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WILLIAM CONGREVE
English dramatic poet
(1670 - 1729)
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Music hath charms to soothe a savage breast,
  To soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.
      - [Music]

O call not to my mind what you have done! It sets a debt of that account before me, which shows me poor and bankrupt even in hopes!
      - [Gratitude]

O sleep, why dost thou leave me? why thy visionary joy remove?
      - [Sleep]

Poetry, the eldest sister of all arts, and parent of most.
      - [Poetry]

Read and take your nourishment in at your eyes; shut up your mouth and chew the cud of understanding.
      - [Reading]

Read, read, sirrah, and refine your appetite; learn to live upon instruction; frost your mind and mortify your flesh.
      - [Reading]

Shallow artifice begets suspicion,
  And like a cobweb veil, but thinly shades
    The face of thy design, alone disguising
      What should have ne'er been seen, imperfect mischief.
      - [Artifice]

She is chaste who was never asked the question.
      - [Chastity]

The coldness of a losing gamester lessens the pleasure of the winner. I would no more play with a man that slighted his ill fortune than I would make love to a woman who undervalued the loss of her reputation.
      - [Gambling]

The falling-out of wits is like the falling-out of lovers: we agree in the main, like treble and bass.
      - [Wit]

There is in true beauty something which vulgar cannot admire.
      - [Beauty]

They could neither of them speak for rage, and so fell a-sputtering at one another like two roasting apples.
      - [Rage]

Thought
  Precedes the will to think, and error lives
    Ere reason can be born. Reason, the power
      To guess at right and wrong, the twinkling lamp
        Of wand'ring life, that winks and wakes by turns
          Fooling the follower 'twixt shade and shining.
      - [Reason]

Thought precedes the will to think, and error lives ere reason can be born.
      - [Thought]

Till sorrow seemed to wear one common face.
      - [Sorrow]

Timorous virgins form a dreadful chimera of a husband, as of a creature quite contrary to that soft, humble, pliant, easy thing, a lover.
      - [Virgins]

Uncertainty and expectation are joys of life. Security is an insipid thing; and the overtaking and possessing of a wish discovers the folly of the chase.
      - [Expectation]

When wit and reason both have fail'd to move
  Kind looks and actions, (from success) do prove
    Ev'n silence may be eloquent in love.
      - [Silence]

Who nothing has to lose, the war bewails;
  And he who nothing pay, at taxes rails.
      - [Taxes]

Whoever is king, is also the father of his country.
      - [Kings]

Why, at this rate, a fellow that has but a groat in his pocket may have a stomach capable of a ten-shilling ordinary.
      - [Gluttony]

You are an annihilator of sense.
      - [Sense]

You read of but one wise man; and all that he knew was--that he knew nothing.
      - [Wisdom]

Defer not till to-morrow to be wise,
  To-morrow's Sun to thee may never rise;
    Or should to-morrow chance to cheer thy sight
      With her enlivening and unlook'd for light,
        How grateful will appear her dawning rays!
          As favours unexpected doubly please.
      - Letter to Cobham (l. 61) [Tomorrow]

And the prettiest foot! Oh, if a man could but fasten his eyes to her feet, as they steal in and out, and play at bo-peep under her petticoats!
      - Love for Love (act I, sc. 1) [Feet]


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