Home  »  Familiar Quotations  »  John Dryden 1631-1700 John Bartlett

John Bartlett (1820–1905). Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. 1919.

John Dryden 1631-1700 John Bartlett

    Above any Greek or Roman name. 1
          Upon the Death of Lord Hastings. Line 76.
    And threat’ning France, plac’d like a painted Jove,
Kept idle thunder in his lifted hand.
          Annus Mirabilis. Stanza 39.
    Whate’er he did was done with so much ease,
In him alone ’t was natural to please.
          Absalom and Achitophel. Part i. Line 27.
    A fiery soul, which, working out its way,
Fretted the pygmy-body to decay,
And o’er-inform’d the tenement of clay. 2
A daring pilot in extremity;
Pleas’d with the danger, when the waves went high
He sought the storms.
          Absalom and Achitophel. Part i. Line 156.
    Great wits are sure to madness near allied,
And thin partitions do their bounds divide. 3
          Absalom and Achitophel. Part i. Line 163.
    And all to leave what with his toil he won
To that unfeather’d two-legged thing, a son.
          Absalom and Achitophel. Part i. Line 169.
    Resolv’d to ruin or to rule the state.
          Absalom and Achitophel. Part i. Line 174.
    And heaven had wanted one immortal song.
          Absalom and Achitophel. Part i. Line 197.
    But wild Ambition loves to slide, not stand,
And Fortune’s ice prefers to Virtue’s land. 4
          Absalom and Achitophel. Part i. Line 198.
    The people’s prayer, the glad diviner’s theme,
The young men’s vision, and the old men’s dream! 5
          Absalom and Achitophel. Part i. Line 238.
    Behold him setting in his western skies,
The shadows lengthening as the vapours rise. 6
          Absalom and Achitophel. Part i. Line 268.
    Than a successive title long and dark,
Drawn from the mouldy rolls of Noah’s ark.
          Absalom and Achitophel. Part i. Line 301.
    Not only hating David, but the king.
          Absalom and Achitophel. Part i. Line 512.
    Who think too little, and who talk too much. 7
          Absalom and Achitophel. Part i. Line 534.
    A man so various, that he seem’d to be
Not one, but all mankind’s epitome;
Stiff in opinions, always in the wrong,
Was everything by starts, and nothing long;
But in the course of one revolving moon
Was chymist, fiddler, statesman, and buffoon. 8
          Absalom and Achitophel. Part i. Line 545.
    So over violent, or over civil,
That every man with him was God or Devil.
          Absalom and Achitophel. Part i. Line 557.
    His tribe were God Almighty’s gentlemen. 9
          Absalom and Achitophel. Part i. Line 645.
    Him of the western dome, whose weighty sense
Flows in fit words and heavenly eloquence.
          Absalom and Achitophel. Part i. Line 868.
    Beware the fury of a patient man. 10
          Absalom and Achitophel. Part i. Line 1005.
    Made still a blund’ring kind of melody;
Spurr’d boldly on, and dashed through thick and thin, 11
Through sense and nonsense, never out nor in.
          Absalom and Achitophel. Part ii. Line 413.
    For every inch that is not fool is rogue.
          Absalom and Achitophel. Part ii. Line 463.
    Men met each other with erected look,
The steps were higher that they took;
Friends to congratulate their friends made haste,
And long inveterate foes saluted as they pass’d.
          Threnodia Augustalis. Line 124.
    For truth has such a face and such a mien,
As to be lov’d needs only to be seen. 12
          The Hind and the Panther. Part i. Line 33.
    And kind as kings upon their coronation day.
          The Hind and the Panther. Part i. Line 271.
    For those whom God to ruin has design’d,
He fits for fate, and first destroys their mind. 13
          The Hind and the Panther. Part iii. Line 2387.
    But Shadwell never deviates into sense.
