- He mouths a sentence as curs mouth a bone.
- The Rosciad (1761), line 322.
- But, spite of all the criticising elves,
Those who would make us feel—must feel themselves.
- The Rosciad (1761), line 961. Compare: "Si vis me flere, dolendum est/ Primum ipsi tibi" (translated as "If you wish me to weep, you yourself must first feel grief"), Horace, Ars Poetica, v. 102.
- Who to patch up his fame, or fill his purse,
Still pilfers wretched plans, and makes them worse;
Like gypsies, lest the stolen brat be known,
Defacing first, then claiming for his own.
- Apology addressed to the Critical Reviewers (1761), line 232. Compare: "Steal! to be sure they may; and, egad, serve your best thoughts as gypsies do stolen children,—disguise them to make 'em pass for their own", Richard Brinsley Sheridan, The Critic, act i. sc. i.
- No statesman e'er will find it worth his pains
To tax our labours and excise our brains.
- Night, an Epistle to Robert Lloyd (1761), line 271.
- Apt alliteration's artful aid.
- The Prophecy of Famine: A Scots Pastoral (1763), line 86.
- There webs were spread of more than common size,
And half-starved spiders prey’d on half-starved flies.
- The Prophecy of Famine: A Scots Pastoral (1763), line 327.
- With curious art the brain, too finely wrought,
Preys on herself, and is destroyed by thought.
- Epistle to William Hogarth (July 1763), line 645.
- Amongst the sons of men how few are known
Who dare be just to merit not their own?
- Epistle to William Hogarth (July 1763).
- Men the most infamous are fond of fame,
And those who fear not guilt yet start at shame.
- The Author (1763), line 233.
- Be England what she will,
With all her faults she is my country still.
- The Farewell (1764), line 27. Compare: "England, with all thy faults I love thee still, My country!", William Cowper, The Task, book ii. The Timepiece, line 206.
- Wherever waves can roll, and winds can blow.
- The Farewell (1764), line 38. Compare: "Far as the breeze can bear, the billows foam", Lord Byron, The Corsair, canto i. stanza 1.
The Ghost (1763)Edit
- Just to the windward of the law.
- As the law does think fit
No butchers shall on juries sit.
- Within the brain's most secret cells
A certain Lord Chief Justice dwells
Of sovereign power, whom one and all
With common voice, we Reason call.
- Why should we fear; and what? The laws?
They all are armed in virtue's cause;
And aiming at the self-same end,
Satire is always virtue's friend.
- A joke's a very serious thing.