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


The man forget not, though in rags he lies,
And know the mortal through a crown’s disguise.
Akenside—Epistle to Curio.

Man only,—rash, refined, presumptuous Man—
Starts from his rank, and mars Creation’s plan!
Born the free heir of nature’s wide domain,
To art’s strict limits bounds his narrow’d reign;
Resigns his native rights for meaner things,
For Faith and Fetters, Laws and Priests and Kings.
Poetry of the Anti-Jacobin. The Progress of Man. L. 55.

Non è un si bello in tante altre persone,
Natura il fece, e poi roppa la stampa.
There never was such beauty in another man.
Nature made him, and then broke the mould.
Ariosto—Orlando Furioso. Canto X. St. 84. L’on peut dire sans hyperbole, que la nature, que la après l’avoir fait en cassa la moule. Angelo Constantini—La Vie de Scaramouche. L. 107. (Ed. 1690).

Ye children of man! whose life is a span
Protracted with sorrow from day to day,
Naked and featherless, feeble and querulous,
Sickly, calamitous creatures of clay.
Aristophanes—Birds. Trans. by John Hookham Frere.

Let each man think himself an act of God.
His mind a thought, his life a breath of God.
Bailey—Festus. Proem. L. 162.

Man is the nobler growth our realms supply
And souls are ripened in our northern sky.
Anna Letitia Barbauld—The Invitation.

Thou wilt scarce be a man before thy mother.
Beaumont and Fletcher—Love’s Cure. Act II. Sc. 2.

All sorts and conditions of men.
Book of Common Prayer. Prayer for all Conditions of Men.

Man is a noble animal, splendid in ashes and pompous in the grave.
Sir Thomas Browne—Urn Burial. Ch. V.

A man’s a man for a’ that!
Burns—For A’ That and A’ That.

A prince can mak a belted knight,
A marquis, duke, and a’ that;
But an honest man’s aboon his might:
Guid faith, he maunna fa’ that.
Burns—For A’ That and A’ That.

The rank is but the guinea’s stamp,
The man’s the gowd for a’ that.
Burns—For A’ That and A’ That.

Man,—whose heaven-erected face
The smiles of love adorn,—
Man’s inhumanity to man
Makes countless thousands mourn!
Burns—Man Was Made to Mourn.

Where the virgins are soft as the roses they twine,
And all, save the spirit of man, is divine?
Byron—Bride of Abydos. Canto I. St. 1.

Thou pendulum betwixt a smile and tear.
Byron—Childe Harold. Canto IV. St. 109.

The precious porcelain of human clay.
Byron—Don Juan. Canto IV. St. 11.

Lord of himself;—that heritage of woe!
Byron—Lara. Canto I. St. 2.

But we, who name ourselves its sovereigns, we,
Half dust, half deity, alike unfit
To sink or soar.
Byron—Manfred. Act I. Sc. 2. L. 39.

Sighing that Nature formed but one such man,
And broke the die—in moulding Sheridan.
Byron—Monody on the Death of the Rt. Hon. R. B. Sheridan. L. 117.

And say without our hopes, without our fears,
Without the home that plighted love endears,
Without the smile from partial beauty won,
Oh! what were man?—a world without a sun.
Campbell—Pleasures of Hope. Pt. II. L. 21.

To lead, or brass, or some such bad
Metal, a prince’s stamp may add
That value, which it never had.
But to the pure refined ore,
The stamp of kings imparts no more
Worth, than the metal held before.
Thomas Carew—To T. H. A Lady Resembling My Mistress.

No sadder proof can be given by a man of his own littleness than disbelief in great men.
Carlyle—Heroes and Hero Worship. Lecture 1.

Charms and a man I sing, to wit—a most superior person,
Myself, who bear the fitting name of George Nathaniel Curzon.
Charma Virumque Cano. Pub. in Poetry of the Crabbet Club, 1892. P. 36.

La vraie science et le vrai étude de l’homme c’est l’homme.
The proper Science and Subject for Man’s Contemplation is Man himself.
Charron—Of Wisdom. Bk. I. Ch. I. Stanhope’s trans.

Men the most infamous are fond of fame:
And those who fear not guilt, yet start at shame.
Churchill—The Author. L. 233.

A self-made man? Yes—and worships his creator.
Henry Clapp. Said also by John Bright of Disraeli.

I am made all things to all men.
I Corinthians. IX. 22.

