The Quote Garden
 “I dig old books.”
 Est. 1998


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Quotations for Reference:
Context & Origin of Famous Quotations

Related Quotes      Quotations      Language      History      Writing      Glossary

Welcome to my page of reference quotations. These are quotes that I wouldn't necessarily add to my personal collection, but they are here because either a visitor has asked me about the origins or because I came across the source info myself and wanted to have it on file for future reference. I started compiling these in the 1980s then more in earnest in the late 1990s, and now sources for information like this are so commonplace on the web that this small list seems almost unnecessary, but I still like to keep it. I haven't updated it in quite some time and looking back I'm not sure of 100% accuracy either, but I'll leave this page here nonetheless. There is one exception to the doubts of accuracy which is the "one-eyed man is king" saying — I've done fairly extensive study on that one, and results are linked to below. Also, check out the Quotation Resources section on my Links page for several suggestions of where else you can research quotes. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g, January 2015

Cleanness of body was ever deemed to proceed from a due reverence to God.  ~Francis Bacon

Two souls with but a single thought,
Two hearts that beat as one.
~Friedrich Halm (Baron Eligius Franz Joseph von Münch-Bellinghausen)

Trooly it is with us as it was with Mr. and Mrs. Ingomer in the Play, to whit -
2 soles with but a single thawt
2 harts which beet as 1.
~Artemus Ward

A rolling stone gathers no moss.  ~Publilius Syrus

Do not hold everything as gold which shines like gold. (Non teneas aurum totum quod splendet ut aurum.) ~Alanus de Insulis, Parabolae, c.1280, later used by Shakespeare (Merchant of Venice) and others as "All that glisters is not gold" and similar (see notes at Variations/famous: "All is not gold that glitters" (John Ray, Proverbs, 1600s); "The devil lurks behind the cross; and, All is not gold that glitters" (Miguel Cervantes de Saaverdra, Don Quixote, 1600s); "But all thing which that shineth as the gold / Ne is no gold, as I have herd it told" (Chaucer, Canterbury Tales); "All that is gold does not glitter / Not all those who wander are lost" (J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, 1954); "All is not golde that outward shewith bright" (Lydgate); "Gold all is not that doth golden seem" (Edmund Spenser, Faerie Queene); "All that glisters is not gold" (George Herbert, Jacula Prudentum); "All that glitters is not gold."

Things as certain as death and taxes, can be more firmly believed. ~Daniel Defoe, The Political History of the Devil, 1726

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. (See:

He should, as he list, be able to prove the moon made of grene cheese.  ~Sir Thomas More

Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are.  ~Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, translated

The way to a man's heart is through his stomach.  ~Fanny Fern

All human history attests
That happiness for man, - the hungry sinner! -
Since Eve ate apples, much depends on dinner.
~Lord Byron, Don Juan, Canto XIII, stanza 99

I can't live either without you or with you.  ~Ovid, Amores

But when he shall have been taken from sight, he quickly goes also out of mind.  ~Thomas a Kempis, Imitation of Christ

Where ignorance is bliss,
'Tis folly to be wise.
~Thomas Gray, On a Distant Prospect of Eton College

Though this be madness, yet there is method in 't.  ~William Shakespeare, Hamlet

What is one man's meat is another man's rank poison.  ~Lucretius

Why, then the world's mine oyster, which I with sword will open.  ~William Shakespeare, The Merry Wives of Windsor

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.  ~Thomas Haynes Bayly, Isle of Beauty

Thou hast added insult to injury.  ~Phaedrus

'Tis strange, but true; for truth is always strange, -
Stranger than fiction.
~Lord Byron, Don Juan, Canto XIV, stanza 101

A thing of beauty is a joy forever.  ~John Keats

God's mill grinds slow, but sure.  ~George Herbert

Mollify it with thy tears, or sweat, or blood.  ~John Donne

For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.
~William Ross Wallace, What Rules the World

Variety's the very spice of life
That gives it all its flavour.
~William Cowper, The Task, 1785

To make a mountain of a mole-hill.  ~Henry Ellis, Original Letters

I cannot tell what the dickens his name is my
husband had him of. What do you call your knight's
name, sirrah?
~William Shakespeare, Merry Wives of Windsor [III, 2, Mistress Page]

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.  ~Author unknown, commonly misattributed to Sigmund Freud

Every man hath a good and a bad angel attending on him in particular, all his life long.  ~Robert Burton, Anatomy of Melancholy

O, beware, my lord, of jealousy;
It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock
The meat it feeds on; that cuckold lives in bliss
Who, certain of his fate, loves not his wronger;
But, O, what damned minutes tells he o'er
Who dotes, yet doubts, suspects, yet strongly loves!
~William Shakespeare, Othello [III, 3, Iago]

[K]eep your pecker up, old chap! ~J. Leech, Portraits of Children of the Mobility, 1841  [Oh calm down, y'all. It means "head up," or "keep your spirits up." Like your beak, you know. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

Be firm, my moral pecker. ~W.S. Gilbert, Trial by Jury, 1875  [i.e, "keep a stiff upper lip" —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

A man's house is his castle.  ~Old English Proverb, often attributed to Edward Coke

If a man write a better book, preach a better sermon, or make a better mousetrap than his neighbor, though he build his house in the woods, the world will make a beaten path to his door. ~Mrs. Sarah S.B. Yule credits this quotation to Ralph Waldo Emerson in her Borrowings, 1889

Music hath charms to soothe the savage beast.  ~James Bramston, Man of Taste

Lavender's blue, dilly dilly, lavender's green,
When I am king, dilly dilly, you shall be queen:
Who told you so, dilly dilly, who told you so?
'Twas mine own heart, dilly dilly, that told me so...
~Twelfth-night festival English folk song, 1600s–1800s

It is a tiresome way of speaking, when you should despatch the business, to beat about the bush.  ~Plautus

The reward of a thing well done is to have done it.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays: Second Series, 1844

When angry, count ten before you speak; if very angry, one hundred.  ~Thomas Jefferson

Sighing that Nature form'd but one such man,
And broke the die.
~George Gordon, Lord Byron, "Monody on the Death of Sheridan"

Our land is everything to us. It is the only place in the world where Cheyennes talk the Cheyenne language to each other. It is the only place where Cheyennes remember the same things together. I will tell you one of the things we remember on our land. We remember our grandfathers paid for it — with their life. ~John Wooden Legs, "Back on the War Ponies," 1960, quoted in We Are the People: Voices from the Other Side of American History, edited by Nathaniel May and Clint Willis

Okay, Houston, we've had a problem here.  ~John L. Swigert, Jr., Apollo 13 command module pilot, 13 April 1970

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Last modified 2018 Jan 14 Sun 12:44 PST

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