Careful Words

excuse (n.)

excuse (v.)

And oftentimes excusing of a fault

Doth make the fault the worse by the excuse.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): King John. Act iv. Sc. 2.

If eyes were made for seeing,

Then Beauty is its own excuse for being.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882): The Rhodora.

Here's to the maiden of bashful fifteen;

Here's to the widow of fifty;

Here's to the flaunting, extravagant quean,

And here's to the housewife that's thrifty!

Let the toast pass;

Drink to the lass;

I 'll warrant she 'll prove an excuse for the glass.

Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751-1816): School for Scandal. Act iii. Sc. 3.

  I am in earnest. I will not equivocate; I will not excuse; I will not retreat a single inch; and I will be heard!

William Lloyd Garrison (1804-1879): Salutatory of the Liberator, Jan. 1, 1831.

In her face excuse

Came prologue, and apology too prompt.

John Milton (1608-1674): Paradise Lost. Book ix. Line 853.