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


Better to die ten thousand deaths,
Than wound my honour.
Addison—Cato. Act I. Sc. 4.

Content thyself to be obscurely good.
When vice prevails and impious men bear sway,
The post of honor is a private station.
Addison—Cato. Act IV. Sc. 4.

The sense of honour is of so fine and delicate a nature, that it is only to be met with in minds which are naturally noble, or in such as have been cultivated by good examples, or a refined education.
Addison—The Guardian. No. 161.

Turpe quid ausurus, te sine teste time.
When about to commit a base deed, respect thyself, though there is no witness.
Ansonius—Septem Sapientum Sententiæ Septenis Veribus Explicatæ. III. 7.

The best memorial for a mighty man is to gain honor ere death.
Beowulf. VII.

L’honneur est comme une île escarpée et sans bords;
On n’y peut plus rentrer dès qu’on en est dehors.
Honor is like an island, rugged and without shores; we can never re-enter it once we are on the outside.
Boileau—Satires. X. 167.

Honour is like a widow, won
With brisk attempt and putting on.
Butler—Hudibras. Pt. II. Canto I.

Now, while the honour thou hast got
Is spick and span new.
Butler—Hudibras. Pt. I. Canto III. L. 397.

If he that in the field is slain
Be in the bed of honour lain,
He that is beaten may be said
To lie in Honour’s truckle-bed.
Butler—Hudibras. Pt. I. Canto III. L. 1,047.

As quick as lightning, in the breach
Just in the place where honour’s lodged,
As wise philosophers have judged,
Because a kick in that place more
Hurts Honour than deep wounds before.
Butler—Hudibras. Pt. II. Canto III. L. 1,066.

Semper in fide quid senseris, non quid dixeris, cogitandum.
In honorable dealing you should consider what you intended, not what you said or thought.
Cicero—De Officiis. I. 13.

Nulla est laus ibi esse integrum, ubi nemo est, qui aut possit aut conetur rumpere.
There is no praise in being upright, where no one can, or tries to corrupt you.
Cicero—In Verrem. II. 1. 16.

Nec tibi quid liceat, sed quid fecisse decebit
Occurrat, mentemque domet respectus honesti.
Do not consider what you may do, but what it will become you to have done, and let the sense of honor subdue your mind.
Claudianus—De Quarto Consulatu Honorii Augusti Panegyris. CCLXVII.

Honor lies in honest toil.
Glover Cleveland—Letter Accepting Nomination for President. Aug. 18, 1884. Wm. Q. Stoddard. Life of Grover Cleveland. Ch. XV.

Ici l’honneur m’oblige, et j’y veux satisfaire.
Here honor binds me, and I wish to satisfy it.
Corneille—Polyeucte. IV. 3.

And all at Worcester but the honour lost.
Dryden—Astraea Redux.

These were honoured in their generations, and were the glory of the times.
Ecclesiasticus. XLIV. 7.

Titles of honour add not to his worth,
Who is himself an honour to his titles.
John Ford—The Lady’s Trial. Act I. Sc. 3. L. 30.

Madame, pour vous faire savoir comme se porte le resté de mon infortune, de toutes choses m’est demeuré que l’honneur et la vie qui est sauvé.
Madame, that you may know the state of the rest of my misfortune, there is nothing left to me but honor, and my life, which is saved.
Francis I—to his mother. Written in the Letter of safe conduct given to the Viceroy of Naples for the Commander Penalosa the morning after Pavia. See Aimé Champollion—Captivité de François I. Figeac. P. 129 (Ed. 1847). In Martin—Histoire de France. Vol. VIII. Sismondi. Vol. XVI. P. 241.

Give me, kind Heaven, a private station,
A mind serene for contemplation:
Title and profit I resign:
The post of honor shall be mine.
Gay—Fables. Pt. II. The Vulture, the Sparrow and other Birds.

Your word is as good as the Bank, sir.
Holcroft—The Road to Ruin. Act I. Sc. 3.

Honour is but an itch in youthful blood
Of doing acts extravagantly good.
Howard—Indian Queen.

Great honours are great burdens, but on whom
They are cast with envy, he doth bear two loads.
His cares must still be double to his joys,
In any dignity.
Ben Jonson—Catiline. His Conspiracy. Act III. Sc. 1. L. 1.

Summum crede nefas, animum præferre pudori,
Et propter vitam vivendi perdere causas.
Believe it to be the greatest of all infamies, to prefer your existence to your honor, and for the sake of life to lose every inducement to live.
Juvenal—Satires. VIII. 83.

Dead on the field of honour.
Answer given in the roll-call of La Tour d’ Auvergne’s regiment after his death.

Quod pulcherrimum idem tutissimum est.
What is honorable is also safest.
Livy—Annales. XXXIV. 14.

Perchè non i titoli illustrano gli uomini, ma gli uomini i titoli.
For titles do not reflect honor on men, but rather men on their titles.
Machiavelli—Dei Discorsi. III. 38.

Honour is purchas’d by the deeds we do;
***honour is not won,
Until some honourable deed be done.
Marlowe—Hero and Leander. First Sistiad. L. 276.

