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


Comparisons are odious.


Comparisons do ofttime great grievance.

John Lydgate.

The superiority of some men is merely local. They are great, because their associates are little.


Like master, like man.

Chevalier Bayard.

  • In virtues nothing earthly could surpass her,
  • Save thine “incomparable oil,” Macassar!
  • Byron.

  • There’s some are fou o’ love divine,
  • There’s some are fou o’ brandy.
  • Burns.

  • Compare her face with some that I shall show,
  • And it will make thee think thy swan a crow.
  • Shakespeare.

    Thus I knew that pups are like dogs, and kids like goats; so I used to compare great things with small.


  • What, is the jay more precious than the lark,
  • Because his feathers are more beautiful?
  • Or is the adder better than the eel,
  • Because his painted skin contents the eye?
  • Shakespeare.

    When two persons do the self-same thing, it oftentimes falls out that in the one it is criminal, in the other it is not so; not that the thing itself is different, but he who does it.


    Is it possible your pragmatical worship should not know that the comparisons made between wit and wit, courage and courage, beauty and beauty, birth and birth, are always odious and ill taken?


    When the moon shone, we did not see the candle, so doth the greater glory dim the less; a substitute shines brightly as a king, until a king be by; and then his state empties itself, as doth an inland brook into the main of waters.


  • It’s wiser being good than bad;
  • It’s safer being meek than fierce:
  • It’s fitter being sane than mad.
  • My own hope is, a sun will pierce
  • The thickest cloud earth ever stretched;
  • That, after Last, returns the First,
  • Though a wide compass round be fetched;
  • That what began best, can’t end worst,
  • Nor what God blessed once, prove accurst.
  • Robert Browning.

    The botanist looks upon the astronomer as a being unworthy of his regard; and he that is growing great and happy by electrifying a bottle wonders how the world can be engaged by trifling prattle about war and peace.


    Yet why repine? I have seen mansions on the verge of Wales that convert my farm-house into a Hampton Court, and where they speak of a glazed window as a great piece of magnificence. All things figure by comparison.