Careful Words

base (n.)

base (v.)

base (adj.)

  Almost in every kingdom the most ancient families have been at first princes' bastards; their worthiest captains, best wits, greatest scholars, bravest spirits in all our annals, have been base [born].

Robert Burton (1576-1640): Anatomy of Melancholy. Part ii. Sect. 2, Memb. 2.

Tully was not so eloquent as thou,

Thou nameless column with the buried base.

Lord Byron 1788-1824: Childe Harold's Pilgrimage. Canto iv. Stanza 110.

Come one, come all! this rock shall fly

From its firm base as soon as I.

Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832): Lady of the Lake. Canto v. Stanza 10.

This laurel greener from the brows

Of him that utter'd nothing base.

Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892): To the Queen.

O base Hungarian wight! wilt thou the spigot wield?

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): The Merry Wives of Windsor. Act i. Sc. 3.

Is base in kind, and born to be a slave.

William Cowper (1731-1800): Table Talk. Line 28.

Base is the slave that pays.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): King Henry V. Act ii. Sc. 1.

  To what base uses we may return, Horatio! Why may not imagination trace the noble dust of Alexander, till we find it stopping a bung-hole?

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): Hamlet. Act v. Sc. 1.

Who is here so base that would be a bondman?

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): Julius Caesar. Act iii. Sc. 2.

A foutre for the world and worldlings base!

I speak of Africa and golden joys.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): King Henry IV. Part II. Act v. Sc. 3.