Reference > Quotations > Hoyt & Roberts, comps. > Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations
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Hoyt & Roberts, comps.  Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations.  1922.
 
Failure
 
  [Oxford] Home of lost causes, and forsaken beliefs and unpopular names and impossible loyalties.
        Matthew Arnold—Essays in Criticism. Closing par. of preface.
  1
In the lexicon of youth, which
Fate reserves for a bright manhood, there is no such word
As—fail!
        Bulwer-Lytton—Richelieu. Act II. Sc. 2.
  2
    Never say
“Fail” again.
        Bulwer-Lytton—Richelieu. Act II. Sc. 2.
  3
He that is down needs fear no fall
  He that is low, no pride.
        Bunyan—Pilgrim’s Progress. Pt. II.
  4
Now a’ is done that men can do,
And a’ is done in vain.
        BurnsIt Was a’ for our Rightfu’ King.
  5
He that is down can fall no lower.
        Butler—Hudibras. Pt. I. Canto III. L. 878.
  6
Camelus desiderans cornua etiam aures perdidit.
  The camel set out to get him horns and was shorn of his ears.
        Erasmus—Adagia. Chil. III. Cent. V. 8. heading. Greek proverb from Apostolius. IX. 59 b. VIII. 43. English a free translation of the same from the rendering of the Proverb applied to Baalam by the Rabbis of the Talmud. Sanhedrin. 106 a.
  7
He ploughs in sand, and sows against the wind,
That hopes for constant love of woman kind.
        Fuller—Medicina Gymnastica. Vol. X. P. 7.
  8
Failed the bright promise of your early day?
        Bishop Heber—Palestine. L. 113.
  9
Greatly begin! Though thou have time
But for a line, be that sublime—
Not failure, but low aim is crime.
        Lowell—For an Autograph.
  10
You may boldly say, you did not plough
Or trust the barren and ungrateful sands
With the fruitful grain of your religious counsels.
        Massinger—The Renegado. Arenas arantes. Plough the sands. Phrase used by Mr. Asquith, Nov. 21, 1894, at Birmingham. Burton—Anatomy of Melancholy. Pt. III. Sec. 2. Mem. 1. Subs. 2.
  11
“All honor to him who shall win the prize,”
  The world has cried for a thousand years;
But to him who tries and fails and dies,
  I give great honor and glory and tears.
        Joaquin Miller—For Those Who Fail.
  12
                If this fail,
The pillar’d firmament is rottenness,
And earth’s base built on stubble.
        MiltonComus. L. 597.
  13
Nam quamvis prope to, quamvis temone sub uno
Vertentem sese, frustra sectabere cantum
Cum rota posterior curras et in axe secundo.
  Why, like the hindmost chariot wheels, art curst
  Still to be near but ne’er to reach the first.
        Persius—Satires. V. 71. Dryden’s trans. English, one of the mottoes of the Spectator, Tatler, Guardian.
  14
Quod si deficiant vires, audacia certe
Laus erit: in magnis et voluisse sat est.
  Although strength should fail, the effort will deserve praise. In great enterprises the attempt is enough.
        Propertius—Elegiæ. II. 10. 5.
  15
  Allow me to offer my congratulations on the truly admirable skill you have shown in keeping clear of the mark. Not to have hit once in so many trials, argues the most splendid talents for missing.
        De Quincey—Works. Vol. XIV. P. 161. Ed. 1863, quoting the Emperor Galerius to a soldier who missed the target many times in succession.
  16
  [Il] battoit les buissons sans prendre les ozillons.
  He beat the bushes without taking the birds.
        Rabelais—Gargantua. Ch. II.
  17
How are the mighty fallen!
        II Samuel. I. 25.
  18
Here’s to the men who lose!
  What though their work be e’er so nobly plann’d
And watched with zealous care;
  No glorious halo crowns their efforts grand—
Contempt is Failure’s share!
        G. L. Scarborough—To the Vanquished.
  19
And each forgets, as he strips and runs
  With a brilliant, fitful pace,
It’s the steady, quiet, plodding ones
  Who win in the lifelong race.
And each forgets that his youth has fled,
  Forgets that his prime is past,
Till he stands one day, with a hope that’s dead,
  In the glare of the truth at last.
        Service—The Men That Don’t Fit In.
  20
 
 
We have scotch’d the snake, not killed it.
        Macbeth. Act III. Sc. 2. L. 14.
  21
Not all who seem to fail have failed indeed,
Not all who fail have therefor worked in vain.
There is no failure for the good and brave.
        Attributed to Archbishop Trench by Prof. Connington.
  22
For he that believeth, bearing in hand,
Plougheth in the water, and soweth in the sand.
        Sir Thomas Wyatt.
  23
 
 
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