.
Money borrowed is soon sorrowed.Proverb.
Money calls, but does not stay: / It is round and rolls away.Proverb.
Money is a bottomless sea, in which honour, conscience, and truth may be drowned.Kazlay.
Money is a good servant, but a dangerous master.Bonheurs.
Money is human happiness in the abstract; he, then, who is no longer capable of enjoying human happiness in the concrete, devotes his heart entirely to money.Schopenhauer.
Money is like an icicle, soon found at certain seasons, and soon melted under other circumstances.Spurgeon.
Money is not required to buy one necessity of the soul.Thoreau.
Money is the fruit of evil as often as the root of it.Fielding.
Money is the god of our time, and Rothschild is his prophet.Heine.
Money is the most envied, but the least enjoyed; health is the most enjoyed, but the least envied.Colton.
Money is the ruin of many.Proverb.
Money is the sinew of love as well as of war.Proverb.
Money, like manure, does no good till it is spread. (?)
Money makes the mare to go.Proverb.
Money masters all things.Proverb.
Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. There is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more a man has, the more he wants.Ben. Franklin.
Money often costs too much.Emerson.
Money often unmakes the men who make it.Proverb.
Money refused loses its brightness.Proverb.
Money spent on the brain is never spent in vain.Proverb.
Moniti, meliora sequamur—Admonished, let us follow better counsels.Virgil.
Monkeys, as soon as they have brought forth their young, keep their eyes fastened on them, and never weary of admiring their beauty; so amorous is Nature of whatever she produces.Dryden.
Monstro quod ipse tibi possis dare: semita certe / Tranquillæ per virtutem patet unica vitæ—I show you what you can do for yourself; the only path to a tranquil life lies through virtue.Juvenal.
Monstrum horrendum, informe, ingens, cui lumen ademptum—A monster horrible, misshapen, huge, and bereft of his one eye.Virgil, of Polyphemus.
Monstrum nulla virtute redemptum / A vitiis—A monster whose vices are not redeemed by a single virtue.Juvenal.
Mont de piété—Pawnshop; originally store of money to lend without interest to poor people.French.
Montes auri pollicens—Promising mountains of gold.Terence.
Montesquieu, with his cause-and-effect philosophy, is but a clever infant spelling letters from a hieroglyphical prophetic Book, the lexicon of which lies in eternity, in Heaven.Carlyle.
Monuments, like men, submit to fate.Pope.
Monuments themselves memorials need.Crabbe.
Mony an honest man needs that hasna the face to seek it.Scotch Proverb.
Mony ane speirs the gate (inquires the way) they ken fu’ weel.Scotch Proverb.
Mony kinsfolk, but few freends.Scotch Proverb.
Moonlight is sculpture.Hawthorne.
Mora omnis odio est, sed facit sapientiam—All delay is hateful, but it produces wisdom.Publius Syrus.
Moral culture must begin with a change (Umwandlung) in the way of thinking, and with the founding of a character.Kant.
Moral education begins in making the creature to be educated clean and obedient; and it is summed up when the creature has been made to do its work with delight, and thoroughly.Ruskin.
Moral inability aggravates our guilt.Scott.
Moral prejudices are the stopgaps of virtue; and, as is the case with other stopgaps, it is often more difficult to get either out or in through them than through any other part of the fence.Hare.
Moral qualities rule the world, but at short distances the senses are despotic.Emerson.
Morality is a curb, not a spur.Joubert.
Morality is but the vestibule of religion.Chapin.
Morality sticks faster when presented in brief sayings than when presented in long discourses.Immerman.
Morals are generated as the atmosphere is. ’Tis a secret the genesis of either; but the springs of justice and courage do not fail any more than salt or sulphur springs.Emerson.
Morceau—A morsel; a bit.French.
Morceau d’ensemble—Piece of music harmonised for several voices.French.
More are drowned in the beaker than in the sea.German Proverb.
More are made good by exercitation than by nature.Democritus.
More credit may be thrown down in a moment than can be built up in an age.Proverb.
