Luminarium: Anthology of English Literature Rose of King Charles II John Dryden

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John Dryden Quotes  Portrait of Dryden

Great wits are sure to madness near allied,
And thin partitions do their bounds divide.
                    Absalom and Achitophel. Part I. Line 163.

Resolv'd to ruin or to rule the state.
                    Absalom and Achitophel. Part I. Line 174.

All empire is no more than power in trust.
                    Absalom and Achitophel. Part I. Line 411.

Self-defence is Nature's eldest law.
                    Absalom and Achitophel. Part I. Line 458.

But far more numerous was the herd of such,
Who think too little, and who talk too much.
                    Absalom and Achitophel. Part I. Line 533-4.

A man so various, that he seem'd to be
Not one, but all mankind's epitome.
                    Absalom and Achitophel. Part I. Line 545.

Nor is the people's judgment always true:
The most may err as grossly as the few.
                    Absalom and Achitophel. Part I. Line 781-2.

Beware the fury of a patient man.
                    Absalom and Achitophel. Part I. Line 1005.

For every inch that is not fool is rogue.
                    Absalom and Achitophel. Part II. Line 463.

For truth has such a face and such a mien,
As to be lov'd needs only to be seen.
                    The Hind and the Panther. Part I. Line 33.

Kind as kings upon their coronation day.
                    The Hind and the Panther. Part I. Line 271.

Either be wholly slaves, or wholly free.
                    The Hind and the Panther. Part II. Line 285.

Jealousy, the jaundice of the soul.
                    The Hind and the Panther. Part III. Line 73.

Slow to resolve, but in performance quick.
                    The Hind and the Panther. Part III. Line 921.

All human things are subject to decay,
And when Fate summons, monarchs must obey.
                    Mac Flecknoe. Line 1-2.

Shadwell never deviates into sense.
                    Mac Flecknoe. Line 20.

And torture one poor word ten thousand ways.
                    Britannia Rediviva. Line 208.

All heiresses are beautiful.
                    King Arthur, Act I.

All below is strength, and all above is grace.
                    Epistle to Congreve. Line 19.

Genius must be born, and never can be taught.
                    Epistle to Congreve. Line 60.

Better shun the bait than struggle in the snare.
                    Epistle to John Dryden of Chesterton. Line 33.

Better to hunt in fields for health unbought
Than fee the doctor for a nauseous draught.
The wise for cure on exercise depend;
God never made his work for man to mend.
                    Epistle to John Dryden of Chesterton. Line 92.

So softly death succeeded life in her,
She did but dream of heaven, and she was there.
                    Eleonora, Line 315.

They who write ill, and they who ne'er durst write,
Turn critics out of mere revenge and spite.
                    The Conquest of Granada, Part II. Prologue.

All objects lose by too familiar view.
                    The Conquest of Granada, Part II. Act II, sc. i.

Love's the noblest frailty of the mind.
                    The Indian Emperor, Act II, sc. ii.

None but the brave deserves the fair.
                    Alexander's Feast. Line 15.

Sweet is pleasure after pain.
                    Alexander's Feast. Line 58.

Pity melts the mind to love.
                    Alexander's Feast. Line 96.

War, he sung, is toil and trouble;
Honour but an empty bubble;
Never ending, still beginning,
Fighting still, and still destroying.
If all the world be worth the winning,
Think, oh think it worth enjoying.
                    Alexander's Feast. Line 97.

A very merry, dancing, drinking,
Laughing, quaffing, and unthinking time.
                    The Secular Masque. Line 40.

Love is not in our choice, but in our fate.
                    Palamon and Arcite. Book I. Line 328.

Kings fight for kingdoms, madmen for applause.
                    Palamon and Arcite. Book II. Line 322.

Love's a malady without a cure.
                    Palamon and Arcite. Book II. Line 720.

Love endures no tie,
And Jove but laughs at lovers' perjury.
                    Palamon and Arcite. Book II. Line 758.

Love is love's reward.
                    Palamon and Arcite. Book II. Line 983.

Since every man who lives is born to die,
And none can boast sincere felicity,
With equal mind, what happens, let us bear,
Nor joy, nor grieve too much for things beyond our care.
                    Palamon and Arcite. Book III. Line 883-6.

Ill fortune seldom comes alone.
                    Cymon and Iphigenia. Line 392.

Love never fails to master what he finds,
But works a different way in different minds,
The fool enlightens, and the wise he blinds.
                    Cymon and Iphigenia. Line 466.

Love reckons hours for months, and days for years;
And every little absence is an age.
                    Amphitryon. Act III, Sc. i.

I never saw any good that came of telling truth.
                    Amphitryon. Act III, Sc. i.

The conscience of a people is their power.
                    The Duke of Guise. Act I, Sc. i.

Art may err, but Nature cannot miss.
                    The Cock and the Fox. Line 452.

Art makes mighty things from small beginnings grow.
                    Annus Mirabilis. CLV.

None are so busy as the fool and knave.
                    The Medal. Line 186.

Happy the man, and happy he alone,
He who can call today his own;
He who, secure within, can say,
'Tomorrow, do thy worst, for I have liv'd today.'
                    Imitation of Horace. Book III. Ode 29, Line 65.

Virtue, though in rags, will keep me warm.
                    Imitation of Horace. Book III. Ode 29, Line 87.

Look round the habitable world: how few
Know their own good, or knowing it, pursue.
                    Juvenal. Satire X.

We must beat the iron while it is hot,
but we may polish it at leisure.
                    Dedication to the Aeneid.

They can conquer, who believe they can.
                    Virgil's Aeneid, Bk. 5. Line 300.

Errors, like straws, upon the surface flow;
He who would search for pearls must dive below.
                    All for Love. Prologue.

Men are but children of a larger growth.
                    All for Love. Act IV, Sc. i.

Shakespeare's magic could not copied be;
Within that circle none durst walk but he.
                    The Tempest. Prologue.

Death in itself is nothing; but we fear
To be we know not what, we know not where.
                    Aurengzebe. Act IV, Sc. 1.

Dancing; The Poetry of the Foot.
                    The Rival Ladies. Act III, sc. i.

All delays are dangerous in war.
                    Tyrannic Love. Act I, Sc. i.

Pains of love be sweeter far
Than all other pleasures are.
                    Tyrannic Love. Act IV, Sc. i.

There is a pleasure sure
In being mad which none but madmen know.
                    The Spanish Friar. Act II, Sc. i.

Second thoughts, they say, are best.
                    The Spanish Friar. Act II, Sc. ii.

Ill news is wing'd with fate, and flies apace.
                    Threnodia Augustalis. Line 49.

Ill writers are usually the sharpest censors.
                    Dedication to Translations from
                    Ovid's Metamorphoses

Learn to write well or not to write at all.
                    An Essay Upon Satire. Line 281.

A thing well said will be wit in all languages.
                    An Essay of Dramatic Poesy.


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