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


You stand upon your honour! Why, thou unconfinable baseness, it is as much as I can do to keep the terms of my honour precise. I myself sometimes, leaving the fear of heaven on the left hand, and hiding mine honour in my necessity, am fain to shuffle, to hedge, and to lurch; and yet you——!
Shakespeare.—Merry Wives of Windsor, Act II. Scene 2. (Falstaff to Pistol.)

Honour pricks me on. Yea; but how—if honour prick me off when I come on—how then? Can honour set to a leg? No. Or an arm? No. Or take away the grief of a wound? No. Honour hath no skill in surgery then? No. What is honour? A word. What is that word, honour? Air. A trim reckoning! Who hath it? He that died o’ Wednesday. Doth he feel it? No. Doth he hear it? No. Is it insensible, then? Yea, to the dead. But will it not live with the living? No. Why? Detraction will not suffer it:—therefore, I’ll none of it: Honour is a mere scutcheon, and so ends my catechism.
Shakespeare.—King Henry IV., Part I. Act V. Scene 1. (Falstaff.)

His honour rooted in dishonour stood,
And faith unfaithful kept him falsely true.
Tennyson.—Idylls of the King. Elaine.

[Elaine, page 192. Moxon, ed. 1867. Sir Lancelot was bound to the Queen by a guilty love (which Arthur, however, thought to be but knightly devotion.)
Elaine conceived an affection for Lancelot which he discovered but did not return; for the false love steeled his heart to the true. He was loyal, but to a bad cause; no unusual thing. The Rev. T. W. S.]

Honour’s a lease for lives to come,
And cannot be extended from
The legal tenant; ’tis a chattel
Not to be forfeited in battle.
Butler.—Hudibras, Part I. Canto III. Verse 1043.

How vain that second life in others’ breath,
The estate which will inherit after death!
Ease, health, and life, for this they must resign,
Unsure the tenure, but how vast the fine!
Pope.—The Temple of Fame, Line 505.

Fame is a revenue payable only to our ghosts.
Sir George Mackenzie.—Preferring solitude to public enjoyment.

Give me, kind heaven, a private station,
A mind serene for contemplation:
Title and profit I resign;
The post of honour shall be mine.
Gay.—Fable II. Part II. Line 69.

Content thyself to be obscurely good;
When vice prevails, and impious men bear sway,
The post of honour is a private station.
Addison.—Cato, Act IV. (Cato to Juba.)

Honour’s a sacred tie, the law of kings—
It ought not to be sported with.
Addison.—Cato, Act II. (Juba to Syphax.)

Honour and shame from no condition rise;
Act well your part—there all the honour lies.
Pope.—Essay on Man, Epi. IV. Line 193.

Men were nice in honour in those days,
And judged offenders well. And he that sharp’d,
And pocketed a prize by fraud obtain’d,
Was mark’d and shunn’d as odious.
Cowper.—The Task, Book III. Line 85.

But now, yes now,
We are become so candid and so fair,
So liberal in construction, and so rich
In Christian charity, a good-natured age!
That they are safe, sinners of either sex,
Transgress what laws they may.
Cowper.—The Task, Book III. Line 91.

Life’s but a word, a shadow, a melting dream,
Compar’d to essential and eternal honour.
Fletcher.—Love’s Cure, Act V. Scene 3.

I would not love thee, dear, so much,
Loved I not honour more.
Lovelace.—To Lucasta, on going to the wars.

Where honour calls, and justice points the way.
T. Wharton.—Triumph of Isis, Line 59.

If honour calls, where’er she points the way,
The sons of honour follow, and obey.
Churchill.—The Farewell, Line 67.

Better to die ten thousand deaths
Than wound my honour.
Addison.—Cato, Act I. Scene 4.

This day beyond its term my fate extends,
For life is ended when our honour ends.
Goldsmith.—Prol. by Laberius, last Line.

When honour’s lost, ’tis a relief to die;
Death’s but a sure retreat from infamy.
Garth.—The Dispensary, Canto V. Line 321.

Judge me, ye powers! let fortune tempt or frown,
I stand prepared, my honour is my own.
Landsdowne.—Verses written in 1690.

1.Pray, now, what may be that same bed of honour?
2.O, a mighty large bed, bigger by half than the great bed at Ware—ten thousand people may lie in it together, and never feel one another.
Farquhar.—The Recruiting Officer, Act I. Scene 1.