          Mac Flecknoe. Line 20.
    Our vows are heard betimes! and Heaven takes care
To grant, before we can conclude the prayer:
Preventing angels met it half the way,
And sent us back to praise, who came to pray. 14
          Britannia Rediviva. Line 1.
    And torture one poor word ten thousand ways.
          Britannia Rediviva. Line 208.
    Thus all below is strength, and all above is grace.
          Epistle to Congreve. Line 19.
    Be kind to my remains; and oh defend,
Against your judgment, your departed friend!
          Epistle to Congreve. Line 72.
    Better to hunt in fields for health unbought
Than fee the doctor for a nauseous draught.
The wise for cure on exercise depend;
God never made his work for man to mend.
          Epistle to John Dryden of Chesterton. Line 92.
    Wit will shine
Through the harsh cadence of a rugged line.
          To the Memory of Mr. Oldham. Line 15.
    So softly death succeeded life in her,
She did but dream of heaven, and she was there.
          Eleonora, Line 315.
    Since heaven’s eternal year is thine.
          Elegy on Mrs. Killegrew. Line 15.
    O gracious God! how far have we
Profan’d thy heavenly gift of poesy!
          Elegy on Mrs. Killegrew. Line 56.
    Her wit was more than man, her innocence a child. 15
          Elegy on Mrs. Killegrew. Line 70.
    He was exhal’d; his great Creator drew
His spirit, as the sun the morning dew. 16
          On the Death of a very young Gentleman.
    Three poets, in three distant ages born,
Greece, Italy, and England did adorn.
The first in loftiness of thought surpass’d;
The next, in majesty; in both the last.
The force of Nature could no further go;
To make a third, she join’d the former two. 17
          Under Mr. Milton’s Picture.
    From harmony, from heavenly harmony,
      This universal frame began:
      From harmony to harmony
Through all the compass of the notes it ran,
The diapason closing full in Man.
          A Song for St. Cecilia’s Day. Line 11.
    None but the brave deserves the fair.
          Alexander’s Feast. Line 15.
        With ravish’d ears
    The monarch hears;
    Assumes the god,
    Affects to nod,
And seems to shake the spheres.
          Alexander’s Feast. Line 37.
    Bacchus, ever fair and ever young.
          Alexander’s Feast. Line 54.
        Rich the treasure,
    Sweet the pleasure,—
Sweet is pleasure after pain.
          Alexander’s Feast. Line 58.
    Sooth’d with the sound, the king grew vain;
Fought all his battles o’er again;
And thrice he routed all his foes, and thrice he slew the slain.
          Alexander’s Feast. Line 66.
    Fallen, fallen, fallen, fallen,
Fallen from his high estate,
  And welt’ring in his blood;
Deserted, at his utmost need,
By those his former bounty fed,
On the bare earth expos’d he lies,
With not a friend to close his eyes.
          Alexander’s Feast. Line 77.
    For pity melts the mind to love. 18
          Alexander’s Feast. Line 96.
    Softly sweet, in Lydian measures,
Soon he sooth’d his soul to pleasures.
War, he sung, is toil and trouble;
Honour but an empty bubble;
  Never ending, still beginning,
Fighting still, and still destroying.
  If all the world be worth the winning,
Think, oh think it worth enjoying:
  Lovely Thais sits beside thee,
  Take the good the gods provide thee.
          Alexander’s Feast. Line 97.
    Sigh’d and look’d, and sigh’d again.
          Alexander’s Feast. Line 120.
    And, like another Helen, fir’d another Troy.
          Alexander’s Feast. Line 154.
    Could swell the soul to rage, or kindle soft desire.
          Alexander’s Feast. Line 160.
    He rais’d a mortal to the skies,
She drew an angel down.
          Alexander’s Feast. Line 169.
    A very merry, dancing, drinking,
Laughing, quaffing, and unthinking time.
