Sir Henry Neville, Alias “William Shakespeare”: A Collection of Quotes

If you don’t already know, the English nobleman, aristocrat and statesman Sir Henry Neville was the author of the so-called “Shakespeare” plays and sonnets. At some point I will post point-by-point evidence of this undeniable fact, gleaned mainly from two books: The Truth Will Out and Sir Henry Neville Was Shakespeare.

It is true that Neville came from an old, elite and very powerful English family with enormous wealth and connections to the very center of power on this Earth. But due to the fact of being born into that ruling-class life, and as a result of some significant events that he experienced, Neville was able to witness and write truths about both the heights and the depths of human nature.

The past couple of years I read, for the first time, all of the “Shakespeare” plays and poems, and I collected my favorite passages. And so for now, just in case others are interested, and also for my own reference, all I want to do here is post my favorites. I hope you enjoy:

Hell is empty and all the devils are here. — The Tempest

Good wombs have borne bad sons. — The Tempest

Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows. — The Tempest

Let us not burthen our remembrance with a heaviness that’s gone. — The Tempest

O, I have suffered
With those that I saw suffer.
— The Tempest

My library was dukedom large enough. — The Tempest

Awake, dear heart, awake. Thou hast slept well. Awake. — The Tempest

What’s past is prologue. — The Tempest

Watch out he’s winding the watch of his wit, by and by it will strike. — The Tempest

There be some sports are painful, and their labour
Delight in them sets off. Some kinds of baseness
Are nobly undergone, and most poor matters
Point to rich ends. This my mean task
Would be as heavy to me as odious, but
The mistress which I serve quickens what’s dead
And makes my labours pleasures.
— The Tempest

This thing of darkness I
Acknowledge mine.
— The Tempest

Truth hath better deeds than words to grace it. — The Two Gentlemen of Verona

A woman sometimes scorns what best contents her. — The Two Gentlemen of Verona

Who by repentance is not satisfied,
Is nor of heaven nor earth;
for these are pleased.
— The Two Gentlemen of Verona

I’ll be as patient as a gentle stream,
And make a pastime of each weary step,
Till the last step have brought me to my love,
And there I’ll rest, as after much turmoil,
A blessed soul doth in Elysium.
— The Two Gentlemen of Verona

Love is like a child
That longs for every thing that he can come by.
— The Two Gentlemen of Verona

Experience is by industry achiev’d,
And perfected by the swift course of time.
— The Two Gentlemen of Verona

I have done penance for contemning Love; Whose high imperious thoughts have punish’d me with bitter fasts, with penitential groans, with nightly tears, and daily heart-sore sighs; For, in revenge of my contempt for love, Love hath chaos’s sleep from my enthralled eyes and made them watchers of my own heart’s sorrow. — The Two Gentlemen of Verona

Is she kind as she is fair?
For beauty lives with kindness.
Love doth to her eyes repair
To help him of his blindness.
— The Two Gentlemen of Verona

‘Tis well, ’tis well; no more: Be not as extreme in submission as in offence. — The Merry Wives of Windsor

O powerful Love, that in some respects makes a beast a man, in some other a man a beast. — The Merry Wives of Windsor

Love like a shadow flies when substance love pursues
Pursuing that that flies, and flying what pursues.
— The Merry Wives of Windsor

I do begin to perceive that I am made an ass. — The Merry Wives of Windsor

Love sought is good, but given unsought is better. — Twelfth Night; Or, What You Will

There is no darkness but ignorance. — Twelfth Night

Now my foes tell me plainly I am an ass: so that by my foes, sir, I profit in the knowledge of myself, and by my friends I am abused. — Twelfth Night

I have unclasp’d to thee the book even of my secret soul. — Twelfth Night

Well, God give them wisdom that have it.
And those that are fools, let them use their talents.
— Twelfth Night

Better a witty fool, than a foolish wit. — Twelfth Night

O time, thou must untangle this, not I.
It is too hard a knot for me t’untie.
— Twelfth Night

Trip no further, pretty sweeting,
Journeys end in lovers meeting.
— Twelfth Night

She sat like patience on a monument,
Smiling at grief.
— Twelfth Night

Come away, come away, Death,
And in sad cypress let me be laid;
Fly away, fly away, breath,
I am slain by a fair cruel maid.
My shroud of white stuck all with yew, O prepare it!
My part of death, no one so true
Did share it
Not a flower, not a flower sweet,
On my black coffin let there be strewn:
Not a friend, not a friend greet
My poor corpse, where my bones shall be thrown.
A thousand thousand sighs to save, lay me O where
Sad true lover never find my grave, to weep there!
— Twelfth Night

Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon ’em. — Twelfth Night

This fellow is wise enough to play the fool;
And to do that well craves a kind of wit:
He must observe their mood on whom he jests,
The quality of persons, and the time,
And, like the haggard, check at every feather
That comes before his eye. This is a practise
As full of labour as a wise man’s art
For folly that he wisely shows is fit;
But wise men, folly-fall’n, quite taint their wit.
— Twelfth Night

In nature there’s no blemish but the mind.
None can be called deformed but the unkind.
— Twelfth Night

Foolery, sir, does walk about the orb like the sun; it shines everywhere. — Twelfth Night

My stars shine darkly over me; the malignancy of my fate might, perhaps, distemper yours; therefore I shall crave of you your leave that I may bear my evils alone. It were a bad recompense for your love to lay any of them on you. — Twelfth Night

But, indeed, words are very rascals, since bonds disgraced them. — Twelfth Night

Alas, the frailty is to blame, not we
For such as we are made of, such we be.
— Twelfth Night

Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale? — Twelfth Night

Lady, you are the cruel’st she alive
If you will lead these graces to the grave
And leave the world no copy.
— Twelfth Night

If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.
That strain again! it had a dying fall:
O, it came o’er my ear like the sweet sound,
That breathes upon a bank of violets,
Stealing and giving odour! Enough; no more:
‘Tis not so sweet now as it was before.
O spirit of love! how quick and fresh art thou,
That, notwithstanding thy capacity
Receiveth as the sea, nought enters there,
Of what validity and pitch soe’er,
But falls into abatement and low price,
Even in a minute: so full of shapes is fancy
That it alone is high fantastical.
— Twelfth Night

By innocence I swear, and by my youth,
I have one heart, one bosom, and one truth,
And that no woman has, nor never none
Shall mistress be of it save I alone.
— Twelfth Night

Them that dally nicely with words may quickly make them wanton. — Twelfth Night

Nothing that is so, is so. — Twelfth Night

I do I know not what, and fear to find
Mine eye too great a flatterer for my mind.
Fate, show thy force; ourselves we do not owe;
what is decreed must be, and be this so.
— Twelfth Night

He does it with a better grace, but I do it more natural. — Twelfth Night

Disguise, I see thou art a wickedness,
Wherein the enemy does much.
— Twelfth Night

A murderer’s guilt is easier to hide than feelings of love. Midday is like nighttime for love – that’s how brightly passion shines. — Twelfth Night

I’ll follow this good man, and go with you;
And, having sworn truth, ever will be true.
— Twelfth Night

But come what may, I do adore thee so
That danger shall seem sport, and I will go!
— Twelfth Night

What is love? ’tis not hereafter;
Present mirth hath present laughter;
What’s to come is still unsure.
In delay there lies no plenty;
Then come kiss me, sweet and twenty;
Youth’s a stuff will not endure.
— Twelfth Night

To be generous, guiltless and of free disposition, is to take those things for bird-bolts that you deem cannon-bullets. — Twelfth Night

One face, one voice, one habit, and two persons,
A natural perspective, that is and is not!
— Twelfth Night

Our doubts are traitors,
And make us lose the good we oft might win
By fearing to attempt.
— Measure For Measure

Well, heaven forgive him! and forgive us all!
Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall:
Some run from brakes of ice, and answer none:
And some condemned for a fault alone.
— Measure For Measure

Shall we serve heaven with less respect than we do minister to our gross selves? — Measure For Measure

O’ it is excellent to have a giant’s strength; but it is tyrannous to use it like a giant. — Measure For Measure

But man, proud man,
Drest in a little brief authority,
Most ignorant of what he’s most assured,
His glassy essence, like an angry ape,
Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven
As make the angels weep.
— Measure For Measure

The tempter or the tempted, who sins most? — Measure For Measure

Let me be ignorant, and in nothing good,
But graciously to know I am no better.
— Measure For Measure

If thou art rich, thou’rt poor;
For, like an ass whose back with ingots bows,
Thou bear’st thy heavy riches but a journey,
And death unloads thee.
— Measure For Measure

Shame to him whose cruel striking
Kills for faults of his own liking!
— Measure For Measure

Put not yourself into amazement how these things should be: all difficulties are but easy when they are known. — Measure For Measure

That life is better life, past fearing death,
Than that which lives to fear.
— Measure For Measure

Condemn the fault and not the actor of it. — Measure For Measure

Virtue is bold, and goodness never fearful. — Measure For Measure

O, what may man within him hide,
Though angel on the outward side!
— Measure For Measure

Truth is truth
To th’end of reck’ning.
— Measure For Measure

Haste still pays haste, and leisure answers leisure,
Like doth quit like, and measure still for measure.
— Measure For Measure

What’s mine is yours and what is yours is mine. — Measure For Measure

Go to your bosom; Knock there, and ask your heart what it doth know. — Measure For Measure

Thou hast nor youth nor age
But as it were an after dinner sleep
Dreaming of both.
— Measure For Measure

To sue to live, I find I seek to die;
And, seeking death, find life.
— Measure For Measure

Tis one thing to be tempted,
Another thing to fall.
— Measure For Measure

And the poor beetle, that we tread upon,
In corporal sufferance finds a pang as great
As when a giant dies.
— Measure For Measure

Our natures do pursue,
Like rats that ravin down their proper bane,
A thirsty evil; and when we drink we die.
— Measure For Measure

The weariest and most loathed worldly life
That age, ache, penury and imprisonment
Can lay on nature is a paradise
To what we fear of death.
— Measure For Measure

If I must die, I will encounter darkness as a bride, and hug it in mine arms. — Measure For Measure

Merely, thou art death’s fool,
For him thou labor’st by thy flight to shun,
And yet run’st toward him still.
— Measure For Measure

How would you be
If He, which is the top of judgment, should
But judge you as you are? Oh, think on that,
And mercy then will breathe within your lips
Like man new mad.
— Measure For Measure

Be absolute with death. Either death or life
Shall thereby be the sweeter. Reason thus with life:
If I do lose thee, I do lose a thing
That none but fools would keep.
— Measure For Measure

Love talks with better knowledge, and knowledge with dearer love. — Measure For Measure

Friendship is constant in all other things
Save in the office and affairs of love:
Therefore all hearts I love use their own tongues;
Let every eye negotiate for itself,
And trust no agent; for beauty is a witch
Against whose charms faith melteth into blood.
— Much Ado About Nothing

Silence is the perfectest herald of joy:
I were but little happy, if I could say how much.
— Much Ado About Nothing

Happy are they that hear their detractions, and can put them to mending. — Much Ado About Nothing

One doth not know how much an ill word may empoison liking. — Much Ado About Nothing

O, what men dare do! What men may do!
What men daily do, not knowing what they do!
— Much Ado About Nothing

O, what authority and show of truth
Can cunning sin cover itself withal!
— Much Ado About Nothing

In time the savage bull doth bear the yoke. — Much Ado About Nothing

I love you with so much of my heart that none is left to protest. — Much Ado About Nothing

For there was never yet philosopher
That could endure the toothache patiently.
— Much Ado About Nothing

In a false quarrel there is no true valour. — Much Ado About Nothing

I would my horse had the speed of your tongue. — Much Ado About Nothing

Let me be that I am and seek not to alter me. — Much Ado About Nothing

Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,
Men were deceivers ever,
One foot in sea and one on shore,
To one thing constant never.
— Much Ado About Nothing

Why, what’s the matter,
That you have such a February face,
So full of frost, of storm and cloudiness?
— Much Ado About Nothing

For it falls out
That what we have we prize not to the worth
Whiles we enjoy it, but being lacked and lost,
Why, then we rack the value, then we find
The virtue that possession would not show us
While it was ours.
— Much Ado About Nothing

Well, every one can master a grief but he that has it. — Much Ado About Nothing

I pray thee, cease thy counsel,
Which falls into mine ears as profitless
As water in a sieve: give not me counsel;
Nor let no comforter delight mine ear
But such a one whose wrongs do suit with mine:
… for, brother, men
Can counsel and speak comfort to that grief
Which they themselves not feel; but, tasting it,
Their counsel turns to passion, which before
Would give preceptial medicine to rage,
Fetter strong madness in a silken thread,
Charm ache with air and agony with words.
No, no; ’tis all men’s office to speak patience
To those that wring under the load of sorrow,
But no man’s virtue nor sufficiency
To be so moral when he shall endure
The like himself. Therefore give me no counsel:
My griefs cry louder than advertisement.
— Much Ado About Nothing

I should think this a gull, but that the white-bearded fellow speaks it; knavery cannot, sure, hide himself in such reverence. — Much Ado About Nothing

How much better to weep at joy than to joy at weeping! — Much Ado About Nothing

There’s no face more sincere than one washed in tears. — Much Ado About Nothing

Which is the villain? let me see his eyes,
That, when I note another man like him,
I may avoid him: which of these is he?
— Much Ado About Nothing

What need the bridge much broader than the flood? — Much Ado About Nothing

What your wisdoms could not discover, these shallow fools have brought to light. — Much Ado About Nothing

Am I in earth, in heaven, or in hell?
Sleeping or waking? Mad or well-advised?
Known unto these, and to myself disguised!
— The Comedy of Errors

Ill deeds are doubled with an evil word.
— The Comedy of Errors

As from a bear a man would run for life,
So fly I from her that would be my wife.
— The Comedy of Errors

No evil lost is wail’d when it is gone.
— The Comedy of Errors

I am pressed down with conceit;
Conceit, my comfort and my injury.
— The Comedy of Errors

The venom clamours of a jealous woman
Poisons more deadly than a mad dog’s tooth.
— The Comedy of Errors

