John Dryden (August 19, 1631 - May 12, 1700) was an English poet, literary critic, translator, and playwright who was made Poet Laureate in 1668. He dominated the literary life of Restoration England to such a point that the period came to be known in literary circles as the Age of Dryden. Walter Scott called him "Glorious John. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)
A man is to be cheated into passion, but reasoned into truth.
All delays are dangerous in war.
All heiresses are beautiful.
Better shun the bait, than struggle in the snare.
Beware the fury of a patient man.
Bold knaves thrive without one grain of sense,
But good men starve for want of impudence.
But far more numerous was the herd of such,
Who think too little, and who talk too much.
Content with poverty, my soul I arm;
And virtue, though in rags, will keep me warm.
Death in itself is nothing; but we fear
To be we know not what, we know not where.
Either be wholly slaves or wholly free.
Even victors are by victories undone.
For present joys are more to flesh and blood
Than a dull prospect of a distant good.
Genius must be born, and never can be taught.
Great wits are sure to madness near allied,
And thin partitions do their bounds divide.
I am resolved to grow fat, and look young till forty.
Mankind is ever the same, and nothing lost out of nature, though everything is altered.
None but the brave deserves the fair.
Nor is the people's judgment always true:
The most may err as grossly as the few.
Of all the tyrannies on human kind
The worst is that which persecutes the mind.
Pains of love be sweeter far
Than all other pleasures are.
Repentance is but want of power to sin.
Secret guilt by silence is betrayed.
Self-defense is Nature's eldest law.
Successful crimes alone are justified.
Sweet is pleasure after pain.
The wretched have no friends.
There is a pleasure sure
In being mad, which none but madmen know!
Thou strong seducer, Opportunity!
War is the trade of Kings.
War seldom enters but where wealth allures.
What passion cannot Music raise and quell?
With how much ease believe we what we wish!