It was prettily devised of Aesop,'The fly sat upon the axletree of the
chariot-wheel and said, what a dust do I raise.' Francis,Viscount St Albans Bacon Essays, no.54,'Of Vain-Glory'.
The days of our years arethreescore years and ten;
and if by reasonof
strengththey be fourscore years, yet istheir strength labour and
sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. Bible (Old Testament) Psalms 90:10.
For, those that fly, may fight again, Which he can never
do that's slain. Samuel Butler Hudibras, pt.3, canto 3, l.243^4.
Loving your neighbour as much as yourself is practically bloody impossible
You might as well have a commandment that
states,'Thou shalt fly'. John Cleese In The Times.
He was an unzipped fly caught in forever amber. Richard Condon The Ecstasy Business, ch.1.
throw myself down in my Chamber, and I call in, and invite God, and his
Angels thither, and when they are there, I neglect
God and his Angels, for the noise of a fly, for the rattling of
a coach, for the whining of a door. John Donne Sermon preached at the funeral of Sir William
Cockayne, 12 Dec.
But as to risings, I can tell you why. It is on
contradiction that they grow. It seemed the best
thing to be up and go. Up was the
heartening and the strong reply. The heart of
standing is we cannot fly. Sir William Empson 'Aubade'.
Methinks I hear in accents low The sportive kind
reply: Poor moralist! and
what art thou? A solitary fly! Thomas Gray Ode on the Spring, l.41^4.
When one has had all his conceit taken out of him, when he has lost all his
illusions, his feathers will soon soak through, and he
will fly no more. Oliver Wendell Holmes ^8 The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table, ch.1.
Onemust go after themodelling like a flycrawling overa piece of paper. Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres Attributed
aphorism. Quoted in P Vale ry Degas, Danse, Dessin (1938).
fly, Sir, may sting a stately horse and make him wince; but one is but an
insect, and the other is a horse still. Samuel known as Dr Johnson Johnson Of Edwards's criticism of Thomas Warburton. Quoted
in James Boswell The
Life of Samuel Johnson (1791), vol.1.
sportsman is a man who, every now and then, simply has to go out and
kill something. Not that he's cruel. He wouldn't hurt a
fly. It's not big enough. Stephen Butler Leacock My Remarkable Uncle.
God in His wisdom made the fly And then forgot to
tell us why. (Frederic) Ogden Nash Good Intentions,'The Fly'.
All winter long, I am one for whom
the bell is tolling; I can arouse no
interest in basketball, Indoor fly casting
or bowling; The sports pages
are strictly no soap! And until the cry
Play Ball! I simply mope. (Frederic) Ogden Nash Quoted in Colin Jarman The Guinness Dictionary of
Sports Quotations (1990).
'I'll not hurt thee,'says my uncleToby, rising from his chair, and going
across the room, with the fly in his hand, 'I'll not hurt a
hair of thy head:Go,'says he, lifting up the sash, and
opening his hand as he spoke, to let it escape;'go, poor
devil, get thee gone, why should I hurt thee?This
world surely is wide enough to hold both thee and me.' Laurence Sterne ^67 Tristram Shandy, bk.2, ch.12.
Was ist dein Ziel in der Philosophie?'Der Fliege den Ausweg aus dem
Fliegenglas zeigen'. What is your aim in
philosophy?To show the fly the way out of the
fly-bottle. LudwigJosef Johann Wittgenstein Philosophische Untersuchungen (Philosophical Investigations),
section 309 (translated by G E M Anscombe).
Our master Caesar is in the tent Where the maps are
spread, His eyes fixed upon
nothing, A hand under his
head. 934 Like a long-legged
fly upon the stream His mind moves upon
silence. W(illiam) B(utler) Yeats 'Long-Legged Fly', l.5^10. Collected in Last Poems