Literary Quotations
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THE MAYOR OF ZALAMEA

by: Pedro Calderon de la Barca


I can't call a woman a woman unless she's clean about the hands and fetlocks, and otherwise well appointed--a lady in short.

Captain

Better stumble on a pebble than run your head against a post.

Nuño

If a pretty woman only knew how anger improved her beauty! Her complexion needs no other paint than indignation.

Don Mendo

Preach not to a beggar till
The beggar's empty hide you fill.

Juan

Upon thy life now dost think there's a soul who doesn't know that I'm no gentleman at all, but just a plain farmer? What's the use of my buying a patent of Gentility, if I can't buy the gentle blood along with it! Will anyone think me a bit more of a gentleman for buying fifty patents? Not a whit; I should only prove I was worth so many thousand royals, not that I had gentle blood in my veins, which can't be bought at any price. If a fellow's been bald ever so long, and buys him a fine wig, and claps it on; will his neighbours think it is his own hair a bit the more? No, they will say, "So and so has a fine wig; and, what's more, he must have paid handsomely for it too." But they know his bald pate is safe under it all the while. That's all he gets by it.

Crespo

It is my principle to swear with the swearer, and pray with the saint; all things to all men.

Crespo

'Tis not the price of the gift, but the good will of the giver makes its value.

Don Lope

How many have done away with the memory of a defect by carrying themselves modestly; while others again have gotten a blemish only by being too proud of being born without one.

Crespo

Be courteous in thy manner, and liberal of thy purse; for 'tis the hand to the bonnet and in the pocket that makes friends in this world; of which to gain one good, all the gold the sun breeds in India, or the universal sea sucks down, were a cheap purchase.

Crespo

Speak no evil of women; I tell thee the meanest of them deserves respect; for of women do we not all come?

Crespo

Oh, fleeting morning star, mightest thou never yield to the dawn that even now presses on thy azure skirts! And thou, great Orb of all, do thou stay down in the cold ocean foam; let night for once advance her trembling empire into thine!

Isabel

'Tis the horse redeems the saddle.

Crespo