More hearts pine away in secret anguish for unkindness from those who should be their comforters than for any other calamity in life.Young.
More helpful than all wisdom is one draught of simple human pity that will not forsake us.George Eliot.
More is got from one book on which the thought settles for a definite end in knowledge, than from libraries skimmed over by a wandering eye. A cottage flower gives honey to the bee, a king’s garden none to the butterfly.Bulwer Lytton.
More knave than fool.Marlowe.
More light, more life, more love.Proverb.
More majorum—After the manner of our ancestors.
More matter with less art.Hamlet, ii. 2.
More meat and less mustard.Proverb.
More pleased we are to see a river lead / His gentle streams along a flowery mead, / Than from high banks to hear loud torrents roar, / With foamy waters on a muddy shore.Dryden.
More potatoes and fewer potations.Motto for Working-men.
More servants wait on man / Than he’ll take notice of.George Herbert.
More sinn’d against than sinning.King Lear, iii. 2.
More springs up in the garden than the gardener sows there.Proverb.
More suo—After his usual manner; as is his wont.
More than all things, avoid fault-finding and a habit of criticism.Prof. Blackie to young men.
More than kisses letters mingle souls.Donne.
More than we use is more than we want.Proverb.
More things are wrought by prayer / Than this world dreams of.Tennyson.
More water glideth by the mill / Than wots the miller of.Tit. Andron., ii. 1.
Mores amid noveris, non oderis—Know well, but take no offence at the manners of a friend.Proverb.
Mores multorum vidit—He saw the manners of many men.Horace, of Ulysses.
Morgen können wir’s nicht mehr, / Darum lasst uns heute leben!—To-morrow is no longer in our power, therefore let us live to-day.Schiller.
Morgen, morgen, nur nicht heute! / Sprechen immer träge Leute—To-morrow, to-morrow, only not to-day, is the constant song of the idle.C. F. Weisse.
Morgenstunde hat Gold im Munde—The morning hour has gold in its mouth.Greek Proverb.
Moriamur, et in media arma ruamus—Let us die, and rush into the thick of the fight.Virgil.
Moribus antiquis res stat Romana virisque—The Roman commonwealth stands by its ancient manners and men.Ennius.
Moribus et forma conciliandus amor—Pleasing manners and a handsome figure conciliate love.Ovid.
Morituri morituros salutant—The dying salute the dying.
Morose thoughts one should never send to a distance.Goethe.
Moroseness is the evening of turbulence.Landor.
Mors et fugacem persequitur virum—Death pursues the man as he flees from it.Horace.
Mors ipsa refugit sæpe virum!—Death itself often takes flight at the presence of a man.Lucan.
Mors janua vitæ—Death is the gate of life.
Mors laborum ac miseriarum quies est!—Death is repose from all our toils and miseries.Cicero.
Mors potius macula—Death rather than disgrace.Motto.
Mors sola fatetur / Quantula sint hominum corpuscula—Death alone discloses how insignificant are the puny bodies of us men.Juvenal.
Mors ultima linea rerum est—Death is the farthest limit of our changing life.Horace.
Mortales inimicitias, sempiternas amicitias—Be our enmities for time, our friendships for eternity.Cicero.
Mortalia acta nunquam Deos fallunt—The deeds of man never can be hid from the gods.
Mortalia facta peribunt, / Nedum sermonum stet honos et gratia vivax—All man’s works must perish; how much less shall the power and grace of language long survive!Horace.
Mortality is beset on every side with crosses, and exposed to suffering every moment.Thomas à Kempis.
Mortalium rerum misera beatitudo—The miserable bliss of all moral things.Boëthius.
Morte carent animæ, semperque priore relicta / Sede novis domibus vivunt habitantque receptæ—Souls are immortal; and admitted, after quitting their first abode, into new homes, they live and dwell in them for ever.Ovid.
Mortem effugere nemo potest!—No one can escape death.
Mortuo leoni et lepores insultant—Even hares insult a dead lion.Proverb.
Mos pro lege—Usage, or custom, for law.Law.
