Hoyt & Roberts, comps. Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations. 1922.


No one loves the man whom he fears.

Crux est si metuas quod vincere nequeas.
It is tormenting to fear what you cannot overcome.
Ausonius—Septem Sapientum Sententiæ Septenis Versibus Explicatæ. VII. 4.

The brave man is not he who feels no fear,
For that were stupid and irrational;
But he, whose noble soul its fear subdues,
And bravely dares the danger nature shrinks from.
Joanna Baillie—Basil. Act III. Sc. 1. L. 151.

An aching tooth is better out than in,
To lose a rotten member is a gain.
Richard Baxter—Hypocrisy.

Dangers bring fears, and fears more dangers bring.
Richard Baxter—Love Breathing Thanks and Praise.

The fear o’ hell’s the hangman’s whip
To laud the wretch in order;
But where ye feel your honor grip,
Let that aye be your border.
Burns—Epistle to a Young Friend.

Fear is an ague, that forsakes
And haunts, by fits, those whom it takes;
And they’ll opine they feel the pain
And blows they felt, to-day, again.
Butler—Hudibras. Pt. I. Canto III.
His fear was greater than his haste:
For fear, though fleeter than the wind,
Believes ’tis always left behind.
Butler—Hudibras. Pt. III. Canto III. L. 64.

In summo periculo timor misericordiam non recipit.
In extreme danger fear feels no pity.
Cæsar—Bellum Gallicum. VII. 26.

El miedo tiene muchos ojos.
Fear has many eyes.
Cervantes—Don Quixote. III. 6.

Timor non est diuturnus magister officii.
Fear is not a lasting teacher of duty.
Cicero—Philippicæ. II. 36.

Like one, that on a lonesome road
Doth walk in fear and dread,
And having once turned round, walks on,
And turns no more his head;
Because he knows a frightful fiend
Doth close behind him tread.
Coleridge—The Ancient Mariner. Pt. VI.

His frown was full of terror, and his voice
Shook the delinquent with such fits of awe
As left him not, till penitence had won
Lost favor back again, and clos’d the breach.
Cowper—The Task. Bk. II. L. 659.

The clouds dispell’d, the sky resum’d her light,
And Nature stood recover’d of her fright.
But fear, the last of ills, remain’d behind,
And horror heavy sat on every mind.
Dryden—Theodore and Honorio. L. 336.

We are not apt to fear for the fearless, when we are companions in their danger.
George Eliot—The Mill on the Floss. Bk. VII. Ch. V.

Fear always springs from ignorance.
Emerson—The American Scholar.

Fear is the parent of cruelty.
Froude—Short Studies on Great Subjects. Party Politics.

Quia me vestigia terrent
Omnia te adversum spectantia, nulla retrorsum.
I am frightened at seeing all the footprints directed towards thy den, and none returning.
Horace—Epistles. I. 1. 74.

You are uneasy,***you never sailed with me before, I see.
Andrew Jackson—Parton’s Life of Jackson. Vol. III. P. 493.

Shame arises from the fear of men, conscience from the fear of God.
Samuel Johnson—From Miss Reynolds—Recollections of Johnson.

De loin, c’est quelque chose; et de prés, ce n’est rien.
From a distance it is something; and nearby it is nothing.
La Fontaine—Fables. IV. 10.

Major ignotarum rerum est terror.
Apprehensions are greater in proportion as things are unknown.
Livy—Annales. XXVIII. 44.

Oh, fear not in a world like this,
And thou shalt know ere long,—
Know how sublime a thing it is
To suffer and be strong.
Longfellow—The Light of Stars. St. 9.

They are slaves who fear to speak
For the fallen and the weak.
Lowell—Stanzas on Freedom. Last Stanza.

The direst foe of courage is the fear itself, not the object of it; and the man who can overcome his own terror is a hero and more.
George MacDonald—Sir Gibbie. Ch. XX.

Wink and shut their apprehensions up.
Marston—Antonio’s Revenge. Prolog.

