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


Woman is the masterpiece.


Woman is a miracle of divine contradictions.


Her step is music, and her voice is song.


Earth’s noblest thing, a woman perfected.

James Russell Lowell.

Nature intended that woman should be her masterpiece.


Women have the genius of charity.

E. W. Legouvé.

Delicacy in woman is strength.


A woman’s fitness comes by fits.


One tongue is sufficient for a woman.

Attributed to Milton.

The enigma of the nineteenth century.

Victor Hugo.

Women, like princes, find few real friends.

Lord Lyttleton.

Woman is the lesser man.


Who is it can read a woman?


When women sue, they sue to be denied.


The society of woman is the element of good manners.


There is a woman at the beginning of all great things.


If women were humbler, men would be honester.


There are few women whose charm, survives their beauty.

La Rochefoucauld.

She moves a goddess, and she looks a queen.


Fine by defect, and delicately weak.


Women see through Claude Lorraines.


Men are misers, and women prodigal, in affection.


Her stature tall—I hate a dumpy woman.


A woman is easily governed, if a man takes her in hand.

La Bruyère.

Sensibility is the power of woman.


A shameless woman is the worst of men.


What woman can resist the force of praise?


Divination seems heightened and raised to its higher power in woman.

Amos Bronson Alcott.

The crown of creation.


The woman that deliberates is lost.


A cunning woman is a knavish fool.

Lord Lyttleton.

A woman in love is a very poor judge of character.

J. G. Holland.

’T is modesty that makes them seem divine.


Woman is at best a contradiction still.


The eternal feminine doth draw us on.


Women forgive injuries, but never forget slights.

Thomas C. Haliburton.

Who does know the bent of woman’s fantasy.


A woman’s noblest station is retreat.

Lord Lyttleton.

The beauty of a lovely woman is like music.

George Eliot.

Great women belong to history and to self-sacrifice.

Leigh Hunt.

Nature is in earnest when she makes a woman.


A woman’s lot is made for her by the love she accepts.

George Eliot.

Would you hurt a woman worst, aim at her affections.

Lew Wallace.

Not for herself was woman first created, nor yet to be man’s idol, but his mate.

Mrs. Norton.

  • The sweetest noise on earth, a woman’s tongue;
  • A string which hath no discord.
  • Barry Cornwall.

    By her we first were taught the wheedling arts.


    To a gentleman every woman is a lady in right of her sex.


    The happiest women, like the happiest nations, have no history.

    George Eliot.

  • If the heart of a man is depressed with cares,
  • The mist is dispell’d when a woman appears.
  • Gay.

  • And when a lady’s in the case,
  • You know all other things give place.
  • Gay.

    A woman’s hopes are woven of sunbeams; a shadow annihilates them.

    George Eliot.

    If thou wouldest please the ladies, thou must endeavor to make them pleased with themselves.


    Woman is the Sunday of man: not his repose only, but his joy; the salt of his life.


    Woman’s grief is like a summer storm, short as it is violent.

    Joanna Baillie.

  • What mighty woes
  • To thy imperial race from woman rose.
  • Homer.

  • O woman, woman, when to ill thy mind
  • Is bent, all hell contains no fouler fiend.
  • Homer.

    The brain women never interest us like the heart women; white roses please less than red.


    Women can less easily surmount their coquetry than their passions.

    La Rochefoucauld.

    A handsome woman is a jewel; a good woman is a treasure.


  • Woman’s faith, and woman’s trust,
  • Write the characters in dust.
  • Scott.

    Woman has this in common with angels, that suffering beings belong especially to her.


  • Be to her virtues very kind;
  • Be to her faults a little blind.
  • Prior.

    But what is woman? Only one of nature’s agreeable blunders.


    Honor women! They strew celestial roses on the pathway of our terrestrial life.


  • If you resent, and wish a woman ill,
  • But turn her o’er one moment to her will.
  • Young.

  • Women were made to give our eyes delight;
  • A female sloven is an odious sight.
  • Young.

    To speak but little becomes a woman; and she is best adorned who is in plain attire.


    Women are a new race, recreated since the world received Christianity.


    It is against womanhood to be forward in their own wishes.

    Sir P. Sidney.

    Women have more heart and more imagination than men.


    There are in woman’s eyes two sorts of tears,—the one of grief, the other of deceit.


    Men who flatter women do not know them; men who abuse them know them still less.

    Mme. de Salm.

    Women have a genius for love; men can only learn the art indifferently.

    De Maistre.

    The pearl is the image of purity, but woman is purer than the pearl.


    Woman, last at the cross, and earliest at the grave.

    E. S. Barrett.

    Where would the power of women be, were it not for the vanity of men?

    Marie Ebner-Eschenbach.

    Women are extreme in all points. They are better or worse than men.

    La Bruyère.

  • The world was sad!—the garden was a wild!
  • And man, the hermit, sigh’d—till woman smiled.
  • Campbell.

    The test of civilization is the estimate of woman.

    George W. Curtis.

    A woman needs a stronger head than her own for counsel—she should marry.


  • What’s a table richly spread
  • Without a woman at its head?
  • T. Wharton.

    Pretty women without religion are like flowers without perfume.

    Heinrich Heine.

    The desire to please everything having eyes seems inborn in maidens.

    Salamon Gessner.

  • What could a woman’s head contrive
  • Which it would not know how to excuse?
  • Lessing.

    Honor women! they entwine and weave heavenly roses in our earthly life.


    A noble man is led by woman’s gentle words.


    A woman is always changeable and capricious.


    A woman, and by so much nearer heaven as that makes one.


