Careful Words

leave (n.)

leave (v.)

Awake, my St. John! leave all meaner things

To low ambition and the pride of kings.

Let us (since life can little more supply

Than just to look about us, and to die)

Expatiate free o'er all this scene of man;

A mighty maze! but not without a plan.

Alexander Pope (1688-1744): Essay on Man. Epistle i. Line 1.

Leave her to heaven

And to those thorns that in her bosom lodge,

To prick and sting her.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 5.

  I leave my character behind me.

Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751-1816): School for Scandal. Act ii. Sc. 2.

  Leave no stone unturned.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors,

As I foretold you, were all spirits, and

Are melted into air, into thin air:

And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,

The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces,

The solemn temples, the great globe itself,

Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,

And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,

Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff

As dreams are made on; and our little life

Is rounded with a sleep.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): The Tempest. Act iv. Sc. 1.

Now fitted the halter, now traversed the cart,

And often took leave, but was loth to depart.

Matthew Prior (1664-1721): The Thief and the Cordelier.

Must I thus leave thee, Paradise?—thus leave

Thee, native soil, these happy walks and shades?

John Milton (1608-1674): Paradise Lost. Book xi. Line 269.

Losers must have leave to speak.

Colley Cibber (1671-1757): The Rival Fools. Act i.

And all to leave what with his toil he won

To that unfeather'd two-legged thing, a son.

John Dryden (1631-1701): Absalom and Achitophel. Part i. Line 169.