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[ Also see Boldness Bravery Caution Challenge Courage Cowards Despair Dueling Fear Fortitude Panic Soldiers Valor War Weakness ]

What a slave art thou to hack thy sword as thou hast done, and then say it was in fight!
      - William Shakespeare,
        King Henry the Fourth, Part I
         (Prince Henry at II, iv)

For my part, I may speak it to my shame,
  I have a truant been to chivalry;
    And so I hear he doth account me too.
      - William Shakespeare,
        King Henry the Fourth, Part I
         (Prince Henry at V, i)

So bees with smoke and doves with noisome stench
  Are from their hives and houses driven away.
    They called us, for our fierceness, English dogs;
      Now, like to whelps, we crying run away.
      - William Shakespeare,
        King Henry the Sixth, Part I
         (Talbot at I, v)

Foul fiend of France and hag of all despite,
  Encompassed with thy lustful paramours,
    Becomes it thee to taunt his valiant age
      And twit with cowardice a man half dead?
      - William Shakespeare,
        King Henry the Sixth, Part I
         (Talbot at III, ii)

I hold it cowardice
  To rest mistrustful where a noble heart
    Hath pawned an open hand in sign of love.
      - William Shakespeare,
        King Henry the Sixth, Part III
         (Warwick at IV, ii)

Milk-livered man,
  That bear'st a cheek for blows, a head for wrongs;
    Who hast not in thy brows an eye discerning
      Thine honor from thy suffering; [that not know'st
        Fools do those villains pity who are punished
          Ere they have done their mischief. Where's thy drum?
            France spreads his banners in our noiseless land,
              With plumed helm thy state begins to threat,
                Whilst thou, a moral fool, sits still and cries
                  'Alack, why does he so?']
      - William Shakespeare, King Lear
         (Goneril at IV, ii)

Thou cold-blooded slave,
  Hast thou not spoke like thunder on my side,
    Been sworn my soldier, bidding me depend
      Upon thy stars, thy fortune, and thy strength,
        And dost thou now fall over to my foes?
          Thou wear a lion's hide! Doff it for shame,
            And hang a calfskin on those recreant limbs.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Life and Death of King John
         (Constance at III, i)

I would give all my fame for a pot of ale and safety.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Life of King Henry the Fifth
         (Boy at III, ii)

By this good light, this is a very shallow monster! I afeard of him? A very weak monster! The Man i' th' Moon? A most poor credulous monster!--Well drawn, monster, in good sooth!
      - William Shakespeare, The Tempest
         (Trinculo at II, ii)

That which in mean men we entitle patience
  Is pale cold cowardice in noble beasts.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Tragedy of King Richard the Second
         (Duchess of Gloucester at I, ii)

As an old soldier I admit the cowardice: it's as universal as sea sickness, and matters just as little.
      - George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

Man gives every reason for his conduct save one, every excuse for his crimes save one, every plea for his safety save one; and that one is his cowardice.
      - George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

The man that lays his hand on woman,
  Save in the way of kindness, is a wretch
    Whom 'twere gross flattery to name a coward.
      - John Tobin, The Honeymoon (act II, sc. 1)

Adieu, canaux, canards, canaille.
      - Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire),
        summing up his Impressions de Voyage, on his return from the Netherlands

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