Matthew Prior


English Poet and Diplomat

Author Quotes

Of two evils I have chose the least.

You tell your doctor, that y' are ill And what does he, but write a bill, Of which you need not read one letter, The worse the scrawl, the dose the better. For if you knew but what you take, though you recover, he must break.

Poets are allowed the same liberty in their descriptions and comparisons as painters in their draperies and ornaments.

Similes are like songs of love: They much describe, they nothing prove.

The daily showers rejoice the thirsty earth, and bless the flowery buds.

The winds grow high; Impending tempests charge the sky; The lightning flies, the thunder roars; And big waves lash the frightened shores.

They always talk who never think, and who have the least to say.

They talk most who have the least to say.

Though bitter, good medicine cures illness. Though it may hurt, loyal criticism will have beneficial effects.

Thy sum of duty let two words contain, (O may they graven in thy heart remain!) Be humble and be just.

To each man at his birth nature has given some fault.

To err is human.

Variety alone gives joy; the sweetest meats the soonest cloy.

What is a king? a man condemn'd to bear The public burthen of the nation's care.

When Croft's "Life of Dr. Young" was spoken of as a good imitation of Dr. Johnson's style, "No, no," said he, "it is not a good imitation of Johnson; it has all his pomp without his force; it has all the nodosities of the oak, without its strength; it has all the contortions of the sibyl, without the inspiration."

Now fitted the halter, now travers'd the cart, And often took leave; but was loth to part.

When people once are in the wrong, each line they add is much too long; who fastest walks, but walks astray, is only furthest from his way.

Odds life! must one swear to the truth of a song?

Who walks the fastest, but walks astray, is only furthest from his way.

For hope is but the dream of those that wake.

For, when with beauty we can virtue join, we paint the semblance of a form divine.

He will not carry his wealth to the waters of Acheron.

He's half absolv'd Who has confess'd.

Homer?s Achilles is haughty and passionate, impatient of any restraint by laws, and arrogant in arms.

Human science is an uncertain guess.

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English Poet and Diplomat