The thing in the world I am most afraid of is fear, and with good reason; that passion alone, in the trouble of it, exceeding all other accidents.
Montaigne—Essays. Fear.

Imagination frames events unknown,
In wild, fantastic shapes of hideous ruin,
And what it fears creates.
Hannah More—Belshazzar. Pt. II.

Quem metuit quisque, perisse cupit.
Every one wishes that the man whom he fears would perish.
Ovid—Amorum. II. 2. 10.

Membra reformidant mollem quoque saucia tactum:
Vanaque sollicitis incutit umbra metum.
The wounded limb shrinks from the slightest touch; and a slight shadow alarms the nervous.
Ovid—Epistolæ Ex Ponto. II. 7. 13.

Terretur minimo pennæ stridore columba
Unguibus, accipiter, saucia facta tuis.
The dove, O hawk, that has once been wounded by thy talons, is frightened by the least movement of a wing.
Ovid—Tristium. I. 1. 75.

Then flash’d the living lightning from her eyes,
And screams of horror rend th’ affrighted skies,
Not louder shrieks to pitying Heaven are cast,
When husbands, or when lap dogs, breathe their last;
Or when rich China vessels fallen, from high,
In glittering dust and painted fragments lie.
Pope—Rape of the Lock. Canto III. L. 155.

A lamb appears a lion, and we fear
Each bush we see’s a bear.
Quarles—Emblems. Bk. I. Emblem XIII. L. 19.

Fain would I climb, yet fear I to fall.
Sir Walter Raleigh—Written on a window pane for Queen Elizabeth to see. She wrote under it “If thy heart fails thee, climb not at all.”
Fuller—Worthies of England. Vol. I. P. 419.

Ad deteriora credenda proni metu.
Fear makes men believe the worst.
Quintus Curtius Rufus—De Rebus Gestis Alexandri Magni. IV. 3. 22.

Ubi explorari vera non possunt, falsa per metum augentur.
When the truth cannot be clearly made out, what is false is increased through fear.
Quintus Curtius Rufus—De Rebus Gestis Alexandri Magni. IV. 10. 10.

Ubi intravit animos pavor, id solum metuunt, quod primum formidare cœperunt.
When fear has seized upon the mind, man fears that only which he first began to fear.
Quintus Curtius Rufus—De Rebus Gestis Alexandri Magni. IV. 16. 17.

Quem neque gloria neque pericula excitant, nequidquam hortere; timor animi auribus officit.
The man who is roused neither by glory nor by danger it is in vain to exhort; terror closes the ears of the mind.
Sallust—Catilina. LVIII.

Wer nichts fürchtet ist nicht weniger mächtig, als der, den Alles fürchtet.
The man who fears nothing is not less powerful than he who is feared by every one.
Schiller—Die Räuber. I. 1.

Wenn ich einmal zu fürchten angefangen
Hab’ ich zu fürchten aufgehört.
As soon as I have begun to fear I have ceased to fear.
Schiller—Don Carlos. I. 6. 68.

Ich weiss, dass man vor leeren Schrecken zittert;
Doch wahres Unglück bringt der falsche Wahn.
I know that oft we tremble at an empty terror, but the false phantasm brings a real misery.
Schiller—Piccolomini. V. 1. 105.

Scared out of his seven senses.
Scott—Rob Roy. Ch. XXIV.

Necesse est multos timeat, quem multi timent.
He must necessarily fear many, whom many fear.
Seneca—De Ira. II. 11.

Si vultis nihil timere, cogitate omnia esse timenda.
If you wish to fear nothing, consider that everything is to be feared.
Seneca—Quæstionum Naturalium. VI. 2.

It is a basilisk unto mine eye,
Kills me to look on’t.
Cymbeline. Act II. Sc. 4. L. 107.

Best safety lies in fear.
Hamlet. Act I. Sc. 3. L. 43.

There is not such a word
Spoke of in Scotland as this term of fear.
Henry IV. Pt. I. Act IV. Sc. 1. L. 84.

