Grocott & Ward, comps. Grocott’s Familiar Quotations, 6th ed. 189-?.


“In a fortnight or three weeks,” added my uncle Toby, smiling, “he might march.” “He will never march, an’ please your honour, in this world,” said the corporal. “He will march,” said my uncle Toby, rising up from the side of the bed, with one shoe off. “An’ please your honour,” said the corporal, “he will never march but to his grave.” “He shall march,” cried my uncle Toby, marching the foot which had a shoe on, though without advancing an inch; “he shall march to his regiment.” “He cannot stand it,” said the corporal. “He shall be supported,” said my uncle Toby. “He’ll drop at last,” said the corporal, “and what will become of his boy?” “He shall not drop,” said my uncle Toby, firmly. “A-well-a-day! do what we can for him,” said Trim, maintaining his point, “the poor soul will die.” “He shall not die, by G—!” cried my uncle Toby. 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 for ever.
Sterne.—Tristram Shandy, Vol. VI. Chap. VIII.

But sad as angels for the good man’s sin,
Weep to record, and blush to give it in.
Campbell.—Pleasures of Hope, Part II.

There written, all
Black as the damning drops that fall
From the denouncing angel’s pen,
Ere mercy weeps them out again.
Tom Moore.—Paradise and the Pern in Lallah Rookh.

[Both Campbell and Moore seem to have imitated Sterne.]

The accusing BYERS flew up to Heaven’s chancery,
Blushing like scarlet with shame and concern;
The Archangel took down his tale, and in answer he
Wept. (See the works of the late Mr. Sterne.)
Indeed, it is said, a less taking both were in
When after a lapse of a great many years,
They book’d Uncle Toby five shillings for swearing,
And blotted the fine out again with their tears.
Thomas Ingoldsby.—A Lay of St. Nicholas.

[The person here designated the “accusing BYERS” was a prince of informers against stage coachmen in their day, whom he accused of overloading and the like, and gained a livelihood by laying informations before the Justices.]

And thus, like to an angel o’er the dying
Who die in righteousness, she lean’d.
Byron.—Don Juan, Canto II. Stanza 144.

O, the more angel she,
And you the blacker devil!
Shakespeare.—Othello, Act V. Scene 2. (Emilia to Othello.)

Angels and ministers of grace, defend us!
Shakespeare.—Hamlet, Act I. Scene 4. (The Ghost Scene.)