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


Honor is the moral conscience of the great.

Sir W. Davenant.

Honor lies in honest toil.

Grover Cleveland.

Honor’s a lease for life to come.

Samuel Butler.

That chastity of honor which felt a stain like a wound.


Probity is true honor.

From the Latin.

Honor, thou strong idol of man’s mind.

Sir P. Sidney.

Let us do what honor demands.


If I lose mine honor, I lose myself.


One honor won is a surety for more.

La Rochefoucauld.

The due of honor in no point omit.


What is honorable is also safest.


Posts of honor are evermore posts of danger and of care.

J. G. Holland.

Act well your part; there all the honor lies.


The strongest passion which I have is honor.


To those whose god is honor, disgrace alone is sin.

J. C. and A. W. Hare.

Purity is the feminine, truth the masculine, of honor.

J. C. and A. W. Hare.

  • When honor comes to you be ready to take it;
  • But reach not to seize it before it is near.
  • John Boyle O’Reilly.

  • The noblest spur unto the sons of fame,
  • Is thirst of honour.
  • John Hall.

  • Honor travels in a strait so narrow,
  • Where one but goes abreast: keep then the path.
  • Shakespeare.

  • If honor calls, where’er she points the way
  • The sons of honor follow, and obey.
  • Churchill.

  • We’ll shine in more substantial honours,
  • And to be noble, we’ll be good.
  • Thos. Percy.

    All is lost save honor.

    Francis I.

    As the sun breaks through the darkest clouds, so honor peereth in the meanest habit.


  • But if it be a sin to covet honour,
  • I am the most offending soul alive.
  • Shakespeare.

  • True, conscious honor is to feel no sin:
  • He’s arm’d without that’s innocent within.
  • Pope.

  • Better to die ten thousand thousand deaths,
  • Than wound my honor.
  • Addison.

    Honor is an old-world thing; but it smells sweet to those in whose hand it is strong.


    Honors achieved far exceed those that are created.


    What stronger breastplate than a heart untainted?


    Hope is a delusion; no hand can grasp a wave or a shadow.

    Victor Hugo.

    Woman’s honor, as nice as ermine, will not bear a soil.


  • I would not love thee, dear, so much,
  • Loved I not honour more.
  • Lovelace.

    Let honor be to us as strong an obligation, as necessity is to others.


    Our own heart, and not other men’s opinions, forms our true honor.


    When a virtuous man is raised, it brings gladness to his friends, grief to his enemies, and glory to his posterity.

    Ben Jonson.

    Honor is unstable, and seldom the same; for she feeds upon opinion, and is as fickle as her food.


    That nation is worthless which does not joyfully stake everything on her honor.


    The journey of high honor lies not in smooth ways.

    Sir P. Sidney.

    When about to commit a base deed, respect thyself, though there is no witness.


    There is no praise in being upright, where no one can, or tries to corrupt you.


    The giving riches and honors to a wicked man is like giving strong wine to him that hath a fever.


    Honor is like an island, rugged and without a landing-place; we can nevermore re-enter when we are once outside of it.


    Honor is the most capricious in her rewards. She feeds us with air, and often pulls down our house, to build our monument.


    Discretion and hardy valor are the twins of honor, and, nursed together, make a conqueror; divided, but a talker.

    Beaumont and Fletcher.

    Honor and fortune exist for him who always recognizes the neighborhood of the great, always feels himself in the presence of high causes.


    Unblemished honor is the flower of virtue! the vivifying soul! and he who slights it will leave the other dull and lifeless dross.


  • Honour is purchas’d by the deeds we do;
  • ***honour is not won,
  • Until some honourable deed be done.
  • Marlowe.

  • The purest treasure mortal times afford
  • Is—spotless reputation; that away,
  • Men are but gilded loam, or painted clay.
  • Shakespeare.

    Honor is like the eye, which cannot suffer the least injury without damage; it is a precious stone, the price of which is lessened by the least flaw.


    Honor is but the reflection of a man’s own actions shining bright in the face of all about him, and from thence rebounding upon himself.


  • Honour, thou blood-stained god! at whose red altar
  • Sit war and homicide; oh, to what madness
  • Will insult drive thy votaries.
  • Geo. Coleman, Jr.

