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


Seek to be good, but aim not to be great:
A woman’s noblest station is retreat.
Lyttleton.—Advice to a Lady, 1731.

Woman is the lesser man.
Tennyson.—Locksley Hall, Stanza 76.

For nothing lovelier can be found
In woman than to study household good,
And good works in her husband to promote.
Milton.—Paradise Lost, Book IX. Line 232.

We hold our greyhound in our hand,
Our falcon on our glove;
But where shall we find leash or band
For dame that loves to rove.
Scott.—Marmion, Canto I. Stanza 17.

Nor did woman—Oh woman! whose form and whose soul
Are the spell and the light of each path we pursue;
Whether sunn’d in the tropics or chill’d at the pole,
If woman be there, there is happiness too.
Tom Moore.—On leaving Philadelphia, Vol. II. Verse 5.

Her courteous looks, her words caressing,
Shed comfort on the fainting soul;
Woman’s the stranger’s general blessing
From sultry India to the Pole!

If the heart of a man is depressed with cares,
The mist is dispelled when a woman appears.
Gay.—The Beggar’s Opera, Act II. Scene 1.

What’s a table richly spread,
Without a woman at its head?
T. Wharton.—Progress of Discontent, Line 39.

The world was sad, the garden was a wild,
And man the hermit sigh’d, till woman smiled.
Campbell.—Pleasures of Hope, Part II.

Oh woman! lovely woman! nature made thee
To temper man: we had been brutes without you!
Otway.—Venice Preserved, Act I. Scene 1.

I’ll shew you a sight that you’ll fancy uncommon,
Wit, beauty, and goodness, all met in a woman;
A heart to no folly or mischief inclin’d,
A body all grace, and all sweetness a mind.
Ed. Moore.—Envy and Fortune.

A perfect woman, nobly plann’d
To warn, to comfort, and command.
Wordsworth.—Phantom of Delight.

O woman! in our hours of ease
Uncertain, coy, and hard to please,
And variable as the shade
By the light quivering aspen made;
When pain and anguish wring the brow,
A ministering angel thou!
Scott.—Marmion, Canto VI. Stanza 30.

When lovely woman stoops to folly,
And finds too late that men betray,
What charm can soothe her melancholy,
What art can wash her guilt away?
Goldsmith.—Vicar of Wakefield. (Olivia’s Song.)

If ladies be but young and fair,
They have the gift to know it.
Shakespeare.—As You Like It, Act II. Scene 7.

In her first passion, woman loves her lover;
In all the others, all she loves is love.
Byron.—Don Juan, Canto III. Stanza 3.

Were you, ye fair, but cautious whom ye trust,
Did you but think how seldom fools are just,
So many of your sex would not in vain,
Of broken vows, and faithless men complain.
Rowe.—The Fair Penitent, Act II. Scene 1.

When love once pleads admission to our hearts,
In spite of all the virtue we can boast,
The woman that deliberates is lost.
Addison.—Cato, Act IV.

Virtue is arbitrary, nor admits debate:
To doubt is treason in her rigid court;
But if ye parley with the foe you’re lost.
Lillo.—Arden of Feversham, Act III.

Thou shall not depart with impunity, nor shalt thou return to Caneus; and by experience shalt thou learn what one slighted, What on in love, what a woman, can do.
Riley’s Ovid, Meta. Book XIV. Page 497.

What will not woman, gentle woman dare,
When strong affection stirs her spirit up?
Southey.—Madoc, Vol. I. Part II. Page 186.

Where is the man who has the power and skill
To stem the torrent of a woman’s will?
For if she will, she will, you may depend on’t,
And if she won’t, she won’t, and there’s an end on’t.
Anonymous.—3 Notes and Queries, 285, said to be on a Pillar in the Dungeon Field, Canterbury.

Heav’n has no rage like love to hatred turn’d,
Nor hell a fury, like a woman scorn’d.
Congreve.—Mourning Bride, Act III. Scene 8.

A woman mov’d is like a fountain troubled,
Muddy, ill-seeming, thick, bereft of beauty;
And, while it is so, none so dry or thirsty
Will deign to sip, or touch one drop of it.
Such duty as the subject owes the prince,
Even such a woman oweth to her husband.
Shakespeare.—Taming of the Shrew, Act V. Scene 2. (Kate telling the Women their duty to their Husbands.)

He is a fool, who thinks by force or skill
To turn the current of a woman’s will.
Tuke.—The Adventures of Five Hours, Act V. Scene 3.

And first, a woman will or won’t—depend on’t:
If she will do’t, she will:—and there’s an end on’t.
Aaron Hill.—Epilogue to Zara.

Disguise our bondage as we will,
’Tis woman, woman rules us still.
Tom Moore.—Sovereign Woman, Vol. IX. Page 414.

I know the ways of women. When you will they won’t: and when you won’t they’re dying for you.
Terence.—Eunuchus, IV. 7, 42. (Dr. Ramage.)

The man that lays his hand upon a woman,
Save in the way of kindness, is a wretch
Whom ’twere gross flattery to name a coward.
Tobin.—The Honey Moon, Act II. Scene 1.

How sweetly sounds the voice of a good woman!
It is so seldom heard, that, when it speaks,
It ravishes all senses.
Massinger.—The Old Law, Act IV. Scene 2.

She looks as clear as morning roses newly wash’d with dew.
Shakespeare.—Taming of the Shrew, Act II. Sc. 1. (Petruchio, just preceding his first interview with Kate.)

Three things a wise man will not trust,
The wind, the sunshine of an April day,
And woman’s plighted faith.
Southey.—Madoc, Stanza 23.

Trust not a woman even when she is dead.
Buckley.—Dict. Class. Quot. 533.

[In allusion to the stepmother whose corpse fell upon her stepson and killed him.]

Ye stepsons flee even the tomb of a stepmother.
Callimachus.—Epigram 7.

Be that you are,
That is, a woman; if you be more, you’re none.
Shakespeare.—Measure for Measure, Act II. Scene 4. (Angelo to Isabel.)

A woman’s honour is her safest guard.
Tobin.—The Honey Moon, Act II. Scene 1.

To be slow in words is a woman’s only virtue.
Shakespeare.—Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act III. Scene 1. (Launce to Speed.)

Relenting fool, and shallow, changing woman!
Shakespeare.—King Richard III., Act IV. Scene 4. (Richard after saluting Queen Elizabeth.)

A cunning woman is a knavish fool.
Lyttleton.—Advice to a Lady, 1731, Line 40.

Woman’s at best a contradiction still.
Pope.—Moral Essays, Epi. II. To a Lady. Line 270.

A woman, that is like a German clock,
Still a repairing; ever out of frame;
And never going aright, being a watch,
But being watch’d that it may still go right!
Shakespeare.—Love’s Labour’s Lost, Act III. Scene 1. (Biron’s soliloquy on Love.)

Let a man who wants to find abundance of employment, procure a woman and a ship; for no two things do produce more trouble if you begin to equip them; neither are these two things ever equipped enough, nor is the largest amount of equipment sufficient for them.
Plautus.—Penulus, Act I. Scene 2.

’Tis not her air, for sure in that
There’s nothing more than common;
And all her sense is only chat,
Like any other woman.
Whitehead.—A Song.

But what is woman?—only one of
Nature’s agreeable blunders.
Mrs. Cowley.—Who’s the Dupe, Act II. Scene 2.

A woman is like to—but stay,
What a woman is like, who can say?
There’s no living with, or without one,
She’s like nothing on earth but a woman.
Hoare.—Lock and Key, Act I. Scene 2.