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For every object that the one doth catch,
The other turns to a mirth-moving jest;
Which his fair tongue (conceit's expositor)
Delivers in such apt and gracious words,
That aged ears play truant at his tales,
And younger hearings are quite ravished,
So sweet and voluble is his discourse.


A fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy.
Muster your wits:
: stand on your defence;
Or hide your heads like cowards, and fly hence.

L. L. v. 2.

Those wits that think they have thee, do very oft prove fools; and I, that am sure I lack thee, may pass for a wise man: for what says Quinapalus? Better a witty fool, than a foolish wit. T. N. i. 5.

I am not only witty in myself, but the cause that wit is in other men. H. IV. PT. II. i. 2.

L. L. ii. 1.

H. v. 1.

It is no matter, if I do halt; I have the wars for my colour, and my pension shall seem the more reasonable: A good wit will make use of any thing; I will turn diseases to commodity. H. IV. PT. II. i. 2.

By my troth, we that have good wits, have much to answer for; we shall be flouting; we cannot hold.

A. Y. v. 1.

M. A. v. 1.

Sir, your wit ambles well; it goes easily.

Dart thy skill at me;

Bruise me with scorn, confound me with a flout;
Thrust thy sharp wit quite through my ignorance;
Cut me to pieces with thy keen conceit.

Have you not set mine honour at the stake,
And baited it with all the unmuzzled thoughts
That tyrannous heart can think?

Lo, lo, lo, lo, what modicums of wit he utters !
O, she would laugh me
Out of myself, press me to death with wit.
He wants wit that wants resolved will.

L. L. v. 2.

You should then have accosted her; and with some excellent jest, fire-new from the mint, you should have banged the youth into dumbness. T. N. iii. 2.

T. N. iii. 1.

T. C. ii. 1.

He doth, indeed, show some sparks that are like wit.

M. A. iii. 1.

T. G. ii. 6.

M. A. ii. 3.


Good wits will be jangling; but, gentles, agree. L. L. ii. 1.

None are so surely caught when they are catch'd,
As wit turn'd fool: folly, in wisdom hatch'd,
Hath wisdom's warrant, and the help of school;
And wit's own grace to grace a learned fool.

Folly in fools bears not so strong a note,
As foolery in the wise when wit doth dote;
Since all the power thereof it doth apply,
To prove, by wit, worth in simplicity.

Are these the breed of wits so wondered at?

Thou hast pared thy wit o' both sides, and left the middle.

His wit is as thick as Tewkesbury mustard.

L. L. v. 2.

L. L. v. 2.

L. L. v. 2.

nothing in K. L. i. 4.

H. IV. PT. II. ii. 4.

Hector shall have a great catch, if he knock out either of your brains; 'a were as good crack a fusty nut with no kernel. T.C. ii. 1.

Are his wits safe? is he not light of brain?

0. iv. 1.

See now, how wit may be made a Jack-a-lent, when 'tis upon ill employment. M.W. v. 5. Well, better wits have worn plain statute caps. L. L. v. 2.

When a man's verses cannot be understood, nor a man's good wit seconded by the forward child, understanding, it strikes a man more dead than a great reckoning in a little A.Y. iii. 3. God help me! how long have you profess'd apprehension? M. A. iii. 4.


He'll but break a comparison or two on me; which, peradventure, not marked, or not laughed at, strikes him into melancholy; and then there's a partridge's wing saved, for the fool will eat no supper that night. M. A. ii. 1.


Nay, I shall ne'er be 'ware of mine own wit, till I break my shins against it. A. Y. ii. 4.


Where be your gibes now? your gambols? your songs? your flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table in a roar? Not one now to mock your own grinning? quite


chap-fallen? Now get you to my lady's chamber, and tell
her, let her paint an inch thick, to this favour she must
come; make her laugh at that.
H. v. 1.


Make the doors upon a woman's wit, and it will out at the casement; shut that, and 'twill out at the key-hole: stop that, 'twill fly with the smoke out at the chimney.

A. Y. iv. 1.

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Upon her wit doth earthly honour wait,
And virtue stoops and trembles at her frown.


This fellow pecks up wit, as pigeons, pease;
And utters it again when God doth please:
He is wit's pedlar; and retails his wares
At wakes, and wassails, meetings, markets, fairs;
And we that sell by the gross, the Lord doth know,
Have not the grace to grace it with such show.

Tit. And. ii. 1.

