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I was not born under a rhyming planet, nor I cannot woo in festival terms. Much Ado About Nothing. Act V. Sc. 2. L.


Playnts, prayers, vowes, truth, sorrow, and dis

may; Those engins can the proudest love convert: And, if those fayle, fall down and dy before

her; So dying live, and living do adore her. SPENSER-Amoretti and Epithalamion. Sonnet





Full little knowest thou that hast not tried,
What hell it is in suing long to bide:
To loose good dayes, that might be better spent;
To waste long nights in pensive discontent;
To speed to-day, to be put back to-morrow;
To feed on hope, to pine with feare and sorrow.

SPENSER—Mother Hubberd's Tale. L. 895.
Quiet, Robin, quiet!
You lovers are such clumsy summer-flies,
Forever buzzing at your lady's face.

TENNYSONThe Foresters. Act IV. Sc. 1. When Venus said “Spell no for me,” “N-O," Dan Cupid wrote with glee,

And smiled at his success:
"Ah, child," said Venus, laughing low,
"We women do not spell it so,

We spell it Y-E-S.'
CAROLYN WELLSThe Spelling Lesson.

Words of truth and soberness.

Acts. XXVI. 25.





She wish'd she had not heard it, yet she wish'd That heaven had made her such a man: she

thank'd me, And bade me, if I had a friend that lov'd her, I should but teach him how to tell my story And that would woo her.

Othello. Act I. Sc. 3. L. 162.

Was ever woman in this humour woo'd?
Was ever woman in this humour won?
Richard III. Act I, Sc. 2. L. 228.

O gentle Romeo,
If thou dost love, pronounce it faithfully.
Or if thou think'st I am too quickly won,
I'll frown and be perverse and say thee nay,
So thou wilt woo; but else, not for the world.

Romeo and Juliet. Act II. Sc. 2. L. 93.

She is a woman, therefore may be woo'd;
She is a woman, therefore may be won.
Titus Andronicus. Act II. Sc. 1. L. 82.

(See also HENRY VI)

Women are angels, wooing: Things won are done, joy's soul lies in the doing: That she belov'd knows nought that knows not

this: Men prize the thing ungain'd more than it is.

Troilus and Cressida. Act I. Sc. 2. L. 312.

7 Win her with gifts, if she respect not words; Dumb jewels often in their silent kind More than quick words do move a woman's mind. Two Gentlemen of Verona. Act III. Sc. 1. L.

Never give her o'er; For scorn at first makes after-love the more. If she do frown, 'tis not in hate of you, But rather to beget more love in you; If she do chide, 'tis not to have you gone, For why, the fools are mad if left alone. Two Gentlemen of Verona. Act III. Sc. 1. L.

94. 9 Take no repulse, whatever she doth say;, For, "get you gone," she doth not mean,"away." Flatter and praise, commend, extol their graces; Though ne'er so black, say they have angels'

faces. That man that hath a tongue, I say, is no man, If with his tongue he cannot win a woman. Two Gentlemen of Verona. Act III. Sc. 1. L.

100. 10 Say that upon the altar of her beauty You sacrifice your tears, your sighs, your heart: Write till your ink be dry and with your tears Moist it again, and frame some feeling line, That may discover such integrity. Two Gentlemen of Verona. Act III. Sc. 2. L.

73. Bring therefore all the forces that ye may, And lay incessant battery to her heart;





Words, as a Tartar's bow, do shoot back upon the understanding of the wisest, and mightily entangle and pervert the judgment.

BACON-Advancement of Learning. (See also CARLETON, DILLON, ELIOT, HEINE,

MENANDER) Words of affection, howsoe'er express'd, The latest spoken still are deem'd the best. JOANNA BAILLIE-Address to Miss Agnes

Baillie on her Birthday. L. 126. 18 'Tis a word that's quickly spoken, Which being restrained, a heart is broken. BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER The Spanish

Curate. Act II. Sc. 5. Song. 'Twas he that ranged the words at random flung, Pierced the fair pearls and them together strung. BIDPAI (PILPAY)-Anvar-i Suhaili. EASTWICK's trans.

(See also JONES) You have only, when before your glass, to keep pronouncing to yourself nimini-pimini; the lips cannot help taking their plie. GENERAL BURGOYNEThe Heiress. Act III.

Sc. 2. A very great part of the mischiefs that vex this world arises from words.