Sweet recreation barr’d, what doth ensue
But moody and dull melancholy,
Kinsman to grim and comfortless despair,
And at her heels a huge infectious troop
Of pale distemperatures and foes to life?
— The Comedy of Errors

O, grief hath changed me since you saw me last,
And careful (anxious) hours with time’s deformed hand
Have written strange defeatures in my face.
— The Comedy of Errors

We came into the world like brother and brother;
And now let’s go hand in hand, not one before another.
— The Comedy of Errors

He that commends me to mine own content
Commends me to the thing I cannot get.
I to the world am like a drop of water
That in the ocean seeks another drop,
Who, falling there to find his fellow forth,
Unseen, inquisitive, confounds himself:
So I, to find a mother and a brother,
In quest of them, unhappy, lose myself.
— The Comedy of Errors

If everyone knows us and we know none,
‘Tis time, I think, to trudge, pack and be gone.
— The Comedy of Errors

They can be meek that have no other cause.
A wretched soul, bruised with adversity,
We bid be quiet when we hear it cry;
But were we burdened with light weight of pain,
As much or more we should ourselves complain.
— The Comedy of Errors

If the skin were parchment and the blows you gave were ink,
Your own handwriting would tell you what I think.
— The Comedy of Errors

Since mine own doors refuse to entertain me,
I’ll knock elsewhere, to see if they’ll disdain me.
— The Comedy of Errors

Thither I must, although against my will; for servants must their masters’ minds fulfill. — The Comedy of Errors

I can easier teach twenty what were good to be done, than be one of the twenty to follow mine own teaching. — The Merchant of Venice

O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath! — The Merchant of Venice

These foolish drops do something drown my manly spirit.
— The Merchant of Venice

Who riseth from a feast
With that keep appetite that he sits down?
Where is the horse that doth untread again
His tedious measures with the unbated fire
That he did pace them first? All things that are,
Are with more spirit chased than enjoy’d.
— The Merchant of Venice

Beshrew me but I love her heartily;
For she is wise, if I can judge of her,
And fair she is, if that mine eyes be true,
And true she is, as she hath proved herself,
And therefore, like herself, wise, fair, and true,
Shall she be placed in my constant soul.
— The Merchant of Venice

Let none presume
To wear an undeserved dignity.
O, that estates, degrees, and offices
Were not derived corruptly, and that clear honour
Were purchased by the merit of the wearer!
— The Merchant of Venice

So may the outward shows be least themselves:
The world is still deceived with ornament.
In law, what plea so tainted and corrupt,
But, being seasoned with a gracious voice,
Obscures the show of evil?
— The Merchant of Venice

How shalt thou hope for mercy, rendering none? — The Merchant of Venice

Thou makest thy knife keen; but no metal can,
No, not the hangman’s axe, bear half the keenness
Of thy sharp envy. Can no prayers pierce thee?
— The Merchant of Venice

The quality of mercy is not strain’d,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
‘Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown;
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptred sway;
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.
— The Merchant of Venice

As thou urgest justice, be assured
Thou shalt have justice, more than thou desireth.
— The Merchant of Venice

He is well paid that is well satisfied. — The Merchant of Venice

That light we see is burning in my hall.
How far that little candle throws his beams!
So shines a good deed in a naughty world.
— The Merchant of Venice

The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
An evil soul producing holy witness
Is like a villain with a smiling cheek,
A goodly apple rotten at the heart.
— The Merchant of Venice

O hell! what have we here?
A carrion Death, within whose empty eye
There is a written scroll! I’ll read the writing.
All that glistens is not gold;
Often have you heard that told:
Many a man his life hath sold
But my outside to behold:
Gilded tombs do worms enfold.
Had you been as wise as bold,
Young in limbs, in judgment old,
Your answer had not been inscroll’d:
Fare you well; your suit is cold.
— The Merchant of Venice

I never knew so young a body with so old a head. — The Merchant of Venice

The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils.
The motions of his spirit are dull as night
And his affections dark as Erebus.
Let no such man be trusted.
Mark the music.
— The Merchant of Venice

You speak an infinite deal of nothing. — The Merchant of Venice

With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.
And let my liver rather heat with wine
Than my heart cool with mortifying groans.
— The Merchant of Venice

If to do were as easy as to know what were good to do, chapels had been churches, and poor men’s cottages princes’ palaces. — The Merchant of Venice

I am not bound to please thee with my answers. — The Merchant of Venice

By my soul I swear, there is no power in the tongue of man to alter me. — The Merchant of Venice

How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!
Here will we sit and let the sounds of music
Creep in our ears: soft stillness and the night
Become the touches of sweet harmony.
Sit, Jessica. Look how the floor of heaven
Is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold:
There’s not the smallest orb which thou behold’st
But in his motion like an angel sings,
Still quiring to the young-eyed cherubins;
Such harmony is in immortal souls;
But whilst this muddy vesture of decay
Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it.
— The Merchant of Venice

In religion,
What damned error, but some sober brow
Will bless it and approve it with a text,
Hiding the grossness with fair ornament?
There is no vice so simple but assumes
Some mark of virtue on his outward parts.
— The Merchant of Venice

The moon shines bright. In such a night as this. When the sweet wind did gently kiss the trees and they did make no noise, in such a night. — The Merchant of Venice

Madam, you have bereft me of all words,
Only my blood speaks to you in my veins.
— The Merchant of Venice

In sooth, I know not why I am so sad.
It wearies me; you say it wearies you.
But how I caught it, found it, or came by it,
What stuff ’tis made of, whereof it is born,
I am to learn.
And such a want-wit sadness makes of me,
That I have much ado to know myself.
— The Merchant of Venice

Thou calledst me a dog before thou hadst a cause,
But since I am a dog, beware my fangs.
— The Merchant of Venice

You have too much respect upon the world; they lose it that do buy it with much care. — The Merchant of Venice

So doth the greater glory dim the less:
A substitute shines brightly as a king
Unto the king be by, and then his state
Empties itself, as doth an inland brook
Into the main of waters.
— The Merchant of Venice

The crow doth sing as sweetly as the lark,
When neither is attended, and I think
The nightingale, if she should sing by day,
When every goose is cackling, would be thought
No better a musician than the wren.
How many things by season season’d are
To their right praise and true perfection!
— The Merchant of Venice

When he is best he is a little worst than a man, and when he is worst he is a little better than a beast. — The Merchant of Venice

Some people are thought wise whilst they keep silence; who, when they open their mouths, are such stupid praters, that the hearers cannot help calling them fools, and so incur the judgment denounced in the Gospel. — The Merchant of Venice

The fiend gives the more friendly counsel. — The Merchant of Venice

And yet for aught I see, they are as sick that surfeit with too much as they that starve with nothing. It is no mean happiness, therefore, to be seated in the mean. Superfluity comes sooner by white hairs, but competency lives longer. — The Merchant of Venice

What thou seest when thou dost wake,
Do it for thy true-love take,
Love and languish for his sake:
Be it ounce, or cat, or bear,
Pard, or boar with bristled hair,
In thy eye that shall appear
When thou wakest, it is thy dear:
Wake when some vile thing is near.
— A Midsummer Night’s Dream

O, I am out of breath in this fond chase!
The more my prayer, the lesser is my grace.
— A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Sometime a horse I’ll be, sometime a hound,
A hog, a headless bear, sometime a fire;
And neigh, and bark, and grunt, and roar, and burn,
Like horse, hound, hog, bear, fire, at every turn.
— A Midsummer Night’s Dream

To say the truth, reason and love keep little company together now-a-days; the more the pity that some honest neighbors will not make them friends. — A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Then fate o’er-rules, that, one man holding troth,
A million fail, confounding oath on oath.
— A Midsummer Night’s Dream

If you were men, as men you are in show,
You would not use a gentle lady so.
— A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Dark night, that from the eye his function takes,
The ear more quick of apprehension makes;
Wherein it doth impair the seeing sense,
It pays the hearing double recompense.
— A Midsummer Night’s Dream

And sleep, that sometimes shuts up sorrow’s eye,
Steal me awhile from mine own company.
— A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Like in sickness, did I loathe this food;
But, as in health, come to my natural taste,
Now I do wish it, love it, long for it,
And will for evermore be true to it.
— A Midsummer Night’s Dream

The eye of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not seen, man’s hand is not able to taste, his tongue to conceive, nor his heart to report, what my dream was. — A Midsummer Night’s Dream

In the night, imagining some fear,
How easy is a bush supposed a bear!
— A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Merry and tragical! tedious and brief!
That is, hot ice and wondrous strange snow.
How shall we find the concord of this discord?
— A Midsummer Night’s Dream

For never any thing can be amiss,
When simpleness and duty tender it.
— A Midsummer Night’s Dream

In the modesty of fearful duty
I read as much as from the rattling tongue
Of saucy and audacious eloquence.
— A Midsummer Night’s Dream

It is not enough to speak, but to speak true. — A Midsummer Night’s Dream

If we imagine no worse of them than they of themselves, they may pass for excellent men. — A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Think but this, and all is mended:
That you have but slumbered here,
While these visions did appear.
— A Midsummer Night’s Dream

The course of true love never did run smooth. — A Midsummer Night’s Dream

I’ll follow thee and make a heaven of hell,
To die upon the hand I love so well.
— A Midsummer Night’s Dream

If there were a sympathy in choice,
War, death, or sickness, did lay siege to it,
Making it momentary as a sound,
Swift as a shadow, short as any dream,
Brief as the lightning in the collied night
That, in a spleen, unfolds both heaven and earth,
And ere a man hath power to say “Behold!”
The jaws of darkness do devour it up;
So quick bright things come to confusion.
— A Midsummer Night’s Dream

One sees more devils than vast hell can hold. — A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Look, when I vow, I weep; and vows so born,
In their nativity all truth appears.
— A Midsummer Night’s Dream

If then true lovers have been ever cross’d,
It stands as an edict in destiny:
Then let us teach our trial patience,
Because it is a customary cross,
As due to love as thoughts and dreams and sighs,
Wishes and tears, poor fancy’s followers.
— A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Love, therefore, and tongue-tied simplicity
In least speak most, to my capacity.
— A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Such tricks hath strong imagination. — A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Celestial as thou art, O, pardon, love, this wrong,
That sings heaven’s praise with such an earthly tongue.
— Love’s Labour’s Lost

Young blood doth not obey an old decree. — Love’s Labour’s Lost

Beauty doth varnish age, as if new-born,
And gives the crutch the cradle’s infancy:
O, ’tis the sun that maketh all things shine.
— Love’s Labour’s Lost

Learning is but an adjunct to ourself,
And where we are our learning likewise is.
— Love’s Labour’s Lost

Let us once lose our oaths to find ourselves,
Or else we lose ourselves to keep our oaths.
— Love’s Labour’s Lost

A light heart lives long. — Love’s Labour’s Lost

Honest plain words best pierce the ear of grief. — Love’s Labour’s Lost

And even that falsehood, in itself a sin,
Thus purifies itself and turns to grace.
— Love’s Labour’s Lost

Your wit’s too hot, it speeds too fast, ’twill tire. — Love’s Labour’s Lost

Come on then, I will swear to study so
To know the thing I am forbid to know.
— Love’s Labour’s Lost

Why, all delights are vain, but that most vain
Which, with pain purchased, doth inherit pain.
— Love’s Labour’s Lost

Rebuke me not for that, which you provoke. — Love’s Labour’s Lost

If I be foiled, there is but one shamed that was never gracious; if killed, but one dead that is willing to be so: I shall do my friends no wrong, for I have none to lament me, the world no injury, for in it I have nothing; only in the world I fill up a place, which may be better supplied when I have made it empty. — As You Like It

Sweet are the uses of adversity,
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head;
And this our life exempt from public haunt
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in every thing.
I would not change it.
— As You Like It

Let me be your servant:
Though I look old, yet I am strong and lusty;
For in my youth I never did apply
Hot and rebellious liquors in my blood,
Nor did not with unbashful forehead woo
The means of weakness and debility;
Therefore my age is as a lusty winter,
Frosty, but kindly.
— As You Like It

Thou art not for the fashion of these times,
Where none will sweat but for promotion,
And having that, do choke their service up
Even with the having: it is not so with thee.
— As You Like It

If thou remember’st not the slightest folly
That ever love did make thee run into,
Thou hast not loved.
— As You Like It

The thorny point of bare distress hath ta’en from me the show of smooth civility. — As You Like It

Your gentleness shall force more than your force move us to gentleness. — As You Like It

Thou seest we are not all alone unhappy:
This wide and universal theatre
Presents more woeful pageants than the scene
Wherein we play in.
— As You Like It

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sounds. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans every thing.
— As You Like It

I prithee, take the cork out of thy mouth that I may drink thy tidings. — As You Like It

Do you not know I am a woman? When I think, I must speak. — As You Like It

I will chide no breather in the world but myself, against whom I know most faults. — As You Like It

I can live no longer by thinking. — As You Like It

O, how full of briars is this working-day world! — As You Like It

O, how bitter a thing it is to look into happiness through another man’s eyes! — As You Like It

Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly. — As You Like It

Time travels in diverse paces with diverse persons. I’ll tell you who time ambles withal, who time trots withal, who time gallops withal, and who he stands still withal. — As You Like It

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool. — As You Like It

Men are April when they woo, December when they wed. Maids are May when they are maids, but the sky changes when they are wives. — As You Like It

But it is a melancholy of mine own, compounded of many simples, extracted from many objects, and indeed the sundry contemplation of my travels, which, by often rumination, wraps me in the most humorous sadness. — As You Like It

Master, go on, and I will follow thee
To the last gasp with truth and loyalty.
— As You Like It

O, that’s a brave man! He writes brave verses, speaks brave words, swears brave oaths, and breaks them bravely. — As You Like It

From hour to hour, we ripe and ripe,
And then, from hour to hour, we rot and rot;
And thereby hangs a tale.
— As You Like It

I will no longer endure it, though yet I know no wise remedy how to avoid it. — As You Like It

How many actions most ridiculous
Hast thou been drawn to by thy fantasy?
Into a thousand that I have forgotten.
— As You Like It

Happy is your grace,
That can translate the stubbornness of fortune
Into so quiet and so sweet a style.
— As You Like It

