You stand upon your honour! Why, thou unconfinable baseness, it is as much as I can do to keep the terms of my honour precise. I myself sometimes, leaving the fear of heaven on the left hand, and hiding mine honour in my necessity, am fain to shuffle, to hedge, and to lurch; and yet you! Shakespeare.Merry Wives of Windsor, Act II. Scene 2. (Falstaff to Pistol.)
Honour pricks me on. Yea; but howif honour prick me off when I come onhow then? Can honour set to a leg? No. Or an arm? No. Or take away the grief of a wound? No. Honour hath no skill in surgery then? No. What is honour? A word. What is that word, honour? Air. A trim reckoning! Who hath it? He that died o Wednesday. Doth he feel it? No. Doth he hear it? No. Is it insensible, then? Yea, to the dead. But will it not live with the living? No. Why? Detraction will not suffer it:therefore, Ill none of it: Honour is a mere scutcheon, and so ends my catechism. Shakespeare.King Henry IV., Part I. Act V. Scene 1. (Falstaff.)
[Elaine, page 192. Moxon, ed. 1867. Sir Lancelot was bound to the Queen by a guilty love (which Arthur, however, thought to be but knightly devotion.) Elaine conceived an affection for Lancelot which he discovered but did not return; for the false love steeled his heart to the true. He was loyal, but to a bad cause; no unusual thing. The Rev. T. W. S.]
How vain that second life in others breath, The estate which will inherit after death! Ease, health, and life, for this they must resign, Unsure the tenure, but how vast the fine! Pope.The Temple of Fame, Line 505.
But now, yes now, We are become so candid and so fair, So liberal in construction, and so rich In Christian charity, a good-natured age! That they are safe, sinners of either sex, Transgress what laws they may. Cowper.The Task, Book III. Line 91.
1. Pray, now, what may be that same bed of honour? 2. O, a mighty large bed, bigger by half than the great bed at Wareten thousand people may lie in it together, and never feel one another. Farquhar.The Recruiting Officer, Act I. Scene 1.