BURKE-Letter. (About 1795) 22

(See also DICKENS) Boys flying

kites haul in their white winged birds; You can't do that way when you're flying words. "Careful with fire,” is good advice we know




“Careful with words,” is ten times doubly so. Thoughts unexpressed may sometimes fall back

dead; But God Himself can't kill them when they're

said. WILL CARLETONThe First Settler's Story. St. 21.

(See also Bacon) High Air-castles are cunningly built of Words, the Words well bedded also in good Logic-mortar; wherein, however, no Knowledge will come to lodge.

CARLYLE—Sartor Resartus. Bk. I. Ch. VIII.


I trade both with the living and the dead for the enrichment of our native language. DRYDEN - Dedication to translation of The

Æneid. 13 And torture one poor word ten thousand ways.

DRYDEN—Mac Flecknoe. L. 208.


Let thy words be few.

Ecclesiastes. V. 2.

15 Let no man deceive you with vain words.

Ephesians. V. 6.




The Moral is that gardeners pine,
Whene'er no pods adorn the vine.
Of all sad words experience gleans,
The saddest are: “It might have beans."

(I did not make this up myself:
'Twas in a book upon my shelf.
It's witty, but I don't deny

It's rather Whittier than I.) Guy WETMORE CARRYLHow Jack found that Beans may go back on a Chap.

(See also WHITTIER) 3 Words writ in waters. GEORGE CHAPMAN—Revenge for Honour. Act

V. Sc. 2.

Our words have wings, but fly not where we

would. GEORGE ELIOTThe Spanish Gypsy. Bk. III.

(See also BACON)
What if my words
Were meant for deeds.
GEORGE ELIOTThe Spanish Gypsy. Bk. III.

An undisputed power
Of coining money from the rugged ore,
Nor less of coining words, is still confessed,
If with a legal public stamp impressed.

PHILIP FRANCIS-Horace, Art of Poetry.

19 New ords and lately made shall credit claim If from a Grecian source they gently stream.

PHILIP FRANCISHorace, Art of Poetry.



Words are but empty thanks.

COLLEY CIBBER-Woman's Wit. Act V.



Fair words butter no parsnips.
CLARKE–Paræmiologia. P. 12. (Ed. 1639)

Quoted “soft words."


Mum's the word.
GEORGE COLMAN the Younger–Battle of Hex-

ham. Act II. Sc. 1.

That blessed word Mesopotamia.
GARRICK tells of the power of GEORGE WHITE-

FIELD's voice, "he could make men either
laugh or cry by pronouncing the word Meso-
potamia.” Related by FRANCIS Jacox. An
old woman said she found great support in
that comfortable word Mesopotamia. See

BREWER's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. Der Worte sind genug gewechselt, Lasst mich auch endlich Thaten sehn.

The words you've bandied are sufficient; 'Tis deeds that I prefer to see. GOETHE-Faust. Vorspiel auf dem Theater.

L. 214.



Without knowing the force of words, it is impossible to know men.

CONFUCIUS-Analects. Bk. XX. Ch. IIJ


Words that weep,

and tears that speak. COWLEY-The Prophet. St. 2. L. 8. (See also MALLET, also GRAY under THOUGHT)



Gewöhnlich glaubt der Mensch, wenn er nur

Worte hört, Es müsse sich dabei doch auch was denken.

Man usually believes, if only words he hears, That also with them goes material for thinking. GOETHE-Faust. 1. 6. 230.

23 Es macht das Volk sich auch mit Worten Lust. The rabble also vent

their rage in words. GOETHE-Torquato Tasso. IŤ. 2. 201.


Father is rather vulgar, my dear. The word Papa, besides, gives a pretty form to the lips. Papa, potatoes, poultry, prunes and prism are all very good words for the lips; especially prunes and prism. DICKENSDombey and Son. Pt. II. Ch. V.

(See also BURGOYNE, GOLDSMITH) But words once spoke can never be recall’d. WENTWORTH DILLON—Art of Poetry. L. 442.

(See also Bacon) It used to be a common saying of Myson's that men ought not to seek for things in words, but for words in things; for that things are not made on account of words but that words are put together for the sake of things. DIOGENES LAERTIUS—Lives of the Philosophers.

Bk. I. Myson. Ch. III.



At this every lady drew up her mouth as if going to pronounce the letter P. GOLDSMITH-Letter to Robt. Bryanton. Sept., 1758.

(See also DICKENS)


If of all words of tongue and pen,
The saddest are, “It might have been,"
More sad are these we daily see,




the press.









"It is, but it hadn't ought to be." BRET HARTE-Mrs. Jenkins.