Here feel we but the penalty of Adam,
The seasons’ difference, as the icy fang
And churlish chiding of the winter’s wind,
Which, when it bites and blows upon my body,
Even till I shrink with cold, I smile and say
“This is no flattery: these are counselors
That feelingly persuade me what I am.”
— As You Like It

You pay a great deal too dear for what’s given freely. — The Winter’s Tale

Your changed complexions are to me a mirror
Which shows me mine changed too; for I must be
A party in this alteration, finding
Myself thus alter’d with’t.
— The Winter’s Tale

There is a sickness
Which puts some of us in distemper, but
I cannot name the disease; and it is caught
Of you that yet are well.
— The Winter’s Tale

You smell this business with a sense as cold
As is a dead man’s nose.
— The Winter’s Tale

The silence often of pure innocence
Persuades when speaking fails.
— The Winter’s Tale

If powers divine
Behold our human actions, as they do,
I doubt not then but innocence shall make
False accusation blush, and tyranny
Tremble at patience.
— The Winter’s Tale

I cannot be
Mine own, nor any thing to any, if
I be not thine.
— The Winter’s Tale

Nature is made better by no mean
But nature makes that mean: so, over that art
Which you say adds to nature, is an art
That nature makes.
— The Winter’s Tale

At the last,
Do as the heavens have done, forget your evil;
With them forgive yourself.
— The Winter’s Tale

I like your silence, it the more shows off
Your wonder.
— The Winter’s Tale

My lord, your sorrow was too sore laid on,
Which sixteen winters cannot blow away,
So many summers dry: scarce any joy
Did ever so long live; no sorrow
But kill’d itself much sooner.
— The Winter’s Tale

I speak as my understanding instructs me and as mine honesty puts it to utterance. — The Winter’s Tale

What we changed
Was innocence for innocence. We knew not
The doctrine of ill-doing, nor dreamed
That any did.
— The Winter’s Tale

Ha, ha, what a fool Honesty is!
And Trust, his sworn brother, a very simple gentleman!
— The Winter’s Tale

Moderate lamentation is the right of the dead, excessive grief the enemy to the living. — All’s Well That Ends Well

Oft expectation fails, and most oft there
Where most it promises, and oft it hits
Where hope is coldest and despair most fits.
— All’s Well That Ends Well

Inspired merit so by breath is barr’d:
It is not so with Him that all things knows
As ’tis with us that square our guess by shows;
But most it is presumption in us when
The help of heaven we count the act of men.
— All’s Well That Ends Well

Strange is it that our bloods,
Of colour, weight, and heat, pour’d all together,
Would quite confound distinction, yet stand off
In differences so mighty.
— All’s Well That Ends Well

The soul of this man is his clothes. — All’s Well That Ends Well

Ah, what sharp stings are in her mildest words! — All’s Well That Ends Well

‘Tis not the many oaths that makes the truth,
But the plain single vow that is vow’d true.
— All’s Well That Ends Well

How mightily sometimes we make us comforts of our losses,
And how mightily some other times we drown our gain in tears!
— All’s Well That Ends Well

The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together: our virtues would be proud, if our faults whipped them not; and our crimes would despair, if they were not cherished by our virtues. — All’s Well That Ends Well

I will never trust a man again for keeping his sword clean, nor believe he can have every thing in him by wearing his apparel neatly. — All’s Well That Ends Well

All’s well that ends well yet,
Though time seem so adverse and means unfit.
— All’s Well That Ends Well

I am now, sir, muddied in fortune’s mood, and smell somewhat strong of her strong displeasure. — All’s Well That Ends Well

Wherein have you played the knave with fortune, that she should scratch you, who of herself is a good lady, and would not have knaves thrive long under her? — All’s Well That Ends Well

I am not a day of season,
For thou mayst see a sunshine and a hail
In me at once: but to the brightest beams
Distracted clouds give way; so stand thou forth;
The time is fair again.
— All’s Well That Ends Well

All is whole;
Not one word more of the consumed time.
Let’s take the instant by the forward top;
For we are old, and on our quick’st decrees
The inaudible and noiseless foot of Time
Steals ere we can effect them.
— All’s Well That Ends Well

Our rash faults
Make trivial price of serious things we have,
Not knowing them until we know their grave:
Oft our displeasures, to ourselves unjust,
Destroy our friends and after weep their dust:
Our own love waking cries to see what’s done,
While shame full late sleeps out the afternoon.
— All’s Well That Ends Well

All impediments in fancy’s course
Are motives of more fancy!
— All’s Well That Ends Well

Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.
— All’s Well That Ends Well

Great floods have flown
From simple sources.
— All’s Well That Ends Well

No legacy is so rich as honesty.
— All’s Well That Ends Well

They say miracles are past; and we have our philosophical persons, to make modern and familiar, things supernatural and causeless. Hence is it that we make trifles of terrors, ensconcing ourselves into seeming knowledge, when we should submit ourselves to an unknown fear. — All’s Well That Ends Well

From lowest place when virtuous things proceed,
The place is dignified by the doer’s deed.
— All’s Well That Ends Well

Old fashions please me best. I am not so nice
To change true rules for old inventions.
— The Taming of the Shrew

But ’tis strange:
And oftentimes, to win us to our harm,
The instruments of darkness tell us truths;
Win us with honest trifles, to betray’s
In deepest consequence.
— Macbeth

If good, why do I yield to that suggestion
Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair
And make my seated heart knock at my ribs,
Against the use of nature? Present fears
Are less than horrible imaginings:
My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical,
Shakes so my single state of man, that function
Is smother’d in surmise, and nothing is
But what is not.
— Macbeth

Stars, hide your fires;
Let not light see my black and deep desires:
The eye wink at the hand; yet let that be,
Which the eye fears, when it is done, to see.
— Macbeth

If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well
It were done quickly.
— Macbeth

We still have judgment here; that we but teach
Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return
To plague the inventor: this even-handed justice
Commends the ingredients of our poison’d chalice
To our own lips.
— Macbeth

Screw your courage to the sticking-place,
And we’ll not fail.
— Macbeth

Mock the time with fairest show:
False face must hide what the false heart doth know.
— Macbeth

Merciful powers,
Restrain in me the cursed thoughts that nature
Gives way to in repose!
— Macbeth

Is this a dagger I see before me,
The handle toward my hand?
— Macbeth

The innocent sleep,
Sleep that knits up the ravell’d sleave of care,
The death of each day’s life, sore labour’s bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course,
Chief nourisher in life’s feast.
— Macbeth

Shake off this downy sleep, death’s counterfeit,
And look on death itself!
— Macbeth

There’s daggers in men’s smiles. — Macbeth

Thou seest, the heavens, as troubled with man’s act,
Threaten his bloody stage: by the clock, ’tis day,
And yet dark night strangles the traveling lamp:
Is’t night’s predominance, or the day’s shame,
That darkness does the face of earth entomb,
When living light should kiss it?
— Macbeth

Thriftless ambition, that wilt ravin up
Thine own life’s means!
— Macbeth

Nought’s had, all’s spent,
When our desire is got without content:
‘Tis safer to be that which we destroy
Than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy.
— Macbeth

Things without all remedy
Should be without regard: what’s done is done.
— Macbeth

Good things of day begin to droop and drowse;
Whiles night’s black agents to their preys do rouse.
— Macbeth

And you all know, security
Is mortals’ chiefest enemy.
— Macbeth

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.
— Macbeth

By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes.
Open, locks,
Whoever knocks!
— Macbeth

All is the fear, and nothing is the love;
As little is the wisdom, where the flight
So runs against all reason.
— Macbeth

But cruel are the times, when we are traitors
And do not know ourselves, when we hold rumour
From what we fear, yet know not what we fear,
But float upon a wild and violent sea
Each way and none.
— Macbeth

But I remember now
I am in this earthly world; where to do harm
Is often laudable, to do good sometime
Accounted dangerous folly.
— Macbeth

Such welcome and unwelcome things at once
‘Tis hard to reconcile.
— Macbeth

Merciful heaven!
What, man! ne’er pull your hat upon your brows;
Give sorrow words: the grief that does not speak
Whispers the o’er-fraught heart, and bids it break.
— Macbeth

Out, damned spot! out, I say!
— Macbeth

Macbeth: Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased,
Pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow,
Raze out the written troubles of the brain,
And with some sweet oblivious antidote
Cleanse the stuff’d bosom of that perilous stuff
Which weighs upon the heart?
Doctor: Therein the patient
Must minister to himself.

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow; a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.
— Macbeth

When our actions do not,
Our fears do make us traitors.
— Macbeth

I dare do all that may become a man;
Who dares do more is none.
— Macbeth

That which hath made them drunk hath made me bold:
What hath quenched them hath given me fire.
— Macbeth

Infected minds to their deaf pillows will discharge their secrets. — Macbeth

The labor we delight in physics pain. — Macbeth

Sorrow that is couch’d in seeming gladness,
Is like that mirth fate turns to sudden sadness.
— Troilus and Cressida

Things won are done, joy’s soul lies in the doing. — Troilus and Cressida

Men prize the thing ungain’d more than it is. — Troilus and Cressida

Why then, you princes,
Do you with cheeks abash’d behold our works,
And call them shames? which are indeed nought else
But the protractive trials of great Jove,
To find persistive constancy in men.
— Troilus and Cressida

Even so
Doth valour’s show and valour’s worth divide
In storms of fortune.
— Troilus and Cressida

Degree being vizarded,
The unworthiest shows as fairly in the mask.
The heavens themselves, the planets, and this centre,
Observe degree, priority, and place,
Insisture, course, proportion, season, form,
Office, and custom, in all line of order.
— Troilus and Cressida

The worthiness of praise disdains his worth,
If that the praised himself bring the praise forth.
— Troilus and Cressida

O, theft most base,
That we have stol’n what we do fear to keep!
— Troilus and Cressida

The common curse of mankind, folly and ignorance, be thine in great revenue! — Troilus and Cressida

The amity that wisdom knits not, folly may easily untie. — Troilus and Cressida

A stirring dwarf we do allowance give
Before a sleeping giant.
— Troilus and Cressida

He that is proud eats up himself: pride is his own glass, his own trumpet, his own chronicle; and whatever praises itself but in the deed, devours the deed in the praise. — Troilus and Cressida

He will be the physician that should be the patient. — Troilus and Cressida

To make a sweet lady sad is a sour offence. — Troilus and Cressidas

This is the monstruosity in love, lady, that the will is infinite and the execution confined, that the desire is boundless and the act a slave to limit. — Troilus and Cressida

Who shall be true to us,
When we are so unsecret to ourselves?
— Troilus and Cressida

Nature, what things there are
Most abject in regard, and dear in use!
What things again most dear in the esteem,
And poor in worth!
— Troilus and Cressida

Time hath, my lord, a wallet at his back,
Wherein he puts alms for oblivion,
A great-sized monster of ingratitudes:
Those scraps are good deeds past; which are devour’d
As fast as they are made, forgot as soon
As done.
— Troilus and Cressida

For time is like a fashionable host
That slightly shakes his parting guest by the hand,
And with his arms outstretch’d, as he would fly,
Grasps in the comer: welcome ever smiles,
And farewell goes out sighing.
— Troilus and Cressida

Those wounds heal ill that men do give themselves:
Omission to do what is necessary
Seals a commission to a blank of danger;
And danger, like an ague, subtly taints
Even then when we sit idly in the sun.
— Troilus and Cressida

Beshrew the witch! with venomous wights she stays
As tediously as hell, but flies the grasps of love
With wings more momentary-swift than thought.
— Troilus and Cressida

Time, force, and death,
Do to this body what extremes you can;
But the strong base and building of my love
Is as the very centre of the earth,
Drawing all things to it.
— Troilus and Cressida

Injurious time now with a robber’s haste
Crams his rich thievery up, he knows not how:
As many farewells as be stars in heaven,
With distinct breath and consign’d kisses to them,
He fumbles up into a loose adieu,
And scants us with a single famish’d kiss,
Distasted with the salt of broken tears.
— Troilus and Cressida

Sometimes we are devils to ourselves,
When we will tempt the frailty of our powers,
Presuming on their changeful potency.
— Troilus and Cressida

Whiles others fish with craft for great opinion,
I with great truth catch mere simplicity;
Whilst some with cunning gild their copper crowns,
With truth and plainness I do wear mine bare.
— Troilus and Cressida

The end crowns all,
And that old common arbitrator, Time,
Will one day end it.
— Troilus and Cressida

By Jove, I will not speak a word:
There is between my will and all offences
A guard of patience.
— Troilus and Cressida

This fault in us I find,
The error of our eye directs our mind:
What error leads must err; O, then conclude
Minds sway’d by eyes are full of turpitude.
— Troilus and Cressida

Modest doubt is call’d the beacon of the wise. — Troilus and Cressida

They say all lovers swear more performance than they are able. — Troilus and Cressida

One touch of nature makes the whole world kin. — Troilus and Cressida

Life every man holds dear, but the dear man
Holds honor far more precious-dear than life.
— Troilus and Cressida

This is the most despiteful’st gentle greeting,
The noblest hateful love, that e’er I heard of.
— Troilus and Cressida

When Fortune in her shift and change of mood
Spurns down her late beloved, all his dependents
Which labour’d after him to the mountain’s top,
Even on their knees and hands, let him slip down,
Not one accompanying his declining foot.
— Timon of Athens

He that loves to be flattered is worthy o’ the flatterer. — Timon of Athens

A Lord: What time o’ day is’t, Apemantus?
Apemantus: Time to be honest.
— Timon of Athens

Ceremony was but devised at first
To set a gloss on faint deeds, hollow welcomes,
Recanting goodness, sorry ere ’tis shown;
But where there is true friendship, there needs none.
— Timon of Athens

You shall not make me welcome:
I come to have thee thrust me out of doors.
— Timon of Athens

I wonder men dare trust themselves with men:
Methinks they should invite them without knives;
Good for their meat, and safer for their lives.
— Timon of Athens

Here’s that which is too weak to
Be a sinner, honest water, which ne’er left man i’ the mire:
This and my food are equals; there’s no odds:
Feasts are too proud to give thanks to the gods.
— Timon of Athens

