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SIR HENRY WOTTON
English poet and diplomat
(1568 - 1639)

An ambassador is an honest man sent to lie abroad for the commonwealth.
  [Lat., Legatus est vir bonus peregre missus ad mentiendem rei publicae causae.]
      - in the autograph album of Christopher Fleckamore (1604)
        [Statesmanship]

An itch of disputing will prove the scab of churches.
      - [Churches]

Broadway is a place where people spend money they haven't earned to buy things they don't need to impress people they don't like.
      - [Money : Theatre]

Idle time not idly spent.
      - [Angling]

Now all nature seemed in love, and birds had drawn their valentines.
      - [Valentine's Day]

Tell the truth, and so puzzle and confound your adversaries.
      - advice to a young diplomat [Statesmanship]

'Tis an employment for my idle time, which is then not idly spent; a rest to my mind, a cheerer of my spirits, a diverter of sadness, a calmer of unquiet thoughts, a moderator of passions, a procurer of contentedness.
      - in Izaak Walton's "The Compleat Angler", ch. I
        [Fishing]

The itch of disputing is the scab of the churches.
  [Lat., Disputandi pruritus ecclesiarum scabies.]
      - A Panegyric to King Charles (inscribed on his tomb),
        see also Herbert's Jacula Prudentum
        [Churches]

Critics are like brushers of noblemen's clothes.
      - attributed to Apothegms (no. 64), by Bacon
        [Criticism : Proverbs]

You meaner beauties of the night,
  That poorly satisfy our eyes
    More by your number than your light;
      You common people of the skies,--
        What are you when the moon shall rise?
      - On His Mistress, the Queen of Bohemia
        [Stars]

I am but a gatherer and disposer of other men's stuff.
      - Preface to the Elements of Architecture
        [Quotations]

How happy is he born and taught
  That serveth not another's will;
    Whose armour is his honest thought,
      And simple truth his utmost skill.
      - The Character of a Happy Life [Honesty]

Who God doth late and early pray
  More of his Grace than Gifts to lend;
    And entertains the harmless day
      With a Religious Book or Friend.
      - The Character of a Happy Life (st. 5)
        [Religion]

Lord of himself, though not of lands;
  And having nothing, yet hath all.
      - The Character of a Happy Life (st. 6)
        [Possession : Soul]

Hanging was the worst use a man could be put to.
      - The Disparity between Buckingham and Essex
        [Punishment]

The world's a bubble--and the life of man
  Less than a span.
    In his conception wretched, and from the womb
      So to the tomb.
        Nurst from the cradle, and brought up to years
          With cares and fears.
            Who then to frail mortality shall trust,
              But limns in water, and but writes in dust.
      - The World--Ode to Bacon [World]

You violets that first appear,
  By your pure purple mantles known,
    Like the proud virgins of the year,
      As if the spring were all your own--
        What are you when the rose is blown?
      - To his Mistress the Queen of Bohemia
        [Violets]

He first deceased; she for a little tried
  To live without him, liked it not, and died.
      - Upon the Death of Sir Albertus Morton's Wife
        [Death : Epitaphs]


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