Reference > Quotations > John Bartlett, comp. > Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. > William Shakespeare > Measure for Measure.
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John Bartlett, comp. (1820–1905). Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. 1919.
 
William Shakespeare. (1564-1616)
 
Measure for Measure.
 
 
1
    Thyself and thy belongings
Are not thine own so proper as to waste
Thyself upon thy virtues, they on thee.
Heaven doth with us as we with torches do,
Not light them for themselves; for if our virtues
Did not go forth of us, ’t were all alike
As if we had them not. Spirits are not finely touch’d
But to fine issues, nor Nature never lends
The smallest scruple of her excellence
But, like a thrifty goddess, she determines
Herself the glory of a creditor,
Both thanks and use.
          Measure for Measure. Act i. Sc. 1.
2
    He was ever precise in promise-keeping.
          Measure for Measure. Act i. Sc. 2.
3
    Who may, in the ambush of my name, strike home.
          Measure for Measure. Act i. Sc. 3. 1
4
    I hold you as a thing ensky’d and sainted.
          Measure for Measure. Act i. Sc. 4. 2
5
    A man whose blood
Is very snow-broth; one who never feels
The wanton stings and motions of the sense.
          Measure for Measure. Act i. Sc. 4. 3
6
    He arrests him on it;
And follows close the rigour of the statute,
To make him an example.
          Measure for Measure. Act i. Sc. 4. 4
7
    Our doubts are traitors,
And make us lose the good we oft might win
By fearing to attempt.
          Measure for Measure. Act i. Sc. 4. 5
8
    The jury, passing on the prisoner’s life,
May in the sworn twelve have a thief or two
Guiltier than him they try.
          Measure for Measure. Act ii. Sc. 1.
9
    Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall.
          Measure for Measure. Act ii. Sc. 1.
10
    This will last out a night in Russia,
When nights are longest there.
          Measure for Measure. Act ii. Sc. 1.
  
  
  
11
    Condemn the fault, and not the actor of it?
          Measure for Measure. Act ii. Sc. 2.
12
    No ceremony that to great ones ’longs,
Not the king’s crown, nor the deputed sword,
The marshal’s truncheon, nor the judge’s robe,
Become them with one half so good a grace
As mercy does. 6
          Measure for Measure. Act ii. Sc. 2.
13
    Why, all the souls that were, were forfeit once;
And He that might the vantage best have took
Found out the remedy. How would you be,
If He, which is the top of judgment, should
But judge you as you are?
          Measure for Measure. Act ii. Sc. 2.
14
    The law hath not been dead, though it hath slept.
          Measure for Measure. Act ii. Sc. 2.
15
    O, it is excellent
To have a giant’s strength; but it is tyrannous
To use it like a giant.
          Measure for Measure. Act ii. Sc. 2.
16
    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. Act ii. Sc. 2.
17
    That in the captain ’s but a choleric word
Which in the soldier is flat blasphemy.
          Measure for Measure. Act ii. Sc. 2.
18
    Our compell’d sins
Stand more for number than for accompt.
          Measure for Measure. Act ii. Sc. 4.
19
    The miserable have no other medicine,
But only hope.
          Measure for Measure. Act iii. Sc. 1.
20
    A breath thou art,
Servile to all the skyey influences.
          Measure for Measure. Act iii. Sc. 1.
21
    Palsied eld.
          Measure for Measure. Act iii. Sc. 1.
22
    The sense of death is most in apprehension;
And the poor beetle, that we tread upon,
In corporal sufferance finds a pang as great
As when a giant dies.
          Measure for Measure. Act iii. Sc. 1.
23
    The cunning livery of hell.
          Measure for Measure. Act iii. Sc. 1.
24
    Ay, but to die, and go we know not where;
To lie in cold obstruction and to rot;
This sensible warm motion to become
A kneaded clod; and the delighted spirit
To bathe in fiery floods, or to reside
In thrilling region of thick-ribbed ice;
To be imprison’d in the viewless winds,
And blown with restless violence round about
The pendent world.
          Measure for Measure. Act iii. Sc. 1.
25
    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. Act iii. Sc. 1.
26
    The hand that hath made you fair hath made you good. 7
          Measure for Measure. Act iii. Sc. 1.
27
    Virtue is bold, and goodness never fearful.
          Measure for Measure. Act iii. Sc. 1.
28
    There, at the moated grange, resides this dejected Mariana. 8
          Measure for Measure. Act iii. Sc. 1.
29
    O, what may man within him hide,
Though angel on the outward side!
          Measure for Measure. Act iii. Sc. 2.
30
    Take, O, take those lips away,
  That so sweetly were forsworn;
And those eyes, the break of day,
  Lights that do mislead the morn:
But my kisses bring again, bring again;
Seals of love, but sealed in vain, sealed in vain. 9
          Measure for Measure. Act iv. Sc. 1.
31
    Every true man’s apparel fits your thief.
          Measure for Measure. Act iv. Sc. 2.
32
    We would, and we would not.
          Measure for Measure. Act iv. Sc. 4.
33
    A forted residence ’gainst the tooth of time
And razure of oblivion.
          Measure for Measure. Act v. Sc. 1.
34
    Truth is truth
To the end of reckoning.
          Measure for Measure. Act v. Sc. 1.
35
    My business in this state
Made me a looker on here in Vienna.
          Measure for Measure. Act v. Sc. 1.
36
    They say, best men are moulded out of faults,
And, for the most, become much more the better
For being a little bad.
          Measure for Measure. Act v. Sc. 1.
37
    What ’s mine is yours, and what is yours is mine.
          Measure for Measure. Act v. Sc. 1.
 
Note 1.
Act i. Sc. 5, in White, Singer, and Knight. [back]
Note 2.
Act i. Sc. 5, in White, Singer, and Knight. [back]
Note 3.
Act i. Sc. 5, in White, Singer, and Knight. [back]
Note 4.
Act i. Sc. 5, in White, Singer, and Knight. [back]
Note 5.
Act i. Sc. 5, in White, Singer, and Knight. [back]
Note 6.
Compare Portia’s words in Merchant of Venice, act iv. sc. 1. [back]
Note 7.
See Spenser, Quotation 26. [back]
Note 8.
”Mariana in the moated grange,”—the motto used by Tennyson for the poem “Mariana.” [back]
Note 9.
This song occurs in Act v. Sc. 2 of Beaumont and Fletcher’s Bloody Brother, with the following additional stanza:—

Hide, O, hide those hills of snow,
Which thy frozen bosom bears,
On whose tops the pinks that grow
Are of those that April wears!
But first set my poor heart free,
Bound in those icy chains by thee. [back]
 

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