He is of no age, nor any religion or party or profession. His works come out of the unfathomable depths of his mind.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Shakespeare is one of the last books one should like to give up, perhaps the one just before the Dying Service in a large Prayer book.
Since Shakespeare had a feel for revolutionary rhetoric, let’s all shout: “Peace, justice and freedom!”
Carl William Brown
And one wild Shakespeare, following Nature’s lights, Is worth whole planets, filled with Stagyrites.
Fair is foul, and foul is fair: Hover through the fog and filthy air.
È vero, è vero senza errore, è certo è verissimo: ciò che è in alto è come ciò che è in basso, e ciò che è in basso è come ciò che è in alto, per fare il miracolo della cosa unica.
Men’s faults to themselves seldom appear.
They say men are molded out of faults, and for the most, become much more the better; for being a little bad. [Measure For Measure]
Love to faults is always blind, always is to joy inclined. Lawless, winged, and unconfined, and breaks all chains from every mind.
O how wretched is that poor man that hangs on princes favors! There is betwixt that smile we would aspire to, that sweet aspect of princes, and their ruin, more pangs and fears than wars or women have, and when he falls, he falls like Lucifer, never to hope again.
Things done well and with a care, exempt themselves from fear.
Fearless minds climb soonest into crowns.
In time we hate that which we often fear.
Of all base passions, fear is the most accursed.
The best safety lies in fear.
He that loves to be flattered is worthy of the flatterer.
I will praise any man that will praise me.
Fools and Foolishness
The dullness of the fool is the whetstone of the wits.
The fool thinks himself to be wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.
He uses his folly like a stalking-horse, and under the presentation of that he shoots his wit.
Lord, what fools these mortals be.
When we are born, we cry that we are come to this great stage of fools.
There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound by shallows and in misery. [Julius Caesar]
We defy augury. There’s a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, ‘Tis not to come. If it be not to come, it will be now. If it be not now, yet it will come. The readiness is all.
Friends and Friendship
The friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel, but do not dull thy palm with entertainment of each new-hatched unfledged comrade.
A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.
Friendship is constant in all other things, Save in the office and affairs of love.
Words are easy, like the wind; Faithful friends are hard to find.
A friend should bear a friend’s infirmities, But Brutus makes mine greater than they are.
A walking shadow, a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more.
We know what we are, but know not what we may be.
Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind.
I have touched the highest point of all my greatness, and from that full meridian of my glory I haste now to my setting.
How far that little candle throws its beams! So shines a good dead in a naughty world.
Good and Evil
The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together.
Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind; the thief doth fear each bush an officer.
Patch grief with proverbs.
Grief fills the room up of my absent child, lies in his bed, walks up and down with me, puts on his pretty looks, repeats his words.
Let me tell you, Cassius, you yourself are much condemned to have an itching palm.
The abuse of greatness is when it disjoins remorse from power.
Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.
In my stars I am above thee, but be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness ;thrust upon em.
He is not great who is not greatly good.
Be not afraid of greatness; some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.
I hate ingratitude more in a person; than lying, vainness, babbling, drunkenness, or, any taint of vice whose strong corruption inhabits our frail blood. [Twelfth Night]
He receives comfort like cold porridge.
There is no darkness, but ignorance.
‘Tis mad idolatry To make the service greater than the god.
What a terrible era in which idiots govern the blind.
Love me or hate me, both are in my favor… If you love me, I’ll always be in your heart… If you hate me, I’ll always be in your mind.
What a piece of work is a 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 — the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals!
My nature is subdued to what it works in, like the dyer’s hand.
We’ll teach you to drink deep ere you depart.
The miserable have no other medicine but only hope.
Why should honor outlive honestly? [Orthello]
Though I am not naturally honest, I am so sometimes by chance.
Honesty is the best policy. If I lose mine honor, I lose myself.
People usually are the happiest at home.
History and Historians
There is a history in all men’s lives.
Heroes and Heroism
If we are marked to die, we are enough to do our country loss; and if to live, the fewer men, the greater share of honor.
What stronger breastplate than a heart untainted. [Henry Iv]
Wisely, and slow. They stumble that run fast.
Oppose not rage while rage is in its force, but give it way a while and let it waste.
I had rather have a fool make me merry, than experience make me sad.
But O, how bitter a thing it is to look into happiness through another man’s eyes.
How use doth breed a habit in man!
But thy eternal summer shall not fade.
Much Ado About Nothing.
I stalk about her door like a strange soul upon the Stygian banks staying for wattage.
No legacy is so rich as honestly.