          The Secular Masque. Line 40.
    Fool, not to know that love endures no tie,
And Jove but laughs at lovers’ perjury. 19
          Palamon and Arcite. Book ii. Line 758.
    For Art may err, but Nature cannot miss.
          The Cock and the Fox. Line 452.
    And that one hunting, which the Devil design’d
For one fair female, lost him half the kind.
          Theodore and Honoria. Line 227.
    Old as I am, for ladies’ love unfit,
The power of beauty I remember yet.
          Cymon and Iphigenia. Line 1.
    When beauty fires the blood, how love exalts the mind!
          Cymon and Iphigenia. Line 41.
    He trudg’d along unknowing what he sought,
And whistled as he went, for want of thought.
          Cymon and Iphigenia. Line 84.
    The fool of nature stood with stupid eyes
And gaping mouth, that testified surprise.
          Cymon and Iphigenia. Line 107.
    Love taught him shame; and shame, with love at strife,
Soon taught the sweet civilities of life.
          Cymon and Iphigenia. Line 133.
    She hugg’d the offender, and forgave the offence:
Sex to the last. 20
          Cymon and Iphigenia. Line 367.
    And raw in fields the rude militia swarms,
Mouths without hands; maintain’d at vast expense,
In peace a charge, in war a weak defence;
Stout once a month they march, a blustering band,
And ever but in times of need at hand.
          Cymon and Iphigenia. Line 400.
    Of seeming arms to make a short essay,
Then hasten to be drunk,—the business of the day.
          Cymon and Iphigenia. Line 407.
    Happy who in his verse can gently steer
From grave to light, from pleasant to severe. 21
          The Art of Poetry. Canto i. Line 75.
    Happy the man, and happy he alone,
  He who can call to-day his own;
  He who, secure within, can say,
To-morrow, do thy worst, for I have liv’d to-day. 22
          Imitation of Horace. Book iii. Ode 29, Line 65.
    Not heaven itself upon the past has power;
But what has been, has been, and I have had my hour.
          Imitation of Horace. Book iii. Ode 29, Line 71.
    I can enjoy her while she ’s kind;
But when she dances in the wind,
And shakes the wings and will not stay,
I puff the prostitute away.
          Imitation of Horace. Book iii. Ode 29, Line 81.
    And virtue, though in rags, will keep me warm.
          Imitation of Horace. Book iii. Ode 29, Line 87.
    Arms and the man I sing, who, forced by fate
And haughty Juno’s unrelenting hate.
          Virgil, Æneid. Line 1.
    And new-laid eggs, which Baucis’ busy care
Turn’d by a gentle fire and roasted rare. 23
          Ovid, Metamorphoses, Book viii. Baucis and Philemon, Line 97.
    Ill habits gather by unseen degrees,—
As brooks make rivers, rivers run to seas.
          Book xv. The Worship of Æsculapius, Line 155.
    She knows her man, and when you rant and swear,
Can draw you to her with a single hair. 24
          Persius. Satire v. Line 246.
    Look round the habitable world: how few
Know their own good, or knowing it, pursue.
          Juvenal. Satire x.
    Our souls sit close and silently within,
And their own web from their own entrails spin;
And when eyes meet far off, our sense is such,
That, spider-like, we feel the tenderest touch. 25
          Mariage à la Mode. Act ii. Sc. 1.
    Thespis, the first professor of our art,
At country wakes sung ballads from a cart.
          Prologue to Lee’s Sophonisba.
    Errors, like straws, upon the surface flow;
He who would search for pearls must dive below.
          All for Love. Prologue.
    Men are but children of a larger growth.
          All for Love. Act iv. Sc. 1.
    Your ignorance is the mother of your devotion to me. 26
          The Maiden Queen. Act i. Sc. 2.
    Burn daylight.
          The Maiden Queen. Act ii. Sc. 1.
    I am resolved to grow fat, and look young till forty. 27