    A woman either loves or hates; she knows no medium.


    Women that are the least bashful are often the most modest.


    Where women are, the better things are implied if not spoken.

    A. Bronson Alcott.

    Women especially as to be talked to as below men, and above children.

    Lord Chesterfield.

    The woman in us still prosecutes a deceit like that begun in the garden.


    A clever woman has millions of born foes,—all stupid men.

    Marie Ebner-Eschenbach.

    A woman is seldom roused to great and courageous exertion but when something most dear to hear is in immediate danger.

    Joanna Baillie.

    Wretched, un-idea’d girls.

    Sam’l Johnson.

    There are female women, and there are male women.

    Charles Buxton.

    Men at most differ as heaven and earth: but women, worst and best, as heaven and hell.


    Very few men understand the true significance of contentment; women alone illustrate it.

    Mme. Deluzy.

    She is not made to be the admiration of everybody, but the happiness of one.


    Women are never stronger than when they arm themselves with their weakness.

    Madame du Deffand.

  • And whether coldness, pride, or virtue, dignify
  • A woman; so she’s good, what does it signify?
  • Byron.

    When she had passed, it seemed like the ceasing of exquisite music.


    ’Tis the greatest misfortune in nature for a woman to want a confidant.


    If there be any one whose power is in beauty, in purity, in goodness, it is a woman.

    Henry Ward Beecher.

  • What will not woman, gentle woman, dare,
  • When strong affection stirs her spirit up.
  • Southey.

    Woman, once made, equal to man, becometh his superior.


    A little, tiny, pretty, witty, charming darling she.


    The heart of true womanhood knows where its own sphere is, and never seeks to stray beyond it!


  • Heaven gave to woman the peculiar grace
  • To spin, to weep, and cully human race.
  • Pope.

    Women are like pictures: of no value in the hands of a fool till he hears men of sense bid high for the purchase.


  • Woman! thou loveliest gift that here below
  • Man can receive, or Providence bestow.
  • Praed.

    The foundation of domestic happiness is faith in the virtue of woman.


    Most women indulge in idle gossip, which is the henchman of rumor and scandal.

    Octave Feuillet.

    A woman set on anything will walk right through the moral crockery without wincing.

    C. D. Warner.

    The taste forever refines in the study of women.

    N. P. Willis.

    A wretched woman is more unfortunate than a wretched man.

    Victor Hugo.

    Oh, pearl of all things, woman! Adored be the artist who created thee!


    Man forms and educates the world; but woman educates man.

    Julie Burow.

    A good woman is a hidden treasure; who discovers her will do well not to boast about it.

    La Rochefoucauld.

    Woman is the salvation or destruction of the family. She carries its destinies in the folds of her mantle.


    All the women in the world would not make me lose an hour.

    Napoleon I.

    There is no jewel in the world so valuable as a chaste and virtuous woman.


    The purer the golden vessel, the more readily is it bent; the higher worth of women is sooner lost than that of men.


    If we require more perfection from women than from ourselves, it is doing them honor.

    Dr. Johnson.

    It is valueless to a woman to be young unless pretty, or to be pretty unless young.

    La Rochefoucauld.

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


    And whispering, “I will ne’er consent”—consented.


  • Woman’s love is writ in water!
  • Woman’s faith is traced on sand!
  • W. E. Aytoun.

  • Thou art a woman,
  • And that is saying the best and worst of thee.
  • Bailey.

    For the nature of women is closely allied to art.


    In matters of business, no woman stops at integrity.

    Dr. Johnson.

  • O woman! thou wert fashioned to beguile:
  • So have all sages said, all poets sung.
  • Jean Ingelow.

    Woman is a flower that breathes its perfume in the shade only.


  • I’ve seen your stormy seas and stormy women,
  • And pity lovers rather more than seamen.
  • Byron.

  • A rosebud set with little wilful thorns,
  • And sweet as English air could make her, she.
  • Tennyson.

  • Maids must be wives and mothers, to fulfil
  • Th’ entire and holiest end of woman’s being.
  • Frances Anne Kemble.

    Most women will forgive an insult rather than a slight.


  • How the best state to know?—it is found out
  • Like the best woman;—that least talked about.
  • Schiller.

    Woman is like the reed which bends to every breeze, but breaks not in the tempest.


    There is no gown or garment that worse becomes a woman than when she will be wise.

    Martin Luther.

    Most men like in women what is most opposite their own characters.


  • We cannot fight for love, as men may do;
  • We should be woo’d, and were not made to woo.
  • Shakespeare.

  • He bears an honorable mind,
  • And will not use a woman lawlessly.
  • Shakespeare.

  • If ladies be but young and fair,
  • They have the gift to know it.
  • Shakespeare.

  • She is a woman, therefore may be woo’d;
  • She is a woman, therefore may be won.
  • Shakespeare.

  • Ah me, how weak a thing
  • The heart of woman is!
  • Shakespeare.

  • Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale
  • Her infinite variety.
  • Shakespeare.

    A child of our grandmother Eve, a female; or, for thy more sweet understanding, a woman.


  • Women are soft, mild, pitiful, and flexible;
  • Thou, stern, obdurate, flinty, rough, remorseless.
  • Shakespeare.

    Women are the poetry of the world, in the same sense as the stars are the poetry of heaven.


  • O most delicate fiend!
  • Who is’t can read a woman?
  • Shakespeare.

  • A woman impudent and mannish grown
  • Is not more loath’d than an effiminate man.
  • Shakespeare.

    Fear and niceness, the handmaids of all women, or more truly, woman its pretty self.


