Once you are dancing with the devil, the prettiest capers won't help you.
(E.T.A.W. (Ernst Theodor Amadeus Wilhelm) Hoffmann (1776-1822), German author, composer. "Princess Brambilla," Three Märchen of Ernst Theodor Wilhelm Hoffmann, p. 122, ed. and trans. by Charles E. Passage, University of South Carolina Press (1971).
Hoffmann, as narrator, about his central figure, the vain tragedian Giglio Fava, as prisoner of love's devilishly seductive power.)
At the extreme north, the voyagers are obliged to dance and act plays for employment.
(Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Chesuncook" (1858) in The Maine Woods (1864), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 3, p. 172, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
Thoreau uses the term "employment" in the sense of "in order to have something to do.")
They teach the morals of a whore, and the manners of a dancing master.
(Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson, 1754 entry (1791).
Referring to Lord Chesterfield's Letters to His Son. Of ChesterfieldJohnson's erratic patronhe remarked, "This man I thought had been a Lord among wits; but, I find, he is only a wit among Lords.")
How inimitably graceful children are in general before they learn to dance!
(Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), British poet, critic. repr. In Collected Works, vol. 14, ed. Kathleen Coburn (1990). Table Talk, "1 Jan. 1832," Specimens of the Table Talk of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, ed. Henry Nelson Coleridge (1835).)