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SWEARING
[ Also see Blasphemy Deceit Lying Oaths Profanity Promises Vows ]

A demon holds a book, in which are written the sins of a particular man; an Angel drops on it from a phial, a tear which the sinner had shed in doing a good action, and his sins are washed out.
      - Alberic,
        a manuscript, found in article on Dante, selections from "Edinburgh Review", vol. I, p. 67

Maintain our rank, vulgarity despise,
  To swear is neither brave, polite, nor wise,
    You would not swear upon a bed of death--
      Reflect--your Maker now may stop your breath.
      - Anonymous

Jack was embarrassed--never hero more,
  And as he knew not what to say, he swore.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron),
        The Island (canto III, st. 5)

When perjury, that heaven-defying vice,
  Sells oaths by tale, and at the lowest price,
    Stamps God's own name upon a lie just made,
      To turn a penny in the way of trade.
      - William Cowper

Bad language or abuse
  I never, never use,
    Whatever the emergency;
      Though "Bother it" I may
        Occasionally say,
          I never never use a big, big D.
      - Sir William Schwenk Gilbert,
        H.M.S. Pinafore

Though "Bother it" I may
  Occasionally say,
    I never never use a big, big, D.
      - Sir William Schwenk Gilbert,
        H.M.S. Pinafore

Profane swearing never did any man any good. No man in the richer or wiser or happier for it.
      - Robert Lowth (Louth)

I wasn't born with enough middle fingers.
      - Marilyn Manson

There written all
  Black as the damning drops that fall
    From the denouncing Angel's pen,
      Ere Mercy weeps them out again.
      - Thomas Moore,
        Lalla Rookh--Paradise and the Peri
         (st. 28)

When you swear, swear seriously and solemnly, but at the same time with a smile, for a smile is the twin sister of seriousness.
      - Plato (originally Aristocles}

And each blasphemer quite escape the rod,
  Because the insult's not on man, but God?
      - Alexander Pope, Epilogue to Satires
         (dialogue II, l. 199)

To swear, except when necessary, is becoming to an honorable man.
  [Lat., In totum jurare, nisi ubi necesse est, gravi viro parum convenit.]
      - Quintilian (Marcus Fabius Quintilianus),
        De Institutione Oratoria (IX, 2)

But if you swear by that that is not, you are not forsworn; no more was this knight, swearing by his honor, for he never had any.
      - William Shakespeare

And then 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.
      - William Shakespeare, Cymbeline
         (Cloten at II, i)

When a gentlemen is disposed to swear, it is not for any standers-by to curtail his oaths.
      - William Shakespeare, Cymbeline
         (Cloten at II, i)

I'll be damned for never a king's son in Christendom.
      - William Shakespeare,
        King Henry the Fourth, Part I
         (Falstaff at I, ii)

That in the captain's but a choleric word,
  Which in the soldier is flat blasphemy.
      - William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure
         (Isabella at II, ii)

Do not swear at all;
  Or if thou wilt, swear by thy gracious self,
    Which is the god of my idolatry,
      And I'll believe thee.
      - William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
         (Juliet at II, ii)

So soon as ever thou seest him, draw; and as thou draw'st, swear horrible; for 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.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Twelfth Night, or, What You Will
         (Toby at III, iv)

Our armies swore terrible in Flanders.
      - Laurence Sterne,
        The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman
         (bk. III, ch. XI)

"He shall not die, by God," cried by uncle Toby. The Accusing Spirit which flew up to heaven's chancery with the oath, blushed as he gave it in: and the Recording Angel as he wrote it down, dropped a tear upon the word and blotted it out forever.
      - Laurence Sterne,
        The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman
         (bk. VI, ch. VIII)


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