Careful Words

measure (n.)

measure (v.)

measure (adv.)

  Equity is a roguish thing. For Law we have a measure, know what to trust to; Equity is according to the conscience of him that is Chancellor, and as that is larger or narrower, so is Equity. 'T is all one as if they should make the standard for the measure we call a "foot" a Chancellor's foot; what an uncertain measure would this be! One Chancellor has a long foot, another a short foot, a third an indifferent foot. 'T is the same thing in the Chancellor's conscience.

John Selden (1584-1654): Table Talk. Equity.

To a close-shorn sheep God gives wind by measure.

George Herbert (1593-1632): Jacula Prudentum.

  It has been observed that the height of a man from the crown of the head to the sole of the foot is equal to the distance between the tips of the middle fingers of the two hands when extended in a straight line.

Pliny The Elder (23-79 a d): Natural History. Book vii. Sect. 77.

  The measure of a man's life is the well spending of it, and not the length.

Plutarch (46(?)-120(?) a d): Consolation to Apollonius.

Taking the measure of an unmade grave.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): Romeo and Juliet. Act iii. Sc. 3.

  Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am.

Old Testament: Psalm xxxix. 4.

Come not within the measure of my wrath.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Act v. Sc. 4.

Often have I sighed to measure

By myself a lonely pleasure,—

Sighed to think I read a book,

Only read, perhaps, by me.

William Wordsworth (1770-1850): To the Small Celandine.

They have measured many a mile

To tread a measure with you on this grass.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): Love's Labour's Lost. Act v. Sc. 2.