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


Which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?
Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,
Saying, this man began to build, and was not able to finish.
St. Luke, Chap. xiv. Verses 28, 29, 30.

When we mean to build,
We first survey the plot, then draw the model;
And when we see the figure of the house,
Then must we rate the cost of the erection:
Which if we find outweighs ability,
What do we then, but draw anew the model
In fewer offices; or, at least, desist
To build at all?
Shakespeare.—King Henry IV., Part II. Act I. Scene 3. (Lord Bardolph urging caution before hazarding a battle.)

Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?
St. Luke, Chap. xiv. Ver. 31.

Much more, in this great work,
(Which is, almost, to pluck a kingdom down
And set another up,) should we survey
The plot of situation, and the model;
Consent upon a sure foundation;
Question surveyors; know our own estate,
How able such a work to undergo,
To weigh against his opposite; or else,
We fortify in paper, and in figures,
Using the names of men instead of men;
Like one that draws the model of a house
Beyond his power to build it; who, half through,
Gives o’er, and leaves his part-created cost
A naked subject to the weeping clouds,
And waste for churlish winter’s tyranny.
Shakespeare.—King Henry IV., Part II. Act I. Scene 3. (Lord Bardolph.)

The man who builds, and wants wherewith to pay,
Provides a home from which to run away.
Dr. Young.—Love of Fame, Line 163.

Too low they build who build beneath the stars.
Dr. Young.—Night VIII. Line 215.