Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.

William Camden

English Antiquary, Historian, Topographer and Officer of Arms

"Fair words hurt not the mouth."

"Young men think old men fools, and old men know young men to be so."

"Thoughts are free from toll."

"A close mouth catches no flies."

"Love cometh in at the window and goeth out at the door."

"What the Harte thinketh, the Tongue speaketh."

"It is easier to descend than to ascend."

"A zealous locksmith died of late, and did arrive at heaven gate, he stood without and would not knock, because he meant to pick the lock."

"Agree, for the law is costly."

"Alterations of surnames have so intricated, or rather obscured, the truth of our pedigrees, that it will be no little hard labour to deduce them."

"An inch in a miss is as good as an ell."

"Better a bad excuse, than none at all."

"Better halfe a loafe than no bread."

"Betwixt the stirrup and the ground, mercy I asked, mercy I found."

"Chance is a nickname for Providence."

"God sendeth cold after clothes."

"He that mischief hatcheth, mischief catcheth."

"Hitherto will our sparkful youth laugh at their great-grandfathers’ English, who had more care to do well than to speak minion-like."

"My friend, judge not me, Thou seest I judge not thee; Betwixt the stirrop and the ground, Mercy I askt, mercy I found."

"Our English tongue is, I will not say as sacred as the Hebrew, or as learned as the Greek, but as fluent as the Latin, as courteous as the Spanish, as courtlike as the French, and as amorous as the Italian."

"Our poets excel in grandity and gravity, in smoothness and property, in quickness and briefness."

"Such patching maketh Littleton’s hotchpot of our tongue, and, in effect, brings the same rather to a Babellish confusion than any one entire language."

"The early bird catches the worm."

"The effectual power of words the Pythagoreans extolled; the impious Jews ascribed all miracles to a name which was ingraved in the revestiary of the temple."

"The sea hath fish for every man."

"When substantialness combineth with delightfulness, and correctness with stayedness, how can the language sound otherwise than most full of sweetness?"