Careful Words

naught (n.)

naught (adj.)

Think naught a trifle, though it small appear;

Small sands the mountain, moments make the year,

And trifles life.

Edward Young (1684-1765): Love of Fame. Satire vi. Line 208.

At the close of the day when the hamlet is still,

And mortals the sweets of forgetfulness prove,

When naught but the torrent is heard on the hill,

And naught but the nightingale's song in the grove.

James Beattie (1735-1803): The Hermit.

I care not, Fortune, what you me deny:

You cannot rob me of free Nature's grace,

You cannot shut the windows of the sky

Through which Aurora shows her brightening face;

You cannot bar my constant feet to trace

The woods and lawns, by living stream, at eve:

Let health my nerves and finer fibres brace,

And I their toys to the great children leave:

Of fancy, reason, virtue, naught can me bereave.

James Thomson (1700-1748): The Castle of Indolence. Canto ii. Stanza 3.

It must be so,—Plato, thou reasonest well!

Else whence this pleasing hope, this fond desire,

This longing after immortality?

Or whence this secret dread and inward horror

Of falling into naught? Why shrinks the soul

Back on herself, and startles at destruction?

'T is the divinity that stirs within us;

'T is Heaven itself that points out an hereafter,

And intimates eternity to man.

Eternity! thou pleasing, dreadful thought!

Joseph Addison (1672-1719): Cato. Act v. Sc. 1.

There's naught in this life sweet,

If man were wise to see 't,

But only melancholy;

O sweetest Melancholy!

John Fletcher (1576-1625): The Nice Valour. Act iii. Sc. 3.

Nose, nose, nose, nose!

And who gave thee that jolly red nose?

Sinament and Ginger, Nutmegs and Cloves,

And that gave me my jolly red nose.

Ravenscroft: Deuteromela, Song No. 7. (1609.)

  It is naught, it is naught, saith the buyer; but when he is gone his way, then he boasteth.

Old Testament: Proverbs xx. 14.

Naught venture naught have.

Thomas Tusser (Circa 1515-1580): Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry. October's Abstract.

Have you not heard it said full oft,

A woman's nay doth stand for naught?

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): The Passionate Pilgrim. xiv.