‘Tis pity bounty had not eyes behind,
That man might ne’er be wretched for his mind.
— Timon of Athens

No man can justly praise but what he does affect.
— Timon of Athens

O, that men’s ears should be
To counsel deaf, but not to flattery!
— Timon of Athens

Not one word more:
Thus part we rich in sorrow, parting poor.
— Timon of Athens

O’ the fierce wretchedness that glory brings us!
Who would not wish to be from wealth exempt,
Since riches point to misery and contempt?
Who would be so mock’d with glory? or to live
But in a dream of friendship?
To have his pomp and all what state compounds
But only painted, like his varnish’d friends?
— Timon of Athens

Rich, only to be wretched, thy great fortunes
Are made thy chief afflictions.
— Timon of Athens

I’ll ever serve his mind with my best will.
— Timon of Athens

As the moon does, by wanting light to give:
But then renew I could not, like the moon;
There were no suns to borrow of.
— Timon of Athens

Thou has cast away thyself, being like thyself;
A madman so long, now a fool.
— Timon of Athens

Why should you want? Behold, the earth hath roots;
Within this mile break forth a hundred springs;
The oaks bear mast, the biers scarlet hips:
The bounteous housewife, nature, on each bush
Lays her full mess before you. Want! why want?
— Timon of Athens

What an alteration of honour
Has desperate want made!
What viler thing upon the earth than friends
Who can bring noblest minds to basest ends!
How rarely does it meet with this time’s guise,
When man was wish’d to love his enemies!
— Timon of Athens

Strange times, that weep with laughing, not with weeping! — Timon of Athens

But tell me true —
For I must ever doubt, though ne’er so sure —
Is not thy kindness subtle, covetous,
If not a usuring kindness, and, as rich men deal gifts,
Expecting in return twenty for one?
— Timon of Athens

Till now you have gone on and fill’d the time
With all licentious measure, making your wills
The scope of justice; till now myself and such
As slept with our traversed arms, and breathed
Our sufferance vainly: now the time is flush,
When crouching marrow in the bearer strong
Cries of itself, “No more.”
— Timon of Athens

Like madness is the glory of this life. — Timon of Athens

Do not, as some ungracious pastors do,
Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven;
Whiles, like a puff’d and reckless libertine,
Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads,
And recks not is own rede (counsel).
— Hamlet

These few precepts in thy memory
See thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue,
Nor any unproportioned thought his act.
Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.
Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel;
But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
Of each new-hatch’d, unfledged comrade. Beware
Of entrance to a quarrel, but being in,
Bear’t that the opposed may beware of thee.
Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice;
Take each man’s censure, but reserve thy judgment.
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
But not express’d in fancy; rich, not gaudy;
For the apparel oft proclaims the man,
And they in France of the best rank and station
Are of a most select and generous sheaf in that.
Neither a borrower nor a lender be;
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
This above all: to thine ownself be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
— Hamlet

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.
— Hamlet

I could a tale unfold whose lightest word
Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood,
Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres,
Thy knotted and combined locks to part
And each particular hair to stand on end,
Like quills upon the fretful porpentine.
— Hamlet

But virtue, as it never will be moved,
Though lewdness court it in a shape of heaven,
So lust, though to a radiant angel link’d,
Will sate itself in a celestial bed,
And prey on garbage.
— Hamlet

Remember thee!
Yea, from the table of my memory
I’ll wipe away all trivial fond records,
All saws of books, all forms, all pressures past,
That youth and observation copied there;
And thy commandment all alone shall live
Within the book and volume of my brain,
Unmix’d with baser matter: yes, by heaven!
— Hamlet

O villain, villain, smiling, damned villain!
My tables — meet it is I set it down,
That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain;
At least I’m sure it may be so in Denmark.
— Hamlet

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
— Hamlet

This is the very ecstasy of love,
Whose violent property foredoes itself,
And leads the will to desperate undertakings
As oft as any passion under heaven
That does afflict our natures.
— Hamlet

To expostulate what majesty should be, what duty is,
Why day is day, night night, and time is time,
Were nothing but to waste night, day, and time.
Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit,
And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes
I will be brief: your noble son is mad:
Mad call I it; for, to define true madness,
What is’t but to be nothing else but mad?
— Hamlet

Doubt thou the stars are fire;
Doubt that the sun doth move;
Doubt truth to be a liar;
But never doubt I love.
— Hamlet

If circumstances lead me, I will find
Where truth is hid, though it were hid indeed
Within the centre.
— Hamlet

Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t. — Hamlet

For there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. — Hamlet

Dreams, indeed, are ambition, for the very substance of the ambition is merely the shadow of a dream. — Hamlet

I hold ambition of so airy and light a quality, that it is but a shadow’s shadow. — Hamlet

There is a kind of confession in your looks, which your modesties have not craft enough to colour. — Hamlet

Use every man after his desert, and who should ‘scape whipping? Use them after your own honour and dignity: the less they deserve, the more merit is in your bounty. — Hamlet

To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to? — ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d.
— Hamlet

The power of beauty will sooner transform honesty from what it is to a bawd, than the force of honesty can translate beauty into his likeness: this was sometime a paradox, but now the time gives it proof. — Hamlet

The play’s the thing
Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king.
— Hamlet

Give me that man
That is not passion’s slave, and I will wear him
In my heart’s core, ay, in my heart of heart,
As I do thee.
— Hamlet

I do believe you think what now you speak;
But what we do determine oft we break.
Purpose is but the slave to memory.
— Hamlet

What to ourselves in passion we propose,
The passion ending, doth the purpose lose.
The violence of either grief or joy
Their own enactures with themselves destroy:
Where joy most revels, grief doth most lament;
Grief joys, joy grieves, on slender accident.
— Hamlet

The lady protests too much, methinks. — Hamlet

O, my offence is rank, it smells to heaven. — Hamlet

In the corrupted currents of this world
Offence’s gilded hand may shove by justice;
And oft ’tis seen the wicked prize itself
Buys out the law. But ’tis not so above;
There is no shuffling, there the action lies
In his true nature; and we ourselves compell’d,
Even to the teeth and forehead of our faults,
To give in evidence.
— Hamlet

Come, come, and sit you down; you shall not budge;
You go not till I set you up a glass
Where you may see the inmost part of you.
— Hamlet

We fat all creatures else to fat us, and we fat ourselves for maggots: your fat king and your lean beggar is but variable service, two dishes, but to one table: that’s the end. — Hamlet

One woe doth tread upon another’s heel,
So fast they follow.
— Hamlet

Our indiscretion sometimes serves us well,
When our deep plots do pall: and that should teach us
There’s a divinity that shapes our ends,
Rough-hew them how we will.
— Hamlet

‘Tis dangerous when the baser nature comes
Between the pass and fell incensed points
Of mighty opposites.
— Hamlet

To know a man well, were to know himself. — Hamlet

I am justly kill’d with mine own treachery. — Hamlet

O, that this too, too solid flesh would melt,
Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!
— Hamlet

God hath given you one face, and you make yourself another. — Hamlet

To die, to sleep —
To sleep, perchance to dream — ay, there’s the rub,
For in this sleep of death what dreams may come.
— Hamlet

To be honest, as this world goes, is to be one man picked out of ten thousand. — Hamlet

I have of late, but wherefore I know not, lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises; and indeed it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory, this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o’erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why, it appears no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours. What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! in form and moving how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? — Hamlet

The Devil hath power to assume a pleasing shape. — Hamlet

You cannot, sir, take from me any thing that I will more willingly part withal: except my life, except my life, except my life. — Hamlet

I am very proud, revengeful, ambitious, with more offences at my beck than I have thoughts to put them in, imagination to give them shape, or time to act them in. — Hamlet

What is a man, if his chief good and market of his time be but to sleep and feed? a beast, no more. Sure he that made us with such large discourse, looking before and after, gave us not that capability and god-like reason to fust in us unused. — Hamlet

O shame! where is thy blush? — Hamlet

They say an old man is twice a child. — Hamlet

Suit the action to the word, the word to the action; with this special observance, that you o’er-step not the modesty of nature. — Hamlet

Ay, sir, that soaks up the king’s countenance, his
rewards, his authorities. But such officers do the
king best service in the end: he keeps them, like
an ape, in the corner of his jaw; first mouthed, to
be last swallowed: when he needs what you have
gleaned, it is but squeezing you, and, sponge, you
shall be dry again.
— Hamlet

This world is not for aye; nor ’tis not strange
That even our loves should with our fortunes change;
For ’tis a question left us yet to prove,
Whether love lead fortune, or else fortune love.
— Hamlet

Nature is fine in love, and where ’tis fine, it sends some precious instance of itself after the thing it loves. — Hamlet

Most miserable
Is the desire that’s glorious: blest be those,
How mean soe’er, that have their honest wills,
Which seasons comfort.
— Cymbeline

‘Tis gold which makes the true man kill’d and saves the thief; Nay, sometime hangs both thief and true man. — Cymbeline

‘Tis greater skill in a true hate, to pray they have their will: The very devils cannot plague them better. — Cymbeline

‘Tis slander
Whose edge is sharper than the sword, whose tongue
Outvenoms all the worms of Nile, whose breath
Rides on the posting winds and doth belie
All corners of the world: kings, queens, and states,
Maids, matrons, nay, the secrets of the grave
This viperous slander enters.
— Cymbeline

Thus may poor fools
Believe false teachers: though those that are betray’d
Do feel the treason sharply, yet the traitor
Stands in worse case of woe.
— Cymbeline

Plenty and peace breeds cowards: hardness ever
Of hardiness is mother.
— Cymbeline

Weariness can snore upon the flint, when resty sloth finds the down pillow hard. — Cymbeline

Experience, O, thou disprovest report! — Cymbeline

The law protects not us: then why should we be tender to let an arrogant piece of flesh threat us, play judge and executioner all himself, for we do fear the law? — Cymbeline

Be cheerful; wipe thine eyes:
Some falls are means the happier to arise.
— Cymbeline

Fortune brings in some boats that are not steer’d. — Cymbeline

To shame the guise o’ the world, I will begin
The fashion, less without and more within.
— Cymbeline

Be not with mortal accidents opprest;
No care of yours it is; you know ’tis ours.
Whom best I love I cross; to make my gift,
The more delay’d, delighted.
— Cymbeline

Our cage
We make a choir, as doth the prisoned bird,
And sing our bondage freely.
— Cymbeline

Stand, stand!… Nothing routs us but
The villainy of our fears.
— Cymbeline

Alas, that love, so gentle in his view,
Should be so tyrannous and rough in proof!
— Romeo and Juliet

Is love a tender thing? it is too rough,
Too rude, too boisterous, and it pricks like thorn.
— Romeo and Juliet

O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!
It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night
Like a rich jewel in an Ethiope’s ear:
Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear!
So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows,
As yonder lady o’er her fellows shows.
The measure done, I’ll watch her place of stand,
And, touching hers, make blessed my rude hand.
Did my heart love till now? forswear it, sight!
For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.
— Romeo and Juliet

‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou are thyself, though not a Montague.
What’s Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to man. O, be some other name!
What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title.
— Romeo and Juliet

O, swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon,
That monthly changes in her circled orb,
Lest that thy love prove likewise variable.
— Romeo and Juliet

O blessed, blessed night! I am afeard,
Being in night, all this is but a dream,
Too flattering-sweet to be substantial.
— Romeo and Juliet

Good night, good night! parting is such sweet sorrow,
That I shall say good night till it be morrow.
— Romeo and Juliet

O, mickle is the powerful grace that lies
In herbs, plants, stones, and their true qualities:
For nought so vile that on the earth doth live
But to the earth some special good doth give,
Nor aught so good but, strain’d from that fair use,
Revolts from true birth, stumbling on abuse:
Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied;
And vice sometimes by action dignified.
Within the infant rind of this small flower
Poison hath residence, and medicine power:
For this, being smelt, with that part cheers each part;
Being tasted, slays all senses with the heart.
Two such opposed kings encamp them still
In man as well as herbs, grace and rude will;
And where the worser is predominant,
Full soon the canker death eats up that plant.
— Romeo and Juliet

Women may fall, when there’s no strength in men. — Romeo and Juliet

Wisely and slow; they stumble that run fast. — Romeo and Juliet

How art thou out of breath, when thou hast breath
To say to me that thou art out of breath?
The excuse that thou doest make in this delay
Is longer than the tale thou dost excuse.
— Romeo and Juliet

These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,
Which as they kiss consume: the sweetest honey
Is loathsome in his own deliciousness
And in the taste confounds the appetite:
Therefore love moderately; long love doth so;
Too swift arrives as tardy as too slow.
— Romeo and Juliet

O serpent heart, hid with a flowering face!
Did ever dragon keep so fair a cave?
Beautiful tyrant! fiend angelical!
Dove-feather’d raven! wolvish-ravening lamb!
Despised substance of divinest show!
Just opposite to what thou justly seem’st,
A damned saint, an honourable villain!
O nature, what hadst thou to do in hell,
When thou didst bower the spirit of a fiend
In mortal paradise of such sweet flesh?
Was ever book containing such vile matter
So fairly bound? O, that deceit should dwell
In such a gorgeous palace!
— Romeo and Juliet

Why rail’st thou on thy birth, the heaven, and earth?
Since birth, and heaven, and earth, all three do meet
In thee at once; which thou at once wouldst lose.
— Romeo and Juliet

A pack of blessings lights upon thy back;
Happiness courts thee in her best array;
But, like a misbehaved and sullen wench,
Thou pout’st upon thy fortune and thy love;
Take heed, take heed, for such die miserable.
— Romeo and Juliet

Confusion’s cure lives not in these confusions. — Romeo and Juliet

O’ mischief, thou art swift to enter in the thoughts of desperate men! — Romeo and Juliet

There is thy gold, worse poison to men’s souls,
Doing more murders in this loathsome world,
Than these poor compounds that thou mayst not sell.
— Romeo and Juliet

O, here will I set up my everlasting rest,
And shake the yoke of inauspicious stars
From this world-wearied flesh. Eyes, look your last!
Arms, take your last embrace! and, lips, O you
The doors of breath, seal with a righteous kiss,
A dateless bargain to engrossing death!
— Romeo and Juliet

