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


Man that is born of a woman, is of few days and full of trouble. He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down; fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not.
Job, Chap. xiv. Verses 1, 2.

Man goeth forth unto his work, and to his labour, until the evening.
Psalm civ. Ver. 23.

All go into one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.
Ecclesiastes, Chap. iii. Ver. 20.

Man goeth to his long home.
Ecclesiastes, Chap. xii. Ver. 5.

Man that flowers so fresh at morn, and fades at evening late.
Spenser.—Fairy Queen, Book III. Canto IX.

Such is the state of men!
Spenser.—The Fairy Queen, Book II. Canto II. Stanza 2; Shakespeare—King Henry VIII., Act III. Scene 2.

What a piece of work is man! how noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! in form and moving, how express and admirable! in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a God!
Shakespeare.—Hamlet, Act II. Scene 2. (Hamlet to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.)

He is the whole encyclopedia of facts. The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn; and Egypt, Greece, Rome, Gaul, Britain, America, lie folded already in the first man.

Man is his own star, and that soul that can
Be honest, is the only perfect man.
Fletcher.—Miscellaneous Poems.

The man resolved and steady to his trust,
Inflexible to ill, and obstinately just;
May the rude rabble’s insolence despise,
Their senseless clamours, and tumultuous cries.
Addison.—Horace, Ode III. Book III.

Quick of despatch, discreet in every trust;
Rigidly honest, and severely just.
Yalden.—On Sir Willoughby Aston, Line 227.

Man, each man’s born
For the high business of the public good.
For me, ’tis mine to pray, that men regard
Their occupations with an honest heart,
And cheerful diligence.
Dyer.—The Fleece, Book II.

Man hath his daily work of body or mind appointed.
Milton.—Paradise Lost, Book IV.

Man doom’d to care, to pain, disease, and strife,
Walks his short journey through the vale of life,
Watchful, attends the cradle and the grave,
And passing generations longs to save:
Last dies himself: yet wherefore should we mourn?
For man must to his kindred dust return;
Submit to the destroying hand of fate,
As ripen’d ears the harvest-sickle wait.
Euripides.—Yonge’s Cicero, Tusculan Disp. Book III. Page 387.

Thou pendulum betwixt a smile and tear.
Byron.—Childe Harold, Canto IV. Stanza 109.

A pendulum, I there am made
To move the leaden wheels of trade.
Fenton.—A letter to the Knight.

Man is the tale of narrative old time.
Dr. Young.—Night VIII. Line 109.

The banquet done—the narrative old man,
Thus mild, the pleasing conference began.
Pope.—The Odyssey, Book III. Line 80. (Nestor to Telemachus.)

He spake as man or angel might have spoke
Where man was pure and angels were his guests.
Hannah More.—Intro. Moses in the Bulrushes.

Man wants but little here below,
Nor wants that little long.
Goldsmith.—The Hermit, Verse 8.

Man wants but little, nor that little long.
Dr. Young.—Night IV. Line 118; Goldsmith.—Learning Wisdom in Retirement.

Say first, of God above, or man below,
What can we reason but from what we know?
Of man, what see we but his station here,
From which to reason, or to which refer?
Pope.—Essay on Man, Epi. I. Line 17.

Why has not man a microscopic eye?
For this plain reason, man is not a fly.
Say what the use, were finer optics given,
T’ inspect a mite, not comprehend the heaven?
Pope.—Essay on Man, Epi. I. Line 193.

Go, wondrous creature! mount where science guides,
Go, measure earth, weigh air, and state the tides;
Instruct the planets in what orbs to run,
Correct old Time, and regulate the sun;
Go, teach Eternal Wisdom how to rule,
Then drop into thyself, and be a fool!
Pope.—Essay on Man, Epi. II. Line 19.

One part, one little part, we dimly scan,
Through the dark medium of life’s feverish dream,
Yet dare arraign the whole stupendous plan,
If but that little part incongruous seem,
Nor is that part perhaps what mortals deem.
Oft from apparent ill our blessings rise:
O then renounce that impious self-esteem,
That aims to trace the secrets of the skies:
For thou art but of dust; be humble, and be wise.
Beattie.—The Minstrel, Book I. Stanza 50.

Man on the dubious waves of error tost.
Cowper.—First Line of Poem of Truth.

Confess the Almighty just,
And where you can’t unriddle, learn to trust.
Parnell.—The Hermit, Line 206.

O, see the monstrousness of man
When he looks out in an ungrateful shape!
Shakespeare.—Timon of Athens, Act III. Scene 2. (The first Stranger to Another.)

That man of loneliness and mystery,
Scarce seen to smile, and seldom heard to sigh.
Byron.—The Corsair, Canto I. Stanza 8.

No laws, or human or divine,
Can the presumptuous race of man confine.
Francis’ Horace, Book I. Ode III. Line 27.

So man, the moth, is not afraid, it seems,
To span omnipotence, and measure might
That knows no measure, by the scanty rule
And standard of his own, that is to day,
And is not ere to-morrow’s sun go down.
Cowper.—The Task, Book VI. Line 211.

Inhumanity is caught from man—
From smiling man.
Dr. Young.—Night V. Line 158.

Man’s revenge,
And endless inhumanities on man.
Dr. Young.—Night VIII. Line 104.

O Thou who dost permit these ills to fall
For gracious ends, and would’st that men should mourn!
Dr. Young.—Night VIII. Line 134.

And man, whose heaven-directed face
The smiles of love adorn;
Man’s inhumanity to man
Makes countless thousands mourn!
Burns.—Man was made to Mourn, Verse 7.

Man, only, mars kind Nature’s plan,
And turns the fierce pursuit on man.
Scott.—Rokeby, Canto III.

A hard, bad man, who prey’d upon the weak.
Crabbe.—The Borough, Letter 6.

A man’s a man for a’ that.
Burns.—For a’ that, Verse 2.

Trust not a man; we are by nature false,
Dissembling, subtle, cruel, and unconstant:
When a man talks of love, with caution trust him;
But if he swears, he’ll certainly deceive thee.
Otway.—The Orphan, Act II. Scene 1.

Man doth purpose, but God doth dispose.
Thomas à Kempis.—De Imit. Christi, Book I. Chap. XIX. Div. 2.

Man proposeth, God disposeth.
George Herbert.—Jacula Prudentum.

[And see the same idea in Demosthenes and in Pindar, as given by Dr. Ramage in his “Beautiful Thoughts from Greek Authors,” Page 74, and these from Latin authors, Page 297; but the words of the wise king are superior to all:—A man’s heart deviseth his way; but the Lord directeth his steps. Solomon.—Proverbs, Chap. xvi. Ver. 9.]

I hurl the spear but Jove directs the blow.
Homer.—The Iliad, Book XVII., Line 577. Earl Derby.—Automedon to Menelaus.

A proper man, as one shall see in a summer’s day.
Shakespeare.—A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream, Act I. Scene 2. (Quince instructing Bottom to play Pyramus.)

A king, so good, so just, so great,
That at his birth the heavenly council paus’d,
And then at last cried out, This is a man!
Dryden.—The Duke of Guise, Act I. Scene 1.

This was a man!
Shakespeare.—Julius Cæsar, Act V. Scene 5. (Antony on Brutus.)

Man delights not me, no, nor woman neither.
Shakespeare.—Hamlet, Act II. Scene 2. (To Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.)

I am a man, nothing that is human do I think unbecoming in me.
Terence.—Heautontimoreumenos, Act I. Scene 1. Line 25.

The man of wisdom is the man of years.
Dr. Young.—Night V. Line 775.