The first man is of the earth, earthy.
I Corinthians. XV. 47.

An honest man, close-buttoned to the chin,
Broadcloth without, and a warm heart within.
Cowper—Epistle to Joseph Hill.

But strive still to be a man before your mother.
Cowper—Motto of No. III. Connoisseur.

So man, the moth, is not afraid, it seems,
To span Omnipotence, and measure might
That knows no measure, by the scanty rule
And standard of his own, that is to-day,
And is not ere to-morrow’s sun go down.
Cowper—The Task. Bk. VI. L. 211.

A sacred spark created by his breath,
The immortal mind of man his image bears;
A spirit living ’midst the forms of death,
Oppressed, but not subdued, by mortal cares.
Sir H. Davy—Written After Recovery from a Dangerous Illness.

His tribe were God Almighty’s gentlemen.
Dryden—Absalom and Achitophel. Pt. I. L. 645.

Men are but children of a larger growth,
Our appetites as apt to change as theirs,
And full of cravings too, and full as vain.
Dryden—All for Love. Act IV. Sc. 1.

This is the porcelain clay of humankind.
Dryden—Don Sebastian. Act I. Sc. 1.

How dull, and how insensible a beast
Is man, who yet would lord it o’er the rest.
Dryden—Essay on Satire. 1. 1. Written by Dryden and the Earl of Mulgrave.

There is no Theam more plentiful to scan,
Then is the glorious goodly Frame of Man.
Du Bartas—Divine Weekes and Workes. First Week, Sixth Day. L. 421.

Men’s men: gentle or simple, they’re much of a muchness.
George Eliot—Daniel Deronda. Bk. IV. Ch. XXXI.

A man is the whole encyclopedia of facts. The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn, and Egypt, Greece, Rome, Gaul, Britain, America, lie folded already in the first man.
Emerson—Essays. History.

Man is his own star, and the soul that can
Render an honest and a perfect man,
Commands all light.
John Fletcher—Upon an Honest Man’s Fortune. L. 33.

Man is a tool making animal.

Aye, think! since time and life began,
Your mind has only feared and slept;
Of all the beasts they called you man
Only because you toiled and wept.
Arturo Giovannitti—The Thinker. (On Rodin’s Statue.)

Stood I, O Nature! man alone in thee,
Then were it worth one’s while a man to be.

Die Menschen fürchtet nur, wer sie nicht kennt
Und wer sie meidet, wird sie bald verkennen.
He only fears men who does not know them, and he who avoids them will soon misjudge them.
Goethe—Torquato Tasso. I. 2. 72.

Lass uns, geliebter Bruder, nicht vergessen,
Dass von sich selbst der Mensch nicht scheiden kann.
Beloved brother, let us not forget that man can never get away from himself.
Goethe—Torquato Tasso. I. 2. 85.

Lords of humankind.
Goldsmith—The Traveller. L. 327.

A king may spille, a king may save;
A king may make of lorde a knave;
And of a knave a lorde also.
Gower—Confessio Amantis. Bk. VII. I. 1,895.

We are coming we, the young men,
Strong of heart and millions strong;
We shall work where you have trifled,
Cleanse the temple, right the wrong,
Till the land our fathers visioned
Shall be spread before our ken,
We are through with politicians;
Give us Men! Give us Men!
Arthur Guiterman—Challenge of the Young Men. In Life, Nov. 2, 1911.

What though the spicy breezes
Blow soft o’er Ceylon’s isle;
Though every prospect pleases,
And only man is vile.
Reginald Heber—Missionary Hymn. (“Java” in one version.)

Man is all symmetrie,
Full of proportions, one limbe to another,
And all to all the world besides:
Each part may call the farthest, brother:
For head with foot hath privite amitie,
And both with moons and tides.
Herbert—Temple. The Church Man.

Man is one world, and hath
Another to attend him.
Herbert—Temple. The Church Man.

God give us men. A time like this demands
Strong minds, great hearts, true faith and ready hands!
Men whom the lust of office does not kill,
Men whom the spoils of office cannot buy,
Men who possess opinions and a will,
Men who love honor, men who cannot lie.
J. G. Holland—Wanted.

Like leaves on trees the race of man is found,—
Now green in youth, now withering on the ground;
Another race the following spring supplies;
They fall successive; and successive rise.
Homer—Iliad. Bk. VI. L. 181. Pope’s trans.