          The Maiden Queen. Act iii. Sc. 1.
    But Shakespeare’s magic could not copied be;
Within that circle none durst walk but he.
          The Tempest. Prologue.
    I am as free as Nature first made man,
Ere the base laws of servitude began,
When wild in woods the noble savage ran.
          The Conquest of Granada. Part i. Act i. Sc. 1.
    Forgiveness to the injured does belong;
But they ne’er pardon who have done the wrong. 28
          The Conquest of Granada. Part ii. Act i. Sc. 2.
    What precious drops are those
Which silently each other’s track pursue,
Bright as young diamonds in their infant dew?
          The Conquest of Granada. Part ii. Act iii. Sc. 1.
    Fame then was cheap, and the first comer sped;
And they have kept it since by being dead.
          The Conquest of Granada. Epilogue.
    Death in itself is nothing; but we fear
To be we know not what, we know not where.
          Aurengzebe. Act iv. Sc. 1.
    When I consider life, ’t is all a cheat.
Yet fool’d with hope, men favour the deceit;
Trust on, and think to-morrow will repay.
To-morrow ’s falser than the former day;
Lies worse, and while it says we shall be blest
With some new joys, cuts off what we possest.
Strange cozenage! none would live past years again,
Yet all hope pleasure in what yet remain; 29
And from the dregs of life think to receive
What the first sprightly running could not give.
          Aurengzebe. Act iv. Sc. 1.
    ’T is not for nothing that we life pursue;
It pays our hopes with something still that ’s new.
          Aurengzebe. Act iv. Sc. 1.
    All delays are dangerous in war.
          Tyrannic Love. Act i. Sc. 1.
    Pains of love be sweeter far
Than all other pleasures are.
          Tyrannic Love. Act iv. Sc. 1.
    Whatever is, is in its causes just. 30
          Œdipus. Act iii. Sc. 1.
    His hair just grizzled,
As in a green old age. 31
          Œdipus. Act iii. Sc. 1.
    Of no distemper, of no blast he died,
But fell like autumn fruit that mellow’d long,—
Even wonder’d at, because he dropp’d no sooner.
Fate seem’d to wind him up for fourscore years,
Yet freshly ran he on ten winters more;
Till like a clock worn out with eating time,
The wheels of weary life at last stood still.
          Œdipus. Act iv. Sc. 1.
    She, though in full-blown flower of glorious beauty,
Grows cold even in the summer of her age.
          Œdipus. Act iv. Sc. 1.
    There is a pleasure sure
In being mad which none but madmen know. 32
          The Spanish Friar. Act ii. Sc. 1.
    Lord of humankind. 33
          The Spanish Friar. Act ii. Sc. 1.
    Bless the hand that gave the blow. 34
          The Spanish Friar. Act ii. Sc. 1.
    Second thoughts, they say, are best. 35
          The Spanish Friar. Act ii. Sc. 2.
    He ’s a sure card.
          The Spanish Friar. Act ii. Sc. 2.
    As sure as a gun. 36
          The Spanish Friar. Act iii. Sc. 2.
    Nor can his blessed soul look down from heaven,
Or break the eternal sabbath of his rest.
          The Spanish Friar. Act v. Sc. 2.
    This is the porcelain clay of humankind. 37
          Don Sebastian. Act i. Sc. 1.
    I have a soul that like an ample shield
Can take in all, and verge enough for more. 38
          Don Sebastian. Act i. Sc. 1.
    A knock-down argument: ’t is but a word and a blow.
          Amphitryon. Act i. Sc. 1.
    Whistling to keep myself from being afraid. 39
          Amphitryon. Act iii. Sc. 1.
    The true Amphitryon. 40
          Amphitryon. Act iv. Sc. 1.
    The spectacles of books.
          Essay on Dramatic Poetry.
Note 1.
Above all Greek, above all Roman fame.—Alexander Pope: epistle i. book ii. line 26. [back]
Note 2.
See Fuller, Quotation 2. [back]
Note 3.
No excellent soul is exempt from a mixture of madness.—Aristotle: Problem, sect. 30.

