Home  »  Familiar Quotations  »  2413 Samuel Butler 1612-1680 John Bartlett

John Bartlett (1820–1905). Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. 1919.

2413 Samuel Butler 1612-1680 John Bartlett

AUTHOR:Samuel Butler (1612–1680)
QUOTATION:For those that fly may fight again,
Which he can never do that ’s slain. 1
ATTRIBUTION:Hudibras. Part iii. Canto iii. Line 243.
Note 1.
Let who will boast their courage in the field,
I find but little safety from my shield.
Nature’s, not honour’s, law we must obey:
This made me cast my useless shield away,
And by a prudent flight and cunning save
A life, which valour could not, from the grave.
A better buckler I can soon regain;
But who can get another life again?
Archilochus: Fragm. 6. (Quoted by Plutarch, Customs of the Lacedæmonians.)

Sed omissis quidem divinis exhortationibus illum magis Græcum versiculum secularis sententiæ sibi adhibent, “Qui fugiebat, rursus prœliabitur:” ut et rursus forsitan fugiat (But overlooking the divine exhortations, they act rather upon that Greek verse of worldly significance, “He who flees will fight again,” and that perhaps to betake himself again to flight).—Tertullian: De Fuga in Persecutione, c. 10.

The corresponding Greek, [greek], is ascribed to Menander. See Fragments (appended to Aristophanes in Didot’s Bib. Græca,) p. 91.

That same man that runnith awaie
Maie again fight an other daie.
Erasmus: Apothegms, 1542 (translated by Udall).

Celuy qui fuit de bonne heure
Peut combattre derechef
(He who flies at the right time can fight again).
Satyre Menippée (1594).

Qui fuit peut revenir aussi;
Qui meurt il n’en est pas ainsi
(He who flies can also return; but it is not so with him who dies).
Scarron (1610–1660).

He that fights and runs away
May turn and fight another day;
But he that is in battle slain
Will never rise to fight again.
Ray: History of the Rebellion (1752), p. 48.

For he who fights and runs away
May live to fight another day;
But he who is in battle slain
Can never rise and fight again.
Oliver Goldsmith: The Art of Poetry on a New Plan (1761), vol. ii. p. 147. [back]