Home  »  Familiar Quotations  »  Sir Thomas Browne 1605-1682 John Bartlett

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

Sir Thomas Browne 1605-1682 John Bartlett

    Too rashly charged the troops of error, and remain as trophies unto the enemies of truth.
          Religio Medici. Part i. Sect. vi.
    Rich with the spoils of Nature. 1
          Religio Medici. Part i. Sect. xiii.
    Nature is the art of God. 2
          Religio Medici. Part i. Sect. xvi.
    The thousand doors that lead to death. 3
          Religio Medici. Part i. Sect. xliv.
    The heart of man is the place the Devil ’s in: I feel sometimes a hell within myself. 4
          Religio Medici. Part i. Sect. li.
    There is no road or ready way to virtue.
          Religio Medici. Part i. Sect. lv.
    It is the common wonder of all men, how among so many million of faces there should be none alike. 5
          Religio Medici. Part ii. Sect. ii.
    There is music in the beauty, and the silent note which Cupid strikes, far sweeter than the sound of an instrument; for there is music wherever there is harmony, order, or proportion; and thus far we may maintain the music of the spheres. 6
          Religio Medici. Part ii. Sect. ix.
    Sleep is a death; oh, make me try
By sleeping what it is to die,
And as gently lay my head
On my grave as now my bed!
          Religio Medici. Part ii. Sect. xii.
    Ruat cœlum, fiat voluntas tua. 7
          Religio Medici. Part ii. Sect. xii.
    Times before you, when even living men were antiquities,—when the living might exceed the dead, and to depart this world could not be properly said to go unto the greater number. 8
          Dedication to Urn-Burial.
    I look upon you as gem of the old rock. 9
          Dedication to Urn-Burial.
    Man is a noble animal, splendid in ashes and pompous in the grave.
          Dedication to Urn-Burial. Chap. v.
    Quietly rested under the drums and tramplings of three conquests.
          Dedication to Urn-Burial. Chap. v.
    Herostratus lives that burnt the temple of Diana; he is almost lost that built it. 10
          Dedication to Urn-Burial. Chap. v.
    What song the Sirens sang, or what name Achilles assumed when he hid himself among women.
          Dedication to Urn-Burial. Chap. v.
    When we desire to confine our words, we commonly say they are spoken under the rose.
          Vulgar Errors.
Note 1.
Rich with the spoils of time.—Thomas Gray: Elegy, stanza 13. [back]
Note 2.
The course of Nature is the art of God.—Edward Young: Night Thoughts, night ix. line 1267. [back]
Note 3.
See Massinger, Quotation 2. [back]
Note 4.
The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.
John Milton: Paradise Lost, book i. line 253. [back]
Note 5.
The human features and countenance, although composed of but some ten parts or little more, are so fashioned that among so many thousands of men there are no two in existence who cannot be distinguished from one another.—Pliny the Elder: Natural History, book vii. chap. i.

Of a thousand shavers, two do not shave so much alike as not to be distinguished.—Samuel Johnson (1777).

There never were in the world two opinions alike, no more than two hairs or two grains; the most universal quality is diversity.—Montaigne: Of the Resemblance of Children to their Fathers, book i. chap. xxxvii. [back]
Note 6.
Oh, could you view the melody
Of every grace
And music of her face.
Richard Lovelace: Orpheus to Beasts. [back]
Note 7.
See Herbert, Quotation 18. [back]
Note 8.
’T is long since Death had the majority.—Robert Blair: The Grave, part ii. line 449. [back]
Note 9.
Adamas de rupe præstantissimus (A most excellent diamond from the rock).

A chip of the old block.—Matthew Prior: Life of Burke. [back]
Note 10.
The aspiring youth that fired the Ephesian dome
Outlives in fame the pious fool that raised it.
Colley Cibber: Richard III, act iii. sc. 1. [back]