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


It was always yet the trick of our English nation, if they have a good thing, to make it too common.
Shakespeare.—King Henry IV., Part II. Act I. Scene 2. (Falstaff to the Chief Justice.)

Ay—give these fellows a good thing, and they never know when to have done with it.
Sheridan.—The Critic, Act II. Scene 1.

I think by some odd gimmers or device,
Their arms are set like clocks, still to strike on;
Else ne’er could they hold out so as they do.
Shakespeare.—King Henry VI., Part I. Act I. Scene 2. (Reignier to Alençon.)

A strange fish! were I in England now (as once I was,) and had but this fish painted, not a holiday fool there but would give a piece of silver; there would this monster make a man; any strange beast there makes a man; when they will not give a doit to relieve a lame beggar, they will lay out ten to see a dead Indian.
Shakespeare.—Tempest, Act II. Scene 2. (Trinculo.)

The lab’ring poor in spite of double pay,
Are saucy, mutinous, and beggarly;
So lavish of their money and their time,
That want of forecast is the nation’s crime.
Good drunken company is their delight;
And what they get by day they spend by night.
Defoe.—The True-born Englishman, Part II.

Seldom contented, often in the wrong,
Hard to be pleased at all, and never long.
Defoe.—The True-born Englishman, Part II.

Apt to revolt, and willing to rebel,
And never are contented when they’re well.
Defoe.—The True-born Englishman, Part II.