Though this be madness, yet there is method in it. [Hamlet]
O sleep, O gentle sleep, nature’s soft nurse, how have I frightened thee, that thou no more wilt weigh my eye-lids down and steep my senses in forgetfulness?
Intelligence and Intellectuals
It is the mind that makes the body rich; and as the sun breaks through the darkest clouds, so honor peereth in the meanest habit.”
I had rather be a toad, and live upon the vapor of a dungeon than keep a corner in the thing I love for others uses.
Jokes and Jokers
He jests at scars that never felt a wound.
Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy. Where be your jibes now, your gambols, your songs, your flashes of merriment that were wont to set the table on a roar?
Judgment and Judges
My salad days, when I was green in judgment.
Speak of me as I am. Nothing extenuate, nor set down aught in malice.
The jury, passing on the prisoner’s life, may have in the sworn twelve a thief or two guiltier than him they try.
Time is the justice that examines all offenders. [As You Like It]
Kisses and Kissing
He took the bride about the neck and kissed her lips with such a clamorous smack that at the parting all the church did echo.
Own more than thou showest, speak less than thou knowest.
It was Greek to me.
Present mirth hath present laughter. What’s to come is still unsure.
Who in this kind of merry fooling am nothing to you: so you may continue, and laugh at nothing still.
Law and Lawyers
The first thing we do, lets kill the lawyers.
My library was dukedom large enough.
Life and Death
As flies to wanton boys, are we to the gods; They kill us for their sport.
Life and Living
Simply the thing I am shall make me live.
Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale.
Life… It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury; signifying nothing.
Give every man your ear, but few thy voice. Take each man’s censure, but reserve thy judgment.
Losers and Losing
Wise men never sit and wail their loss, but cheerily seek how to redress their harms.
Love is familiar. Love is a devil. There is no evil angel but Love.
When love begins to sicken and decay it uses an enforced ceremony.
But love is blind, and lovers cannot see What petty follies they themselves commit
Love bears it out even to the edge of doom.
Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs. Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers eyes. Being vexed, a sea nourished with lovers tears. What is it else? A madness most discreet, a choking gall and a preserving sweet.
She’s gone. I am abused, and my relief must be to loathe her.
To say the truth, reason and love keep little company together now-a-days.
They do not love that do not show their love. The course of true love never did run smooth. Love is a familiar. Love is a devil. There is no evil angel but Love.
Men have died from time to time, and worms have eaten them, but not for love.
Love sought is good, but given unsought is better.
Love is too young to know what conscience is.
We that are true lovers run into strange capers.
Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety. Other women cloy the appetites they feed, but she makes hungry where most she satisfies.
Had I but served my God with half the zeal I served my King, He would not in mine age have left me naked to mine enemies.
This is the monstrosity in love, lady, that the will is infinite and the execution confined; that the desire is boundless, and the act a slave to limit.
For to be wise and love exceeds man’s might.
The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils. The motions of his spirit are dull as night, and his affections dark as Erebus. Let no such man be trusted.
Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?
Dost thou think because thou art virtuous there shall be no more cakes and ale?
A miser grows rich by seeming poor. An extravagant man grows poor by seeming rich.
We wound our modesty and make foul the clearness of our deservings, when of ourselves we publish them.
Lord Bacon told Sir Edward Coke when he was boasting, The less you speak of your greatness, the more shall I think of it.
Modern and Modernism
For we which now behold these present days have eyes to wonder, but lack tongues to praise.
Affliction is enamoured of thy parts, and thou art wedded to calamity.
To mourn a mischief that is past and gone is the next way to draw new mischief on.
Misers and Misery
Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.
‘Tis the mind that makes the body rich.
Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments. Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds, or bends with the remover to remove.
Men and Women
He is half of a blessed man. Left to be finished by such as she; and she a fair divided excellence, whose fullness of perfection lies in him.
When to the sessions of sweet silent thought I summon up remembrance of things past, I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought And with old woes new wail my dear time’s waste. Then can I drown an eye (unused to flow) For precious friends hid in death’s dateless night, and weep afresh love’s long since cancelled woe, and moan the expense of many a vanished sight. Then can I grieve at grievances foregone, and heavily from woe to woe tell over the sad account of fore-bemoaned moan, Which I new pay as if not paid before. But if the while I think on thee, dear friend, all losses are restored and sorrows end.
By medicine life may be prolonged, yet death will seize the doctor too.
Report me and my cause aright.
Your lordship, though not clean past your youth, have yet some smack of age in you, some relish of the saltiness of time.
The world must be peopled. When I said I would die a bachelor, I did not think I should live till I were married.
