Hoyt & Roberts, comps. Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations. 1922.


The tread
Of coming footsteps cheats the midnight watcher
Who holds her heart and waits to hear them pause,
And hears them never pause, but pass and die.
George Eliot—The Spanish Gypsy. Bk. III.

There scatter’d oft the earliest of ye Year
By Hands unseen are showers of Vi’lets found;
The Redbreast loves to build and warble there,
And little Footsteps lightly print the ground.
Gray—MS of Elegy in a Country Churchyard. Corrections made by Gray are “year” for “Spring”, “showers” for “frequent”, “redbreast” for “robin”.

Vestigia terrent
Omnia te adversum spectantia, nulla retrorsum.
The footsteps are terrifying, all coming towards you and none going back again.
Horace—Ep. Bk. I. 1. 74. Quoted Vestigia nulla retrorsum.

And so to tread
As if the wind, not she, did walk;
Nor prest a flower, nor bow’d a stalk.
Ben Jonson—Masques. The Vision of Delight.

Her treading would not bend a blade of grass,
Or shake the downy blow-ball from his stalk!
Ben Jonson—The Sad Shepherd.

A foot more light, a step more true,
Ne’er from the heath-flower dashed the dew.
Scott—Lady of the Lake. Canto I. St. 18.

The grass stoops not, she treads on it so light.
Venus and Adonis. L. 1,028.

Steps with a tender foot, light as on air,
The lovely, lordly creature floated on.
Tennyson—The Princess. VI. L. 72.

Sed summa sequar fastigia rerum.
But I will trace the footsteps of the chief events.
Vergil—Æneid. I. 342.

Methought I saw the footsteps of a throne.
Wordsworth—Miscellaneous Sonnets. Methought I Saw the Footsteps of a Throne.