My only love sprung from my only hate. — Romeo and Juliet

One fire burns out another’s burning,
One pain is lessen’d by another’s anguish.
— Romeo and Juliet

She has vowed never to love: and that vow means I must endure a living death. — Romeo and Juliet

Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave
My heart into my mouth: I love your majesty
According to my bond; nor more nor less.
— King Lear

To plainness honour’s bound, when majesty falls to folly. — King Lear

Even for want of that for which I am richer,
A still-soliciting eye, and such a tongue
As I am glad I have not, though not to have it
Hath lost me in your liking.
— King Lear

Gods, gods! ’tis strange that from their cold’st neglect
My love should kindle to inflamed respect.
— King Lear

Time shall unfold what plaited cunning hides:
Who cover faults, at last shame them derides.
— King Lear

This is excellent foppery of the world, that, when we are sick in fortune — often the surfeit of our own behaviour — we make guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and the stars: as if we were villains by necessity: fools by heavenly compulsion; knaves, thieves, and treachers, by spherical predominance; drunkards, liars, and adulterers, by an enforced obedience of planetary influence; and all that we are evil in, by a divine thrusting on: an admirable evasion of whoremaster man, to lay his goatish disposition to the charge of a star! — King Lear

The art of necessities is strange,
That can make vile things precious.
— King Lear

Where the greater malady is fix’d,
The lesser is scarce felt. Thou’ldst shun a bear;
But if thy flight lay toward the raging sea,
Thou’ldst meet the bear i’ the mouth. When the mind’s free,
The body’s delicate: the tempest in my mind
Doth from my senses take all feeling else,
Save what beats there.
— King Lear

When we our betters see bearing our woes,
We scarcely think our miseries our foes.
Who alone suffers suffers most i’ the mind,
Leaving free things and happy shows behind:
But then the mind much sufferance doth o’erskip,
When grief hath mates, and bearing fellowship.
How light and portable my pain seems now,
When that which makes me bend makes the king bow,
He childed as I father’d!
— King Lear

And worse I may be yet: the worst is not
So long as we can say, “This is the worst.”
— King Lear

Wisdom and goodness to the vile seem vile:
Filths savour but themselves.
— King Lear

If that the heavens do not their visible spirits
Send quickly down to tame these vile offences,
It will come,
Humanity must perforce prey on itself,
Like monsters of the deep.
— King Lear

Thou are a fiend,
A woman’s shape doth shield thee.
— King Lear

I do remember now: henceforth I’ll bear
Affliction till it do cry out itself
“Enough, enough,” and die.
— King Lear

Through tatter’d clothes small vices do appear;
Robes and furr’d gowns hide all. Plate sin with gold,
And the strong lance of justice hurtless breaks;
Arm it in rags, a pigmy’s straw does pierce it.
— King Lear

As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods;
They kill us for their sport.
— King Lear

O, matter and impertinency mix’d! Reason in madness! — King Lear

When we are born, we cry that we are come to this great stage of fools. — King Lear

Woes by wrong imaginations lose the knowledge of themselves. — King Lear

To be acknowledged is o’erpaid.
All my reports go with the modest truth;
Nor more nor clipp’d, but so.
— King Lear

What, in ill thoughts again? Men must endure
Their going hence, even as their coming hither!
Ripeness is all.
— King Lear

Draw thy sword,
That, if my speech offend a noble heart,
Thy arm may do thee justice: here is mine.
— King Lear

Vex not his ghost: O, let him pass! he hates him much
That would upon the rack of this tough world
Stretch him out longer.
— King Lear

I have a journey, sir, shortly to go;
My master calls me, I must not say no.
— King Lear

The weight of this sad time we must obey;
Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say.
The oldest hath borne most: we that are young
Shall never see so much, nor live so long.
— King Lear

How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child! — King Lear

Thou shouldst not have been old till thou hadst been wise. — King Lear

The prince of darkness is a gentleman! — King Lear

Who is it that can tell me who I am? — King Lear

We two alone will sing like birds i’ th’ cage.
When thou dost ask me blessing, I’ll kneel down
And ask of thee forgiveness. So we’ll live,
And pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh
At gilded butterflies, and hear poor rogues
Talk of court news, and we’ll talk with them too —
Who loses and who wins, who’s in, who’s out —
And take upon’s the mystery of things
As if we were God’s spies.
— King Lear

Love, and be silent. — King Lear

O, reason not the need! Our basest beggars
Are in the poorest thing superfluous.
Allow not nature more than nature needs,
Man’s life is cheap as beast’s. Thou art a lady:
If only to go warm were gorgeous,
Why, nature needs not what thou gorgeous wear’st
Which scarcely keeps thee warm. But, for true need —
You heavens, give me that patience, patience I need!
— King Lear

Thou losest here, a better where to find. — King Lear

Striving to better, oft we mar what’s well. — King Lear

Preferment goes by letter and affection,
And not by old gradation, where each second
Stood heir to the first.
— Othello

Others there are
Who, trimm’d in forms and visages of duty,
Keep yet their hearts attending on themselves,
And, throwing but shows of service on their lords,
Do well thrive by them, and when they have lined their coats
Do themselves homage.
— Othello

When remedies are past, the griefs are ended
By seeing the worst, which late on hopes depended.
To mourn a mischief that is past and gone
Is the next way to draw new mischief on.
What cannot be preserved when fortune take
Patience her injury a mockery makes.
The robb’d that smiles steals something from the thief;
He robs himself that spends a bootless grief.
— Othello

He that stirs next to carve for his own rage
Holds his soul light; he dies upon his motion.
— Othello

O God, that men should put an enemy in their mouths to steal away their brains! that we should, with joy, pleasance, revel, and applause, transform ourselves into beasts! — Othello

When devils will the blackest sins put on,
They do suggest at first with heavenly shows.
— Othello

How poor are they that have not patience!
What wound did ever heal but by degrees?
— Othello

Though other things grow fair against the sun,
Yet fruits that blossom first will first be ripe:
Content thyself awhile.
— Othello

O, beware, my lord, of jealousy;
It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock
The meat it feeds on.
— Othello

Poor and content is rich and rich enough,
But riches fineless (boundless) is as poor as winter
To him that ever fears he shall be poor.
— Othello

Trifles light as air
Are to the jealous confirmations strong
As proofs of holy writ.
— Othello

Dangerous conceits are, in their natures, poisons,
Which at the first are scarce found to distaste,
But with a little act upon the blood,
Burn like the mines of sulphur.
— Othello

Men’s natures wrangle with inferior things,
Though great ones are their object.
— Othello

For let our finger ache, and it indues
Our other healthful members even to that sense
Of pain.
— Othello

If that the earth could teem with woman’s tears,
Each drop she falls would prove a crocodile.
— Othello

I understand a fury in your words,
But not the words.
— Othello

Guiltiness will speak,
Though tongues were out of use.
— Othello

I will speak as liberal as the north:
Let heaven and men and devils, let them all,
All, all, cry shame against me, yet I’ll speak.
— Othello

If after every tempest come such calms,
May the winds blow till they have waken’d death!
— Othello

I am not merry; but I do beguile
The thing I am, by seeming otherwise.
— Othello

So sweet was ne’er so fatal. I must weep. But they are creul tears. This sorrow’s heavenly; it strikes where it doth love. — Othello

My heart is turn’d to stone: I strike it, and it hurts my hand. — Othello

What’s the matter, you dissentious rogues,
That, rubbing the poor itch of your opinion,
Make yourselves scabs?
— Coriolanus

He that will give good words to thee will flatter beneath abhorring. — Coriolanus

His nature is too noble for the world:
He would not flatter Neptune for his trident,
Or Jove for’s power to thunder. His heart’s his mouth:
What his breast forges, that his tongue must vent;
And, being angry, does forget that ever
He heard the name of death.
— Coriolanus

Must I with base tongue give my noble heart
A lie that it must bear?
— Coriolanus

Anger’s my meat; I sup upon myself,
And so shall starve with feeding.
— Coriolanus

Where is your ancient courage? you were used
To say extremity was the trier of spirits;
That common chances common men could bear;
That when the sea was calm all boats alike
Show’d mastership in floating.
— Coriolanus

Since you know you cannot see yourself
So well as by reflection, I, your glass,
Will modestly discover to yourself
That of yourself which you yet know not of.
— Julius Caesar

Men at some time are masters of their fates:
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.
— Julius Caesar

If you would consider the true cause
Why all these fires, why all these gliding ghosts,
Why birds and beasts from quality and kind,
Why old men fool and children calculate,
Why all these things change from their ordinance,
Their natures and performed faculties,
To monstrous quality — why, you shall find
That heaven hath infused them with these spirits,
To make them instruments of fear and warning
Unto some monstrous state.
— Julius Caesar

But life, being weary of these worldly bars,
Never lacks power to dismiss itself.
If I know this, know all the world besides,
That part of tyranny that I do bear
I can shake off at pleasure.
— Julius Caesar

So every bondman in his own hand bears
The power to cancel his captivity.
— Julius Caesar

That which would appear offence in us,
His countenance, like richest alchemy,
Will change to virtue and to worthiness.
— Julius Caesar

But ’tis a common proof,
That lowliness is young ambition’s ladder,
Whereto the climber-upward turns his face;
But when he once attains the upmost round,
He then unto the ladder turns his back,
Looks in the clouds, scorning the base degrees
By which he did ascend.
— Julius Caesar

Between the acting of a dreadful thing
And the first motion, all the interim is
Like a phantasma, or a hideous dream:
The Genius and the mortal instruments
Are then in council; and the state of man,
Like to a little kingdom, suffers then
The nature of an insurrection.
— Julius Caesar

He will never follow any thing that other men begin. — Julius Caesar

When I tell him he hates flatterers,
He says he does, being then most flattered.
— Julius Caesar

You are my true and honourable wife,
As dear to me as are the ruddy drops
That visit my sad heart.
— Julius Caesar

What can be avoided
Whose end is purposed by the mighty gods?
— Julius Caesar

Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should fear;
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come.
— Julius Caesar

I am constant as the northern star,
Of whose true-fix’d and resting quality
There is no fellow in the firmament.
— Julius Caesar

Fates, we will know your pleasures:
That we shall die, we know; ’tis but the time
And drawing days out, that men stand upon.
— Julius Caesar

O mighty Caesar! dost thou lie so low?
Are all thy conquests, glories, triumphs, spoils,
Shrunk to this little measure?
— Julius Caesar

Had I as many eyes as thou hast wounds,
Weeping as fast as they stream forth thy blood,
It would become me better than to close
In terms of friendship with thine enemies.
Pardon me, Julius!
— Julius Caesar

For mine eyes,
Seeing those beads of sorrow stand in thine,
Began to water.
— Julius Caesar

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones:
So let it be with Caesar.
— Julius Caesar

Some that smile have in their hearts, I fear,
Millions of mischief.
— Julius Caesar

When love begins to sicken and decay,
It useth an enforced ceremony.
There are no tricks in plain and simple faith;
But hollow men, like horses hot in hand,
Make gallant show and promise of their mettle;
But when they should endure the bloody spur,
They fall their crests, and, like deceitful jades,
Sink in the trial.
— Julius Caesar

Good reasons must, of force, give place to better. — Julius Caesar

I know not how,
But I do find it cowardly and vile,
For fear of what might fall, so to prevent
The time of life: arming myself with patience
To stay the providence of some high powers
That govern us below.
— Julius Caesar

O, that a man might know
The end of this day’s business ere it come!
But it sufficeth that the day will end,
And then the end is known.
— Julius Caesar

He thinks too much: such men are dangerous. — Julius Caesar

As he was valiant, I honour him: but, as he was ambitious, I slew him. — Julius Caesar

What a terrible era in which idiots govern the blind. — Julius Caesar

For I have neither wit, nor words, nor worth,
Action, nor utterance, nor the power of speech,
To stir men’s blood: I only speak right on;
I tell you that which you yourselves do know.
— Julius Caesar

How many ages hence
Shall this our lofty scene be acted over,
In states unborn and accents yet unknown!
— Julius Caesar

I know not what counts harsh fortune casts upon my face;
But in my bosom shall she never come, to make my heart her vassal.
— Julius Caesar

The nature of bad news infects the teller. — Antony and Cleopatra

What our contempt doth often hurl from us,
We wish it ours again; the present pleasure,
By revolution lowering, does become
The opposite of itself.
— Antony and Cleopatra

The tears live in an onion that should water this sorrow. — Antony and Cleopatra

In time we hate that which we often fear. — Antony and Cleopatra

Riotous madness,
To be entangled with those mouth-made vows,
Which break themselves in swearing!
— Antony and Cleopatra

It hath been taught us from the primal state,
That he which is was wish’d until he were;
And the ebb’d man, ne’er loved till ne’er worth love,
Comes dear’d by being lack’d.
— Antony and Cleopatra

We, ignorant of ourselves,
Beg often our own harms, which the wise powers
Deny us for our good; so find we profit
By losing of our prayers.
— Antony and Cleopatra

Who seeks, and will not take when once ’tis offer’d,
Shall never find it more.
— Antony and Cleopatra

Cheer your heart;
Be you not troubled with the time, which drives
O’er your content these strong necessities;
But let determined things to destiny
Hold unbewail’d their way.
— Antony and Cleopatra

The loyalty well held to fools does make
Our faith mere folly: yet he that can endure
To follow with allegiance a fall’n lord
Does conquer him that did his master conquer,
And earns a place i’ the story.
— Antony and Cleopatra

Never anger made good guard for itself. — Antony and Cleopatra

To business that we love we rise betime,
And go to’t with delight.
— Antony and Cleopatra

O sovereign mistress of true melancholy,
The poisonous damp of night disponge upon me,
That life, a very rebel to my will
May hang no longer on me: throw my heart
Against the flint and hardness of my fault;
Which, being dried with grief, will break to powder,
And finish all foul thoughts.
— Antony and Cleopatra

With a wound I must be cured. — Antony and Cleopatra

Nay, good my fellows, do not please sharp fate
To grace it with your sorrows: bid that welcome
Which comes to punish us, and we punish it,
Seeming to bear it lightly.
— Antony and Cleopatra

