Shakespearean quotes for wedding ceremonies (and just because)

“Love sought is good, but given unsought is better.”

“O it is excellent to have a giant’s strength; but it is tyrannous to use it like a giant.”

“The quality of mercy is not strained; it droppeth, as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath: it is twice blessed; it blesseth him that gives, and him that takes.”

“The better part of valor-discretion.”

“Oh, be my friend, and teach me to be thine!”

“A friend should bear a friend’s infirmities.”

“What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason! how infinite in faculties! in form and moving, how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension, how like a God.”

“Assume a virtue, if you have it not.”

“Happy are they that hear their detractions, and can put them to mending.”

“Heaven has no rage like a love turned to hatred, nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.”

“There are bonds of all sorts in this world of ours–fetters of friendship and ties of flowers and true-lovers’ knots I ween; the girl and they boy are bound by a kiss, but there’s never a bond, old friend like this, we have drunk from the same canteen.”

And some more by others….

Voltaire (1694-1778): “Sensual pleasure passes and vanishes in the twinkling of an eye, but the friendship between us, the mutual confidence, the delights of the heart, the enchantment of the soul…these things do not perish and can never be destroyed.  I shall love you until I die.”

Francis Quarles (1592-1644): “Be wisely worldly, but not worldly wise.”

Matthew Prior (1664-1721): “Be to her virtues very kind; be to her faults very blind.”

Edward Everett: “Home is the resort of love, of joy, of peace and plenty where, supporting and supported, polish’d friends and dear relations mingle into bliss.”

Robert Dodsley (1703-1764): “One kind kiss before we part, drop a tear and bid adieu; though we sever, my fond heart till we meet shall pant for you.”

Thomas A Kempis (1380-1471): “Man proposes, but God disposes.”

Chaucer (1625): “Give every man thin ear, but few thy voice; take each man’s censure, but reserve thy judgment.”

Dryden: “A thing of beauty is a joy forever: its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness; but still will keep a bower quiet for us, and a sleep full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.”

Crabbe: “Dreams, books, are each a world; and books, we know, are a substantial world both pure and good; round these, with tendrils strong as flesh and blood our pastime and our happiness will grow.”

Robert Louis Stevenson: “How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world.”

Joseph Rodman Drake: “He is the freeman whom truth makes free.”

Addison: “Two friends, two bodies with one soul inspir’d.”

Cowper: “Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge the wing wherewith we fly to heaven.”

Thomson: “Absence of occupation is not rest–a mind quite vacant is a mind distress’d.”

Milton: “Some feelings are to mortals given with less of earth in them than heaven.”

Milton: “When liberty is gone life grows insipid and has lost its relish.”

Pope: “The child is the father of the man.”

Pope: “They who forgive most shall be most forgiven.”

Pope: “Whoe’er excels in what we prize appears a hero in our eyes.”

Byron: “True fortitude is seen in great exploits that justice warrants and wisdom guides; all else is tow’ring frenzy and distraction.”

Wordsworth: “Children are the key to paradise.  They alone are good and wise, because their thoughts, their very lives, are prayers.”

Rudyard Kipling: “Good nature and good reason must ever join; to err is human, to forgive divine.”

Nathaniel Hawthorne: “Tradition–which sometimes brings down truth that history has let slip, but is oftener the wild babble of the time…”

From The Happy Marriage: “Time still, as he flies, adds increase to her truth.  And gives to her mind what he steals from her youth.”

“Good, the more communicated, more abundantly grows.”

“For pity melts the mind to love.”

” ‘ Tis Divinity that stirs within us; ‘Tis Heaven itself that points out a hereafter and intimates Eternity to man.”

“The best portion of a good man’s life — his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.  That blessed mood, in which the burden of the mystery in which the heavy and the weary weight of all this unintelligible world is lightened.”

“Love.  All thoughts, all passions, all delights. Whatever stirs this mortal frame, all are but ministers of love, and feeds his sacred flame.”

“True love’s the gift which God has given to man alone beneath the heaven.  It is the secret sympathy, the silver link, the silken tie, which heart to heart and mind to mind in body and in soul can bind.”

“He did make of necessity virtue.”

“Dost though love life, then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.”

“Loveliness needs not the foreign aid of ornament, but is when unadorn’d, adorn’d the most.”

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