To set the cause above renown,
To love the game beyond the prize,
To honor while you strike him down,
The foe that comes with fearless eyes;
To count the life of battle good
And dear the land that gave you birth,
And dearer yet the brotherhood
That binds the brave of all the earth.
Henry Newboldt—Clifton Chapel.

When honor comes to you be ready to take it;
But reach not to seize it before it is near.
John Boyle O’Reilly—Rules of the Road.

Honour, the spur that pricks the princely mind,
To follow rule and climb the stately chair.
George Peele—The Battle of Alcazar. Act I.

We’ll shine in more substantial honours,
And to be noble, we’ll be good.
Thos. Percy—Reliques. Winifreda.

Et ille quidem plenus annis abiit, plenus honoribus, illis etiam quos recusavit.
He died full of years and of honors, equally illustrious by those he refused as by those he accepted.
Pliny the Younger—Epistles. II. 1.

A Quixotic sense of the honorable—of the chivalrous.
Poe—Letter to Mrs. Whitman. Oct. 18, 1848.

Honour and shame from no condition rise;
Act well your part, there all the honour lies.
Pope—Essay on Man. Ep. IV. L. 193.

A bon entendeur ne faut qu’un parole.
A good intention does not mean honor.
Rabelais—Pantagruel. Bk. V. Ch. VII.

Faisons ce que l’honneur exige.
Let us do what honor demands.
Racine—Bérénice. IV. 4.

Mais sans argent l’honneur n’est qu’une maladie.
But without money honor is nothing but a malady.
Racine—Plaideurs. I. 1.

Nichtswürdig ist die Nation, die nicht
Ihr alles freudig setzt an ihre Ehre.
That nation is worthless which does not joyfully stake everything on her honor.
Schiller—Die Jungfrau von Orleans. I. 5. 81.

Das Herz und nicht die Meinung ehrt den Mann.
What he feels and not what he does honors a man.
Schiller—Wallenstein’s Tod. IV. 8. 70.

See that you come
Not to woo honour, but to wed it.
All’s Well That Ends Well. Act II. Sc. 1. L. 14.

Honours thrive,
When rather from our acts we them derive
Than our foregoers.
All’s Well That Ends Well. Act II. Sc. 3. L. 142.

A scar nobly got, or a noble scar, is a good livery of honour.
All’s Well That Ends Well. Act IV. Sc. 5. L. 105.

If I lose mine honour,
I lose myself; better I were not yours
Than yours so branchless.
Antony and Cleopatra. Act III. Sc. 4. L. 22.

For he’s honourable
And doubling that, most holy.
Cymbeline. Act III. Sc. 4. L. 179.

Methinks it were an easy leap,
To pluck bright honour from the pale-fac’d moon.
Henry IV. Pt. I. Act I. Sc. 3. L. 201.

And pluck up drowned honour by the locks.
Henry IV. Pt. I. Act I. Sc. 3. L. 205.

Well, ’tis no matter; honour pricks me on. Yea, but how if honour prick me off, when I come on? how then? Can honour set to a leg? no: or an arm? no: or take away the grief of a wound? no: Honour hath no skill in surgery, then? no. What is honour? a word. What is that word honour? air. A trim reckoning! Who hath it? he that died o’ Wednesday. Doth he feel it? no. Doth he hear it? no. Is it insensible, then? Yea, to the dead. But will it not live with the living? no. Why? detraction will not suffer it. Therefore, I’ll none of it. Honour is a mere scutcheon; and so ends my catechism.
Henry IV. Pt. I. Act V. Sc. 1. L. 129.

For Brutus is an honourable man;
So are they all, all honourable men.
Julius Cæsar. Act III. Sc. 2. L. 87.

Thou art a fellow of a good respect;
Thy life hath had some smatch of honour in it.
Julius Cæsar. Act V. Sc. 5. L. 45.

Let none presume
To wear an undeserv’d dignity.
O, that estates, degrees and offices
Were not deriv’d corruptly, and that clear honour
Were purchas’d by the merit of the wearer!
Merchant of Venice. Act II. Sc. 9. L. 39.

Mine honour let me try:
In that I live, and for that will I die.
Richard II. Act I. Sc. I. L. 184.

And as the sun breaks through the darkest clouds,
So honour peereth in the meanest habit.
Taming of the Shrew. Act IV. Sc. 3. L. 175.

I had rather crack my sinews, break my back,
Than you should such dishonour undergo.
Tempest. Act III. Sc. 1. L. 26.

For honour travels in a strait so narrow,
Where one but goes abreast.
Troilus and Cressida. Act III. Sc. 3. L. 154.

Honour sits smiling at the sale of truth.
Shelley—Queen Mab. Canto IV. L. 218.

His honor rooted in dishonor stood,
And faith unfaithful kept him falsely true.
Tennyson—Idyls of the King. Lancelot and Elaine. L. 886.

The nation’s honor is dearer than the nation’s comfort; yes, than the nation’s life itself.
Woodrow Wilson—Speech. Jan. 29, 1916.