Forget the brother and resume the man.
Homer—Odyssey. Bk. IV. L. 732. Pope’s trans.

The fool of fate, thy manufacture, man.
Homer—Odyssey. Bk. XX. L. 254. Pope’s trans.

Pulvis et umbra sumus.
We are dust and shadow.
Horace—Carmina. Bk. IV. 7. L. 16.

Metiri se quemque suo modulo ac pede verum est.
Every man should measure himself by his own standard.
Horace—Epistles. I. 7. 98.

Ad unguem factus homo.
A man polished to the nail.
Horace—Satires. I. 5. 32.

Man dwells apart, though not alone,
He walks among his peers unread;
The best of thoughts which he hath known
For lack of listeners are not said.
Jean Ingelow—Afternoon at a Parsonage. Afterthought.

Man passes away; his name perishes from record and recollection; his history is as a tale that is told, and his very monument becomes a ruin.
Washington Irving—The Sketch Book. Westminster Abbey.

Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils.
Isaiah. II. 22.

The only competition worthy a wise man is with himself.
Mrs. Jameson—Memoirs and Essays. Washington Allston.

Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.
Job. XIV. 1.

Where soil is, men grow,
Whether to weeds or flowers.
Keats—Endymion. Bk. II.

Though I’ve belted you and flayed you,
By the livin’ Gawd that made you,
You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din.
Kipling—Gunga Din.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
Yours is the Earth and every thing that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a man, my son!
Kipling—If. First and Last Lines.

Limited in his nature, infinite in his desires, man is a fallen god who remembers the heavens.
Lamartine—Second Meditations.

Il est plus aisé de connaître l’homme en général que de connaître un homme en particulier.
It is easier to know mankind in general than man individually.
La Rochefoucauld—Maximes. 436.

As man; false man, smiling destructive man.
Nathaniel Lee—Theodosius. Act III. Sc. 2. L. 50.

A man of mark.
Longfellow—Tales of a Wayside Inn. Pt. I. The Musician’s Tale. Saga of King Olaf. Pt. IX. St. 2.

Before man made us citizens, great Nature made us men.
Lowell—The Capture of Fugitive Slaves Near Washington.

The hearts of men are their books; events are their tutors; great actions are their eloquence.
Macaulay—Essays. Conversation Touching the Great Civil War.

A man! A man! My kingdom for a man!
Marston—Scourge of Villainy.

Hominem pagina nostra sapit.
Our page (i.e. our book) has reference to man.
Martial—Epigrams. Bk. X. 4. 10.

But in our Sanazarro ’tis not so,
He being pure and tried gold; and any stamp
Of grace, to make him current to the world,
The duke is pleased to give him, will add honour
To the great bestower; for he, though allow’d
Companion to his master, still preserves
His majesty in full lustre.
Massinger—Great Duke of Florence. Act I. Sc. 1.

Ah! pour être devot, je n’en suis pas moins homme.
Ah! to be devout, I am none the less human.
Molière—Tartuffe. III. 3.

The mould is lost wherein was made
This a per se of all.
Alexander Montgomery.

I teach you beyond Man [Uebermensch; overman-superman]. Man is something that shall be surpassed. What have you done to surpass him?
Nietzsche—Thus Spake Zarathustra.

T’is but a Tent where takes his one day’s rest
A Sultan to the realm of Death addrest.
A Sultan rises, and the dark Ferrash
Strikes and prepares it for another Guest.
Omar Khayyam—Rubaiyat. St. 45. FitzGerald’s Trans.

Man’s the bad child of the universe.
James Oppenheim—Laughter.

Os homini sublime dedit cœlumque tueri
Jussit; et erectos ad sidera tollere vultus.
God gave man an upright countenance to survey the heavens, and to look upward to the stars.
Ovid—Metamorphoses. I. 85.

What a chimera, then, is man! what a novelty, what a monster, what a chaos, what a subject of contradiction, what a prodigy! A judge of all things, feeble worm of the earth, depositary of the truth, cloaca of uncertainty and error, the glory and the shame of the universe!
Pascal—Thoughts. Ch. X.

Nos non pluris sumus quam bullæ.
We are not more than a bubble.
Petronius. 42.

Piper, non homo.
He is pepper, not a man.

Hominem quæro.
I am in search of a man.
Phædrus—Fables. Bk. III. 19. 9.