I conjure you, by that which you profess,
(Howe'er you come to know it,) answer me:
Though you untie the winds, and let them fight
Against the churches; though the yesty waves
Confound and swallow navigation up;

What are these,
So wither'd, and so wild in their attire,

That look not like the inhabitants o' the earth,
And yet are on't? Live you? or are you aught
That man may question? You seem to understand me,
By each at once her choppy finger laying
Upon her skinny lips :-You should be women,
And yet your beards forbid me to interpret
That you are so.

So to your pleasures; am for other than for dancing measures.

L. L. v. 2.

M. i. 3.

Though bladed corn be lodg'd, and trees blown down;
Though castles topple on their warder's heads;
Though palaces, and pyramids, do slope

Their heads to their foundations; though the treasure
Of nature's germins tumble altogether,
Ev'n till destruction sicken,-answer me
To what I ask.


M. iv. 1.

A. Y. v. 4.


O, what a sympathy of woe is this!
As far from help as limbo is from bliss!

Tit. And. iii. 1.


You are meek and humble mouth'd;
You sign your place, and calling, in full seeming,
With meekness and humility: but your heart
Is cramn'd with arrogancy, spleen, and pride.
You have, by fortune, and his highness' favours,
Gone slightly o'er low steps; and now are mounted,
Where powers are your retainers; and your words
(Domestics to you) serve your will, as't please
Yourself pronounce their office. I must tell you,
You tender more your person's honour, than
Your high profession spiritual.

H. VIII. ii. 4.

He was a man
Of an unbounded stomach, ever ranking
Himself with princes: one, that by suggestion
Tied all the kingdom: simony was fair play;
His own opinion was his law: I' the presence
He would say untruths; and be ever double,
Both in his words and meaning: He was never
(But where he meant to ruin) pitful:
His promises were, as he then was, mighty;
But his performance, as he is now, nothing.
Of his own body he was ill, and gave
The clergy ill example.

H.VIII. iv. 2.

This cardinal,

Though from an humble stock, undoubtedly
Was fashion'd to much honour. From his cradle
He was a scholar, and a ripe, and good one;
Exceeding wise, fair spoken, and persuading:
Lofty, and sour, to them that lov'd him not;
But, to those men that sought him, sweet as summer:
And though he were unsatisfied in getting,
(Which was a sin,) yet, in bestowing, Madam,
He was most princely. Ever witness for him
Those twins of learning, that he rais'd in you,
Ipswich, and Oxford: one of which fell with him,
Unwilling to outlive the good that did it.

The other, though unfinish'd, yet so famous,
So excellent in art, and still so rising,
That Christendom shall ever speak his virtue.
His overthrow heap'd happiness upon him;
For then, and not till then, he felt himself,
And found the blessedness of being little :


And, to add greater honours to his age
Than man could give him, he died,
Fearing God.


Ah me! how weak a thing
The heart of woman is!

When maidens sue

Men give like gods; but when they weep and kneel,
All their petitions are as freely theirs
As they themselves would have them.

We cannot fight for love, as men may do;
We should be woo'd, and were not made to woo.

O most delicate fiend!
Who is't can read a woman?

She's beautiful; and therefore to be woo'd:
She is a woman; therefore to be won.

H. VIII. iv. 2.

A woman mov'd, is like a fountain troubled,
Muddy, ill-seeming, thick, bereft of beauty;
And, while it so, none so dry or thirsty,
Will deign to dip or touch one drop of it.

J. C. ii. 4.

Women are not

A. C. iii. 10.

In their best fortunes, strong; but want will perjure
The ne'er touch'd vestal.,
These women are shrewd tempters with their tongues.
H.VI. PT. I. i. 2.

Cym. v. 5.

H.VI. PT. 1. v. 3.

Come on, come on: You are pictures out of doors,
Bells in your parlours, wild cats in your kitchens,
Saints in your injuries, devils being offended,
Players in your housewifery, and housewives in your beds.

O. ii. 1.

M. M. i. 5.

M. N. ii. 2.

Can my sides hold, to think, that man,-who knows
By history, report, or his own proof,
What woman is, yea, what she cannot choose
But must be,-will his free hours languish for
Assured bondage?

T. S. v. 2.

Cym. i. 7.

The bountiful blind woman [Fortune] doth most mistake in her gifts to women. For those that she makes fair, she scarce makes honest; and those that she makes honest, she makes very ill-favouredly. A. Y. i. 2.

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