Careful Words

discourse (n.)

discourse (v.)

Bid me discourse, I will enchant thine ear.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): Venus and Adonis. Line 145.

  Good company and good discourse are the very sinews of virtue.

Izaak Walton (1593-1683): The Complete Angler. Part i. Chap. ii.

A kind

Of excellent dumb discourse.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): The Tempest. Act iii. Sc. 3.

  Themistocles said that a man's discourse was like to a rich Persian carpet, the beautiful figures and patterns of which can be shown only by spreading and extending it out; when it is contracted and folded up, they are obscured and lost.

Plutarch (46(?)-120(?) a d): Life of Themistocles.

In discourse more sweet;

For eloquence the soul, song charms the sense.

Others apart sat on a hill retir'd,

In thoughts more elevate, and reason'd high

Of providence, foreknowledge, will, and fate,

Fix'd fate, free-will, foreknowledge absolute;

And found no end, in wand'ring mazes lost.

John Milton (1608-1674): Paradise Lost. Book ii. Line 555.

It will discourse most eloquent music.

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

A beast, that wants discourse of reason.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 2.

  Miss not the discourse of the elders.

Old Testament: Ecclesiasticus viii. 9.

Sure, he that made us with such large discourse,

Looking before and after, gave us not

That capability and godlike reason

To fust in us unused.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): Hamlet. Act iv. Sc. 4.

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.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): Love's Labour's Lost. Act ii. Sc. 1.

Sydneian showers

Of sweet discourse, whose powers

Can crown old Winter's head with flowers.

Richard Crashaw (Circa 1616-1650): Wishes to his Supposed Mistress.

Discourse, the sweeter banquet of the mind.

Alexander Pope (1688-1744): The Odyssey of Homer. Book xv. Line 433.

Shakespeare is not our poet, but the world's,—

Therefore on him no speech! And brief for thee,

Browning! Since Chaucer was alive and hale,

No man hath walk'd along our roads with steps

So active, so inquiring eye, or tongue

So varied in discourse.

Walter Savage Landor (1775-1864): To Robert Browning.