Man is the plumeless genus of bipeds, birds are the plumed.
Plato—Politicus. 266. Diogenes produced a plucked cock, saying, “Here is Plato’s man.” Diogenes Laertius. Bk. VI. 2.

Homo homini lupus.
Man is a wolf to man.
Plautus—Asinaria. II. 4. 88.

A minister, but still a man.
Pope—Epistle to James Craggs.

So man, who here seems principal alone,
Perhaps acts second to some sphere unknown
Touches some wheel, or verges to some goal;
’Tis but a part we see, and not a whole.
Pope—Essay on Man. Ep. I. L. 57.

Know then thyself, presume not God to scan;
The proper study of mankind is man.
Pope—Essay on Man. Ep. II. L. 1. In Pope’s first ed. of Moral Essays it read “The only science of mankind is man.” For the last phrase see Grote—History of Greece. Vol. IX. P. 573. Ascribed to Socrates; also to Xenophon—Memor. I. 1.

Chaos of thought and passion, all confused;
Still by himself abused and disabused;
Created half to rise, and half to fall;
Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all;
Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurled;
The glory, jest and riddle of the world!
Pope—Essay on Man. Ep. II. L. 13.

Virtuous and vicious every man must be,
Few in the extreme, but all in the degree.
Pope—Essay on Man. Ep. II. L. 231.

An honest man’s the noblest work of God.
Pope—Essay on Man. Ep. IV. L. 248.

No more was seen the human form divine.
Pope—Homer’s Odyssey. Bk. X. L. 278.

So, if unprejudiced you scan
The going of this clock-work, man,
You find a hundred movements made
By fine devices in his head;
But ’tis the stomach’s solid stroke
That tells his being what’s o’clock.
Prior—Alma. Pt. III. L. 272.

Man is the measure of all things.
Protagoras. Quoted as his philosophical principle.

Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels.
Psalms. VIII. 5.

Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright.
Psalms. XXXVII. 37.

Man is man’s A, B, C. There’s none that can
Read God aright, unless he first spell man.
Quarles—Hieroglyptics of the Life of Man.

Quit yourselves like men.
I Samuel. IV. 9.

A man after his own heart.
I Samuel. XIII. 14.

Thou art the man.
II Samuel. XII. 7.

Der Mensch ist, der lebendig fühlende,
Der leichte Raub des mächt’gen Augenblicks.
Man, living, feeling man is the easy prey of the powerful present.
Schiller—Die Jungfrau von Orleans. III. 4. 54.

“How poor a thing is man!” alas ’tis true,
I’d half forgot it when I chanced on you.
Schiller—The Moral Poet.

Men have died from time to time and worms have eaten them, but not for love.
As You Like It. Act IV. Sc. 1. L. 105.

He was a man, take him for all in all,
I shall not look upon his like again.
Hamlet. Act I. Sc. 2. L. 187.

What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! in form and moving how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals! And, yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? man delights not me: no, nor woman neither, though by your smiling, you seem to say so.
Hamlet. Act II. Sc. 2. L. 313.

I have thought some of Nature’s journeymen had made men and not made them well, they imitated humanity so abominably.
Hamlet. Act III. Sc. 2. L. 37.

Give me that man
That is not passion’s slave, and I will wear him
In my heart’s core, ay, in my heart of heart
As I do thee.
Hamlet. Act III. Sc. 2. L. 76.

What is a man,
If his chief good and market of his time
Be but to sleep and feed?
Hamlet. Act IV. Sc. 4. L. 33.

This is the state of man: to-day he puts forth
The tender leaves of hope; to-morrow blossoms,
And bears his blushing honours thick upon him:
The third day comes a frost, a killing frost,
And, when he thinks, good easy man, full surely
His greatness is a-ripening, nips his root,
And then he falls, as I do.
Henry VIII. Act III. Sc. 2. L. 352.

Men that make
Envy and crooked malice nourishment,
Dare bite the best.
Henry VIII. Act V. Sc. 3. L. 43.

Men at some time are masters of their fates:
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.
Julius Cæsar. Act I. Sc. 2. L. 139.

The foremost man of all this world.
Julius Cæsar. Act IV. Sc. 3. L. 22.

His life was gentle, and the elements
So mix’d in him that Nature might stand up,
And say to all the world, This was a man!
Julius Cæsar. Act V. Sc. 5. L. 73.