Not Caesar’s valour hath o’erthrown Antony,
But Antony’s hath triumph’d on itself.
So it should be, that none but Antony
Should conquer Antony; but woe ’tis so.
— Antony and Cleopatra

And strange it is,
That nature must compel us to lament
Our most persisted deeds.
— Antony and Cleopatra

That truth should be silent I had almost forgot. — Antony and Cleopatra

Courage mounteth with occasion. — King John

Whiles I am a beggar, I will rail,
And say there is no sin but to be rich;
And being rich, my virtue then shall be
To say there is no vice but beggary.
Since kings break faith upon commodity,
Gain, be my lord, for I will worship thee.
— King John

There where my fortune lives, there my life dies. — King John

Now, by my life, this day grows wondrous hot;
Some airy devil hovers in the sky
And pours down mischief.
— King John

I am not mad; too well, too well I feel
The different plague of each calamity.
— King John

To be possess’d with double pomp,
To guard a title that was rich before,
To gild refined gold, to paint the lily,
To throw a perfume on the violet,
To smooth the ice, or add another hue
Unto the rainbow, or with taper-light
To seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish,
Is wasteful and ridiculous excess.
— King John

Oftentimes excusing of a fault
Doth make the fault the worse by the excuse,
As patches set upon a little breach
Discredit more in hiding of the fault
Than did the fault before it was so patch’d.
— King John

Trust not those cunning waters of his eyes,
For villany is not without such rheum;
And he, long traded in it, makes it seem
Like rivers of remorse and innocency.
— King John

O vanity of sickness! fierce extremes
In their continuance will not feel themselves.
— King John

Since the more fair and crystal is the sky,
The uglier seem the clouds that in it fly.
— King Richard II

Mine honour is my life; both grow in one;
Take honour from me, and my life is done:
Then, dear my liege, mine honour let me try;
In that I live, and for that will I die.
— King Richard II

Things sweet to taste prove in digestion sour. — King Richard II

All places that the eye of heaven visits
Are to a wise man ports and happy havens.
Teach thy necessity to reason thus;
There is no virtue like necessity.
— King Richard II

For gnarling sorrow hath less power to bite
The man that mocks at it and sets it light.
— King Richard II

O, who can hold a fire in his hand
By thinking on the frosty Caucasus?
Or cloy the hungry edge of appetite
By bare imagination of a feast?
Or wallow naked in December snow
By thinking on fantastic summer’s heat?
O, no! the apprehension of the good
Gives but the greater feeling to the worse:
Fell sorrow’s tooth doth never rankle more
Than when he bites, but lanceth not the sore.
— King Richard II

My heart disdained that my tongue
Should so profane the word, that taught me craft
To counterfeit oppression of such grief
That words seem’d buried in my sorrow’s grave.
— King Richard II

O’ but they say the tongues of dying men
Enforce attention like deep harmony:
Where words are scarce, they are seldom spent in vain,
For they breathe truth that breathe their words in pain.
He that no more must say is listen’d more
Than they whom youth and ease have taught to glose;
More are men’s ends mark’d than their lives before:
The setting sun, and music at the close,
As the last taste of sweets, is sweetest last,
Writ in remembrance more than things long past.
— King Richard II

Violent fires soon burn out themselves;
Small showers last long, but sudden storms are short;
He tires betimes that spurs too fast betimes;
With eager feeding food doth choke the feeder:
Light vanity, insatiate cormorant,
Consuming means, soon preys upon itself.
— King Richard II

Young hot colts being raged do rage the more. — King Richard II

Thy death-bed is no lesser than thy land,
Wherein thou liest in reputation sick;
And thou, too careless patient as thou art,
Commit’st thy anointed body to the cure
Of those physicians that first wounded thee:
A thousand flatterers sit within thy crown,
Whose compass is no bigger than thy head;
And yet, incaged in so small a verge,
The waste is no whit lesser than thy land.
— King Richard II

Though death be poor, it ends a mortal woe. — King Richard II

How long shall I be patient? ah, how long
Shall tender duty make me suffer wrong?
— King Richard II

We see the very wreck that we must suffer;
And unavoided is the danger now,
For suffering so the causes of our wreck.
— King Richard II

Even through the hollow eyes of death
I spy life peering.
— King Richard II

Things past redress are now with me past care. — King Richard II

With the hollow crown
That rounds the mortal temples of a king
Keeps Death his court and there the antic sits,
Scoffing his state and grinning at his pomp,
Allowing him a breath, a little scene,
To monarchize, be fear’d and kill with looks,
Infusing him with self and vain conceit,
As if this flesh which walls about our life
Were brass impregnable, and humour’d thus
Comes at the last, and with a little pin
Bores through his castle wall, and farewell king!
— King Richard II

Wise men ne’er sit and wail their woes,
But presently prevent the ways to wail.
To fear the foe, since fear oppresseth strength,
Gives in your weakness strength unto your foe,
And so your follies fight against yourself.
Fear, and be slain; no worse can come to fight:
And fight and die is death destroying death;
Where fearing dying pays death servile breath.
— King Richard II

Superfluous branches we lop away, that bearing boughs may live. — King Richard II

Alack the heavy day,
That I have worn so many winters out,
And know not now what name to call myself!
— King Richard II

I’ll read enough,
When I do see the very book indeed
Where all my sins are writ, and that’s myself.
— King Richard II

I am sworn brother, sweet,
To grim Necessity, and he and I
Will keep a league till death.
— King Richard II

But whate’er I be,
Nor I nor any man that but man is
With nothing shall be pleased, till he be eased
With being nothing.
— King Richard II

I wasted time, and now doth time waste me. — King Richard II

For now the devil that told me I did well
Says that this deed is chronicled in hell.
— King Richard II

Thus play I in one person many people,
And none contented.
— King Richard II

O, no! The apprehension of the good
Gives but the greater feeling to the worse.
— King Richard II

O, if men were to be saved by merit,
what hole in hell were hot enough for him?
— King Henry IV, Part 1

If all the year were playing holidays,
To sport would be as tedious as to work.
— King Henry IV, Part 1

Thy spirit within thee hath been so at war
And thus hath so bestirr’d thee in thy sleep,
That beads of sweat have stood upon thy brow,
Like bubbles in a late-disturbed stream.
And in they face strange motions have appear’d,
Such as we see when men restrain their breath
On some great sudden hest.
— King Henry IV, Part 1

Diseased nature oftentimes breaks forth
In strange eruptions; oft the teeming earth
Is with a kind of colic pinch’d and vex’d
By the imprisoning of unruly wind
Within her womb; which, for enlargement striving,
Shakes the old beldam earth and topples down
Steeples and moss-grown towers.
— King Henry IV, Part 1

Tell truth and shame the devil.
If thou have power to raise him, bring him hither,
And I’ll be sworn I have power to shame him hence.
O, while you live, tell truth and shame the devil!
— King Henry IV, Part 1

The better part of valour is discretion; in the which better part I have saved my life. — King Henry IV, Part 1

Do thou amend thy face, and I’ll amend my life. — King Henry IV, Part 1

They surfeited with honey and began
To loathe the taste of sweetness, whereof a little
More than a little is by much too much.
— King Henry IV, Part 1

From Rumour’s tongues
They bring smooth comforts false, worse than true wrongs.
— King Henry IV, Part 2

The bringer of unwelcome news
Hath but a losing office, and his tongue
Sounds ever after as a sullen bell,
Remember’d tolling a departing friend.
— King Henry IV, Part 2

In poison there is physic; and these news,
Having been well, that would have made me sick,
Being sick, have in some measure made me well:
And as the wretch, whose fever-weaken’d joints,
Like strengthless hinges, buckle under life,
Impatient of his fit, breaks like a fire
Out of his keeper’s arms, even so my limbs,
Weaken’d with grief, being now enraged with grief,
Are thrice themselves.
— King Henry IV, Part 2

Do you set down your name in the scroll of youth, that are written down old with all the characters of age? Have you not a moist eye? a dry hand? a yellow cheek? a white beard? a decreasing leg? an increasing belly? is not your voice broken? your wind short? your chin double? your wit single? and every part about you blasted with antiquity? and will you yet call yourself young? — King Henry IV Part 2

A good wit will make use of any thing: I will turn diseases to commodity. — King Henry IV, Part 2

O thoughts of men accursed!
Past and to come seems best; things present worst.
— King Henry IV, Part 2

O sleep, O gentle sleep,
Nature’s soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down
And steep my senses in forgetfulness?
— King Henry IV, Part 2

There is a history in all men’s lives,
Figuring the nature of the times deceased;
The which observed, a man may prophesy,
With a near aim, of the main chance of things
As yet not come to life, which in their seeds
And weak beginnings lie intreasured.
— King Henry IV, Part 2

Rumour doth double, like the voice and echo,
The numbers of the fear’d.
— King Henry IV, Part 2

His foes are so enrooted with his friends
That, plucking to unfix an enemy,
He doth enfasten so and shake a friend.
— King Henry IV, Part 2

Most subject is the fattest soil to weeds. — King Henry IV, Part 2

For when his headstrong riot hath no curb,
When rage and hot blood are his counsellors,
When means and lavish manners meet together,
O, with what wings shall his affections fly
Towards fronting peril and opposed decay!
— King Henry IV, Part 2

Will Fortune never come with both hands full,
But write her fair words still in foulest letters?
She either gives a stomach and no food;
Such are the poor, in health; or else a feast
And takes away the stomach; such are the rich,
That have abundance and enjoy it not.
— King Henry IV, Part 2

How quickly nature falls into revolt
When gold becomes her object!
For this the foolish over-careful fathers
Have broke their sleep with thoughts, their brains with care,
Their bones with industry;
For this they have engrossed and piled up
The canker’d heaps of strange-achieved gold;
For this they have been thoughtful to invest
Their sons with arts and martial exercises:
When, like the bee, culling from every flower
The virtuous sweets,
Our thighs pack’d with wax, our mouths with honey,
We bring it to the hive, and, like the bees,
Are murdered for our pains.
— King Henry IV, Part 2

O foolish youth! Thou seek’st the greatness that will overwhelm thee. — King Henry IV, Part 2

Thou best of gold art worst of gold;
Other, less fine in carat, is more precious,
Preserving life in medicine potable;
But thou, most fine, most honour’d, most renown’d
Hast eat thy bearer up.
— King Henry IV, Part 2

The tide of blood in me
Hath proudly flow’d in vanity till now:
Now doth it turn and ebb back to the sea,
Where it shall mingle with the state of floods,
And flow henceforth in formal majesty.
— King Henry IV, Part 2

Rumour is a pipe
Blown by surmises, jealousies, conjectures
And of so easy and so plain a stop
That the blunt monster with uncounted heads,
The still-discordant wavering multitude,
Can play upon it.
— King Henry IV, Part 2

The strawberry grows underneath the nettle,
And wholesome berries thrive and ripen best
Neighbor’d by fruit of baser quality.
— King Henry V

‘Tis so strange,
That, though the truth of it stands off as gross
As black and white, my eye will scarcely see it.
— King Henry V

It is a beast for Perseus: he is pure air and fire; and the dull elements of earth and water never appear in him, but only in patient stillness while his rider mounts him: he is indeed a horse; and all other jades you may call beasts. — King Henry V

Ill will never said well. — King Henry V

There is flattery in friendship. — King Henry V

‘Tis true that we are in great danger;
The greater therefore should our courage be.
— King Henry V

There is some soul of goodness in things evil,
Would men observingly distil it out.
For our bad neighbour makes us early stirrers,
Which is both healthful and good husbandry:
Besides, they are our outward consciences,
And preachers to us all, admonishing
That we should dress us fairly for our end.
Thus may we gather honey from the weed,
And make a moral of the devil himself.
— King Henry V

‘Tis good for men to love their present pains
Upon example; so the spirit is eased:
And when the mind is quicken’d, out of doubt,
The organs, though defunct and dead before,
Break up their drowsy grave and newly move,
With casted slough and fresh legerity.
— King Henry V

What is thy soul, O adoration?
Art thou aught else but place, degree, and form,
Creating awe and fear in other men?
Wherein thou art less happy being fear’d
Than they in fearing.
What drink’st thou oft, instead of homage sweet,
But poison’d flattery?
— King Henry V

More will I do;
Though all that I can do is nothing worth,
Since that my penitence comes after all,
Imploring pardon.
— King Henry V

Farewell, kind lord; fight valiantly today:
And yet I do thee wrong to mind thee of it,
For thou art framed of the firm truth of valour.
— King Henry V

The devil take order now! I’ll to the throng:
Let life be short; else shame will be too long.
— King Henry V

What! a speaker is but a prater; a rhyme is but a ballad. A good leg will fall; a straight back will stoop; a black beard will turn white; a curled pate will grow bald; a fair face will wither; a full eye will wax hollow; but a good heart, Kate, is the sun and the moon; or rather the sun and not the moon; for it shines bright and never changes, but keeps his course truly. — King Henry V

Men of few words are the best men. — King Henry V

These fellows of infinite tongue, that can rhyme themselves into ladies’ favours, they do always reason themselves out again. — King Henry V

Glory is like a circle in the water,
Which never ceaseth to enlarge itself
Till by broad spreading it disperse to naught.
— King Henry VI, Part 1

The sun with one eye vieweth all the world. — King Henry VI, Part 1

Unbidden guests are often welcomest when they are gone. — King Henry VI, Part 1

I am but shadow of myself:
You are deceived, my substance is not here;
For what you see is but the smallest part
And least proportion of humanity.
— King Henry VI, Part 1

These eyes, like lamps whose wasting oil is spent,
Wax dim, as drawing to their exigent;
Weak shoulders, overborne with burthening grief,
And pithless arms, like to a wither’d vine
That droops his sapless branches to the ground:
Yet are these feet, whose strengthless stay is numb,
Unable to support this lump of clay,
Swift-winged with desire to get a grave,
As witting I no other comfort have.
— King Henry VI, Part 1

Who should study to prefer a peace,
If holy churchmen take delight in broils?
— King Henry VI, Part 1