Moses and Mahomet were not men of speculation, but men of action; and it is the stress they laid upon the latter that has given them the power they wield over the destinies of mankind.Renan.
Most authors steal their works, or buy.Pope.
Most dangerous / Is that temptation that doth goad us on / To sin in loving virtue.Meas. for Meas., ii. 2.
Most felt, least said.Proverb.
Most joyful let the poet be; / It is through him that all men see.W. E. Channing.
Most men and most women are merely one couple more.Emerson.
Most men do not know what is in them till they receive the summons from their fellows; their hearts die within them, sleep settles upon them—the lethargy of the world’s miasmata; there is nothing for which they are so thankful as for that cry, “Awake, thou that sleepest.”Ruskin.
Most men forget God all day, and ask Him to remember them at night. (?)
Most men I ask little from; I try to render them much, and to expect nothing in return, and I get very well out of the bargain.Fénelon.
Most men make the voyage of life as if they carried sealed orders which they were not to open till they were fairly in mid-ocean.Lowell.
Most men never reach the glorious epoch, that middle stage between despair and deification, in which the comprehensible appears to us common and insipid.Goethe.
Most men of action incline to fatalism, and most men of thought believe in Providence.Balzac.
Most men take no notice of what is plain, as if that were of no use; but puzzle their thoughts to be themselves in those vast depths and abysses which no human understanding can fathom.Sherlock.
Most men think indistinctly, and therefore cannot speak with exactness.Johnson.
Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?Bible.
Most men write now as if they expected that their works should live no more than a month.Lord Orford.
Most natures are insolvent; cannot satisfy their own wants, have an ambition out of all proportion to their practical force, and so do lean and beg day and night continually.Emerson.
Most of our evils come from our vices.Proverb.
Most of the appearing mirth in the world is not mirth, but art; the wounded spirit is not seen, but walks under a disguise.South.
Most of the luxuries, and many of the so-called comforts of life, are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances, to the elevation of mankind.Thoreau.
Most of the mischief in the world would never happen if men would only be content to sit still in their parlours.Pascal.
Most people think now-a-days the only hopeful way of serving your neighbour is to make a profit out of him; whereas, in my opinion, the hopefulest way of serving him is to let him make a profit out of me.Ruskin.
Most people, when they come to you for advice, come to have their own opinions strengthened, not corrected.Billings.
Most people who ask advice of others have already resolved to act as it pleases them.Knigge.
Most potent, effectual for all work whatsoever, is wise planning, firm combining and commanding among men.Carlyle.
Most powerful is he who has himself in his power.Seneca.
Most religion-mongers have bated their paradises with a bit of toasted cheese. They have tempted the body with large promises of possessions in their transmortal El Dorado.Lowell.
Most strange that men should fear, / Seeing that death, a necessary end, / Will come when it will come.Julius Cæsar, ii. 2.
Most subject is the fattest soil to weeds.2 Henry IV., iv. 4.
Most terrors are but spectral illusions.Helps.
Most things have two handles, and a wise man takes hold of the best.Proverb.
Most women have no characters at all.Pope.
Most wretched men / Are cradled into poetry by wrong; / They learn in suffering what they teach in song.Shelley.
Mot à mot—Word for word.
Mot à mot on fait les gros livres—Word by word big books are made.French Proverb.
Mot pour rire—A jest.French.
Mother, a maiden is a tender thing, / And best by her that bore her understood.Tennyson.
Mother’s darlings are but milksop heroes.Proverb.
Mother’s love is the cream of love.Proverb.
Mother’s truth keeps constant youth.Proverb.
Motives are better than actions.Bovee.
Motives are symptoms of weakness, and supplements for the deficient energy of the living principle, the law within us.Coleridge.
Motley’s the only wear.As You Like It, ii. 7.
Mots d’usage—Phrases in common use.French.
Motu proprio—Of his own accord.
Mountains interposed / Make enemies of nations, who had else / Like kindred drops being mingled into one.Cowper.
Mountains never shake hands. Their roots may touch; they may keep company some way up; but at length they part company, and rise into individual, isolated peaks. So it is with great men.Hare.