  • Grace was in all her steps, heaven in her eye,
  • In every gesture dignity and love.
  • Milton.

  • Have you not heard it said full oft,
  • A woman’s nay doth stand for nought?
  • Shakespeare.

    They are the books, the arts, the academies, that show, contain, and nourish all the world.


    Kindness in woman, not their beauteous looks, shall win my love.


  • My latest found,
  • Heaven’s last best gift, thy ever new delight!
  • Milton.

  • A woman mov’d is like a fountain troubled,
  • Muddy, ill-seeming, thick, bereft of beauty.
  • Shakespeare.

  • For nothing lovelier can be found
  • In woman, than to study household good.
  • Milton.

    It is loss difficult for a woman to obtain celebrity by her genius than to be forgiven for it.


  • She was his life,
  • The ocean to the river of his thoughts,
  • Which terminated all.
  • Byron.

    There are three things I have always loved and never understood,—paintings, music, and woman.


  • But O ye lords of ladies intellectual,
  • Inform us truly, have they not henpecked you all?
  • Byron.

    A beautiful woman without principles may be likened to those fair but rootless flowers which float in streams, driven by every breeze.

    Lady Blessington.

    They govern the world, these sweet-lipped women, because beauty is the index of a larger fact than wisdom.

    O. W. Holmes.

    Woman is mistress of the art of completely imbittering the life of the person on whom she depends.


    Women have, in general, but one object, which is their beauty; upon which scarce any flattery is too gross for them.


    Just corporeal enough to attest humanity, yet sufficiently transparent to let the celestial origin shine through.


    When a woman hath ceased to be quite the same to us, it matters little how different she becomes.


    As soon as she begins to be ashamed of what she ought not, she will not be ashamed of what she ought.


    She is like ivy, which grows beautifully so long as it twines round a tree, but is of no use when separated.


    Where woman is held in honor, there the gods are well pleased; where she receives no honor, all holy acts are void and fruitless.


    A woman’s faults, be they never so small, cast a shadow which all her virtues cannot dispel.

    Achilles Poincelot.

    Woman is superlative; the best leader in life, the best guide in happy days, the best consoler in sorrow.


    There is on earth no greater treasure or more desirable possession for man, than a woman who truly loves him.


    All women are, in some degree, poets in imagination, angels in heart, and diplomatists in mind.

    Emmanuel Gonzales.

    Endurance is the prerogative of woman, enabling the gentlest to suffer what would cause terror to manhood.


    The honor of woman is badly guarded when it is guarded by keys and spies. No woman is honest who does not wish to be.

    Adrian Dupuy.

    If you would know the political and moral condition of a people, ask as to the position of its women.


    A clever, ugly man every now and then is successful with the ladies; but a handsome fool is irresistible.


    Never expect women to be sincere, so long as they are educated to think that their first aim in life is to please.

    Marie Ebner-Eschenbach.

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


    Women equitable, logical, and utterly just! Mercy upon us! If they were, population would cease, the world would be a howling wilderness.


    A woman possessing nothing but outward advantages is like a flower without fragrance, a tree without fruit.


    All a woman has to do in this world is contained within the duties of a daughter, a sister, a wife and a mother.


    He ploughs the waves, sows the sands, and hopes to gather the wind in a net, who places his hopes on the heart of woman.


    A clever woman often compromises her husband; a stupid woman only compromises herself.


    Women do not transgress the bounds of decorum so often as men; but when they do, they go greater lengths.


    Woman’s power is over the affections. A beautiful dominion is hers, but she risks its forfeiture when she seeks to extend it.


  • Bestrew my heart, but it is wond’rous strange;
  • Sure there is something more than witchcraft in them,
  • That masters ev’n the wisest of us all.
  • Rowe.

  • A pretty woman’s worth some pains to see,
  • Nor is she spoiled, I take it, if a crown
  • Completes the forehead pale and tresses pure.
  • Robert Browning.

    A woman’s heart is just like a lithographer’s stone,—what is once written upon it cannot be rubbed out.


    As for the women, though we scorn and flout them, we may live with, but cannot live without them.


    A young man rarely gets a better vision of himself than that which is reflected from a true woman’s eyes; for God Himself sits behind them.

    J. G. Holland.

  • Men, some to business, some to pleasure take,
  • *****
  • Men, some to quiet, some to public strife,
  • But every lady would be queen for life.
  • Pope.

    Happiness lends poetic charms to woman, and dress adorns her like a delicate tinge of rouge.


    Most of their faults women owe to us, whilst we are indebted to them for most of our better qualities.

    Charles Lemesle.

    A tact which surpassed the tact of her sex as much as the tact of her sex surpasses the tact of ours.


    The empire of woman is an empire of softness, of address, of complacency. Her commands are caresses, her menaces are tears.


    The world is the book of women. Whatever knowledge they may possess is more commonly acquired by observation than by reading.


    A woman may be ugly, ill-shaped, wicked, ignorant, silly, and stupid, but hardly ever ridiculous.

    Louis Desnoyers.

    Women are engaged to men by the favors they grant them; men are disengaged by the same favors.

    La Bruyère.

    The errors of women spring almost always from her faith in the good or her confidence in the true.


    O woman! in ordinary cases so mere a mortal, how, in the great and rare events of life, dost thou swell into the angel!


    Women have more strength in their looks than we have in our laws, and more power by their tears, than we have by our arguments.


    Women see through and through each other; and often we most admire her whom they most scorn.

    Charles Buxton.

    There is in every true woman’s heart a spark of heavenly fire, which beams and blazes in the dark hours of adversity.