I have heard you preach
That malice was a great and grievous sin;
And will not you maintain the thing you teach,
But prove a chief offender in the same?
— King Henry VI, Part 1

This late dissension grown betwixt the peers
Burns under feigned ashes of forged love,
And will at last break out into a flame:
As fester’d members rot but by degree,
Till bones and flesh and sinews fall away,
So will this base and envious discord breed.
— King Henry VI, Part 1

What is the trust or strength of foolish man?
They that of late were daring with their scoffs
Are glad and fain by flight to save themselves.
— King Henry VI, Part 1

O monstrous treachery! can this be so,
That in alliance, amity, and oaths,
There should be found such false dissembling guile?
— King Henry VI, Part 1

Good Lord, what madness rules in brainsick men,
When for so slight and frivolous a cause
Such factious emulations shale arise!
— King Henry VI, Part 1

‘Tis much when sceptres are in children’s hands;
But more when envy breeds unkind division;
There comes the ruin, there begins confusion.
— King Henry VI, Part 1

For ere the glass, that now begins to run,
Finish the process of his sandy hour,
These eyes, that see thee now well coloured,
Shall see thee wither’d, bloody, pale, and dead.
— King Henry VI, Part 1

Mad ire and wrathful fury makes me weep,
That thus we die, while remiss traitors sleep.
— King Henry VI, Part 1

There is no hope that ever I will stay,
If the first hour I shrink and run away.
Here on my knee I beg mortality,
Rather than life preserved with infamy.
— King Henry VI, Part 1

No more can I be sever’d from your side,
Than can yourself yourself in twain divide:
Stay, go, do what you will, the like do I;
For live I will not, if my father die.
— King Henry VI, Part 1

Hast not a tongue? is she not here?
Wilt thou be daunted at a woman’s sight?
Ay, beauty’s princely majesty is such,
Confounds the tongue and makes the sense rough.
— King Henry VI, Part 1

Thou mayest not wander in that labyrinth;
There Minotaurs and ugly treasons lurk.
— King Henry VI, Part 1

But you, that are polluted with your lusts,
Stain’d with the guiltless blood of innocents,
Corrupt and tainted with a thousand vices,
Because you want the grace that others have,
You judge it straight a thing impossible
To compass wonders but by help of devils.
— King Henry VI, Part 1

Her virtues graced with external gifts
Do breed love’s settled passions in my heart:
And like as rigour of tempestuous gusts
Provokes the mightiest hulk against the tide,
So am I driven by breath of her renown
Either to suffer shipwreck or arrive
Where I may have fruition of her love.
— King Henry VI, Part 1

The chief perfections of that lovely dame,
Had I sufficient skill to utter them,
Would make a volume of enticing lines,
Able to ravish any dull conceit.
— King Henry VI, Part 1

I feel such sharp dissension in my breast,
Such fierce alarums both of hope and fear,
As I am sick with working of my thoughts.
— King Henry VI, Part 1

Defer no time, delays have dangerous ends. — King Henry VI, Part 1

O Lord, that lends me life,
Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness!
For thou hast given me in this beauteous face
A world of earthly blessings to my soul,
If sympathy of love unite our thoughts.
— King Henry VI, Part 2

Her sight did ravish; but her grace in speech,
Her words y-clad with wisdom’s majesty,
Makes me from wondering fall to weeping joys;
Such is the fulness of my heart’s content.
— King Henry VI, Part 2

Thus sometimes hath the brightest day a cloud;
And after summer evermore succeeds
Barren winter, with his wrathful nipping cold:
So cares and joys abound, as seasons fleet.
— King Henry VI, Part 2

Now ’tis the spring, and weeds are shallow-rooted;
Suffer them now, and they’ll o’ergrow the garden,
And choke the herbs for want of husbandry.
— King Henry VI, Part 2

Smooth runs the water where the brook is deep. — King Henry VI, Part 2

The fox barks not when he would steal the lamb. — King Henry VI, Part 2

Seems he a dove? his feathers are but borrow’d,
For he’s disposed as the hateful raven:
Is he a lamb? his skin is surely lent him,
For he’s inclined as is the ravenous wolf.
— King Henry VI, Part 2

A heart unspotted is not easily daunted. — King Henry VI, Part 2

These days are dangerous;
Virtue is choked with foul ambition,
And charity chased hence by rancour’s hand.
— King Henry VI, Part 2

Show me one scar character’d on thy skin:
Men’s flesh preserved so whole do seldom win.
— King Henry VI, Part 2

Be that thou hopest to be, or what thou art
Resign to death; it is not worth the enjoying:
Let pale-faced fear keep with the man born man,
And find no harbour in a royal heart.
— King Henry VI, Part 2

Faster than spring-time showers comes thought on thought,
And not a thought but thinks on dignity.
My brain, more busy than the labouring spider,
Weaves tedious snares to trap mine enemies.
— King Henry VI, Part 2

Hide not thy poison with such sugar’d words. — King Henry VI, Part 2

What stronger breastplate than a heart untainted!
Thrice is he armed that hath his quarrel just,
And he but naked, though lock’d up in steel,
Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted.
— King Henry VI, Part 2

Had I but said, I would have kept my word,
But when I swear, it is irrevocable.
— King Henry VI, Part 2

For where thou art, there is the world itself,
With every several pleasure in the world,
And where thou art not, desolation.
I can no more: live thou to enjoy thy life;
Myself no joy in nought but that thou livest.
— King Henry VI, Part 2

Ah, what a sign it is of evil life,
Where death’s approach is seen so terrible!
— King Henry VI, Part 2

O thou eternal Mover of the heavens,
Look with a gentle eye upon this wretch!
O, beat away the busy meddling fiend
That lays strong siege unto this wretch’s soul,
And from his bosom purge this black despair!
— King Henry VI, Part 2

So bad a death argues a monstrous life. — King Henry VI, Part 2

Forbear to judge, for we are sinners all. — King Henry VI, Part 2

The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers. — King Henry VI, Part 2

It is great sin to swear unto a sin,
But greater sin to keep a sinful oath.
Who can be bound by any solemn vow
To do a murderous deed, to rob a man,
To force a spotless virgin’s chastity,
To reave the orphan of his patrimony,
To wring the widow from her custom’d right,
And have no other reason for this wrong
But that he was bound by a solemn oath?
— King Henry VI, Part 2

Small things make base men proud. — King Henry VI, Part 2

Had I thy brethren here, their lives and thine
Were not revenge sufficient for me;
No, if I digg’d up thy forefather’s graves
And hung their rotten coffins up in chains,
It could not slake mine ire, nor easy my heart.
— King Henry VI, Part 3

What valour were it, when a cur doth grin,
For one to thrust his hand between his teeth,
When he might spurn him with his foot away?
— King Henry VI, Part 3

Open Thy gate of mercy, gracious God!
My soul flies through these wounds to seek out Thee.
— King Henry VI, Part 3

Now my soul’s palace is become a prison:
Ah, would she break from hence, that this my body
Might in the ground be closed up in rest!
For never henceforth shall I joy again,
Never, O never, shall I see more joy!
— King Henry VI, Part 3

To whom do lions cast their gentle looks?
Not to the beast that would usurp their den.
Whose hand is that the forest bear doth lick?
Not his that spoils her young before her face.
Who ‘scapes the lurking serpent’s mortal sting?
Not he that sets his foot upon her back.
The smallest worm will turn being trodden on,
And doves will peck in safeguard of their brood.
— King Henry VI, Part 3

This battle fares like to the morning’s war,
When dying clouds contend with growing light,
What time the shepherd, blowing of his nails,
Can neither call it perfect day nor night.
Now sways it this way, like a might sea
Forced by the tide to combat with the wind:
Now sways it that way, like the selfsame sea
Forced to retire by fury of the wind;
Sometime the flood prevails, and then the wind;
Now one the better, then another best;
Both tugging to be victors, breast to breast,
Yet neither conqueror nor conquered:
So is the equal poise of this fell war.
— King Henry VI, Part 3

Gives not the hawthorn-bush a sweeter shade
To shepherds, looking on their silly sheep,
Than doth a rich-embroider’d canopy
To kings that fear their subject’s treachery?
— King Henry VI, Part 3

O, pity, God, this miserable age!
What stratagems, how fell, how butcherly,
Erroneous, mutinous, and unnatural,
This deadly quarrel daily doth beget!
— King Henry VI, Part 3

My crown is in my heart, not on my head;
Not deck’d with diamonds and Indian stones,
Nor to be seen: my crown is called content:
A crown it is that seldom kings enjoy.
— King Henry VI, Part 3

Why, I can smile, and murder whiles I smile,
And cry “Content” to that which grieves my heart,
And wet my cheeks with artificial tears,
And frame my face to all occasions.
— King Henry VI, Part 3

Having nothing, nothing can he lose. — King Henry VI, Part 3

What fates impose, that men must needs abide;
It boots not to resist both wind and tide.
— King Henry VI, Part 3

I myself will lead a private life,
And in devotion spend my latter days,
To sin’s rebuke and my Creator’s praise.
— King Henry VI, Part 3

A little fire is quickly trodden out;
Which, being suffer’d, rivers cannot quench.
— King Henry VI, Part 3

Lo, now my glory smear’d in dust and blood!
My parks, my walks, my manors that I had,
Even now forsake me, and of all my lands
Is nothing left me but my body’s length.
Why, what is pomp, rule, reign, but earth and dust?
And, live we how we can, yet die we must.
— King Henry VI, Part 3

Why, courage then! what cannot be avoided
‘Twere childish weakness to lament or fear.
— King Henry VI, Part 3

Teeth hadst thou in thy head when thou was born,
To signify thou camest to bite the world.
— King Henry VI, Part 3

Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind. — King Henry VI, Part 3

I rather wish you foes than hollow friends. — King Henry VI, Part 3

Now is the winter of our discontent. — King Richard III

What, do you tremble? are you all afraid?
Alas, I blame you not; for you are mortal,
And mortal eyes cannot endure the devil.
Avaunt, thou dreadful minister of hell!
Thou hadst but power over his mortal body,
His soul thou canst not have; therefore, be gone.
— King Richard III

Foul devil, for God’s sake, hence, and trouble us not;
For thou hast made the happy earth thy hell,
Fill’d it with cursing cries and deep exclaims.
If thou delight to view thy heinous deeds,
Behold this pattern of thy butcheries.
— King Richard III

O wonderful, when devils tell the truth! — King Richard III

Never came poison from so sweet a place. — King Richard III

Why strew’st thou sugar on that bottled spider,
Whose deadly web ensnareth thee about?
Fool, fool! thou whet’st a knife to kill thyself.
— King Richard III

They that stand high have mighty blasts to shake them;
And if they fall, they dash themselves to pieces.
— King Richard III

Curses never pass the lips of those that breathe them in the air. — King Richard III

Take heed of yonder dog!
Look, when he fawns, he bites; and when he bites,
His venom tooth will rankle to the death:
Have not to do with him, beware of him;
Sin, death, and hell have set their marks on him,
And all their ministers attend on him.
— King Richard III

What, dost thou scorn me for my gentle counsel?
And soothe the devil that I warn thee from?
O, but remember this another day,
When he shall split thy very heart with sorrow.
— King Richard III

I sigh, and, with a piece of scripture,
Tell them that God bids us do good for evil:
And thus I clothe my naked villany
With old odd ends stolen out of holy writ;
And seem a saint, when most I play the devil.
— King Richard III

Oh, that deceit should steal such gentle shapes,
And with a virtuous vizard hide foul guile!
— King Richard III

In common worldly things, ’tis call’d ungrateful,
With dull unwillingness to repay a debt
Which with a bounteous hand was kindly lent;
Much more to be thus opposite with heaven,
For it requires the royal debt it lent you.
— King Richard III

The untainted virtue of your years
Hath not yet dived into the world’s deceit:
Nor more can you distinguish of a man
Than of his outward show; which, God he knows,
Seldom or never jumpeth with the heart.
— King Richard III

To fly the boar before the boar pursues,
Were to incense the boar to follow us,
And make pursuit where he did mean no chase.
— King Richard III

There’s some conceit or other likes him well,
When he doth bid good morrow with such spirit.
— King Richard III

I can counterfeit the deep tragedian;
Speak and look back, and pry on every side,
Tremble and start at wagging of a straw,
Intending deep suspicion: ghastly looks
Are at my service, like enforced smiles;
And both are ready in their offices,
At any time, to grace my stratagems.
— King Richard III

So, now prosperity begins to mellow
And drop into the rotten mouth of death.
— King Richard III

From forth the kennel of thy womb hath crept
A hell-hound that doth hunt us all to death:
That dog, that had his teeth before his eyes,
To worry lambs and lap their gentle blood,
That foul defacer of God’s handiwork,
That excellent grand tyrant of the earth,
That reigns in galled eyes of weeping souls,
Thy womb let loose, to chase us to our graves.
— King Richard III

Earth gapes, hell burns, fiends roar, saints pray,
To have him suddenly convey’d away.
Cancel his bond of life, dear God, I pray,
That I may live to say, The dog is dead!
— King Richard III

An honest tale speeds best being plainly told. — King Richard III

Thyself thyself misusest. — King Richard III

He hath no friends but what are friends for fear,
Which in his dearest need will fly from him.
— King Richard III

The weary sun hath made a golden set,
And, by the bright track of his fiery car,
Gives signal of a goodly day to-morrow.
— King Richard III

My conscience hath a thousand several tongues,
And every tongue brings in a several tale,
And every tale condemns me for a villain.
— King Richard III

A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse! — King Richard III

I have learn’d that fearful commenting
Is leaden servitor to dull delay.
— King Richard III

As it is won with blood, lost be it so! — King Richard III

Let reason with your choler question
What ’tis you go about: to climb steep hills
Requires slow pace at first: anger is like
A full-hot horse, who being allow’d his way,
Self-mettle tires him.
— King Henry VIII

Be advised;
Heat not a furnace for your foe so hot
That it do singe yourself: we may outrun,
By violent swiftness, that which we run at,
And lose by over-running. Know you not,
The fire that mounts the liquor till’t run o’er,
In seeming to augment it wastes it? Be advised
I say again, there is no English soul
More stronger to direct you than yourself,
If with the sap of reason you would quench,
Or but allay, the fire of passion.
— King Henry VIII