Nullum magnum ingenium sine mixtura dementiæ (There is no great genius without a tincture of madness).—Seneca: De Tranquillitate Animi, 15.

What thin partitions sense from thought divide!—Alexander Pope: Essay on Man, epistle i. line 226. [back]
Note 4.
Greatnesse on Goodnesse loves to slide, not stand,
And leaves, for Fortune’s ice, Vertue’s ferme land.
Knolles: History (under a portrait of Mustapha I.) [back]
Note 5.
Your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.—Joel ii. 28. [back]
Note 6.
Like our shadows,
Our wishes lengthen as our sun declines.
Edward Young: Night Thoughts, night v. line 661. [back]
Note 7.
They always talk who never think.—Matthew Prior: Upon a Passage in the Scaligerana. [back]
Note 8.
Grammaticus, rhetor, geometres, pictor, aliptes,
Augur, schœnobates, medicus, magus, omnia novit
(Grammarian, orator, geometrician; painter, gymnastic teacher, physician; fortune-teller, rope-dancer, conjurer,—he knew everything).—Juvenal: Satire iii. line 76. [back]
Note 9.
A Christian is God Almighty’s gentleman.—Julius Hare: Guesses at Truth.

A Christian is the highest style of man.—Edward Young: Night Thoughts, night iv. line 788. [back]
Note 10.
Furor fit læsa sæpius patientia (An over-taxed patience gives way to fierce anger.—Publius Syrus: Maxim 289. [back]
Note 11.
See Spenser, Quotation 15. [back]
Note 12.
Vice is a monster of so frightful mien,
As to be hated needs but to be seen.
Alexander Pope: Essay on Man, epistle ii. line 217. [back]
Note 13.
Quos Deus vult perdere prius dementat (Whom God wishes to destroy he first deprives of reason). The author of this saying is unknown. Barnes erroneously ascribes it to Euripides. [back]
Note 14.
And fools who came to scoff remain’d to pray.—Oliver Goldsmith: The Deserted Village, line 180. [back]
Note 15.
Of manners gentle, of affections mild,
In wit a man, simplicity a child.
Alexander Pope: Epitaph on Gay. [back]
Note 16.
Early, bright, transient, chaste as morning dew,
She sparkl’d, was exhal’d, and went to heaven.
Edward Young: Night Thoughts, night v. line 600. [back]
Note 17.
Græcia Mæonidam, jactet sibi Roma Maronem,
Anglia Miltonum jactat utrique parem
(Greece boasts her Homer, Rome can Virgil claim;
England can either match in Milton’s fame).
Selvaggi: Ad Joannem Miltonum. [back]
Note 18.
See Beaumont and Fletcher, Quotation 24. [back]
Note 19.
This proverb Dryden repeats in Amphitryon, act i. sc. 2.

See Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Quotation 25. [back]
Note 20.
And love the offender, yet detest the offence.—Alexander Pope: Eloisa to Abelard, line 192. [back]
Note 21.
Heureux qui, dans ses vers, sait d’une voix légère,
Passer du grave au doux, du plaisant au sévère.
Nicholas Boileau-Despreaux: L’Art Poétique, chanter.

Formed by thy converse, happily to steer
From grave to gay, from lively to severe.
Alexander Pope: Essay on Man, epistle iv. line 379. [back]
Note 22.
Serenely full, the epicure would say,
Fate cannot harm me; I have dined to-day.
Sydney Smith: Recipe for Salad. [back]
Note 23.
Our scanty mutton scrags on Fridays, and rather more savoury, but grudging, portions of the same flesh, rotten-roasted or rare, on the Tuesdays.—Charles Lamb: Christ’s Hospital five-and-thirty Years Ago. [back]
Note 24.
See Burton, Quotation 66. [back]
Note 25.
See Davies, Quotation 1. [back]
Note 26.
See Burton, Quotation 82. [back]
Note 27.
Fat, fair, and forty.—Sir Walter Scott: St. Ronan’s Well, chap. vii.

Mrs. Trench, in a letter, Feb. 18, 1816, writes: “Lord ——— is going to marry Lady ———, a fat, fair, and fifty card-playing resident of the Crescent.” [back]
Note 28.
Quos læserunt et oderunt (Whom they have injured they also hate).—Seneca: De Ira, lib. ii. cap. 33.

Proprium humani ingenii est odisse quem læseris (It belongs to human nature to hate those you have injured).—Tacitus: Agricola, 42. 4.

Chi fa ingiuria non perdona mai (He never pardons those he injures).—Italian Proverb. [back]
Note 29.
There are not eight finer lines in Lucretius—Thomas B. Macaulay: History of England, chap. xviii. [back]
Note 30.
Whatever is, is right.—Alexander Pope: Essay on Man, epistle i. line 289. [back]
Note 31.
A green old age unconscious of decay.—Alexander Pope: The Iliad, book xxiii. line 929. [back]
Note 32.
There is a pleasure in poetic pains.
Which only poets know.
William Cowper: The Timepiece, line 285. [back]
Note 33.
Lords of humankind.—Oliver Goldsmith: The Traveller, line 327. [back]
Note 34.
Adore the hand that gives the blow.—John Pomfret: Verses to his Friend. [back]
Note 35.
Among mortals second thoughts are the wisest.—Euripides: Hippolytus, 438. [back]
Note 36.
See Butler, Quotation 28. [back]
Note 37.
The precious porcelain of human clay.—Lord Byron: Don Juan, canto iv. stanza 11. [back]
Note 38.
Give ample room and verge enough.—Thomas Gray: The Bard, ii. 1. [back]
Note 39.
Whistling aloud to bear his courage up.—Robert Blair: The Grave, line 58. [back]
Note 40.
Le véritable Amphitryon
Est l’Amphitryon où l’on dîne
(The true Amphitryon is the Amphitryon where we dine).
Jean Baptiste Molière: Amphitryon, act iii. sc. 5. [back]