    Washington Irving.

    Our sex bears the disgrace not only of a great deal of genuine poltroonery, but also of much which is mere affectation.

    Frances Power Cobbe.

    Women should be doubly careful of their conduct, since appearances often injure them as much as faults.

    Abbé Girard.

    What we call in men wisdom is in women prudence. It is a partiality to call one greater than the other.


    The world is so unjust that a female heart which has been once touched is thought forever blemished.


    God has placed the genius of women in their hearts, because the works of this genius are always works of love.


    The woman who is resolved to be respected can make herself so even amidst an army of soldiers.


    It makes sweet human music,—oh! the spells that haunt the trembling tale a bright-eyed maiden tells!

    Edwin Arnold.

    And when a woman says she loves a man, the man must hear her, though he love her not.

    Mrs. Browning.

    It goes far to reconciling me to being a woman when I reflect that I am thus in no danger of ever marrying one.

    Lady Montagu.

    The wisest woman you talk with is ignorant of something that you know, but an elegant woman never forgets her elegance.


    Every blue-stocking will remain a spinster as long as there are sensible men on the earth.


    A bluestocking is the scourge of her husband, children, friends, servants, and every one.


    Women wish to be loved without a why or a wherefore; not because they are pretty, or good, or well-bred, or graceful, or intelligent, but because they are themselves.


    I am very fond of the company of ladies. I like their beauty, I like their delicacy, I like their vivacity, and I like their silence.

    Samuel Johnson.

  • Are women books? says Hodge, then would mine were
  • An Almanack, to change her every year.
  • Benjamin Franklin.

    For silence and a chaste reserve is woman’s genuine praise, and to remain quiet within the house.


    A woman too often reasons from her heart; hence two-thirds of her mistakes and her troubles.


    Next to God, we are indebted to women, first for life itself, and then for making it worth having.


  • She hugg’d the offender, and forgave the offence;
  • Sex to the last.
  • Dryden.

  • My only books
  • Were woman’s looks,
  • And folly’s all they’ve taught me.
  • Moore.

    Women are like thermometers, which on a sudden application of heat sink at first a few degrees, as a preliminary to rising a good many.


    A woman’s best qualities do not reside in her intellect, but in her affections. She gives refreshment by her sympathies, rather than by her knowledge.

    Samuel Smiles.

    I know the nature of women. When you will, they will not; when you will not, they come of their own accord.


    She hath a natural wise sincerity, a simple truthfulness, and these have lent her a dignity as moveless as the centre.


    I have often thought that the nature of women was inferior to that of men in general, but superior in particular.

    Lord Greville.

  • Loveliest of women! heaven is in thy soul,
  • Beauty and virtue shine forever round thee,
  • Brightening each other! them art all divine.
  • Addison.

  • Men can be great when great occasions call:
  • In little duties women find their spheres,
  • The narrow cares that cluster round the hearth.
  • R. H. Stoddard.

  • A woman mixed of such fine elements
  • That were all virtue and religion dead
  • She’d make them newly, being what she was.
  • George Eliot.

  • How sweetly sounds the voice of a good woman!
  • It is so seldom heard, that, when it speaks,
  • It ravishes all senses.
  • Massinger.

  • A woman’s rank
  • Lies in the fulness of her womanhood:
  • Therein alone she is royal.
  • George Eliot.

  • ’Tis beauty, that doth oft make women proud;
  • *****
  • ’Tis virtue, that doth make them most admired;
  • *****
  • ’Tis government, that makes them seem divine.
  • Shakespeare.

    A woman is the most inconsistent compound of obstinacy and self-sacrifice that I am acquainted with.


    One woman is fair; yet I am well: another is wise; yet I am well: another virtuous; yet I am well. But till all graces be in one woman, one woman shall not come in my grace.


    Men’s hearts and faces are always wide asunder; women’s are not only in close connection, but are mirror-like in the instant power of reflection.


  • Offend her, and she knows not to forgive;
  • Oblige her, and she’ll hate you while you live.
  • Pope.

  • O loving woman, man’s fulfillment, sweet,
  • Completing him not otherwise complete!
  • How void and useless the sad remnant left
  • Were he of her, his nobler part, bereft.
  • Abraham Coles.

  • Without our hopes, without our fears,
  • Without the home that plighted love endears,
  • Without the smile from partial beauty won,
  • Oh! what were man?—a world without a sun.
  • Campbell.

    Pleasure is to women what the sun is to the flower; if moderately enjoyed, it beautifies, it refreshes, and it improves; if immoderately, it withers, deteriorates and destroys.


    Women are much more like each other than men: they have, in truth, but two passions, vanity and love; these are their universal characteristics.


    A virtuous mind in a fair body is indeed a fine picture in a good light, and therefore it is no wonder that it makes the beautiful sex all aver charms.


  • On one she smiled, and he was blest;
  • She smiles elsewhere—we make a din!
  • But ’twas not love which heaved her breast,
  • Fair child!—it was the bliss within.
  • Matthew Arnold.

  • Thy daughters bright thy walks adorn,
  • Gay as the gilded summer sky,
  • Sweet as the dewy milk-white thorn,
  • Dear as the ruptured thrill of joy.
  • Burns.

  • You forget too much
  • That every creature, female as the male,
  • Stands single in responsible act and thought,
  • As also in birth and death.
  • E. B. Browning.

    The majority of women have no principles of their own; they are guided by the heart, and depend for their own conduct, upon that of the men they love.


  • To see her is to love her,
  • And love but her forever;
  • For nature made her what she is,
  • And never made anither!
  • Burns.

