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


There is not less wit nor invention in applying rightly a thought one finds in a book, than in being the first author of that thought. Cardinal du Perron has been heard to say that the happy application of a verse of Virgil has deserved a talent.
Bayle—Works. Vol. II. P. 779.

One whom it is easier to hate, but still easier to quote—Alexander Pope.
Augustine Birrell—Alexander Pope.

All which he understood by rote,
And, as occasion serv’d, would quote.
Butler—Hudibras. Pt. I. Canto I. L. 135.

With just enough of learning to misquote.
Byron—English Bards and Scotch Reviewers. L. 66.

Perverts the Prophets, and purloins the Psalms.
Byron—English Bards and Scotch Reviewers. L. 326.

To copy beauties, forfeits all pretence
To fame—to copy faults, is want of sense.
Churchill—The Rosciad. L. 457.

The greater part of our writers.***have become so original, that no one cares to imitate them: and those who never quote in return are seldom quoted.
Isaac D’Israeli—Curiosities of Literature. Quotation.

The art of quotation requires more delicacy in the practice than those conceive who can see nothing more in a quotation than an extract.
Isaac D’Israeli—Curiosities of Literature. Quotation.

One may quote till one compiles.
Isaac D’Israeli—Curiosities of Literature. Quotation.

The wisdom of the wise and the experience of ages may be preserved by QUOTATION.
Isaac D’Israeli—Curiosities of Literature. Quotation.

A book which hath been culled from the flowers of all books.
George Eliot—The Spanish Gypsy. Bk. II.

A great man quotes bravely, and will not draw on his invention when his memory serves him with a word as good.
Emerson—Letters and Social Aims. Quotation and Originality.

By necessity, by proclivity, and by delight, we quote. We quote not only books and proverbs, but arts, sciences, religion, customs, and laws; nay, we quote temples and houses, tables and chairs by imitation.
Emerson—Letters and Social Aims. Quotation and Originality.

Next to the originator of a good sentence is the first quoter of it.
Emerson—Letters and Social Aims. Quotation and Originality.

We are as much informed of a writer’s genius by what he selects as by what he originates.
Emerson—Letters and Social Aims. Quotation and Originality.

Every quotation contributes something to the stability or enlargement of the language.
Samuel Johnson—Preface to Dictionary.

Classical quotation is the parole of literary men all over the world.
Samuel Johnson—Remark to Wilkes. (1781).

C’est souvent hasarder un bon mot et vouloir le perdre quo de le donner pour sien.
A good saying often runs the risk of being thrown away when quoted as the speaker’s own.
La Bruyère—Les Caractères. II.

’Twas not an Age ago since most of our Books were nothing but Collections of Latin Quotations; there was not above a line or two of French in a Page.
La Bruyère—The Character or Manners of the Present Age. Ch. XV. Of the Pulpit.

Though old the thought and oft exprest,
’Tis his at last who says it best.
Lowell—For an Autograph. St. 1.

Comme quelqu’un pourroit dire de moy, que j’ay seulement faict icy un amas de fleurs estrangieres, n’y ayant fourny du mien que le filet à les lier.
As one might say of me that I have only made here a collection of other people’s flowers, having provided nothing of my own but the cord to bind them together.
Montaigne—Essays. Bk. III. Ch. XII.

… I have seen books made of things neither studied nor ever understood … the author contenting himself for his own part, to have cast the plot and projected the design of it, and by his industry to have bound up the fagot of unknown provisions; at least the ink and paper his own. This may be said to be a buying or borrowing, and not a making or compiling of a book.
Montaigne—Essays. Bk. III. Ch. XII.

Nor suffers Horace more in wrong translations
By wits, than critics in as wrong quotations.
Pope—Essay on Criticism. Pt. III. L. 104.

He ranged his tropes, and preached up patience,
Backed his opinion with quotations.
Prior—Paulo Purganti and his Wife. L. 143.

Always to verify your references.
Rev. Dr. Routh—to Dean Burgon. Nov. 29, 1847. See Very Rev. John Burgon—Lives of Twenty Good Men. “Reference” in ed. of 1891; “quotation” in earlier ed.

The little honesty existing among authors is to be seen in the outrageous way in which they misquote from the writings of others.
Schopenhauer—On Authorship.

They had been at a great feast of languages, and stolen the scraps.
Love’s Labour’s Lost. Act V. Sc. 1. L. 39.

The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
Merchant of Venice. Act I. Sc. 3. L. 99.

A forward critic often dupes us
With sham quotations peri hupsos,
And if we have not read Longinus,
Will magisterially outshine us.
Then, lest with Greek he over-run ye,
Procure the book for love or money,
Translated from Boileau’s translation,
And quote quotation on quotation.
Swift—On Poetry.

I am but a gatherer and disposer of other men’s stuff.
Sir Henry Wotton—Preface to the Elements of Architecture.

To patchwork learn’d quotations are allied,
Both strive to make our poverty our pride.
Young—Love of Fame. Satire I.

Some, for renown, on scraps of learning dote,
And think they grow immortal as they quote.
Young—Love of Fame. Satire I. L. 89.