Manhood is melted into courtesies, valor into compliment, and men are only turned into tongue, and trim ones, too.
O, let me not be mad, not mad, sweet heaven! Keep me in temper. I would not be mad.
If music be the food of love; play on.
Is it not strange that sheep’s guts should hale souls out of men’s bodies?
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
Nature must obey necessity. [Julius Caesar]
We were not born to sue, but to command.
O comfort-killing night, image of hell, dim register and notary of shame, black stage for tragedies and murders fell, vast sin-concealing chaos, nurse of blame!
Remembrance of things past.
Every good servant does not all commands.
Thou seest I have more flesh than another man, and therefore more frailty.
Let me have men about me that are fat, sleek-headed men and such as sleep a-nights. Yon Cassius has a lean and hungry look. He thinks too much. Such men are dangerous.
How oft the sight of means to do ill deeds makes deeds ill done!
Pain pays the income of each precious thing.
One pain is lessened by another’s anguish.
What is past is prologue.
We have seen better days.
Things without remedy, should be without regard; what is done, is done.
Though patience be a tired mare, yet she will plod.
That which in mean men we entitle patience is pale cold cowardice in noble breasts.
How poor are they that have not patience. What wound did ever heal but by degrees?
Who can be patient in extremes? [Henry Vi]
A peace above all earthly dignities, a still and quiet conscience.
Peace is a very apoplexy, lethargy; mulled, deaf, sleepy, insensible; a getter of more bastard children than war’s a destroyer of men.
Striving to better, oft we mar what’s well.
I am a kind of burr; I shall stick.
Philosophers and Philosophy
For there was never yet philosopher that could endure the toothache patiently.
There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophies.
Soft pity enters an iron gate.
If all the year were playing holidays, to sport would be as tedious as to work.
You are thought here to be the most senseless and fit man for the constable of the watch, therefore bear you the lantern.
What a terrible era in which idiots govern the blind.
Duty shall have dread to speak when power to flattery bows.
This might be the pate of a politician,… one that would circumvent God.
How can tyrants safely govern home, unless abroad they purchase great alliance?
What we determine we often break. Purpose is but the slave to memory.
Every why has a wherefore.
And where the offence is, let the great axe fall.
Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.
I have bought golden opinions from all sorts of people.
Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased, pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow, raze out the written troubles of the brain, and with some sweet oblivious antidote cleanse the fraught bosom of that perilous stuff which weighs upon the heart?
The proverb is something musty.
Beware of the ides of March.
He plough’d her, and she cropp’d.
In delay there lies no plenty.
Defer no time, delays have dangerous ends.
Man, proud man, drest in a little brief authority, most ignorant of what he’s most assur d, glassy essence, like an angry ape, plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven, as make the angels weep.
Preachers and Preaching
But, good my brother, do not, as some ungracious pastors do. Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven whilst like a puffed and reckless libertine himself the primrose path of dalliance treads and wrecks not his own.
Bow, stubborn knees!
There’s not one wise man among twenty will praise himself.
Madness in great ones must not unwatched go.
Poverty and The Poor
O world, how apt the poor are to be proud!
Lord we may know what we are, but know not what we may be.
For he was likely, had he been put on, to have proved most royally.
My bounty is as boundless as the sea, my love as deep. The more I give thee, the more I have, For both are infinite
I durst not laugh for fear of opening my lips and receiving the bad air.
Politicians and Politics
There have been many great men that have flattered the people who never loved them.
A politician is one that would circumvent God.
Get thee glass eyes, and like a scurvy politician, seem to see the things thou dost not.
To be or not to be that is the question. Whether it is nobler in the mind to suffer the stings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or take up arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing them, end them.
The course of true love never did run smooth.
Let us not burthen our remembrance with a heaviness that’s gone.
Who is so firm that can’t be seduced?
For I am full of spirit and resolve to meet all perils very constantly.
Reputation, reputation, reputation! O, I ha lost my reputation, I ha lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial!
Let’s not burden our remembrance with a heaviness that’s gone.
Sure, he, that made us with such large discourse, looking before and after, gave us not that capability and god-like reason, to fast in us unused.
Strong reasons make strong actions.
Nothing will come of nothing.
Fear no more the heat o the sun, nor the furious winter’s rages. Thou thy worldly task hast done, home art gone and taken thy wages.
Our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything.
Heat not a furnace for your foe so hot that it do singe yourself.
If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge?
O, what a world of vile ill-favored faults, looks handsome in three hundred pounds a year!
The path is smooth that leadeth on to danger.
Virtue is bold and goodness never fearful.