Like orient pearls at random strung. (See also WHITTIER)

SIR WILLIAM JONES. Trans. from the Per

sian of HAFIZ. The arrow belongs not to the archer when it

(See also BIDPAI) has once left the bow; the word no longer belongs to the speaker when it has once passed his The masterless man . . . afflicted with the lips, especially when it has been multiplied by magic of the necessary words. .. Words

that may become alive and walk up and down HEINE— Religion and Philosophy. Preface. in the hearts of the hearers. (1852)

KIPLING—Speech at the Royal Academy Ban(See also BACON)

quet, London. 1906.

16 Words and feathers the wind carries away. We might have been—these are but common HERBERT/Jacula Prudentum.


And yet they make the sum of life's bewailing. Words are women, deeds are men.

LETITIA E. LANDON—Three Extracts from the HERBERT Jacula Prudentum.

Diary of a Week. (See also JOHNSON)

(See also WHITTIER) For words are wise men's counters—they do We should have a great many fewer disputes but reckon by them—but they are the money in the world if words were taken for what they of fools.

are, the signs of our ideas only, and not for THOMAS HOBBESThe Leviathan. Pt. I. Ch.

things themselves. IV. Sc. 15.

LOCKE-Essay on the Human Understanding.

III. 10.
Words sweet as honey from his lips distillid.
HOMER-Iliad. Bk. I. L. 332. POPE's trans.

Speaking words of endearment where words

of comfort availed not. Winged words. HOMER-Iliad. Bk. XX. 331. POPE's trans.

LONGFELLOW-Evangeline. Pt. I. V. L. 43. Tristia mæstum My words are little jars Vultum verba decent; iratum, plena minarum; For you to take and put upon a shelf. Ludentem, lasciva; severum, seria dictu. Their shapes are quaint and beautiful,

Sorrowful words become the sorrowful; angry And they have many pleasant colours and lustres words suit the passionate; light words a play To recommend them. ful expression; serious words suit the grave. Also the scent from them fills the room HORACE-Ars Poetica. 105.

With sweetness of flowers and crushed grasses. Delere licebit

AMY LOWELL-A Gift. Quod non edideris; nescit vox missa reverti.

It will be practicable to blot written words There comes Emerson first, whose rich words, which you do not publish; but the spoken word

every one, it is not possible to recalí.

Are like gold nails in temples to hang trophies on. HORACE Ars Poetica. 389. Epistles. I. LOWELL-A Fable for Critics.

18. 71. Words are the soul's ambassadors, who go

Ein Wörtlein kann ihn fällen. Abroad upon her errands to and fro.

A single little word can strike him dead. J. HOWELL-Of Words.

LUTHER. (Of the Pope.)

22 How forcible are right words!

Some grave their wrongs on marble; He, more Job. VI. 25.


Stooped down serene, and wrote them in the Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words dust. without knowledge?

RICHARD R. MADDEN—Poems on Sacred Sub Job. XXXVIII. 2.

jects. 12

I am not yet so lost in lexicography, as to Words are men's daughters, but God's sons forget that words are the daughters of earth, are things. and that things are the sons of heaven.

SAMUEL MADDEN—Boulter's Monument. Said to .

to have been inserted by Dr. Johnson. SIR WILLIAM JONES quotes the saying as

(See also JOHNSON) proverbial in India ("deeds” for "sons"). Same used by Sir Thos. BODLEY-Letter to Words that weep, and strains that agonise. his Librarian. (1604)

DAVID MALLET (or Malloch)-Amyntor and (See also HERBERT, MADDEN)

Theodora. II. 306. To make dictionaries is dull work.

Strains that sigh and words that weep. SAMUEL JOHNSON-A Dictionary of the English DAVID MALLET—Funeral Hymn. 23. Language. Dull.

(See also GRAY under THOUGHT)









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They say



It is as easy to draw back a stone thrown with Le monde se paye de paroles; peu approforce from the hand, as to recall a word once fondissement les choses. spoken.

The world is satisfied with words. Few MENANDER-Ex Incert, Comæd. P. 216. appreciate the things beneath. (See also BACON)

PASCAL-Lettres Provinciales. II. Words, however, are things; and the man who In pertusum ingerimus dicta dolium, operam accords

ludimus. To his language the license to outrage his soul, We are pouring our words into a sieve, and Is controlld by the words he disdains to control. lose our labor. OWEN MEREDITH (Lord Lytton)-Lucile. Pt. PLAUTUS—Pseudolus. I. 3. 135.

