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


The ripest fruit first falls.


Fruits that blossom first will first be ripe.


The ripest peach is highest on the tree.

James Whitcomb Riley.

  • The juicy pear
  • Lies, in a soft profusion, scattered round.
  • Thompson.

    As touching peaches in general, the very name in Latine whereby they are called Persica, doth evidently show that they were brought out of Persia first.


  • But the fruit that can fall without shaking,
  • Indeed is too mellow for me.
  • Lady Montagu.

    Oh, happy are the apples when the south winds blow.

    Wm. Wallace Harney.

  • The strawberry grows underneath the nettle
  • And wholesome berries thrive and ripen best
  • Neighbour’d by fruit of baser quality.
  • Shakespeare.

  • To satisfy the sharp desire I had
  • Of tasting those fair apples, I resolv’d
  • Not to defer; hunger and thirst at once
  • Powerful persuaders, quicken’d at the scent
  • Of that alluring fruit, urged me so keen.
  • Milton.

  • Superfluous branches
  • We lop away, that bearing boughs may live.
  • Shakespeare.

  • O,—fruit loved of boyhood!—the old days recalling,
  • When wood-grapes were purpling and brown nuts were falling!
  • When wild, ugly faces were carved in its skin,
  • Glaring out through the dark with a candle within!
  • When we laughed round the corn-heap, with hearts all in tune,
  • Our chair a broad pumpkin,—our lantern the moon,
  • Telling tales of the fairy who travelled like steam
  • In a pumpkin-shell coach, with two rats for her team!
  • Whittier.

    After the conquest of Afric, Greece, the lesser Asia, and Syria were brought into Italy all the sorts of their Mala, which we interprete apples, and might signify no more at first; but were afterwards applied to many other foreign fruits.

    Sir Wm. Temple.

    The flowers of life are but visionary. How many pass away and leave no trace behind! How few yield any fruit,—and the fruit itself, how rarely does it ripen! And yet there are towers enough; and is it not strange, my friend, that we should suffer the little that does really ripen to rot, decay, and perish unenjoyed?


    Nothing great is produced suddenly, since not even the grape or the fig is. If you say to me now that you want a fig, I will answer to you that it requires time: let it flower first, then put forth fruit, and then ripen.