There is nothing so great that I fear to do it for my friend; nothing so small that I will disdain to do it for him.
What is birth to a man if it be a stain to his dead ancestors to have left such an offspring?
Youths will never live to age unless they keep themselves in breath by exercise, and in heart by joyfulness. Too much thinking doth consume the spirits; and oft it falls out, that while one thinks too much of doing, he fails to do the effect of his thinking.
There is nothing truly evil, but what is within us; the rest is cither natural or accidental.
What is mine, even to my life, is hers I love; but the secret of my friend is not mine.
There needs not strength to be added to inviolate chastity; the excellency of the mind makes the body impregnable.
Whatever comes out of despair cannot bear the title of valor, which should be lifted up to such a height, that holding all things under itself, it should be able to maintain its greatness, even in the midst of miseries.
This is the right conceit of young men, who think then they speak wiseliest when they cannot understand themselves.
When it shall please God to bring thee to man's estate, use great providence and circumspection in choosing thy wife. For from thence will spring all thy future good or evil; and it is an action of life, like unto a stratagem of war, wherein a man can err but once!
Those lovers scorn whom that love doth possess? Do they call virtue there ungratefulness?
Whether your time calls you to live or die do both like a prince.
Thou blind man's mark, thou fool's self-chosen snare, Fond Fancy's scum and dregs of scattered thought, Band of all evils, cradle of causeless care, Thou web of will whose end is never wrought; Desire! desire, I have too dearly bought With price of mangled mind thy worthless ware;
Who doth desire that chaste his wife should be, first be he true, for truth doth truth deserve.
Thus, great with child to speak, and helpless in my throes, Biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite: Fool, said my Muse to me, look in thy heart and write!
Who shoots at the mid-day sun, though he be sure he shall never hit the mark, yet as sure he is he shall shoot higher than who aims but at a bush.
Thy necessity is yet greater than mine.
Who will adhere to him that abandons himself?
The wand is will; thou, fancy, saddle art, Girt fast by memory; and while I spur My horse, he spurs with sharp desire my heart.
To be rhymed to death as is said to be done in Ireland.
Wickedness may well be compared to a bottomless pit, into which it is easier to keep one's self from falling, than, being fallen, to give one's self any stay from falling infinitely.
The wont of highest hearts, like the palm tree striving most upward when he is most burdened.
To the disgrace of men it is seen, that there are women both more wise to judge what evil is expected, and more constant to bear it when it is happened.
With a tale, for sooth, he comet unto you; with a tale which holdeth children from play, and old men from the chimney corner.
The worst kind of oligarchy is, when men are governed indeed by a few, and yet are not taught to know what those few be whom they should obey.
To those persons who have vomited out of their souls all remnants of goodness, there rests a certain pride in evil; and having else no shadow of glory left them, they glory to be constant in iniquity.