Careful Words

state (n.)

state (v.)

state (adv.)

state (adj.)

An old man, broken with the storms of state,

Is come to lay his weary bones among ye:

Give him a little earth for charity!

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

The expectancy and rose of the fair state,

The glass of fashion and the mould of form,

The observed of all observers!

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 1.

A brave man struggling in the storms of fate,

And greatly falling with a falling state.

While Cato gives his little senate laws,

What bosom beats not in his country's cause?

Alexander Pope (1688-1744): Prologue to Mr. Addison's Cato.

  A star for every State, and a State for every star.

Robert C Winthrop (1809-1894): Address on Boston Common in 1862.

To make a bank was a great plot of state;

Invent a shovel, and be a magistrate.

Andrew Marvell (1620-1678): The Character of Holland.

Hides from himself his state, and shuns to know

That life protracted is protracted woe.

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784): Vanity of Human Wishes. Line 257.

In the most high and palmy state of Rome,

A little ere the mightiest Julius fell,

The graves stood tenantless, and the sheeted dead

Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 1.

High on a throne of royal state, which far

Outshone the wealth of Ormus and of Ind,

Or where the gorgeous East with richest hand

Showers on her kings barbaric pearl and gold,

Satan exalted sat, by merit rais'd

To that bad eminence.

John Milton (1608-1674): Paradise Lost. Book ii. Line 1.

  I am the state.

There was a Brutus once that would have brook'd

The eternal devil to keep his state in Rome

As easily as a king.

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

In sober state,

Through the sequestered vale of rural life,

The venerable patriarch guileless held

The tenor of his way.

Beilby Porteus (1731-1808): Death. Line 108.

  I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

New Testament: Philippians iv. 11.

  Every man at his best state is altogether vanity.

Old Testament: Psalm xxxix. 5.

As aromatic plants bestow

No spicy fragrance while they grow;

But crush'd or trodden to the ground,

Diffuse their balmy sweets around.

Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774): The Captivity. Act i.

Ruin seize thee, ruthless king!

Confusion on thy banners wait!

Though fann'd by Conquest's crimson wing,

They mock the air with idle state.

Thomas Gray (1716-1771): The Bard. I. 1, Line 1.

My business in this state

Made me a looker on here in Vienna.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): Measure for Measure. Act v. Sc. 1.

  To do my duty in that state of life unto which it shall please God to call me.

Book Of Common Prayer: Catechism.

Between the acting of a dreadful thing

And the first motion, all the interim is

Like a phantasma, or a hideous dream:

The Genius and the mortal instruments

Are then in council; and the state of man,

Like to a little kingdom, suffers then

The nature of an insurrection.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): Julius Caesar. Act ii. Sc. 1.

Farewell! a long farewell, to all my greatness!

This is the state of man: to-day he puts forth

The tender leaves of hopes; to-morrow blossoms,

And bears his blushing honours thick upon him;

The third day comes a frost, a killing frost,

And when he thinks, good easy man, full surely

His greatness is a-ripening, nips his root,

And then he falls, as I do. I have ventured,

Like little wanton boys that swim on bladders,

This many summers in a sea of glory,

But far beyond my depth: my high-blown pride

At length broke under me and now has left me,

Weary and old with service, to the mercy

Of a rude stream, that must forever hide me.

Vain pomp and glory of this world, I hate ye:

I feel my heart new opened. O, how wretched

Is that poor man that hangs on princes' favours!

There is betwixt that smile we would aspire to,

That sweet aspect of princes, and their ruin,

More pangs and fears than wars or women have:

And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer,

Never to hope again.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): King Henry VIII. Act iii. Sc. 2.

  "War," says Machiavel, "ought to be the only study of a prince;" and by a prince he means every sort of state, however constituted. "He ought," says this great political doctor, "to consider peace only as a breathing-time, which gives him leisure to contrive, and furnishes ability to execute military plans." A meditation on the conduct of political societies made old Hobbes imagine that war was the state of nature.

Edmund Burke (1729-1797): A Vindication of Natural Society. Vol. i. p. 15.

Hobbes clearly proves that every creature

Lives in a state of war by nature.

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745): Poetry, a Rhapsody.

With grave

Aspect he rose, and in his rising seem'd

A pillar of state; deep on his front engraven

Deliberation sat, and public care;

And princely counsel in his face yet shone,

Majestic though in ruin: sage he stood,

With Atlantean shoulders, fit to bear

The weight of mightiest monarchies; his look

Drew audience and attention still as night

Or summer's noontide air.

John Milton (1608-1674): Paradise Lost. Book ii. Line 300.

Resolv'd to ruin or to rule the state.

John Dryden (1631-1701): Absalom and Achitophel. Part i. Line 174.

Sail on, O Ship of State!

Sail on, O Union, strong and great!

Humanity with all its fears,

With all the hopes of future years,

Is hanging breathless on thy fate!

Henry W Longfellow (1807-1882): The Building of the Ship.

For greatest scandal waits on greatest state.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): Lucrece. Line 1006.

I have done the state some service, and they know 't.

No more of that. I pray you, in your letters,

When you shall these unlucky deeds relate,

Speak of me as I am; nothing extenuate,

Nor set down aught in malice. Then, must you speak

Of one that loved not wisely but too well;

Of one not easily jealous, but being wrought

Perplex'd in the extreme; of one whose hand,

Like the base Indian, threw a pearl away

Richer than all his tribe; of one whose subdued eyes,

Albeit unused to the melting mood,

Drop tears as fast as the Arabian trees

Their medicinal gum.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): Othello. Act v. Sc. 2.

But in the gross and scope of my opinion,

This bodes some strange eruption to our state.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 1.

  A star for every State, and a State for every star.

Robert C Winthrop (1809-1894): Address on Boston Common in 1862.

The expectancy and rose of the fair state,

The glass of fashion and the mould of form,

The observed of all observers!

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 1.

A thousand years scarce serve to form a state:

An hour may lay it in the dust.

Lord Byron 1788-1824: Childe Harold's Pilgrimage. Canto ii. Stanza 84.

What constitutes a state?

 .   .   .   .   .   .   .

Men who their duties know,

But know their rights, and knowing, dare maintain.

 .   .   .   .   .   .   .

And sovereign law, that state's collected will,

O'er thrones and globes elate,

Sits empress, crowning good, repressing ill.

Sir William Jones (1746-1794): Ode in Imitation of Alcaeus.

Where Venice sate in state, throned on her hundred isles.

Lord Byron 1788-1824: Childe Harold's Pilgrimage. Canto iv. Stanza 1.

  There was a state without king or nobles; there was a church without a bishop; there was a people governed by grave magistrates which it had selected, and by equal laws which it had framed.

Rufus Choate (1799-1859): Speech before the New England Society, Dec. 22, 1843.

  Boston State-house is the hub of the solar system. You could n't pry that out of a Boston man if you had the tire of all creation straightened out for a crow-bar.

Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894): The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table. vi.