Reference > Quotations > S. Austin Allibone, comp. > Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay
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S. Austin Allibone, comp.  Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay.  1880.
 
Ben Jonson
 
  Nothing conduces more to letters than to examine the writings of the ancients, provided the plagues of judging and pronouncing against them be away; such as envy, bitterness, precipitation, impudence, and scurril scoffing.
Ben Jonson.    
  1
 
  The remedy of fruitfulness is easy, but no labour will help the contrary; I will like and praise some things in a young writer, which yet, if he continues in, I cannot but justly hate him for.
Ben Jonson.    
  2
 
  They utter all they think with a violence and indisposition, unexamined, without relation to person, place, or fitness.
Ben Jonson.    
  3
 
  Very few men are wise by their own counsel, or learned by their own teaching; for he that was only taught by himself had a fool to his master.
Ben Jonson.    
  4
 
  Ill fortune never crushed that man whom good fortune deceived not.
Ben Jonson.    
  5
 
  A good man always profits by his endeavour; yea, when he is absent; nay, when he is dead; by his example and memory.
Ben Jonson.    
  6
 
  In the Greek poets, as also in Plautus, the economy of poems is better observed than in Terence, who thought the sole grace and virtue of their fable the sticking in of sentences.
Ben Jonson.    
  7
 
  Many might go to heaven with half the labour they go to hell, if they would venture their industry the right way.
Ben Jonson.    
  8
 
  Obstinate contemners of all helps and arts, such as, presuming on their natural parts, dare deride all diligence, and seem to mock at the terms when they understand not the things, think that way to get off wittily with their ignorance.
Ben Jonson.    
  9
 
  Her brains a quiver of jests, and she does dart them abroad with that sweet, loose, and judicial action.
Ben Jonson.    
  10
 
  Language most shows a man: speak that I may see thee: it springs out of the most retired and inmost parts of us.
Ben Jonson.    
  11
 
  The time was when men would learn and study good things, not envy those that had them. Then men were had in price for learning; now letters only make men vile. He is upbraidingly called a poet, as if it were a contemptible nickname.
Ben Jonson.    
  12
 
  What a deal of cold business doth a man misspend the better part of life in! In scattering compliments, tendering visits, following feasts and plays.
Ben Jonson.    
  13
 
  I can repeat whole books that I have read, and poems of some selected friends, which I have liked to charge my memory with.
Ben Jonson.    
  14
 
  The mind and memory are more sharply exercised in comprehending another man’s things than our own.
Ben Jonson.    
  15
 
 
 
  To counsel others, a man must be furnished with an universal store in himself to the knowledge of all nature: that is the matter and seed-plot: these are the seats of all argument and invention.
Ben Jonson.    
  16
 
  Opinion is a light, vain, crude, and imperfect thing, settled in the imagination, but never arriving at the understanding, there to obtain the tincture of reason.
Ben Jonson.    
  17
 
  The poet is the nearest borderer upon the orator.
Ben Jonson.    
  18
 
  There is almost no man but sees clearlier and sharper the vices in a speaker than the virtues.
Ben Jonson.    
  19
 
  We praise the things we hear with much more willingness than those we see; because we envy the present, and reverence the past; thinking ourselves instructed by the one and overlaid by the other.
Ben Jonson.    
  20
 
  A poem is not alone any work, or composition of the poets in many or few verses; but even one alone verse sometimes makes a perfect poem.
Ben Jonson.    
  21
 
  In the Greek poets, as also in Plautus, the œconomy of poems is better observed than in Terence; who thought the sole grace and virtue of their fable the sticking in of sentences, as ours do the forcing in of jests.
Ben Jonson.    
  22
 
  I have discovered that a famed familiarity in great ones is a note of certain usurpation on the less. For great and popular men feign themselves to be servants to others, to make those slaves to them.
Ben Jonson.    
  23
 
  We praise the things we hear with much more willingness than those we see; because we envy the present, and reverence the past; thinking ourselves instructed by the one, and over-laid by the other.
Ben Jonson.    
  24
 
  Bad men excuse their faults, good men will leave them.
Ben Jonson.    
  25
 
  As we should take care that our style in writing be neither dry nor empty, we should look again it be not winding or wanton with far-fetched descriptions: either is a vice.
Ben Jonson.    
  26
 
  There are words that as much raise a style as others can depress it; superlation and overmuchness amplifies: it may be above faith, but not above a mean.
Ben Jonson.    
  27
 
  As it is a great point of art, when our matter requires it, to enlarge and veer out all sail; so to take it in and contract it is of no less praise when the argument doth ask it.
Ben Jonson.    
  28
 
  A woman, the more curious she is about her face, is commonly the more careless about her house.
Ben Jonson.    
  29
 
  Words borrowed of antiquity do lend majesty to style; they have the authority of years, and out of their intermission do win to themselves a kind of grace like newness.
Ben Jonson.    
  30
 
  A man coins not a new word without some peril and less fruit; for if it happens to be received, the praise is but moderate; if refused, the scorn is assured.
Ben Jonson.    
  31
 
  Heaven prepares good men with crosses; but no ill can happen to a good man.
Ben Jonson: Discoveries.    
  32
 
  Wisdom without honesty is mere craft and cozenage; and therefore the reputation of honesty must first be gotten, which cannot be but by living well: a good life is a main argument.
Ben Jonson: Discoveries.    
  33
 
  Juice in language is less than blood; for if the words be but becoming and signifying and the sense gentle, there is juice: but where that wanteth, the language is thin, scarce covering the bone.
Ben Jonson: Discoveries.    
  34
 
 
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