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


See they suffer death,
But in their deaths remember they are men,
Strain not the laws to make their tortures grievous.
Addison—Cato. Act III. Sc. 5.

Let them stew in their own grease (or juice).
Bismarck, at the time of the Franco-German war, to Mr. Malet at Meaux. See Labouchere—Diary of a Besieged Resident. Stewing in our own gravy. Ned Ward—London Spy. Pt. IX. P. 219. (1709). (Describing a Turkish bath.) Idea in Plautus—Captives. Act I. Ver. 80–84. Teubner’s ed.

Some have been beaten till they know
What wood a cudgel’s of by th’ blow:
Some kick’d until they can feel whether
A shoe be Spanish or neat’s leather.
Butler—Hudibras. Pt. II. Canto I. L. 221.

Frieth in his own grease.
Chaucer—Wife of Bathes Tale. V. 6069. Prologue. L. 487. Morris’ ed. Heywood—Proverbs. Pt. I. Ch. XI. (“her” for “his.”)

Noxiæ pœna par esto.
Let the punishment be equal with the offence.
Cicero—De Legibus. Bk. III. 20.

Cavendum est ne major pœna quam culpa sit; et ne iisdem de causis alii plectantur, alii ne appellentur quidem.
Care should be taken that the punishment does not exceed the guilt; and also that some men do not suffer for offenses for which others are not even indicted.
Cicero—De Officiis. I. 23.

Diis proximus ille est
Quem ratio non ira movet: qui factor rependens
Consilio punire potest.
He is next to the gods whom reason, and not passion, impels; and who, after weighing the facts, can measure the punishment with discretion.
Claudinaus—De Consulatu Malii Theodori Panegyris. CCXXVII.

I stew all night in my own grease.
Cotton—Virgil Travestie. P. 35. (Ed. 1807). Fat enough to be stewed in their own liquor. Fuller—Holy State and the Profane State. P. 396. (Ed. 1840).

Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.
Deuteronomy. XIX. 21.

’Tis I that call, remember Milo’s end,
Wedged in that timber which he strove to rend.
Wentworth Dillon—Essay on Translated Verse. Ovid.

That is the bitterest of all,—to wear the yoke of our own wrong-doing.
George Eliot—Daniel Deronda. Bk. V. Ch. XXXVI.

Send them into everlasting Coventry.
Emerson—Essays. Manners. During the Civil War in England officers were sent for punishment to the garrison at Coventry.

Vengeance comes not slowly either upon you or any other wicked man, but steals silently and imperceptibly, placing its foot on the bad.

My punishment is greater than I can bear
Genesis. IV. 13.

Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed.
Genesis. IX. 6.

Something lingering with boiling oil in it…. something humorous but lingering—with either boiling oil or melted lead.
W. S. Gilbert—Mikado.

My object all sublime
I shall achieve in time—
To let the punishment fit the crime.
W. S. Gilbert—Mikado.

The wolf must die in his own skin.
Herbert—Jacula Prudentum.

Culpam pœna premit comes.
Punishment follows close on crime.
Horace—Carmina. IV. 5. 24.

Ne scutica dignum horribili sectere flagello.
Do not pursue with the terrible scourge him who deserves a slight whip.
Horace—Satires. I. 3. 119.

For whoso spareth the spring [switch] spilleth his children.
Langland—Piers Ploughman.

Breach for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth.
Leviticus. XXIV. 20.

Quidquid multis peccatur inultum est.
The sins committed by many pass unpunished.
Lucan—Pharsalia. V. 260.

It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea.
Luke. XVII. 2.

The object of punishment is, prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
Horace Mann—Lectures and Reports on Education. Lecture VII.

Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
Mark. IX. 44.

Unrespited, unpitied, unrepriev’d.
Milton—Paradise Lost. Bk. II. L. 185.

Our torments also may in length of time
Become our elements.
Milton—Paradise Lost. Bk. II. L. 274.

Back to thy punishment,
False fugitive and to thy speed add wings.
Milton—Paradise Lost. Bk. II. L. 699.

Just prophet, let the damn’d one dwell
Full in the sight of Paradise,
Beholding heaven and feeling hell.
Moore—Lalla Rookh. Fire Worshippers. L. 1,028.

Ay—down to the dust with them, slaves as they are,
From this hour, let the blood in their dastardly veins,
That shrunk at the first touch of Liberty’s war,
Be wasted for tyrants, or stagnant in chains.
Moore—Lines on the Entry of the Austrians into Naples. (1821).

Die and be damned.
Thomas Mortimer—Against the Calvinistic doctrine of eternal punishment.

Æquo animo pœnam, qui meruere, ferant.
Let those who have deserved their punishment, bear it patiently.
Ovid—Amorum. II. 7. 12.

Paucite paucarum diffundere crimen in omnes.
Do not lay on the multitude the blame that is due to a few.
Ovid—Ars Amatoria. III. 9.

Estque pati pœnas quam meruisse minus.
It is less to suffer punishment than to deserve it.
Ovid—Epistolæ Ex Ponto. I. 1. 62.

