Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.

George Farquhar

Irish Dramatist best known for his plays "The Recruiting Officer" and "The Beaux Stratagem"

"Women never really command until they have given their promise to obey; and they are never in more danger of being made slaves than when the men are at their feet."

"'Tis safest making peace with sword in hand."

"Idleness is the root of all evil."

"Crimes, like virtues, are their own rewards."

"Those who know the least obey the best. "

"Necessity [is] the mother of invention."

"There is no scandal like rags, nor any crime so shameful as poverty."

"There are secrets in all families."

"A good husband makes a good wife at any time."

"Aimwell: Then you understand Latin, Mr. Bonniface? Bonniface: Not I, Sir, as the saying is, but he talks it so very fast that I'm sure it must be good."

"Captain is a good traveling name, and so I take it."

"Charming women can true converts make, We love the precepts for the teacher's sake."

"Courage, the highest gift, that scorns to bend to mean devices for a sordid end. Courage--an independent spark from heaven's bright throne, which the soul stands raised, triumphant high, alone. Great in itself, not praises of the crowd, above all vice, it stoops not to be proud. Courage, the mighty attribute of powers above, by which those great in war, are great in love. The spring of all brave acts is seated here, falsehoods draw their sordid birth from fear."

"Do you think a woman's silence can be natural?"

"False love is only blinder."

"Grant me some wild expressions, Heavens, or I shall burst."

"Here's such a plague every morning, with buckling shoes, gartering, combing and powdering."

"I believe they talked of me, for they laughed consumedly."

"I have fed purely upon ale; I have eat my ale, drank my ale, and I always sleep upon ale."

"I see you have a singing face--a heavy, dull, sonata face."

"It is a maxim that man and wife should never have it in their power to hang one another."

"Kiss and be friends."

"Like hungry guests, a sitting audience looks; plays are like suppers; poets are the cooks. The founder's you: the table is the place: the carvers we: the prologue is the grace. Each act, a course, each scene, a different dish, though we're in lent, i doubt you're still for flesh. Satire's the sauce, high-season'd, sharp and rough. Kind masks and beaux, i hope you're pepperproof? Wit is the wine; but 'tis so scarce the true poets, like vintners, balderdash and brew. Your surly scenes, where rant and bloodshed join. Are butcher's meat, a battle's sirloin: your scenes of love, so flowing, soft and chaste, are water-gruel without salt or taste."

"Money is the sinews of love, as of war."

"Observe this, that tho' a woman swear, forswear, lie, dissemble, back-bite, be proud, vain, malicious, anything, if she secures the main chance, she's still virtuous; that's a maxim."

"Our 'prentice, Tom, may now refuse to wipe his scroundrel master's shoes; for now he's free to sing and play over the hills and far away."

"Our sex still strikes an awe upon the brave, and only cowards dare affront a woman."

"Over the hills, and over the main, to Flanders, Portugal, or Spain; the Queen commands, and we'll obey, over the hills and far away."

"Poetry is a mere drug, Sir."

"Seduced me first to me a wicked player."

"Since a woman must wear chains, I would have the pleasure of hearing 'em rattle a little."

"Spare all I have, and take my life."

"The shortest pleasures are the sweetest."

"There's a pleasure sure, in being mad, which none but mad-men know."

"There's no scandal like rags, nor any crime so shameful as poverty."

"'Tis a question whether adversity or prosperity makes the most poets."

"'Tis a strange thing, Sam, that among us people can't agree the whole week, because they go different ways upon Sundays."

"'Tis the greatest misfortune in nature for a woman to want a confidant."

"'Twas for the good of my country that I should be abroad. Anything for the good of one's country--I'm a Roman for that."

"We are the men of intrinsic value, who can strike our fortunes out of ourselves, whose worth is independent of accidents in life, or revolutions in government: we have heads to get money, and hearts to spend it."

"We love the precepts for the teacher's sake."

"When the blind lead the blind, no wonder they both fall into - matrimony."

"Which none but mad-men know."

"Women are like pictures: of no value in the hands of a fool till he hears men of sense bid high for the purchase."