1. Canto II. St. VI. 3

Words will build no walls. How many honest words have suffered cor PLUTARCH-Life of Pericles. CRATINUS ridiruption since Chaucer's days!

culed the long wall PERICLES proposed to THOMAS MIDDLETON—No Wit, No Help, Like build. a Woman's. Act II. Sc. 1.

18 4

Words are like leaves; and where they most His words,

like so many nimble and abound, airy servitors, trip about him at command. Much fruit of sense beneath is rarely found. MILTON-Apology for Smectymnuus.

POPE-Essay on Criticism. L. 309. 5 With high words, that bore

In words, as fashions, the same rule will hold: Semblance of worth, not substance.

Alike fantastic, if too new, or old: MILTONParadise Lost. Bk. I. 528.

Be not the first by whom the new are tried, 6

Nor yet the last to lay the old aside.
Yet hold it more humane, more heav'nly, first, POPE-Essay on Criticism. L. 333.
By winning words to conquer willing hearts,
And make persuasion do the work of fear.
MILTON-Paradise Regained. Bk. 1. L. 221.

Each word-catcher, that lives on syllables.

POPE-Prologue to Satires, 166.
And to bring in a new word by the head and
shoulders, they leave out the old one.
MONTAIGNEEssays. Upon some Verses of That, putting all his words together,

'Tis three blue beans in one blue bladder. Vergil.

PRIOR—Alma. Canto I. L. 26. 8

How many quarrels, and how important, has the doubt as to the meaning of this syllable

A word spoken in good season, how good is it! "Hoc" produced for the world!

Proverbs. XV. 23. MONTAIGNE-Essays. Bk. II. Ch. XII. (Refer 23

ring to the controversies on transubstantia A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in tion—"Hoc est corpus meum.")

pictures of silver

Proverbs. XXV. 11. Words repeated again have as another sound,

24 so another sense.

The words of his mouth were smoother than MONTAIGNE-Essays. Bk. III. Ch. XII.

butter, but war was in his heart; his words were 10

softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords. So spake those wary foes, fair friends in look,

Psalms. LV. 21. And so in words great gifts they gave and took,

25 And had small profit, and small loss thereby.

Inanis verborum torrens. WM. MORRIS — Jason. Bk. VIII. 379.

An unmeaning torrent of words. 11 The word impossible is not in my dictionary.


26 (See also BULWER-LYTTON under FAILURE)

Souvent d'un grand dessein un mot nous fait 12

juger. Things were first made, then words.

A single word often betrays a great design. SIR T. OVERBURY—A Wife.

RACINE-Athalie. II. 6. 13

27 Hei mihi, quam facile est (quamvis hic contigit He that useth many words for the explaining omnes),

any subject, doth, like the cuttle fish, híde himAlterius lucta fortia verba loqui!

self for the most part in his own ink. Ah me! how easy it is (how much all have JOHN Ray-On Creation. experienced it) to indulge in brave words in

28 another person's trouble.

One of our defects as a nation is a tendency to OVID-Ad Liviam. 9.

use what have been called "weasel words."

When a weasel sucks eggs the meat is sucked Non opus est verbis, credite rebus.

out of the egg. If you use a "weasel word” after There is no need of words; believe facts. another there is nothing left of the other. OVID—Fasti. II. 734.

ROOSEVELT—Speech, at St. Louis, May 31,



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What art thou? Have not I An arm as big as thine? a heart as big? Thy words, I grant, are bigger, for I wear My dagger in my mouth.

Cymbeline. Act IV. Sc. 2. L. 76.

I know thou'rt full of love and honesty,
And weigh'st thy words before thou givest them

Othello. Act III. Sc. 3. L. 118.




What do you read, my lord?

Words, words, words.
Hamlet. Act II. Sc. 2. L. 193.


Unpack my heart with words And fall a-cursing, like a very drab.

Hamlet. Act II. Sc. 2. L. 614.

How long a time lies in one little word!
Four lagging winters and four wanton springs
End in a word: such is the breath of kings.

Richard II. Act I. Sc. 3. L. 213.
O, but they say the tongues of dying men
Enforce attention like deep harmony:
Where words are scarce, they are seldom spent

in vain, For they breathe truth that breathe their words

in pain. He that no more must say is listen'd more.

Richard II. Act II. Sc. 1. L. 5.



My words fly up, my thoughts remain below: Words without thoughts never to heaven go.

Hamlet. Act III. Sc. 3. L. 97.


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