C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


Let thy attyre bee comely, but not costly.


  • Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
  • But not express’d in fancy; rich, not gaudy;
  • For the apparel oft proclaims the man.
  • Shakespeare.

  • She’s adorned
  • Amply, that in her husband’s eye looks lovely—
  • The truest mirror that an honest wife
  • Can see her beauty in!
  • John Tobin.

  • Dress drains our cellar dry,
  • And keeps our larder lean; puts out our fires.
  • And introduces hunger, frost, and woe,
  • Where peace and hospitality might reign.
  • Cowper.

  • Through tatter’d clothes small vices do appear;
  • Robes and furr’d gowns hide all. Plate sin with gold,
  • And the strong lance of justice hurtless breaks;
  • Arm it in rags, a pigmy’s straw doth pierce it.
  • Shakespeare.

  • Her polish’d limbs,
  • Veil’d in a simple robe, their best attire;
  • Beyond the pomp of dress; for Loveliness
  • Needs not the foreign aid of ornament,
  • But is, when unadorn’d, adorn’d the most.
  • Thomson.

    He that is proud of the rustling of his silks, like a madman, laughs at the rattling of his fetters. For indeed, Clothes ought to be our remembrancers of our lost innocency.


  • So for thy spirit did devise
  • Its maker seemly garniture,
  • Of its own essence parcel pure—
  • From grave simplicities a dress,
  • And reticent demureness,
  • And love encinctured with reserve;
  • Which the woven vesture would subserve.
  • For outward robes in their ostents
  • Should show the soul’s habiliments.
  • Therefore I say—thou’rt fairer even so,
  • But better Fair I use to know.
  • Francis Thompson.