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


We strive as did the houndes for the bone:
They fought all day, and yet their part was none:
There came a kite, while that they were so wroth,
And bare away the bone betwixt them both.
Saunders’ Chaucer, Vol. I. Page 21.

[The eating of the oyster, and giving a shell to each of the clowns who found it, is usually laid at the door of the attorney. Somerville lays it at the door of the parson, (Fable 8.) Both are wrong; for the clowns agreed to leave their dispute to the first person they met, and he became the judge between them. Pope says—

Dame justice, weighing long the doubtful right,
Takes, opens, swallows it, before their sight.

See his Miscellanies—Verbatim from Boileau. And Dryden—A judge erected from a country clown.] (Cymon and Iphigenia.)

I will not be sworn but love may transform me to an oyster: but I’ll take my oath on it, till he have made an oyster of me he shall never make me such a fool.
Shakespeare.—Much Ado About Nothing, Act II. Scene 3.

An oyster may be cross’d in love.
Sheridan.—The Critic, Act III. Scene 1.

Ceres presents a plate of vermicelli,—
For love must be sustain’d like flesh and blood,
While Bacchus pours out wine, or hands a jelly:
Eggs, oysters, too, are amatory food.
Byron.—Don Juan, Canto II. Stanza 170.