William Congreve

William Congreve

William Congreve (24 January 1670 – 19 January 1729) was an English playwright and poet. He is seen as the man who shaped the English comedy of manners through his use of satire and well-written dialogue. 

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

Beauty is the lover's gift.

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

Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.

A hungry wolf at all the herd will run, In hopes through many to make sure of one.

No, I'm no enemy to learning, it hurts not me.

She likes herself, yet others hates, For that which in herself she prizes, And while she laughs at them forgets, She is the thing that she despises.

I find we are growing serious, and then we are in great danger of being dull.

If this be not love it is madness and then it is pardonable.

Never go to bed angry stay up and fight.

Fear comes from uncertainty. When we are absolutely certain whether of our worth or worthlessness we are almost impervious to fear.

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

Wit must be foiled by wit: cut a diamond with a diamond.

If there's delight in love 'Tis when I see that heart which others bleed for bleed for me.

They are at the end of the gallery, retired to their tea and scandal according to their ancient custom.

Come come leave business to idlers and wisdom to fools: they have need of 'em: wit be my faculty and pleasure my occupation and let father Time shake his glass.

A little disdain is not amiss, a little scorn is alluring.

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.

They come together like the Coroner's Inquest to sit upon the murdered reputations of the week.

I know that's a secret for it's whispered every where.

Courtship is to marriage as a very witty prologue to a very dull play.

Say what you will 'tis better to be left than never to have been loved.

Uncertainty and expectation are the joys of life. Security is an insipid thing.

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

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

He who closes his ears to the views of others shows little confidence in the integrity of his own views.

Music has charms to sooth a savage breast to soften rocks or bend a knotted oak.

Grief walks upon the heels of pleasure, married in haste we repent at leisure.

A wit should be no more sincere than a woman constant.

I confess freely to you I could never look long upon a monkey without very mortifying reflections.