cowards die many times before their death

cowards die many times before their death
The popular form is a misquotation of Shakespeare (see quot. 1599) Cf. 1596 DRAYTON Mortimeriados S1 Every houre he dyes, which ever feares.

1599 SHAKESPEARE Julius Caesar II. ii. 32 Cowards die many times before their deaths: The valiant never taste of death but once.

1800 M. EDGEWORTH Castle Rackrent p. xliv. In Ireland, not only cowards, but the brave ‘die many times before their death.’

1927 Sphere 3 Dec. 414 It is true that cowards die many times before their death, and Noel Coward will come back again and again, and..win his niche among the great dramatists.


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