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.
O, that I were as great as is my grief, or lesser than my name! Or that I could forget what I have been! Or not remember what I must be now!
I consider the world for what it is, Graziano: a stage where everyone has to play a part, and mine is a sad one.
Men are always cheerful when the bad luck is about to strike them, but sadness is the prelude to happy events.
And your experience makes you sad. I prefer one mad that makes me happy to an experience that makes me sad – and you also wasted the effort of the travel!
Security is the chief enemy of mortals.
She’s beautiful, and therefore to be wooed; She is a woman, therefore to be won.
O, it is excellent to have a giant’s strength, but it is tyrannous to use it like a giant.
Self-love, is not so vile a sin as self-neglecting.
This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.
A gentleman that loves to hear himself talk, will speak more in a minute than he will stand to in a month.
Silence is the perfectest herald of joy: I were but little happy, if I could say how much. Lady, as you are mine, I am yours: I give away myself for you and dote upon the exchange.
Few love to hear the sins they love to act.
I am a man more sinned against than sinning.
Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall.
Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny.
The rankest compound of villainous smell that ever offended nostril.
A smile cures the wounding of a frown.
One may smile, and smile, and be a villain.
When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May.
I do desire we may be better strangers.
How excellent it is to have a giant’s strength, but it is tyrannous to use like a giant.
I do not much dislike the matter, but the manner of his speech.
To climb steep hills requires slow pace at first.
Then is it sin to rush into the secret house of death. Ere death dare come to us?
It comes to pass oft that a terrible oath, with a swaggering accent sharply twanged off, gives manhood more approbation than ever proof itself would have earned him.
A whoreson jackanapes must take me up for swearing; as if I borrowed mine oaths of him and might not spend them at my pleasure. When a gentleman is disposed to swear, it is not for any standers-by to curtail his oaths, ha?
Tact and Tactfulness
Give thy thoughts no tongue, nor any unproportioned thought his act. Be thou familiar but by no means vulgar.
A good old man, sir. He will be talking. As they say, when the age is in, the wit is out.
O mischief, thou art swift to enter in the thoughts of desperate men!
Most dangerous is that temptation that doth good us on to sin to loving virtue.
Totus mundus agit histrionem. All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.
Thoughts and Thinking
Thought is free.
There is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so.
Make not your thoughts you prisons.
Flout ‘em and coun ‘em and scout ‘em and flout ‘em; thought is free.
What, all so soon asleep! I wish mine eyes would, with themselves, shut up my thoughts: I find they are inclin’d to do so.
Time and Time Management
O, call back yesterday, bid time return.
And thus the whirligig of time brings in his revenges.
Time is very slow for those who wait; very fast for those who are scared; very long for those who lament; very short for those who celebrate; but for those who love, time is eternal.
Love all, but trust a few.
Don’t trust the person who has broken faith once.
While you live tell the truth and shame the devil.
Travel and Tourism
Journeys end in lovers meeting.
You take my life when you do take the means whereby I live.
When valor preys on reason, it eats the sword it fights with.
There was never yet fair woman but she made mouths in a glass.
Men’s evil manners live in brass, their virtues we write in water.
Assume a virtue if you have it not.
Nimble thought can jump both sea and land.
‘Tis not the many oaths that make the truth; But the plain single vow, that is vow’d true.
Men’s vows are women’s traitors!
It is the purpose that makes strong the vow; But vows to every purpose must not hold.
We go to gain a little patch of ground that hath in it no profit but the name.
Let me have war, say I: it exceeds peace as far as day does night; it’s spritely, waking, audible, and full of vent. Peace is a very apoplexy, lethargy; mulled, deaf, sleepy, insensible; a getter of more bastard children than war’s a destroyer of men.
Cry ”havoc!” and let loose the dogs of war, that this foul deed shall smell above the earth with carrion men, groaning for burial.
We waste our lights in vain, like lamps by day.
‘Tis not enough to help the feeble up, but to support him after.
Will and Will Power
The will is deaf and hears no heedful friends.
Our bodies are our gardens… our wills are our gardeners.
Winners and Winning
Nothing can seem foul to those who win.
To be wise and love exceeds man’s might.
So wise so young, they say, do never live long.
He’s winding up the watch of his wit. By and by it will strike.
To suckle fools, and chronicle small beer.
It is a kind of good deed to say well; and yet words are not deeds.
All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players.
Present fears are less than horrible imaginings.
Idol of idiot-worshippers!
Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.
Do you set down your name in the scroll of youth, that are written down old with all the characters of age?
A man loves the meat in his youth that he cannot endure in his age.