Thou tremblest; and the whiteness in thy cheek
Is apter than thy tongue to tell thy errand.
Henry IV. Pt. II. Act 1. Sc. 1. L. 68.

Things done well,
And with a care, exempt themselves from fear;
Things done without example, in their issue
Are to be feared.
Henry VIII. Act I. Sc. 2. L. 88.

It is the part of men to fear and tremble,
When the most mighty gods by tokens send
Such dreadful heralds to astonish us.
Julius Cæsar. Act I. Sc. 3. L. 54.

For I am sick and capable of fears,
Oppress’d with wrongs, and therefore full of fears,
A widow, husbandless, subject to fears,
A woman, naturally born to fears.
King John. Act III. Sc. 1. L. 12.

And make my seated heart knock at my ribs.
Macbeth. Act I. Sc. 3. L. 136.

Present fears
Are less than horrible imaginings.
Macbeth. Act I. Sc. 3. L. 137.

Ere we will eat our meal in fear, and sleep
In the affliction of these terrible dreams
That shake us nightly.
Macbeth. Act III. Sc. 2. L. 17.

Thou can’st not say I did it; never shake
Thy gory locks at me.
Macbeth. Act III. Sc. 4. L. 49.

You can behold such sights,
And keep the natural ruby of your cheeks,
When mine is blanch’d with fear.
Macbeth. Act III. Sc. 4. L. 114.

His flight was madness: when our actions do not,
Our fears do make us traitors.
Macbeth. Act IV. Sc. 2. L. 3.

Or in the night, imagining some fear,
How easy is a bush suppos’d a bear!
Midsummer Night’s Dream. Act V. Sc. 1. L. 21.

To fear the foe, since fear oppresseth strength,
Gives in your weakness strength unto your foe.
Richard II. Act III. Sc. 2. L. 180.

Truly the souls of men are full of dread:
Ye cannot reason almost with a man
That looks not heavily and full of fear.
Richard III. Act II. Sc. 3. L. 39.

They spake not a word;
But, like dumb statues or breathing stones,
Gazed each on other, and look’d deadly pale.
Richard III. Act III. Sc. 7. L. 24.

I have a faint cold fear thrills through my veins,
That almost freezes up the heat of life.
Romeo and Juliet. Act IV. Sc. 3. L. 15.

Tunc plurima versat
Pessimus in dubiis augur timor.
Then fear, the very worst prophet in misfortunes, anticipates many evils.
Statius—Thebais. III. 5.

Primus in orbe deos fecit timor.
Fear in the world first created the gods.
Statius—Thebais. III. 661.

Do you think I was born in a wood to be afraid of an owl?
Swift—Polite Conversation. Dialogue I.

Etiam fortes viros subitis terreri.
Even the bravest men are frightened by sudden terrors.
Tacitus—Annales. XV. 59.

Bello in si bella vistà anco è l’orrore,
E di mezzo la tema esce il diletto.
Horror itself in that fair scene looks gay,
And joy springs up e’en in the midst of fear.
Tasso—Gerusalemme. XX. 30.

Stared in her eyes, and chalk’d her face.
Tennyson—The Princess. IV. L. 357.

Desponding Fear, of feeble fancies full,
Weak and unmanly, loosens every power.
Thomson—The Seasons. Spring. L. 286.

Il faut tout attendre et tout craindre du temps et des hommes.
We must expect everything and fear everything from time and from men.
Vauvenargues—Réflexions. CII.

Obstupui, steteruntque comæ, et vox faucibus hæsit.
I was astounded, my hair stood on end, and my voice stuck in my throat.
Vergil—Æneid. II. 774, and III. 48.

Degeneres animos timor arguit.
Fear is the proof of a degenerate mind.
Vergil—Æneid. IV. 13.

Pedibus timor addidit alas.
Fear gave wings to his feet.
Vergil—Æneid. VIII. 224.

Full twenty times was Peter feared,
For once that Peter was respected.
Wordsworth—Peter Bell. Pt. I. St. 3.

Less base the fear of death than fear of life.
Young—Night Thoughts. Night V. L. 441.