  • Auld nature swears, the lovely dears
  • Her noblest work she classes, O;
  • Her ’prentice han’ she tried on man,
  • And then she made the lasses, O.
  • Burns.

  • Oh, Woman, perfect woman! what distraction
  • Was meant to mankind when thou wast made a devil!
  • What an inviting hell invented.
  • Beaumont and Fletcher.

  • The souls of women are so small,
  • That some believe they’ve none at all;
  • Or, if they have, like cripples, still
  • They’ve but one faculty, the will.
  • Butler.

  • But she was a soft landscape of mild earth,
  • Where all was harmony, and calm, and quiet,
  • Luxuriant, budding; cheerful without mirth.
  • Byron.

  • A tigress robb’d of young, a lioness,
  • Or any interesting beast or prey,
  • Are similes at hand for the distress
  • Of ladies who cannot have their own way.
  • Byron.

  • Some waltz; some draw; some fathom the abyss
  • Of metaphysics; others are content
  • With music; the most moderate shine as wits,
  • While others have a genius turn’d for fits.
  • Byron.

    I am resolved to grow fat and look young till forty, and then slip out of the world with the first wrinkle and the reputation of five and twenty.


    What furniture can give such finish to a room as a tender woman’s face? and is there any harmony of tints that has such stirrings of delight as the sweet modulations of her voice?

    George Eliot.

    Women never truly command till they have given their promise to obey; and they are never in more danger of being made slaves than when the men are at their feet.


    To describe women, the pen should be dipped in the humid colors of the rainbow, and the paper dried with the dust gathered from the wings of a butterfly.


    To think of the part one little woman can play in the life of a man, so that to renounce her may be a very good imitation of heroism, and to win her may be a discipline.

    George Eliot.

    Let men say what they will; according to the experience I have learned, I require in married women the economical virtue above all other virtues.


    If thou wouldst hear what seemly is and fit, inquire of noble woman; they can tell, who in life’s common usage hold their place by graceful deed and aptly chosen word.


    At present the most valuable gift which can be bestowed on women is something to do, which they can do well and worthily, and thereby maintain themselves.

    James A. Garfield.

  • I am a woman—therefore I may not
  • Call to him, cry to him,
  • Fly to him,
  • Bid him delay not!
  • R. W. Gilder.

  • When lovely woman stoops to folly,
  • And finds too late that men betray,
  • What charm can soothe her melancholy?
  • What art can wash her guilt away?
  • Goldsmith.

  • First, then, a woman will, or won’t, depend on’t;
  • If she will do’t, she will; and there’s an end on’t.
  • But if she won’t, since safe and sound your trust is,
  • Fear is affront, and jealousy injustice.
  • Aaron Hill.

    Women of forty always fancy they have found the Fountain of Youth, and that they remain young in the midst of the ruins of their day.

    Arsène Houssaye.

    Teach him to live unto God and unto thee; and he will discover that women, like the plants in woods, derive their softness and tenderness from the shade.


  • When greater perils men environ,
  • Then women show a front of iron;
  • And, gentle in their manner, they
  • Do bold things in a quiet way.
  • Thomas Dunn English.

  • And where she went, the flowers took thickest root,
  • As she had sow’d them with her odorous foot.
  • Ben Jonson.

    I never addressed myself in the language of decency and friendship to a woman, whether civilized or savage, without receiving a decent and friendly answer.


  • A Lady with a lamp shall stand
  • In the great history of the land,
  • A noble type of good,
  • Heroic womanhood.
  • Longfellow.

  • Oh! why did God,***create at last
  • *****
  • This novelty on earth, this fair defect
  • Of nature, and not fill the world at once
  • With men as angels without feminine.
  • Milton.

  • O fairest of creation! last and best
  • Of all God’s works! creature in whom excell’d
  • Whatever can to sight or thought be form’d
  • Holy, divine, good, amiable, or sweet!
  • Milton.

  • O woman, born first to believe us;
  • Yea, also born first to forget;
  • Born first to betray and deceive us,
  • Yet first to repent and regret.
  • Joaquin Miller.

  • O woman! whose form and whose soul
  • Are the spell and the light of each path we pursue;
  • Whether sunn’d in the tropics, or chill’d at the pole,
  • If woman be there, there is happiness too.
  • Moore.

    There is nothing by which I have, through life, more profited by than the just observations, the good opinion, and the sincere and gentle encouragement of amiable and sensible women.


    O, if the loving, closed heart of a good woman should open before a man, how much controlled tenderness, how many veiled sacrifices and dumb virtues, would he see reposing therein?


  • Angels listen when she speaks;
  • She’s my delight, all mankind’s wonder;
  • But my jealous heart would break
  • Should we live one day asunder.
  • Earl of Rochester.

  • Women, like summer storms, awhile are cloudy,
  • Burst out in thunder and impetuous showers:
  • But straight the sun of beauty dawns abroad,
  • And all the fair horizon is serene.
  • Rowe.

    Women have many faults, but of the many this is the greatest, that they please themselves too much, and give too little attention to pleasing the men.


  • And yet believe me, good as well as ill,
  • Woman’s at best a contradiction still.
  • Heaven, when it strives to polish all it can
  • Its last best work, but forms a softer man.
  • Pope.

    To the disgrace of men it is seen that there are women both more wise to judge what evil is expected, and more constant to bear it when it is happened.

    Sir P. Sidney.

  • One moral’s plain—without more fuss;
  • Man’s social happiness all rests on us;
  • Through all the drama—whether damn’d or not—
  • Love gilds the scene, and women guide the plot.
  • Sheridan.

