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English wit and poet
(1612 - 1680)
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I am not now in fortune's power,
  He that is down can fall no lower.
      - [Proverbs]

In all the world there is no vice
  Less prone t' excess than avarice;
    It neither cares for food nor clothing;
      Nature's content with little--that with nothing.
      - [Avarice]

In the wicked there's no vice,
  Of which the saints have not a spice,
    And yet that thing that's pious in
      The one, in the other is a sin.
        Is it not ridiculous, and nonsense,
          A saint should be a slave to conscience?
      - [Saints]

It is unseasonable and unwholesome in all months that have not an R in their names to eat an oyster.
      - [Fish]

Laws do not put the least restraint
  Upon our freedom but maintain 't;
    Or, if it does, 'tis for our good,
      To give us freer latitude;
        For wholesome laws preserve us free,
          By stinting of our liberty.
      - [Law]

Man with raging drink inflam'd,
  Is far more savage and untamed;
    Supplies his loss of wit and sense
      With barb'rousness and insolence;
        Believes himself, the less he's able
          The more heroic and formidable.
      - [Drunkenness]

Night is the Sabbath of mankind,
  To rest the body and the mind.
      - [Night]

No Indian prince has to his palace
  More followers than a thief to the gallows.
      - [Theft]

No man takes or keeps a vow,
  But just as he sees others do;
    Nor are they 'blig'd to be so brittle
      As not to yield and bow a little:
        For as best temper'd blades are found,
          Before they break, to bend quite round;
            So truest oaths are still more tough,
              And tho' they bow, are breaking proof.
      - [Vows]

Oaths are but words, and words but wind.
      - [Oaths]

People are always good company when they are doing what they really enjoy.
      - [Company : Enjoyment]

Prejudice may be considered as a continual false medium of viewing things, for prejudiced persons not only never speak well, but also never think well, of those whom they dislike, and the whole character and conduct is considered with an eye to that particular thing which offends them.
      - [Prejudice]

Quoth he, That man is sure to lose,
  That fouls his hands with dirty foes;
    For where no honor's to be gain'd,
      'Tis thrown away in being maintain'd.
      - [Discretion]

Saints themselves will sometimes be,
  Of gifts that cost them nothing, free.
      - [Gifts]

So in the wicked there's no vice of which the saints have not a spice.
      - [Vice]

Some have mistaken blocks and posts,
  For spectres, apparitions, ghosts,
    With saucer-eyes and horns; and some
      Have heard the devil beat a drum.
      - [Ghosts]

That conscience approves of and attests such a course of action, is itself alone an obligation.
      - [Conscience]

The feeblest vermin can destroy,
  As sure as stoutest beasts of prey;
    And only with their eyes and breath
      Infect, and poison men to death.
      - [Slander]

The lives of trees lie only in the barks,
  And in their styles the wit of greatest clerks.
      - [Style]

The Queen of night, whose large command
  Rules all the sea, and half the land,
    And over moist and crazy brains,
      In high spring-tides, at midnight reigns,
        Was now declining to the west,
          To go to bed, and take her rest.
      - [Moon]

There is a kind of physiognomy in the titles of books no less than in the faces of men, by which a skilful observer will as well know what to expect from the one as the other.
      - [Books]

Those fierce inquisitors of wit, the critics, spare no flesh that ever writ; but just as tooth-drawers find among the rout their own teeth work in pulling others out.
      - [Critics]

Those that go up hill, use to bow,
  Their bodies forward, and stoop low
    To poise themselves, and sometimes creep,
      When th' way is difficult and steep:
        So those at court, that do address,
          By low ignoble offices,
            Can stoop at anything that's base,
              To wriggle into trust and grace,
                Are like to rise to greatness sooner,
                  Than those that go by worth and honor.
      - [Court]

'Tis in books the chief
  Of all perfections to be plain and brief.
      - [Books]

'Tis not now who's stout and bold?
  But who bears hunger best, and cold?
    And he's approv'd the most deserving,
      Who longest can hold out at starving.
      - [Endurance]

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