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


He was not of an age, but for all time!
Sweet swan of Avon!
Ben Jonson.—Underwoods. To the Memory of Shakespeare.

What needs my Shakespeare for his honour’d bones,
The labour of an age in piled stones?
Milton.—On Shakespeare, 1630.

Each change of many-colour’d life he drew,
Exhausted worlds, and then imagined new:
Existence saw him spurn her bounded reign,
And panting Time toil’d after him in vain.
Dr. Johnson.—Prologue 1747, Line 3, at the opening of Drury Lane.

And he, the man whom Nature’s self had made
To mock herself, and Truth to imitate.
Spenser.—Tears of the Muses, Line 205.

Nature listening stood, whilst Shakespeare play’d,
And wonder’d at the work herself had made.
Churchill.—The Author.

Or sweetest Shakespeare, Fancy’s child,
Warble his native wood-notes wild.
Milton.—L’Allegro, Line 133.

Thou, in our wonder and astonishment,
Hast built thyself a livelong monument.
Milton.—On Shakespeare, 1630.

Ay, that d——d Shakespeare! I hear the fellow was nothing but a deer-stealer in Warwickshire. If he had sold the venison, there would have been some sense in that; he would have made money by it; a better trade than writing plays——What right had my son to read Shakespeare; I never read Shakespeare.
Murphy.—The Apprentice, Act I. Scene 1.