God made him, and therefore let him pass for a man.
Merchant of Venice. Act I. Sc. 2. L. 60.

A proper man as one shall see in a summer’s day.
Midsummer Night’s Dream. Act I. Sc. 2. L. 89.

Are you good men and true?
Much Ado About Nothing. Act III. Sc. 3. L. 1.

Why, he’s a man of wax.
Romeo and Juliet. Act I. Sc. 3. L. 76.

I wonder men dare trust themselves with men.
Timon of Athens. Act I. Sc. 2. L. 42.

For men, like butterflies,
Show not their mealy wings but to the summer.
Troilus and Cressida. Act III. Sc. 3. L. 78.

Every man is odd.
Troilus and Cressida. Act IV. Sc. 5. L. 42.

Nietzsche … he was a confirmed Life Force worshipper. It was he who raked up the Superman, who is as old as Prometheus; and the 20th century will run after this newest of the old crazes when it gets tired of the world, the flesh, and your humble servant.
Bernard Shaw—Man and Superman. Act III.

Man is of soul and body, formed for deeds
Of high resolve; on fancy’s boldest wing.
Shelley—Queen Mab. Canto IV. L. 160.

Of the king’s creation you may be; but he who makes a count, ne’er made a man.
Thomas Southerne—Sir Anthony Love. Act II. Sc. 1.

Man’s wretched state,
That floures so fresh at morne, and fades at evening late.
Spenser—Faerie Queene. Bk. III. Canto IX. St. 39.

Give us a man of God’s own mould
Born to marshall his fellow-men;
One whose fame is not bought and sold
At the stroke of a politician’s pen.
Give us the man of thousands ten,
Fit to do as well as to plan;
Give us a rallying-cry, and then
Abraham Lincoln, give us a Man.
E. C. Stedman—Give us a Man.

Titles of honour are like the impressions on coin—which add no value to gold and silver, but only render brass current.
Sterne—Koran. Pt. II.

A man’s body and his mind, with the utmost reverence to both I speak it, are exactly like a jerkin and a jerkin’s lining;—rumple the one,—you rumple the other.
Sterne—Tristram Shandy. Bk. III. Ch. IV.

When I beheld this I sighed, and said within myself, Surely man is a Broomstick!
Swift—A Meditation upon a Broomstick.

Homo vitæ commodatus, non donatus est.
Man has been lent, not given, to life.

Man is man, and master of his fate.
Tennyson—Enid. Song of Fortune and Her Wheel.

Ah God, for a man with heart, head, hand,
Like some of the simple great gone
Forever and ever by,
One still strong man in a blatant land,
Whatever they call him, what care I,
Aristocrat, democrat, autocrat—one
Who can rule and dare not lie.
Tennyson—Maud. X. 5.

I am a part of all that I have met.
Tennyson—Ulysses. L. 18.

Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto.
I am a man, nothing that is human do I think unbecoming in me.
Terence—Heauton timoroumenos. Act I. Sc. 1. F. W. Ricord’s trans.

Der edle Mensch ist nur ein Bild von Gott.
The noble man is only God’s image.
Ludwig Tieck—Genoveva.

Quod, ut dictur, si est homo bulla, eo magis senex.
What, if as said, man is a bubble.
Varro—Preface to De Re Rustica. Found also in Seneca—Apocolocyntosis. Lucan—Charron. 19. Cardinal Armellini’s Epitaph in Revue des Deux Mondes, April 15, 1892. Erasmus—Adagia.

Silver is the king’s stamp; man God’s stamp, and a woman is man’s stamp; we are not current till we pass from one man to another.
Webster—Northward Hoe. I. 186. Hazlitt’s ed.

I am an acme of things accomplished, and I am encloser of things to be.
Walt Whitman—Song of Myself. 44.

When faith is lost, when honor dies,
The man is dead!
Whittier—Ichabod. St. 8.

I weigh the man, not his title: ’tis not the king’s inscription can make the metal better or heavier.
Wycherly—Plain Dealer. Act I. Sc. 1. (Altered by Bickerstaff.)

How poor, how rich, how abject, how august,
How complicate, how wonderful, is man!
How passing wonder He, who made him such!
Young—Night Thoughts. Night I. L. 68.

Ah! how unjust to nature, and himself,
Is thoughtless, thankless, inconsistent man.
Young—Night Thoughts. Night II. L. 112.