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COWARDS
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[ Also see Cowardice Despair Dueling Fear Soldiers War Weakness ]

To wish for death is a coward's part.
  [Lat., Timidi est optare necem.]
      - Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso), Metamorphoses
         (IV, 115)

A coward boasting of his courage may deceive strangers, but he is a laughing-stock to those who know him.
  [Lat., Virtutis expers verbis jactans gloriam
    Ignotos fallit, notis est derisui.]
      - Phaedrus (Thrace of Macedonia), Fables
         (I, 11, 1)

You are like the eels of Melun; you cry out before you are skinned.
  [Fr., Vous semblez les anguilles de Melun; vous criez devant qu'on vous esorche.]
      - Francois Rabelais, Gargantua

Cowards fear to die; but courage stout,
  Rather than live in snuff, will be put out.
      - Sir Walter Raleigh (1)

A cowardly cur barks more fiercely than it bites.
  [Lat., Canis timidus vehementius latrat quam mordet.]
      - Quintus Curtius Rufus (Curtis Rufus Quintus),
        De Rebus Gestis Alexandri Magni
         (VII, 4, 13)

When all the blandishments of life are gone,
  The coward sneaks to death, the brave live on.
      - Dr. George Sewell, The Suicide

Plenty and peace breed cowards; hardness ever of hardiness is mother.
      - William Shakespeare

The native hue of resolution is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought.
      - William Shakespeare

Thou slave, thou wretch, thou coward!
  Thou little valiant, great in villainy!
    Thou ever strong upon the stronger side!
      Thou Fortune's champion, that dost never fight
        But where her humorous ladyship is by
          To teach thee safety.
      - William Shakespeare

E'en a crow o' th' same nest; not altogether so great as the first in goodness, but greater a great deal in evil. He excels his brother for a coward, yet his brother is reputed one of the best that is. In a retreat he outruns any lackey; marry, in coming on he has the cramp.
      - William Shakespeare,
        All's Well That Ends Well
         (Parolles at IV, iii)

Who knows himself a braggart,
  Let him fear this; for it will come to pass
    That every braggart shall be found an ass.
      - William Shakespeare,
        All's Well That Ends Well
         (Parolles at IV, iii)

You souls of geese,
  That bear the shapes of men, how have you run
    From slaves that apes would men!
      - William Shakespeare, Coriolanus
         (Marcius at I, iv)

So cowards fight when they can fly no further;
  So doves do peck the falcon's piercing talons;
    So desperate thieves, all hopeless of their lives,
      Breathe out invectives 'gainst the officers.
      - William Shakespeare,
        King Henry the Sixth, Part III
         (Clifford at I, iv)

Wouldst thou have that
  Which thou esteem'st the ornament of life,
    And live a coward in thine own esteem,
      Letting 'I dare not' wait upon 'I would,'
        Like the poor cat i' th' adage?
      - William Shakespeare, Macbeth
         (Lady Macbeth at I, vii)

Thou dost shame
  That bloody spoil. Thou slave, thou wretch, thou coward!
    Thou little valiant, great in villainy!
      Thou ever strong upon the stronger side!
        Thou fortune's champion, that dost never fight
          But when her humorous ladyship is by
            To teach thee safety!
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Life and Death of King John
         (Constance at III, i)

How many cowards whose hearts are all as false
  As stairs of sand, wear yet upon their chins
    The beards of Hercules and frowning Mars,
      Who inward searched, have livers white as milk!
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Merchant of Venice
         (Bassanio at III, ii)

A coward, a most devout coward; religious in it.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Twelfth Night, or, What You Will
         (Fabian at III, iv)

Commonly they use their feet for defence, whose tongue is their weapon.
      - Sir Philip Sidney (Sydney)

A great deal of talent is lost in the world for want of a little courage. Every day sends to their graves a number of obscure men, who have only remained in obscurity because their timidity has prevented them from making a first effort.
      - Sydney Smith

The fact is, that to do anything in this world worth doing, we must not stand back shivering and thinking of the cold and danger, but jump in and scramble through as well as we can.
      - Sydney Smith

Cruel people are ever cowards in emergency.
      - Jonathan Swift

The coward calls himself cautious, the miser thrifty.
  [Lat., Timidus se vocat cautum, parcum sordidus.]
      - Syrus (Publilius Syrus), Maxims

Every recreant who proved his timidity in the hour of danger, was afterwards boldest in words and tongue.
  [Lat., Ignavissimus quisque, et ut res docuit, in periculo non ausurus, nimis verbis et lingua feroces.]
      - Tacitus (Caius Cornelius Tacitus), Annales
         (IV, 62)

Some are brave men one day and cowards another, as great captains have often told me, from their own experience and observation.
      - Sir William Temple

What masks are these uniforms to hide cowards!
      - Duke of Wellington, Arthur Wellesley


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