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


Stolen sweets are best.

Colley Cibber.

Every true man’s apparel fits your thief.


In limited professions there’s boundless theft.


  • Let me tell you, Cassius, you yourself
  • Are much condemn’d to have an itching palm.
  • Shakespeare.

    O theft most base, that we have stolen what we do fear to keep!


  • Thieves for their robbery have authority
  • When judges steal themselves.
  • Shakespeare.

    A plague upon it when thieves cannot be true one to another!


  • No Indian prince has to his palace
  • More followers than a thief to the gallows.
  • Butler.

    What is dishonestly got vanishes in profligacy.


    Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind; the thief still fears each bush an officer.


  • Well, well, be it so, thou strongest thief of all,
  • For thou hast stolen my will, and made it thine.
  • Tennyson.

  • Kill a man’s family, and he may brook it,
  • But keep your hands out of his breeches’ pocket.
  • Byron.

  • The robb’d that smiles steals something from the thief;
  • He robs himself that spends a bootless grief.
  • Shakespeare.

  • He that is robb’d, not wanting what is stol’n,
  • Let him not know ’t, and he’s not robb’d at all.
  • Shakespeare.

    Whether we force the man’s property from him by pinching his stomach, or pinching his fingers, makes some difference anatomically; morally, none whatsoever.


    Virtuosi have been long remarked to have little conscience in their favorite pursuits. A man will steal a rarity who would cut off his hand rather than take the money it is worth. Yet, in fact, the crime is the same.

    Horace Walpole.

  • Stolen sweets are always sweeter:
  • Stolen kisses much completer;
  • Stolen looks are nice in chapels:
  • Stolen, stolen be your apples.
  • Thomas Randolph.

  • Nay, take my life and all, pardon not that;
  • You take my house, when you do take the prop
  • That doth sustain my house; you take my life,
  • When you do take the means whereby I live.
  • Shakespeare.

  • Shun such as lounge through afternoons and eves,
  • And on thy dial write—“Beware of thieves!”
  • Felon of minutes, never taught to feel
  • The worth of treasures which thy fingers steal;
  • Pick my left pocket of its silver dime,
  • But spare the right,—it holds my golden time.
  • O. W. Holmes.

  • Your thief looks
  • Exactly like the rest, or rather better;
  • ’Tis only at the bar, and in the dungeon,
  • That wise men know your felon by his features.
  • Byron.

  • Who steals my purse steals trash; ’tis something, nothing;
  • ’Twas mine, ’tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
  • But he that filches from me my good name
  • Robs me of that which not enriches him,
  • And makes me poor indeed.
  • Shakespeare.

  • I’ll example you with thievery:
  • The sun’s a thief, and with his great attraction
  • Robs the vast sea: the moon’s an arrant thief,
  • And her pale fire she snatches from the sun:
  • The sea’s a thief, whose liquid surge resolves
  • The moon into salt tears: the earth’s a thief,
  • That feeds and breeds by a composture stolen
  • From general excrement: each thing’s a thief.
  • Shakespeare.

  • Who, to patch up his fame—or fill his purse—
  • Still pilfers wretched plans, and makes them worse;
  • Like gypsies, lest the stolen brat be known,
  • Defacing first, then claiming for his own.
  • Churchill.

  • Thou hast stolen both mine office and my name;
  • The one ne’er got me credit, the other mickle blame.
  • Shakespeare.