William Shakespeare Quotes
'''Tis the curse of service,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. Othello (I, i). . . The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
Preferment goes by letter and affection,
And not by old gradation, where each second
Stood heir to th' first.''
''Pale primroses,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Perdita, in The Winter's Tale, act 4, sc. 4, l. 122-4. Spring flowers that do not live to see the sun ("Phoebus") at full strength in the summer.
That die unmarried ere they can behold
Bright Phoebus in his strength.''
''Mercy is above this sceptred sway,William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Portia, in The Merchant of Venice, act 4, sc. 1, l. 193-7. Offering Shylock the chance to show mercy; "sceptred sway" means earthly rule; "attribute to means characteristic of.
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God's
When mercy seasons justice.''
''Cold indeed, and labor lost:William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Prince of Morocco, in The Merchant of Venice, act 2, sc. 7, l. 74-5. Before choosing the wrong casket, he had sworn never to marry.
Then farewell heat, and welcome frost!''
''I took him for the plainest harmless creatureWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Richard, in Richard III, act 3, sc. 5, l. 25-8. Protesting his love for Hastings, whose execution he has just plotted.
That breathed upon the earth a Christian;
Made him my book, wherein my soul recorded
The history of all her secret thoughts.''
''Time travels in divers paces with divers persons.''William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Rosalind, in As You Like It, act 3, sc. 2, l. 308-9. Time passes at different speeds according to the person.
''Sir Andrew Aguecheek. I know, to be up late is to be up late.William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Sir Andrew Aguecheek and Sir Toby Belch, in Twelfth Night, act 2, sc. 3, l. 4-9. Sir Toby's excuse for staying up drinking.
Sir Toby Belch. A false conclusion. I hate it as an unfilled can. To be up after midnight and to go to bed then, is early; so that to go to bed after midnight is to go to bed betimes.''
''Then hate me when thou wilt; if ever, now;William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. Then hate me when thou wilt, if ever thou (l. 1-12). . . The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
Now, while the world is bent my deeds to cross,
Join with the spite of fortune, make me bow,
And do not drop in for an after-loss:
Ah! do not, when my heart hath 'scaped this sorrow,
Come in the rearward of a conquered woe;
Give not a windy night a rainy morrow,
To linger out a purposed overthrow.
If thou wilt leave me, do not leave me last,
When other petty griefs have done their spite,
But in the onset come; so shall I taste
At first the very worst of fortune's might.''
''Honesty coupled to beauty is to have honey a sauce to sugar.''William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Touchstone, in As You Like It, act 3, sc. 3, l. 30-1. Trying to persuade her not to be virtuous ("honest").
''When forty winters shall besiege thy browWilliam Shakespeare (1564-1616), British poet. When forty winters shall beseige thy brow (l. 1-14). . . The Unabridged William Shakespeare, William George Clark and William Aldis Wright, eds. (1989) Running Press.
And dig deep trenches in thy beauty's field,
Thy youth's proud livery, so gaz'd on now,
Will be a tatter'd weed of small worth held.
Then being ask'd where all thy beauty lies,
Where all the treasure of thy lusty days,
To say, within thine own deep-sunken eyes
Were an all-eating shame and thriftless praise.
How much more praise deserv'd thy beauty's use
If thou couldst answer, \'This fair child of mine
Shall sum my count and make my old excuse,'
Proving his beauty by succession thine!
This were to be new made when thou art old
And see thy blood warm when thou feel'st it cold.''
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A Fairy Song
Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire!
I do wander everywhere,
Swifter than the moon's sphere;
And I serve the Fairy Queen,
To dew her orbs upon the green;
The cowslips tall her pensioners be;
In their gold coats spots you see;
Those be rubies, fairy favours;
In those freckles live their savours;
I must go seek some dewdrops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear.
O truant Muse, what shall be thy amends
For thy neglect of truth in beauty dyed?
Both truth and beauty on my love depends;
So dost thou too, and therein dignified.
Make answer, Muse: wilt thou not haply say
'Truth needs no colour, with his colour fix'd;
Beauty no pencil, beauty's truth to lay;
But best is best, if never intermix'd?'
Because he needs no praise, wilt thou be dumb?