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

John Webster 1580?-1634 John Bartlett

    I know death hath ten thousand several doors
For men to take their exit. 1
          Duchess of Malfi. Act iv. Sc. 2.
    ’T is just like a summer bird-cage in a garden,—the birds that are without despair to get in, and the birds that are within despair and are in a consumption for fear they shall never get out. 2
          The White Devil. Act i. Sc. 2.
    Condemn you me for that the duke did love me?
So may you blame some fair and crystal river
For that some melancholic, distracted man
Hath drown’d himself in ’t.
          The White Devil. Act iii. Sc. 2.
    Glories, like glow-worms, afar off shine bright,
But look’d too near have neither heat nor light. 3
          The White Devil. Act iv. Sc. 4.
    Call for the robin-redbreast and the wren,
Since o’er shady groves they hover,
And with leaves and flowers do cover
The friendless bodies of unburied men.
          The White Devil. Act v. Sc. 2.
    Is not old wine wholesomest, old pippins toothsomest, old wood burns brightest, old linen wash whitest? Old soldiers, sweetheart, are surest, and old lovers are soundest. 4
          Westward Hoe. Act ii. Sc. 2.
    I saw him now going the way of all flesh.
          Westward Hoe. Act ii. Sc. 2.
Note 1.
Death hath so many doors to let out life.—Beaumont and Fletcher: The Customs of the Country, act ii. sc. 2. [back]
Note 2.
See Davies, Quotation 2. [back]
Note 3.
The mountains, too, at a distance appear airy masses and smooth, but when beheld close they are rough.—Diogenes Laertius: Pyrrho.

Love is like a landscape which doth stand
Smooth at a distance, rough at hand.
Robert Hegge: On Love.

We ’re charm’d with distant views of happiness,
But near approaches make the prospect less.
Yalden: Against Enjoyment.

As distant prospects please us, but when near
We find but desert rocks and fleeting air.
Samuel Garth: The Dispensatory, canto iii. line 27.

’T is distance lends enchantment to the view,
And robes the mountain in its azure hue.
Thomas Campbell: Pleasures of Hope, part i. line 7. [back]
Note 4.
See Bacon, Quotation 57. [back]