Things done well,
And with a care, exempt themselves from fear.
— King Henry VIII

The gentleman is learn’d, and a most rare speaker;
To nature none more bound; his training such,
That he may furnish and instruct great teachers,
And never seek for aid out of himself. Yet see,
When these so noble benefits prove
Not well disposed, the mind growing once corrupt,
They turn to vicious forms, ten times more ugly
Than ever they were fair.
— King Henry VIII

Where you are liberal of your loves and counsels
Be sure you be not loose; for those you make friends
And give your hearts to, when they once perceive
The least rub in your fortunes, fall away
Like water from ye, never found again
But where they mean to sink ye.
— King Henry VIII

‘Tis better to be lowly born,
And range with humble livers in content,
Than to be perk’d up in a glistering grief,
And wear a golden sorrow.
— King Henry VIII

You’re meek and humble-mouth’d;
You sign your place and calling, in full seeming,
With meekness and humility; but your heart
Is cramm’d with arrogancy, spleen, and pride.
— King Henry VIII

Truth loves open dealing. — King Henry VIII

Would I had never trod this English earth,
Or felt the flatteries that grow upon it!
Ye have angel’s faces, but heaven knows your hearts.
— King Henry VIII

I charge thee, fling away ambition:
By that sin fell the angels; how can man, then,
The image of his Maker, hope to win by it?
— King Henry VIII

His overthrow heap’d happiness upon him;
For then, and not till then, he felt himself,
And found the blessedness of being little:
And, to add greater honours to his age
Than man could give him, he died fearing God.
— King Henry VIII

Spirits of peace, where are ye? are ye all gone,
And leave me here in wretchedness behind ye?
— King Henry VIII

Affairs, that walk,
As they say spirits do, at midnight, have
In them a wilder nature than the business
That seeks dispatch by day.
— King Henry VIII

He has strangled his language in his tears. — King Henry VIII

I feel within me
A peace above all earthly dignities,
A still and quiet conscience.
— King Henry VIII

Sweet mercy is nobility’s true badge. — Titus Andronicus

I have been troubled in my sleep this night,
But dawning day new comfort hath inspired.
— Titus Andronicus

For now I stand as one upon a rock
Environ’d with a wilderness of sea,
Who marks the waxing tide grow wave by wave,
Expecting ever when some envious surge
Will in his brinish bowels swallow him.
— Titus Andronicus

When no friends are by, men praise themselves. — Titus Andronicus

Sorrow concealed, like an oven stopped,
Doth burn the heart to cinders where it is.
— Titus Andronicus

For death remember’d should be like a mirror,
Who tells us life’s but breath, to trust it error.
— Pericles

Few love to hear the sins they love to act. — Pericles

How courtesy would seem to cover sin,
When what is done is like an hypocrite,
The which is good in nothing but in sight!
— Pericles

For wisdom sees, those men
Blush not in actions blacker than the night,
Will shun no course to keep them from the light.
— Pericles

One sin, I know, another doth provoke;
Murder’s as near to lust as flame to smoke:
Poison and treason are the hands of sin,
Ay, and the targets, to put off the shame.
— Pericles

Why should this change of thoughts,
The sad companion, dull-eyed melancholy,
Be my so used a guest as not an hour,
In the day’s glorious walk, or peaceful night,
The tomb where grief should sleep, can breed me quiet?
— Pericles

Peace, peace, and give experience tongue.
They do abuse the king that flatter him:
For flattery is the bellows blows up sin;
The thing the which is flatter’d, but a spark,
To which that blast gives heat and stronger glowing;
Whereas reproof, obedient and in order,
Fits kings, as they are men, for they may err.
— Pericles

But knowest thou this:
‘Tis time to fear when tyrants seem to kiss.
— Pericles

Tyrant’s fears decrease not, but grow faster than the years. — Pericles

I’ll take thy word for faith, not ask thine oath:
Who shuns not to break one will sure crack both.
— Pericles

One sorrow never comes but brings an heir,
That may succeed as his inheritor.
— Pericles

Who makes the fairest show means most deceit. — Pericles

Opinion’s but a fool, that makes us scan
The outward habit by the inward man.
— Pericles

I see that Time’s the king of men,
He’s both their parent, and he is their grave,
And gives them what he will, not what they crave.
— Pericles

O you gods!
Why do you make us love your goodly gifts,
And snatch them straight away!
— Pericles

This world to me is like a lasting storm,
Whirring me from my friends.
— Pericles

Thou are like the harpy,
Which, to betray, dost, with thine angel’s face,
Seize with thine eagle’s talons.
— Pericles

No visor does become black villany
So well as soft and tender flattery.
— Pericles

Give me a gash, put me to present pain;
Lest this great sea of joys rushing upon me
O’erbear the shores of my mortality.
— Pericles

This, this: no more, you gods! your present kindness
Makes my past miseries sports.
— Pericles

Thus ready for the way of life or death,
I wait the sharpest blow.
— Pericles

We cannot but obey the powers above us.
Could I rage and roar as doth the sea
She lies in, yet the end must be as ’tis.
— Pericles

He needs no cunning that for truth doth fight. — A Yorkshire Tragedy

Why should our faults at home be spread abroad?
Tis grief enough within doors.
— A Yorkshire Tragedy

Divines and dying men may talk of hell,
But in my heart her several torments dwell.
— A Yorkshire Tragedy

That man is nearest shame that is past shame. — A Yorkshire Tragedy

All those pleasures
That woo the wills of men to vanity,
I see through now, and am sufficient
To tell the world, ’tis but a gaudy shadow,
That old Time, as he passes by, takes with him.
— The Two Noble Kinsmen

Make use of time, let not advantage slip;
Beauty within itself should not be wasted:
Fair flowers that are not gather’d in their prime
Rot and consume themselves in little time.
— Venus and Adonis

Things growing to themselves are growth’s abuse:
Seeds spring from seeds and beauty breedeth beauty;
Thou wast begot: to get it is thy duty.
— Venus and Adonis

They that thrive well take counsel of their friends. — Venus and Adonis

For where Love reigns, disturbing Jealousy
Doth call himself Affection’s sentinel;
Gives false alarms, suggesteth mutiny,
And in a peaceful hour doth cry, “Kill, kill!”
— Venus and Adonis

Foul-cankering rust the hidden treasure frets,
But gold that’s put to use more gold begets.
— Venus and Adonis

For know, my heart stands armed in mine ear,
And will not let a false sound enter there.
— Venus and Adonis

The path is smooth that leadeth on to danger. — Venus and Adonis

Love comforteth like sunshine after rain,
But Lust’s effect is tempest after sun;
Love’s gentle spring doth always fresh remain,
Lust’s winter comes ere summer half be done;
Love surfeits not, Lust like a glutton dies;
Love is all truth, Lust full of forged lies.
— Venus and Adonis

For oft the eye mistakes, the brain being troubled. — Venus and Adonis

O happiness enjoy’d but of a few!
And, if possess’d, as soon decay’d and done
As is the morning’s silver-melting dew
Against the golden splendour of the sun!
— The Rape of Lucrece

Unstain’d thoughts do seldom dream on evil. — The Rape of Lucrece

Now leaden slumber with life’s strength doth fight;
And every one to rest themselves betake,
Save thieves, and cares, and troubled minds, that wake.
— The Rape of Lucrece

Despair to gain doth traffic oft for gaining;
And when great treasure is the meed proposed,
Though death be adjunct, there’s no death supposed.
— The Rape of Lucrece

Those that much covet are with gain so fond,
For what they have not, that which they possess
They scatter and unloose it from their bond,
And so, by hoping more, they have but less;
Or, gaining more, the profit of excess
Is but to surfeit, and such grief sustain,
That they prove bankrupt in this poor-rich gain.
— The Rape of Lucrece

Then where is truth, if there be no self-trust?
When shall he think to find a stranger just,
When he himself himself confounds, betrays
To slanderous tongues and wretch’d hateful days?
— The Rape of Lucrece

What win I, if I gain the thing I seek?
A dream, a breath, a froth of fleeting joy.
Who buys a minute’s mirth to wail a week?
Or sells eternity to get a toy?
For one sweet grape who will the vine destroy?
— The Rape of Lucrece

Extreme fear can neither flight nor fly,
But coward-like with trembling terror die.
— The Rape of Lucrece

Think but how vile a spectacle it were,
To view thy present trespass in another.
Men’s faults do seldom to themselves appear;
Their own transgressions partially they smother:
This guilt would seem death-worthy in thy brother.
O, how are they wrapp’d in with infamies
That from their own misdeeds askance their eyes!
— The Rape of Lucrece

Why should the worm intrude the maiden bud?
Or hateful cuckoos hatch in sparrows’ nests?
Or toads infect fair founts with venom mud?
Or tyrant folly lurk in gentle breasts?
Or kings be breakers of their own behests?
But no perfection is so absolute,
That some impurity doth not pollute.
— The Rape of Lucrece

Having not other pleasure of his gain
But torment that it cannot cure his pain.
— The Rape of Lucrece

The sweets we wish for turn to loathed sours
Even in the moment that we call them ours.
— The Rape of Lucrece

How comes it then, vile Opportunity,
Being so bad, such numbers seek for thee?
— The Rape of Lucrece

Though men can cover crimes with bold stern looks,
Poor women’s faces are their own faults’ books.
— The Rape of Lucrece

That deep torture may be call’d a hell
When more is felt than one hath power to tell.
— The Rape of Lucrece

But, like a constant and confirmed devil,
He entertain’d a show so seeming just,
And therein so ensconced his secret evil,
That jealousy itself could not mistrust
False-creeping craft and perjury should thrust
Into so bright a day such black-faced storms,
Or blot with hell-born sin such saint-like forms.
— The Rape of Lucrece

His eye drops fire, no water thence proceeds;
Those round clear pearls of his, that move thy pity,
Are balls of quenchless fire to burn thy city.
— The Rape of Lucrece

Short time seems long in sorrow’s sharp sustaining:
Though woe be heavy, yet it seldom sleeps;
And they that watch see time how slow it creeps.
— The Rape of Lucrece

For ’tis a meritorious fair design
To chase injustice with revengeful arms:
Knights, by their oaths, should right poor ladies’ harms.
— The Rape of Lucrece

From fairest creatures we desire increase,
That thereby beauty’s rose might never die,
But as the riper should by time decease,
His tender heir might bear his memory.
— Sonnet I

Thou art thy mother’s glass, and she in thee
Calls back the lovely April of her prime;
So thou through windows of thine age shalt see
Despite of wrinkles this thy golden time.
But if thou live, remember’d not to be,
Die single, and thine image dies with thee.
— Sonnet III

Then, beauteous niggard, why dost thou abuse
The bounteous largess give thee to give?
Profitless usurer, why dost thou use
So great a sum of sums, yet canst not live?
For having traffic with thyself alone,
Thou of thyself thy sweet self dost deceive.
— Sonnet IV

Those hours, that with gentle work did frame
The lovely gaze where every eye doth dwell,
Will play the tyrants to the very same,
And that unfair which fairly doth excel;
For never-resting time leads summer on
To hideous winter, and confounds him there.
— Sonnet V

Lo! in the orient when the gracious light
Lifts up his burning head, each under eye
Doth homage to his new-appearing sight,
Serving with looks his sacred majesty;
And having climb’d the steep-up heavenly hill,
Resembling strong youth in his middle age,
Yet mortal looks adore his beauty still,
Attending on his golden pilgrimage.
— Sonnet VII

Mark how one string, sweet husband to another,
Strikes each in each by mutual ordering,
Resembling sire and child and happy mother,
Who all in one, one pleasing note do sing:
Whose speechless song, being many, seeming one,
Sings this to thee: “thou single wilt prove none.”
— Sonnet VIII

Beauty’s waste hath in the world an end,
And kept unused, the user so destroys it.
— Sonnet IX

Who lets so fair a house fall to decay,
Which husbandry in honour might uphold
Against the stormy gusts of winter’s day
And barren rage of death’s eternal cold?
— Sonnet XIII

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
— Sonnet XVIII

For all that beauty that doth cover thee
Is but the seemly raiment of my heart,
Which in they breast doth live, as thine in me.
— Sonnet XXII

Great princes’ favourites their fair leaves spread
But as the marigold at the sun’s eye,
And in themselves their pride lies buried,
For at a frown they in their glory die.
The painful warrior famoused for fight,
After a thousand victories once foil’d,
Is from the book of honour razed quite,
And all the rest forgot for which he toil’d:
Then happy I, that love and am beloved
Where I may not remove nor be removed.
— Sonnet XXV

When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear time’s waste.
— Sonnet XXX

Full many a glorious morning have I seen
Flatter the mountain-tops with sovereign eye,
Kissing the golden face the meadows green,
Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy.
— Sonnet XXXIII

Though thou repent, yet I have still the loss:
The offender’s sorrow lends but weak relief
To him that bears the strong offence’s cross.
Ah! but those tears are pearl which thy love sheds,
And they are rich, and ransom all ill deeds.
— Sonnet XXXIV

No more be grieved at that which thou hast done:
Roses have thorns, and silver fountains mud;
Clouds and eclipses stain both moon and sun,
And loathsome canker lives in sweetest bud.
— Sonnet XXXV

O, how much more doth beauty beauteous seem
By that sweet ornament which truth doth give!
The rose looks fair, but fairer we it deem
For that sweet odour which doth in it live.
— Sonnet LIV

Being your slave, what should I do but tend
Upon the hours and times of your desire?
I have no precious time at all to spend,
Nor services to do, till you require.
— Sonnet LVII

Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore,
So do our minutes hasten to their end.
— Sonnet LX

Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea,
But sad mortality o’er-sways their power,
How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea,
Whose action is no stronger than a flower?
O, how shall summer’s honey breath hold out
Against the wreckful siege of battering days,
When rocks impregnable are not so stout,
Nor gates of steel so strong, but Time decays?
— Sonnet LXV

In me thou see’st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.
— Sonnet LXXIII

“Fair, kind, and true” have often lived alone,
Which three till now never kept seat in one.
— Sonnet CV