  • Honour is like that glassy bubble,
  • That finds philosophers such trouble,
  • Whose least part crack’d, the whole does fly
  • And wits are crack’d to find out why.
  • Butler.

    To contemn all the wealth and power in the world, where they stand in competition with a man’s honor, is rather good sense than greatness of mind.


    High honor is not only gotten and born by pain and danger, but must be nursed by the like, else it vanisheth as soon as it appears to the world.

    Sir P. Sidney.

    The Athenians erected a large statue of Æsop, and placed him, though a slave, on a lasting pedestal, to show that the way to honor lies open indifferently to all.


    Honor is unstable, and seldom the same; for she feeds upon opinion, and is as fickle as her food. She builds a lofty structure on the sandy foundation of the esteem of those who are of all beings the most subject to change.


    What can be more honorable than to have courage enough to execute the commands of reason and conscience,—to maintain the dignity of our nature, and the station assigned us?

    Jeremy Collier.

    Keep unscathed the good name; keep out of peril the honor without which even your battered old soldier who is hobbling into his grave on half-pay and a wooden leg would not change with Achilles.


    The law of honor is a system of rules constructed by people of fashion, and calculated to facilitate their intercourse with one another.


    The sense of honor is of so fine and delicate a nature, that it is only to be met with in minds which are naturally noble, or in such as have been cultivated by good examples, or a refined education.


  • Set honor in one eye, and death i’ the other,
  • And I will look on both indifferently:
  • For, let the gods so speed me as I love
  • The name of honor more than I fear death.
  • Shakespeare.

  • Man is his own star, and the soul that can
  • Render an honest and a perfect man,
  • Commands all light, all influence, all fate;
  • Nothing to him falls early, or too late.
  • Our acts, our angels are, or good or ill,—
  • Our fatal shadows that walk by us still!
  • Fletcher.

  • A life of honor and of worth
  • Has no eternity on earth,—
  • ’Tis but a name—
  • And yet its glory far exceeds
  • That base and sensual life which leads
  • To want and shame.
  • Longfellow.

  • Honour is
  • Virtue’s allowed ascent: honour that clasps
  • All perfect justice in her arms; that craves
  • No more respect than that she gives; that does
  • Nothing but what she’ll suffer.
  • Massinger.

    To be ambitious of true honor, of the true glory and perfection of our natures, is the very principle and incentive of virtue; but to be ambitious of titles, of place, of ceremonial respects and civil pageantry, is as vain and little as the things are which we court.


  • Honour’s a sacred tie, the law of kings,
  • The noble mind’s distinguishing perfection
  • That aids and strengthens virtue where it meets her,
  • And imitates her actions where she is not:
  • It is not to be sported with.
  • Addison.

    Honor is not a virtue in itself, it is the mail behind which the virtues fight more securely. A man without honor is as maimed in his equipment as an accoutred knight without helmet. Honor is not simply truthfulness; it is truthfulness sparkling with the fire of a suspective personality. It is something more than an ornament even to the loftiest.

    George H. Calvert.

    No man of honor, as the word is usually understood, did ever pretend that his honor obliged him to be chaste or temperate, to pay his creditors, to be useful to his country, to do good to mankind, to endeavor to be wise or learned, to regard his word, his promise, or his oath.


    Your honors here may serve you for a time, as it were for an hour, but they will be of no use to you beyond this world. Nobody will have heard a word of your honors in the other life. Your glory, your shame, your ambitions, and all the treasures for which you push hard and sacrifice much will be like wreaths of smoke. For these things, which you mostly seek, and for which you spend your life, only tarry with you while you are on this side of the flood.


    Well, ’tis no matter; honor pricks me on. Yea, but how if honor prick me off, when I come on? how then? Can honor set to a leg? no: or an arm? no: or take away the grief of a wound? no: Honor hath no skill in surgery, then? no. What is honor? a word. What is in that word honor? What is that honor? air. A trim reckoning! Who hath it? he that died o’ Wednesday. Doth he feel it? no. Doth he hear it? no. ’Tis insensible, then. Yea, to the dead. But will it not live with the living? no. Why? detraction will not suffer it. Therefore, I’ll none of it. Honor is a mere scutcheon; and so ends my catechism.