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Proverbs
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[ Also see Catchphrases Laws of Life and Nature Old Sayings Proverbial Phrases Proverbs (General) ]

O, how this spring of love resembleth
  The uncertain glory of an April day,
    Which now shows all the beauty of the sun,
      And by and by a cloud takes all away!
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Two Gentlemen of Verona
         (Proteus at I, iii)

One heat another heat expels.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Two Gentlemen of Verona
         (Proteus at II, iv)

A woman sometimes scorns what best contents her.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Two Gentlemen of Verona
         (Valentine at III, i)

But neither bended knees, pure hands held up,
  Sad sighs, deep groans, nor silver-shedding tears,
    Could penetrate her uncompassionate sire.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Two Gentlemen of Verona
         (Proteus at III, i)

The hair that covers the wit is more than the wit, for the greater hides the less.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Two Gentlemen of Verona
         (Launce at III, i)

By penitence th' Eternal's wrath's appeas'd.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Two Gentlemen of Verona
         (Valentine at V, iv)

How use doth breed a habit in a man!
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Two Gentlemen of Verona
         (Valenine at V, iv)

Our praises are our wages.
      - William Shakespeare, The Winter's Tale
         (Hermione at I, ii)

The silence often of pure innocence
  Persuades, when speaking fails.
      - William Shakespeare, The Winter's Tale
         (Paulina at II, ii)

What's gone, and what's past help,
  Should be past grieve.
      - William Shakespeare, The Winter's Tale
         (Paulina at III, ii)

Though I am not naturally honest, I am so sometimes by chance.
      - William Shakespeare, The Winter's Tale
         (Autolycus at IV, iv)

Sweet mercy is nobility's true badge.
      - William Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus
         (Tamora at I, i)

Foul-spoken coward, that thunder'st with thy tongue,
  And with thy weapon nothing dar'st perform.
      - William Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus
         (Chiron at II, i)

Sorrow concealed, like an oven stopp'd,
  Doth burn the heart to cinders, where it is.
      - William Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus
         (Marcus at II, iv)

Is the sun dimmed, that gnats do fly in it?
      - William Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus
         (Tamora at IV, iv)

The eagle suffers little birds to sing,
  And is not careful what they mean thereby.
      - William Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus
         (Tamora at IV, iv)

The eagle suffers little birds to sing,
  And is not careful what they mean thereby,
    Knowing that with the shadow of his wings
      He can at pleasure stint their melody:
        Even so mayest thou the giddy men of Rome.
      - William Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus
         (Tamora at IV, iv)

If music be the food of love, play on.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Twelfth Night, or, What You Will
         (Duke at I, i), (altered)

I am sure care's an enemy to life.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Twelfth Night, or, What You Will
         (Tony Belch at I, iii)

'Tis in grain, sir; 'twill endure wind and weather.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Twelfth Night, or, What You Will
         (Olivia at I, v)

She never told her love,
  But let concealment, like a worm i' th' bud,
    Feed on her damask cheek. She pined in thought;
      And, with a green and yellow melancholy,
        She sat like Patience on a monument,
          Smiling at grief.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Twelfth Night, or, What You Will
         (Viola at II, iv)

Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon 'em.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Twelfth Night, or, What You Will
         (Malvalio at II, v)

Love sought is good, but given unsought is better.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Twelfth Night, or, What You Will
         (Olivia at III, i)

Then westward ho!
  Grace and good disposition attend your ladyship.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Twelfth Night, or, What You Will
         (Viola at III, i)

I hate ingratitude more in man
  Than lying, vainness, babbling, drunkenness,
    Or any taint of vice.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Twelfth Night, or, What You Will
         (Viola at III, iv)

A great while ago the world begun,
  With hey, ho, the wind and the rain;
    But that's all one, our play is done,
      And we'll strive to please you every day.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Twelfth Night, or, What You Will
         (Duke at V, i)

Thus the whirligig of time
  Brings in his revenges.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Twelfth Night, or, What You Will
         (Clown at V, i)

Fear not the future, weep not for the past.
      - Percy Bysshe Shelley

Our sincerest laughter
  With some pain is fraught:
    Our sweetest songs are those which tell of saddest thought.
      - Percy Bysshe Shelley

Revenge and wrong bring forth their kind;
  The foul cubs like their parents are.
      - Percy Bysshe Shelley

As wither'd roses yield a late perfume.
      - William Shenstone

So sweetly she bade me adieu,
  I thought that she bade me return.
      - William Shenstone

Sceptre and crown must tumble down
  And in the dust be equal made
    With the poor crooked scythe and spade.
      - James Shirley

God helps those who help themselves.
      - Algernon Sidney (Sydney),
        Discourse Concerning Government
         (ch. II, pt. XXIII)

The day is short, the work is much.
      - a saying of Ben Sira (Syra),
        from the Hebrew

He told me once
  The saddest thing that can befall the soul,
    Is when it loses faith in God and woman,
      For he had lost them both. Lost I those gems,
        Though the world's throne stood open in my path,
          I would go wandering back into my childhood,
            Searching for them with tears.
      - Alexander Smith

He will go back to the old faith he learnt
  Beside his mother's knee.
      - Alexander Smith

The peasant thanked her with their tears,
  When food and clothes were given;
    "This is a joy," the lady said,
      "Saints cannot taste in heaven."
      - Alexander Smith

Who bravely dares must sometimes risk a fall.
      - Tobias George Smollett

Wind puffs up empty bladders; opinion, fools.
      - Socrates

Know thyself.
  [Lat., Ne quis nimis. (From the Greek)]
      - Solon,
        his motto, inscribed on Temple of Apollo at Delphi, attributed to Socrates by Plate, later also attributed to Chilo of Thales and Pythagoras

Go West, young man! Go West.
      - John L.B. Soule,
        in the "Terre Haute Express"

Pity's akin to love; and every thought
  Of that soft kind is welcome to my soul.
      - Thomas Southerne (Southern), Oroonoko
         (act II, sc. 2, l. 64)

There, though last, not least.
      - Edmund Spenser

Although the last, not least.
      - Edmund Spenser, Colin Clout (l. 444)

Anger manages everything badly.
      - Statius (Publius Papanius Statius)

Give time and permit a short delay, impetuosity ruins everything.
      - Statius (Publius Papanius Statius)

It is an honourable thing to be merciful to the vanquished.
      - Statius (Publius Papanius Statius)

Virtue may be cheerful without forgetting its dignity.
      - Statius (Publius Papanius Statius)

God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb.
      - Laurence Sterne, Sentimental Journey


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