Deos agere curam rerum humanarum credi, ex usu vitæ est: pœnasque maleficiis, aliquando seras, nunquam autem irritas esse.
It is advantageous that the gods should be believed to attend to the affairs of man; and the punishment for evil deeds, though sometimes late, is never fruitless.
Pliny the Elder—Historia Naturalis. II. 5. 10.

Heaven is not always angry when he strikes,
But most chastises those whom most he likes.
John Pomfret—To a Friend Under Affliction. L. 89.

But if the first Eve
Hard doom did receive
When only one apple had she,
What a punishment new
Must be found out for you,
Who eating hath robb’d the whole tree.
Pope—To Lady Montague.

He that spareth his rod hateth his son.
Proverbs. XIII. 24.

To kiss the rod.
History of Reynard the Fox. William Caxton’s trans., printed by him. (1481). Arber’s English Scholar’s Library. Ch. XII.

Quod antecedit tempus, maxima venturi supplicii pars est.
The time that precedes punishment is the severest part of it.
Seneca—De Beneficiis. II. 5.

Corrigendus est, qui peccet, et admonitione et vi, et molliter et aspere, meliorque tam sibi quam alii faciendus, non sine castigatione, sed sine ira.
He, who has committed a fault, is to be corrected both by advice and by force, kindly and harshly, and to be made better for himself as well as for another, not without chastisement, but without passion.
Seneca—De Ira. I. 14.

Maxima est factæ injuriæ pæna, fecisse: nec quisquam gravius adficitur, quam qui ad supplicium pœnitentiæ traditur.
The severest punishment a man can receive who has injured another, is to have committed the injury; and no man is more severely punished than he who is subject to the whip of his own repentance.
Seneca—De Ira. III. 26.

Nec ulla major pœna nequitiæ est, quam quod sibi et suis displicet.
There is no greater punishment of wickedness than that it is dissatisfied with itself and its deeds.
Seneca—Epistolæ Ad Lucilium. XLII.

Sequitur superbos ultor a tergo deus.
An avenging God closely follows the haughty.
Seneca—Hercules Furens. 385.

Minor in parvis fortuna furit,
Leviusque ferit leviora Deus.
Fortune is less severe against those of lesser degree, and God strikes what is weak with less power.
Seneca—Hippolytus. Act IV. 1124.

Thou shalt be whipp’d with wire, and stew’d in brine,
Smarting in ling’ring pickle.
Antony and Cleopatra. Act II. Sc. 5. L. 65.

Vex not his ghost: Oh; let him pass! he hates him,
That would upon the rack of this tough world
Stretch him out longer.
King Lear. Act V. Sc. 2. “Tough world” altered by Pope to “rough world.”

Some of us will smart for it.
Much Ado About Nothing. Act V. Sc. 1. L. 109.

Off with his head! so much for Buckingham!
Richard III. Act IV. Sc. 3. As altered by Colley Cibber.

A testy babe will scratch the nurse,
And presently all humbled kiss the rod.
Two Gentlemen of Verona. Act I. Sc. 2. 59.

There is nothynge that more dyspleaseth God
Than from theyr children to spare the rod.
Skelton—Magnyfycence. L. 1,954.

Punitis ingeniis, gliscit auctoritas.
When men of talents are punished, authority is strengthened.
Tacitus—Annales. IV. 35.

Habet aliquid ex iniquo omne magnum exemplum, quod contra singulos, utilitate publica rependitus.
Every great example of punishment has in it some injustice, but the suffering individual is compensated by the public good.
Tacitus—Annales. XIV. 44.

The woman, Spaniel, the walnut tree,
The more you beat them the better they be.
John Taylor. From an early song. Same idea in Gilbertus Cognatus—Adagia. Included in Grynæus—Adagia. P. 484. (Ed. 1629).

Verbera sed audi.
Strike, but hear.
Themistocles. When Eurybiades, commander of the Spartan fleet, raised his staff to strike him. In Plutarch’s Life of Themistocles. Ch. XI.

Ah, miser! et si quis primo perjuria celat,
Sera tamen tacitis Pœna venit pedibus.
Ah, wretch! even though one may be able at first to conceal his perjuries, yet punishment creeps on, though late, with noiseless step.
Tibullus—Carmina. I. 9. 3.

They spare the rod, and spoyle the child.
Ralph Venning—Mysteries and Revelations. P. 5. (1649).

What heavy guilt upon him lies!
How cursed is his name!
The ravens shall pick out his eyes,
And eagles eat the same.
Isaac Watts—Obedience.

Du spottest noch? Erzittre! Immer schlafen
Des Rächers Blitze nicht.
Thou mockest? Tremble! the avenger’s lightning bolts do not forever dormant lie.
Wieland—Oberon. I. 50.

Hanging was the worst use a man could be put to.
Sir Henry Wotton—The Disparity between Buckingham and Essex.

Jupiter is late in looking into his note-book.
Zenobius—Cent. IV. 11. Same idea in Horace—Odes. III. 2. 30. Persius—Satires. II. 24.