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


They are not constant, but are changing still.


Nothing that is not a real crime makes a man appear so contemptible and little in the eyes of the world as inconstancy.


Inconstancy falls off ere it begins.


Ladies, like variegated tulips, show ’tis to their changes half their charms we owe.


Inconstancy is the child of satiety.

Ninon de Lenclos.

  • Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more;
  • Men were deceivers ever;
  • One foot in sea, and one on shore;
  • To one thing constant never.
  • Shakespeare.

    We pardon infidelities, but we do not forget them.

    Madame de Lafayette.

  • There are three things a wise man will not trust,—
  • The wind, the sunshine of an April day,
  • And woman’s plighted faith.
  • Southey.

  • Or as one nail by strength drives out another,
  • So the remembrance of my former love
  • Is by a newer object quite forgotten.
  • Shakespeare.

  • I hate inconstancy—I loathe, detest,
  • Abhor, condemn, abjure the mortal made
  • Of such quicksilver clay that in his breast
  • No permanent foundation can be laid.
  • Byron.

  • O, swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon,
  • That monthly changes in her circled orb,
  • Lest that thy love prove likewise variable.
  • Shakespeare.

  • The dream on the pillow,
  • That flits with the day,
  • The leaf of the willow
  • A breath wears away;
  • The dust on the blossom,
  • The spray on the sea;
  • Ay,—ask thine own bosom—
  • Are emblems of thee.
  • Miss Landon.

    Such an act, that blurs the grace and blush of modesty; calls virtue hypocrite; takes off the rose from the fair forehead of an innocent love, and sets a blister there.


    Clocks will go as they are set; but man, irregular man, is never constant, never certain.


    Love, like men, dies oftener of excess than of hunger.


  • How long must women wish in vain
  • A constant love to find?
  • No art can fickle man retain,
  • Or fix a roving mind.
  • Yet fondly we ourselves deceive,
  • And empty hopes pursue;
  • Though false to others, we believe
  • They will to us prove true.
  • Thomas Shadwell.

  • Inconstancy is but a name,
  • To fright poor lovers from a better choice.
  • Joseph Rutter.

  • Trust not the treason of those smiling looks,
  • Until ye have their guileful trains well tried;
  • For they are like but unto golden hooks,
  • That from the foolish fish their baits do hide:
  • So she with flattering smiles weak hearts doth guide
  • Unto her love, and tempt to their decay;
  • Whom, being caught, she kills with cruel pride,
  • And feeds at pleasure on the wretched prey.
  • Spenser.