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Words are but holy as the deeds they cover.
- Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Cenci
(act II, sc. 2)
Such as thy words are, such will thy affections be esteemed; and such will thy deeds be as thy affections and such thy life as thy deeds.
The arts Babblative and Scriblative.
- Robert Southey, Colloquies
Heaps of huge words uphoarded hideously, with horrid sound, though having little sense.
- Edmund Spenser
Her words but wind, and all her tears but water.
- Edmund Spenser
Man does not live by words alone, despite the fact that sometimes he has to eat them.
- Adlai E. Stevenson
Man is a creature who lives not upon bread alone, but principally by catchwords.
- Robert Louis Stevenson
The artillery of words.
- Jonathan Swift, Ode to Sancroft (l. 13)
But from sharp words and wits men pluck no fruit;
And gathering thorns they shake the tree at root;
For words divide and rend,
But silence is most noble till the end.
- Algernon Charles Swinburne, Atalanta
I have not skill
From such a sharp and waspish word as "No"
To pluck the sting.
- Sir Henry Taylor (2), Philip Van Artevelde
(act I, sc. 2)
My words are only words, and moved
Upon the topmost froth of thought.
- Lord Alfred Tennyson
I sometimes hold it half a sin
To put in words the grief I feel;
For words, like Nature, half reveal
And half conceal the Soul within.
. . . .
In words, like weeds, I'll wrap me o'er
Like coarsest clothes against the cold;
But that large grief which these enfold
Is given in outline and no more.
- Lord Alfred Tennyson, In Memoriam (V)
A word to the wise is sufficient.
[Lat., Dictum sapienti sat est.]
- Terence (Publius Terentius Afer), Phormio
(III, 3, 8)
As the last bell struck, a peculiar sweet smile shone over his face, and he lifted up his head a little, and quickly said, "Adsum!" and fell back. It was the word we used at school, when names were called; and lo, he, whose heart was as that of a little child, had answered to his name, and stood in the presence of The Master.
- William Makepeace Thackeray, Newcomes
(bk. II, ch. XLII)
Deep in my heart subsides the infrequent word,
And there dies slowly throbbing like a wounded bird.
- Francis Thompson, Her Portrait (st. 3)
The words of some men are thrown forcibly against you and adhere like burrs.
- Henry David Thoreau
As shadows attend substances, so words follow upon things.
- Archbishop Richard Chenevix Trench,
Study of Words
Some syllables are swords.
- Henry Vaughan ("The Silurist")
He utters empty words, he utters sound without mind.
[Lat., Dat inania verba,
Dat sine mente sonum.]
- Virgil or Vergil (Publius Virgilius Maro Vergil),
The Aeneid (10, 639)
You [Pindar] who possessed the talent of speaking much without saying much.
- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire),
Sur la Carrousel de l'Imperatrice de Russie
You phrase tormenting fantastic chorus,
With strangest words at your beck and call.
- Sir William Watson (2), Orgy on Parnassus
A broken bone can heal, but the wound a word opens can fester forever.
- Jessamyn West
Nothing is rarer than the use of a word in its exact meaning.
- Edwin Percy Whipple
Words are miraculous things. They describe, captivate, provoke, vivify, encompass, pervade, inspire, preserve, and comfort. So much more than that, in fact, so as to leave me at a loss of . . . words.
For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these: "It might have been!"
- John Greenleaf Whittier, Maud Muller
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