William Congreve


English Playwright, Dramatist and Poet

Author Quotes

In my conscience I believe the baggage loves me, for she never speaks well of me herself, nor suffers anybody else to rail at me.

O sleep, why dost thou leave me? why thy visionary joy remove?

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.

Thy wife is a constellation of virtues; she's the moon, and thou art the man in the moon.

Wou'd I were free from this restraint, Or else had hopes to win her Wou'd she cou'd make me a saint, Or I of her a sinner

Invention flags, his brain goes muddy, and black despair succeeds brown study.

O, she is the antidote to desire.

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

Till sorrow seemed to wear one common face.

Yes, but tenderness becomes me best - a sort of dyingness - you see that picture has a sort of a - ha, foible a swimmingness in the eyes.

It is the business of a comic poet to paint the vices and follies of human kind.

Of those few fools, who with ill stars are curst, sure scribbling fools, called poets, fare the worst: for they're a sort of fools which fortune makes, and, after she has made them fools, forsakes. With nature's oafs 'tis quite a different case, for fortune favours all her idiot race. In her own nest the cuckoo eggs we find, over which she broods to hatch the changeling kind: no portion for her own she has to spare, so much she dotes on her adopted care. Poets are bubbles, by the town drawn in, suffered at first some trifling stakes to win: but what unequal hazards do they run! Each time they write they venture all they've won: the squire that's buttered still, is sure to be undone. This author, heretofore, has found your favour, but pleads no merit from his past behaviour. To build on that might prove a vain presumption, should grant to poets made admit resumption, and in parnassus he must lose his seat, if that be found a forfeited estate.

The good receiv'd, the giver is forgot.

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

You are a woman you must never speak what you think your words must contradict your thoughts, but your actions may contradict your words.

It is, alas! the poor prerogative of greatness, to be wretched and unpitied.

Pious Selinda goes to prayers, if I but ask the favor; and yet the tender fool's in tears, when she believes I'll leave her. Would I were free from this restraint, or else had hopes to win her; would she would make of me a saint, or I of her a sinner.

There are some Critics so with Spleen diseased, they scarcely come inclining to be pleased: and sure he must have more than mortal Skill, who please one against his Will.

'Tis well enough for a servant to be bred at an University. But the education is a little too pedantic for a gentleman.

You are all camphire and frankincense, all chastity and odour.

Married in haste we may repent at leisure. Music hath charms to soothe a savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.

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

There is in true beauty, as in courage, something which narrow souls cannot dare to admire.

To find a young fellow that is neither a wit in his own eye, nor a fool in the eye of the world, is a very hard task.

You are an annihilator of sense.

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English Playwright, Dramatist and Poet