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


O proud death!
What feast is toward in thine eternal cell,
That thou so many princes, at a shoot,
So bloodily hast struck?
Shakespeare.—Hamlet, Act V. Scene 2. (Fortinbras.)

The rest is silence.
Shakespeare.—Hamlet, Act V. Scene 2. (Hamlet dying.)

Look down,
And see what death is doing.
Shakespeare.—Winter’s Tale, Act III. Scene 2. (Paulina to Leontes.)

In the midst of life we are in death.
Burial Service.

Death finds us ’mid our play-things—snatches us,
As a cross nurse might do a wayward child,
From all our toys and baubles. His rough call
Unlooses all our favourite ties on earth;
And well if they are such as may be answer’d
In yonder world, where all is judged of truly.
Old Play; and see Seneca, Epi. XXIII.

Sure as night follows day,
Death treads in pleasure’s footsteps round the world,
When pleasure treads the paths which reason shuns.
Dr. Young.—Night V. Line 863.

The farthest from the fear,
Are often nearest to the stroke of fate.
Dr. Young.—Night V. Line 790.

And when obedient nature knows his will,
A fly, a grapestone, or a hair can kill.
Prior.—Ode to the Memory of Villiers, Line 53. [The ripping of a hang-nail is sufficient to despatch us. We are afraid of inundations from the sea when a glass of wine, if it goes the wrong way, is enough to suffocate us. Seneca, Epi. XXIII. Pope Adrian IV, was choked by a fly.]

What day, what hour, but knocks at human hearts,
To wake the soul to sense of future scenes?
Deaths stand like Mercurys, in every way,
And kindly point us to our journey’s end.
Dr. Young.—Night VII. Line 2.

The hour conceal’d and so remote the fear,
Death still draws nearer, never seeming near.
Pope.—Essay on Man, Epi. III. Line 75.

Death lies on her, like an untimely frost,
Upon the sweetest flower of all the field.
Shakespeare.—Romeo and Juliet, Act IV. Scene 5. (Capulet on seeing Juliet apparently dead.)

Death lays his icy hands on kings.
Shirley.—Song in the contention of Ajax and Ulysses.

His tongue is now a stringless instrument.
Shakespeare.—King Richard II., Act II. Scene 1. (Northumberland to the King, announcing Gaunt’s death.)

All that lives must die,
Passing through nature to eternity.
Shakespeare.—Hamlet, Act I. Scene 2. (The Queen to Hamlet.)

Death’s but a path that must be trod,
If man would ever pass to God.
Parnell.—Night piece on Death, Line 67.

From the first corse, till he that died to day,
This must be so.
Why should we, in our peevish opposition,
Take it to heart?
Shakespeare.—Hamlet, Act I. Scene 2. (The King to Hamlet.)

The sense of death is most in apprehension;
And the poor beetle, that we tread upon,
In corporal sufferance finds a pang as great
As when a giant dies.
Shakespeare.—Measure for Measure, Act III. Scene 1. (Isabella to her brother.)

The weariest and most loathed worldly life
That age, ache, penury, and imprisonment
Can lay on nature, is a paradise
To what we fear of death.
Shakespeare.—Measure for Measure, Act III. Scene 1. (Claudio to Isabella.)

Death will have his day.
Shakespeare.—King Richard II., Act III. Scene 2. (The King.)

As man, perhaps, the moment of his breath,
Receives the lurking principle of death;
The young disease, that must subdue at length,
Grows with his growth, and strengthens with his strength.
Pope.—Essay on Man, Epi. II. Line 133.

Death is the worst
That fate can bring, and cuts off ev’ry hope.
Lillo.—Fatal Curiosity, Act I. Scene 2.

Death hath ten thousand several doors
For men to take their exits.
John Webster.—The Duchess of Malfy; Massinger.—The Parliament of Love, Act IV. Scene 2.—Death hath a thousand doors to let out life; Massinger.—A Very Woman, Act V. Scene 4.

Death rides in triumph,—fell destruction
Lashes his fiery horse, and round about him
His many thousand ways to let out souls.
Beaumont and Fletcher.—Bonduca, Act III. Scene 5.

Death hath so many doors to let out life.
Beaumont and Fletcher.—The Custom of the Courts, Act II. Scene 2.

Death’s thousand doors stand open.
Blair.—The Grave, Line 394.

Death in a thousand shapes.
Virgil.—Æneid, Book II. Line 370.

Death’s shafts fly thick!
Blair.—The Grave, Line 447.

Men drop so fast, ’ere life’s mid stage we tread,
Few know so many friends alive, as dead.
Dr. Young.—Satire V. Line 97.

When I remember all
The friends so link’d together,
I’ve seen around me fall,
Like leaves in wintry weather;
I feel like one who treads alone
Some banquet hall deserted,
Whose lights are fled, whose garlands dead,
And all but he departed.
Tom Moore.—Oft in the Stilly Night, Stanza 2.

On this side and on that, men see their friends
Drop off like leaves in autumn.
Blair.—The Grave, Line 467.

When in this vale of years I backward look,
And miss such numbers, numbers too of such,
Firmer in health, and greener in their age,
And stricter on their guard, and fitter far
To play life’s subtle game, I scarce believe
I still survive.
Dr. Young.—Night IV. Line 124.

But when within the walls our troops take breath,
Lock fast the brazen bars, and shut out death.
Pope.—The Iliad, Book XXI. Line 631. (Priam to his guards.)

Devouring famine, plague, and war,
Each able to undo mankind,
Death’s servile emissaries are,
Nor to these alone confin’d,
He hath at will
More quaint and subtle ways to kill;
A smile or kiss, as he will use the art,
Shall have the cunning skill to break a heart.
Shirley.—Cupid and Death.

Still at the last, to his beloved bowl
He clung, and cheer’d the sadness of his soul;
For though a man may not have much to fear,
Yet death looks ugly, when the view is near.
Crabbe.—The Borough, Letter XVI.

Death comes but once.
Beaumont and Fletcher.—The Sea Voyage, Act I. Scene 1.

Death is the crown of life.
Dr. Young.—Night III. Line 526.