    The prevailing manners of an age depend, more than we are aware of, or are willing to allow, on the conduct of the women; this is one of the principal things on which the great machine of human society turns.


  • Why are our bodies soft, and weak, and smooth,
  • Unapt to toil and trouble in the world,
  • But that our soft conditions, and our hearts,
  • Should well agree with our external parts.
  • Shakespeare.

    However we do praise ourselves, our fancies are more giddy and unfirm, more longing, wavering, sooner lost and won, than women’s are.


  • Fair ladies mask’d are roses in their bud:
  • Dismask’d, their damask sweet commixture shown,
  • Are angels veiling clouds, or roses blown.
  • Shakespeare.

  • If, one by one, you wedded all the world,
  • Or from the all that are took something good.
  • To make a perfect woman, she you kill’d
  • Would be unparallel’d.
  • Shakespeare.

    I thank God I am not a woman, to be touched with so many giddy offences as He hath generally taxed their whole sex withal.


    Make the doors upon a woman’s wit, and it will out at the casement; shut that, and it will out at the key-hole; that, it will fly with the smoke out at the chimney.


  • I grant I am a woman, but withal,
  • A woman that Lord Brutus took to wife:
  • I grant I am a woman; but withal
  • A woman well-reputed; Cato’s daughter.
  • Shakespeare.

    They never reason, or, if they do, they either draw correct inferences from wrong premises or wrong inferences from correct premises; and they always poke the fire from the top.


  • As pure and sweet, her fair brow seemed
  • Eternal as the sky:
  • And like the brook’s low song, her voice,—
  • A sound which could not die.
  • Whittier.

  • Sweet promptings unto kindest deeds
  • Were in her very look;
  • We read her face, as one who reads
  • A true and holy book.
  • Whittier.

  • She was a soft landscape of mild earth,
  • Where all was harmony, and calm, and quiet,
  • Luxuriant, budding; cheerful without mirth,
  • Which, if not happiness, is much more nigh it
  • Than are your mighty passions.
  • Byron.

    No amount of preaching, exhortation, sympathy, benevolence, will render the condition of our working-women what it should be so long as the kitchen and the needle are substantially their only resources.

    Horace Greeley.

  • Then, my good girls, be more than women, wise;
  • At least be more than I was; and be sure
  • You credit anything the light gives life to,
  • Before a man.
  • Beaumont and Fletcher.

  • Woman, they say, was only made of man;
  • Methinks ’tis strange they should be so unlike!
  • It may be all the best was cut away,
  • To make the woman, and the naught was left
  • Behind with him.
  • Beaumont and Fletcher.

  • A woman’s counsel brought us first to woe,
  • And made her man his paradise forego,
  • Where at heart’s ease he liv’d; and might have been
  • As free from sorrow as he was from sin.
  • Dryden.

  • They the royal-hearted women are
  • Who nobly love the noblest, yet have grace
  • For needy suffering lives in lowliest place,
  • Carrying a choicer sunlight in their smile,
  • The heavenliest ray that pitieth the vile.
  • George Eliot.

    O woman! woman! thou shouldest have few sins of thine own to answer for! Thou art the author of such a book of follies in a man that it would need the tears of all the angels to blot the record out.


    Nature has given women two painful but heavenly gifts, which distinguish them, and often raise them above human nature,—compassion and enthusiasm. By compassion, they devote themselves; by enthusiasm they exalt themselves.


  • Yet when I approach
  • Her loveliness, of absolute she seems,
  • And in herself complete; so well to know
  • Her own, that what she wills to do or say,
  • Seems wisest, virtuousest, discreetest, best.
  • Milton.

    Nature sent women into the world with this bridal dower of love, for this reason, that they might be, what their destination is, mothers, and love children, to whom sacrifices must ever be offered, and from whom none are to be obtained.


    The woman must not belong to herself; she is bound to alien destinies. But she performs her part best who can take freely of her own choice, the alien to her heart, can bear and foster it with sincerity and love.


    Woman is the highest, holiest, most precious gift to man. Her mission and throne is the family, and if anything is withheld that would make her more efficient, useful, or happy in that sphere, she is wronged, and has not her rights.

    John Todd.

  • A maid
  • That paragons description and wild fame;
  • One that excels the quirks of blazoning pens,
  • And in the essential vesture of creation
  • Does tire the ingener.
  • Shakespeare.

  • Her sighs will make a battery in his breast;
  • Her tears will pierce into a marble heart;
  • The tiger will be mild whiles she doth mourn;
  • And Nero will be tainted with remorse,
  • To hear and see her plaints.
  • Shakespeare.

    I have often reflected within myself on this unaccountable humor in womankind, of being smitten with everything that is showy and superficial; and on the numberless evils that befall the sex from this light fantastical disposition.


  • What a strange thing is man! and what a stranger
  • Is woman! What a whirlwind is her head,
  • And what a whirlpool full of depth and danger
  • Is all the rest about her.
  • Byron.

  • A worthless woman! mere cold clay
  • As all false things are! but so fair,
  • She takes the breath of men away
  • Who gaze upon her unaware:
  • I would not play her larcenous tricks
  • To have her looks!
  • E. B. Browning.

    An inconstant woman is one who is no longer in love; a false woman is one who is already in love with another person; a fickle woman is she who neither knows whom she loves nor whether she loves or not; and the indifferent woman, one who does not love at all.

    La Bruyère.

    Man has subdued the world, but woman has subdued man. Mind and muscle have won his victories; love and loveliness have gained hers. No monarch has been so great, no peasant so lowly, that he has not been glad to lay his best at the feet of a woman.

