Richard Brinsley Sheridan

Richard Brinsley

Irish-born English Playwright, Orator, Statesman

Author Quotes

The argument of the weak.

The newspapers! Sir, they are the most villainous ? licentious ? abominable ? infernal ? Not that I ever read them ? no ? I make it a rule never to look into a newspaper.

The Right Honorable gentleman is indebted to his memory for his jests and to his imagination for his facts.

The Spanish fleet thou canst not see, because?it is not yet in sight!

There are a set of malicious, prating, prudent gossips, both male and female, who murder characters to kill time; and will rob a young fellow of his good name before he has years to know the value of it.

Sheer necessity--the proper parent of an art so nearly allied to invention.

Soft pity never leaves the gentle breast where love has been received a welcome guest.

Steal! to be sure they may, and, egad, serve your best thoughts as gipsies do stolen children - disfigure them to make them pass for their own.

Such protection as vultures give to lambs.

Sure if I reprehend anything in this world, it is the use of my oracular tongue, and a nice derangement of epitaphs.

Take care; you know I am compliance itself, when I am not thwarted! No one more easily led, when I have my own way; but don't put me in a phrenzy.

If a daughter you have, she's the plague of your life, no peace shall you know though you've buried your wife! At twenty she mocks at the duty you taught her-- Oh, what a plague is an obstinate daughter!

My valor is certainly going! ? it is sneaking off! I feel it oozing out, as it were, at the palm of my hands!

If I reprehend anything in this world, it is the use of my oracular tongue, and a nice derangement of epitaphs!

Nay, but Jack, such eyes! such eyes! so innocently wild! so bashfully irresolute! Not a glance but speaks and kindles some thought of love! Then, Jack, her cheeks! her cheeks, Jack! so deeply blushing at the insinuations of her tell-tale eyes! Then, Jack, her lips! O, Jack, lips smiling at their own discretion! and, if not smiling, more sweetly pouting?more lovely in sullenness! Then, Jack, her neck! O, Jack, Jack!

If Parliament were to consider the sporting with reputation of as much importance as sporting on manors, and pass an act for the preservation of fame as well as game, there are many who would thank them for the bill.

No caparisons, miss, if you please. Caparisons don't become a young woman.

If the thought is slow to come, a glass of good wine encourages it; and when it does come, a glass of good wine rewards it.

No one, says Jerome, loves to tell a tale of scandal except to him who loves to hear it. Learn, then, to rebuke and check the detracting tongue by showing that you do not listen to it with pleasure. Never make your ear the grave of another's good name.

Illiterate him, I say, quite from your memory.

No scandal about Queen Elizabeth, I hope?

Illiterate him, I say, quite from your memory.... There is nothing on earth so easy as to forget, if a person chooses to set about it. I'm sure I have as much forgot your poor, dear uncle, as if he had never existed?and I thought it my duty to do so.

Nothing keeps me in such awe as perfect beauty; now, there is something consoling and encouraging in ugliness.

I'm called away by particular business. But I leave my character behind me.

One moral's plain . . . without more fuss; man's social happiness all rests on us: through all the drama--whether damn'd or not-- Love gilds the scene, and women guide the plot.

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Richard Brinsley
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Irish-born English Playwright, Orator, Statesman