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

Swearing (See Oath)

  • Take not His name, who made thy tongue in vain;
  • It gets thee nothing, and hath no excuse.
  • Herbert.

    Profane swearing never did any man any good. No man is the richer or wiser or happier for it.


    From a common custom of swearing, men easily slide into perjury; therefore, if thou wouldst not be perjured, do not use to swear.


    But if you swear by that that is not, you are not forsworn; no more was this knight, swearing by his honor, for he never had any.


    And then a whoreson jackanapes must take me up for swearing; as if I borrowed mine oaths of him, and might not spend them at my leisure.


  • When perjury, that heaven-defying vice,
  • Sells oaths by tale, and at the lowest price,
  • Stamps God’s own name upon a lie just made,
  • To turn a penny in the way of trade.
  • Cowper.

  • And hast thou sworn, on every slight pretence,
  • Till perjuries are common as bad pence,
  • While thousands, careless of the damning sin,
  • Kiss the book’s outside who ne’er look within?
  • Cowper.

    The accusing spirit, which flew up to heaven’s chancery with the oath, blushed as he gave it in; and the recording angel, as he wrote it down, dropped a tear upon the word and blotted it out forever.

    Laurence Sterne.

  • Maintain our rank, vulgarity despise,
  • To swear is neither brave, polite, nor wise,
  • You would not swear upon a bed of death—
  • Reflect—your Maker now may stop your breath.
  • Anonymous.