    Gail Hamilton.

  • Her air, her manners, all who saw admired;
  • Courteous though coy, and gentle, though retired:
  • The joy of youth and health her eyes display’d,
  • And ease of heart her every look convey’d.
  • Crabbe.

    Man pays deference to woman instinctively, involuntarily, not because she is beautiful or truthful or wise or foolish or proper, but because she is a woman, and he cannot help it. If she descends, he will lower to her level; if she rises, he will rise to her height.

    Gail Hamilton.

    Some are so uncharitable as to think all women bad, and others are so credulous as to believe they are all good. All will grant her corporeal frame more wonderful and more beautiful than man’s. And can we think God would put a worse soul into a better body?


    A woman’s whole life is a history of the affections. The heart is her world: it is there her ambition strives for empire; it is there her avarice seeks for hidden treasures. She sends forth her sympathies on adventure; she embarks her whole soul in the traffic of affection; and, if shipwrecked, her case is hopeless—for it is a bankruptcy of the heart.


    Whatever littleness and vanity is to be observed in the minds of women, it is, like the cruelty of butchers, a temper that is wrought into them by that life which they are taught and accustomed to lead.

    William Law.

    For if a young lady has that discretion and modesty, without which all knowledge is little worth, she will never make an ostentatious parade of it, because she will rather be intent on acquiring more, than on displaying what she has.

    Hannah More.

    A female heart is often like marble: the cunning stone cutter strikes a thousand blows without the Parian block showing the line of a crack; but all at once it breaks asunder into the very form which the cunning stone cutter has so long been hammering after.


  • Ladies, stock and tend your hive,
  • Trifle not at thirty-five;
  • For, howe’er we boast and strive,
  • Life declines from thirty-five;
  • He that ever hopes to thrive
  • Must begin by thirty-five.
  • Sam’l Johnson.

    She who makes her husband and her children happy, who reclaims the one from vice, and trains up the other to virtue, is a greater character than ladies described in romance, whose whole occupation is to murder mankind with their eyes.


  • O woman! lovely woman! Nature made thee
  • To temper man; we had been brutes without you.
  • Angels are painted fair to look like you:
  • There’s in you all that we believe of heaven,
  • Amazing brightness, purity, and truth,
  • Eternal joy, and everlasting love.
  • Otway.

  • O! bless’d with temper, whose unclouded ray
  • Can make to-morrow cheerful as to-day;
  • She who can own a sister’s charms, or hear
  • Sighs for a daughter with unwounded ear;
  • She who ne’er answers till a husband cools,
  • Of, if she rules him, never shows she rules.
  • Pope.

    Women govern us; let us render them perfect: the more they are enlightened, so much the more shall we be. On the cultivation of the mind of women depends the wisdom of men. It is by women that nature writes on the hearts of men.


    With soft, persuasive prayers woman wields the sceptre of the life which she charmeth; she lulls the discord which roars and glows,—teaches the fierce powers which hate each other like fiends to embrace in the bonds of love, and draws together what are forever flying asunder.


    The Christian religion alone contemplates the conjugal union in the order of nature; it is the only religion which presents woman to man as a companion; every other abandons her to him as a slave. To religion alone do European women owe their liberty.

    St. Pierre.

  • Our grandsire, ere of Eve possess’d,
  • Alone, and e’en in Paradise unblest,
  • With mournful looks the blissful scenes survey’d,
  • And wander’d in the solitary shade;
  • The Maker saw, took pity, and bestow’d
  • Woman, the last, the best reserv’d of God.
  • Pope.

  • O woman! in our hours of ease,
  • Uncertain, coy, and hard to please,
  • And variable as the shade
  • By the light quivering aspen made;
  • When pain and anguish wring the brow,
  • A ministering angel thou!
  • Walter Scott.

    Her passions are made of nothing but the finest part of pure love. We cannot call her winds and waters, sighs and tears; they are greater storms and tempests than almanacs can report. This cannot be cunning in her. If it be, she makes a shower of rain as well as Jove.


  • Never give her o’er;
  • For scorn at first makes after-love the more.
  • If she do frown, ’tis not in hate of you,
  • But rather to beget more love in you;
  • If she do chide, ’tis not to have you gone,
  • For why, the fools are mad if left alone.
  • Shakespeare.

  • Frailty, thy name is woman!—
  • A little month, or ere those shoes were old
  • With which she follow’d my poor father’s body,
  • Like Niobe, all tears;—why she, even she,
  • ***married with my uncle.
  • Shakespeare.

  • Women have tongues of craft, and hearts of guile,
  • They will, they will not; fools that on them trust;
  • For in their speech is death, hell in their smile.
  • Tasso.

    Christmas lifted woman to a new place in the world. And just in proportion as Christianity has sway, will she rise to a higher dignity in human life. What she has now, and what she shall have, of privilege and true honor, she owes to that gospel which took those qualities peculiarly and which had been counted weak and unworthy, and gave them a divine glory in Christ.

    Herrick Johnson.

    Without religion, man is an atheist, woman is a monster. As daughter, sister, wife and mother, she holds in her hands, under God, the destinies of humanity. In the hours of gloom and sorrow we look to her for sympathy and comfort. Where shall she find strength for trial, comfort for sorrow, save in that gospel which has given a new meaning to the name of “mother,” since it rested on the lips of the child Jesus?

    Bishop Whipple.

  • The life of woman is full of woe,
  • Toiling on and on and on,
  • With breaking heart, and tearful eyes,
  • The secret longings that arise,
  • Which this world never satisfies!
  • Some more, some less, but of the whole
  • Not one quite happy, no, not one!
  • Longfellow.

  • The very first
  • Of human life must spring from woman’s breast:
  • Your first small words are taught you from her lips;
  • Your first tears quench’d by her, and your last sighs
  • Too often breath’d out in a woman’s hearing,
  • When men have shrunk from the ignoble care
  • Of watching the last hour of him who led them.
  • Byron.

    Women in health are the hope of the nation. Men who exercise a controlling influence—the master spirits—with a few exceptions, have had country-born mothers. They transmit to their sons those traits of character which give stability to institutions, and promote order, security and justice.

    Dr. J. V. C. Smith.

    I have often had occasion to remark the fortitude with which women sustain the most overwhelming reverses of fortune. Those disasters which break down the spirit of a man and prostrate him in the dust seem to call forth all the energies of the softer sex, and give such intrepidity and elevation to their character that at times it approaches to sublimity.

    Washington Irving.

  • Say that she rail, why then I’ll tell her plain
  • She sings as sweetly as a nightingale;
  • Say that she frown; I’ll say she looks as clear
  • As morning roses newly wash’d with dew;
  • Say she be mute and will not speak a word;
  • Then I’ll commend her volubility,
  • And say she uttereth piercing eloquence.
  • Shakespeare.

    A woman is sometimes fugitive, irrational, indeterminable, illogical and contradictory. A great deal of forbearance ought to be shown her, and a good deal of prudence exercised with regard to her, for she may bring about innumerable evils without knowing it. Capable of all kinds of devotion, and of all kinds of treason, “monster incomprehensible,” raised to the second power, she is at once the delight and the terror of man.


  • To chase the clouds of life’s tempestuous hours,
  • To strew its short but weary way with flow’rs,
  • New hopes to raise, new feelings to impart,
  • And pour celestial balsam on the heart;
  • For this to man was lovely woman giv’n,
  • The last, best work, the noblest gift of Heav’n.
  • Thomas Love Peacock.

  • Woman may err, woman may give her mind
  • To evil thoughts, and lose her pure estate;
  • But for one woman who affronts her kind
  • By wicked passions and remorseless hate.
  • A thousand make amends in age and youth,
  • By heavenly pity, by sweet sympathy,
  • By patient kindness, by enduring truth,
  • By love, supremest in adversity.
  • Charles Mackay.

    The most beautiful object in the world, it will be allowed, is a beautiful woman. But who that can analyze his feelings is not sensible that she owes her fascination less to grace of outline and delicacy of color than to a thousand associations which, often unperceived by ourselves, connect these qualities with the source of our existence, with the nourishment of our infancy, with the passions of our youth, with the hopes of our age,—with elegance, with vivacity, with tenderness, with the strongest natural instincts, with the dearest of social ties?


  • “Petticoat influence” is a great reproach,
  • Which e’en those who obey would fain be thought
  • To fly from, as from hungry pikes a roach;
  • But since beneath it upon earth we’re brought
  • By various joltings of life’s hackney coach,
  • I for one venerate a petticoat—
  • A garment of mystical sublimity,
  • No matter whether russet, silk, or dimity.
  • Byron.

  • I love the sex, and sometimes would reverse
  • The tyrant’s wish, “that mankind only had
  • One neck, which he with one fell stroke might pierce;”
  • My wish is quite as wide, but not so bad,
  • And much more tender on the whole than fierce;
  • It being (not now, but only while a lad)
  • That womankind had but one rosy mouth,
  • To kiss them all at once, from North to South.
  • Byron.

  • God in his harmony has equal ends
  • For cedar that resists and reed that bends;
  • For good it is a woman sometimes rules,
  • Holds in her hand the power, and manners, schools,
  • And laws, and mind; succeeding master proud,
  • With gentle voice and smiles she leads the crowd,
  • The somber human troop.
  • Victor Hugo.

  • Think not, when woman’s transient breath is fled,
  • That all her vanities at once are dead;
  • Succeeding vanities she still regards,
  • And though she plays no more, o’erlooks the cards.
  • Her joy in gilded chariots, when alive,
  • And love of Ombre, after death survive.
  • For when the fair in all their pride expire,
  • To their first elements their souls retire:
  • The sprites of fiery termagants in flame
  • Mount up, and take a salamander’s name.
  • Soft yielding minds to water glide away,
  • And sip, with nymphs, their elemental tea.
  • The graver prude sinks downward to a gnome,
  • In search of mischief still on earth to roam.
  • The light coquettes in sylphs aloft repair,
  • And sport and flutter in the fields of air.
  • Pope.

    A good woman is the loveliest flower that blooms under heaven; and we look with love and wonder upon its silent grace, its pure fragrance, its delicate bloom of beauty. Sweet and beautiful! the fairest and the most spotless! is it not pity to see them bowed down or devoured by grief or death inexorable, wasting in disease, pining with long pain, or cut off by sudden fate in their prime? We may deserve grief, but why should these be unhappy?—except that we know that heaven chastens those whom it loves best; being pleased, by repeated trials, to make these pure spirits more pure.


    As the vine which has long twined its graceful foliage about the oak, and been lifted by it into sunshine, will, when the hardy plant is rifted by the thunderbolt, cling round it with its caressing tendrils, and bind up its shattered boughs; so it is beautifully ordered by Providence, that woman, who is the mere dependent and ornament of man in his happier hours, should be his stay and solace when smitten with sudden calamity; winding herself into the rugged recesses of his nature, tenderly supporting the drooping head, and binding up the broken heart.

    Washington Irving.