93 Notable Quotes By Alexander Pope, The Author Of The Dunciad
Alexander Pope was a poet and translator from England who lived from 1688 to 1744 and is often regarded as one of the greatest literary figures in the history of English literature. Pope had to endure several health scares throughout his childhood but he continued to write and in 1709, his work Pastorals was published that made him a household name in literary circles shortly after. Two years later, he wrote An Essay on Criticism that was also a hit among the audiences. Some of his most noted works include ‘An Essay on Man’, ‘An Elegy to the Memory of an Unfortunate Lady’, ‘The Temple of Fame: A Vision’, ‘Windsor Forest’, ‘Messiah’, ‘The Duncaid’ and ‘An Essay on Criticism’ among others. On the other hand, he was an accomplished linguist, who translated two of the greatest epics in Greek literature, ‘Iliad’ and ‘Oddysey’, into English. Pope was also responsible for having made extensive use of the heroic couplet in his works and that had made him one of the most quotable authors in the history of the English language. According to The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, he stands second only to William Shakespeare in terms of frequency. Here are some of his notable quotes.
Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed. To err is human, to forgive, divine. Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. Charms strike the sight, but merit wins the soul. How happy is the blameless vestal’s lot!
The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
Each pray’r accepted, and each wish resign’d A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. So is a lot. A man should never be ashamed to own that he has been in the wrong, which is but saying in other words that he is wiser today than he was yesterday. What Reason weaves, by Passion is undone. A little learning is a dangerous thing.
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian Spring;
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
and drinking largely sobers us again. Act well your part; there all the honour lies. If you want to know what God thinks about money just look at the people He gives it to. Beauties in vain their pretty eyes may roll;
Charms strike the sight, but merit wins the soul. Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
Man never Is, but always To be blest.
The soul, uneasy, and confin'd from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come. You purchase pain with all that joy can give and die of nothing but a rage to live. Vice is a monster of so frightful mien
As to be hated needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace. Words are like Leaves; and where they most abound,
Much Fruit of Sense beneath is rarely found. Some people will never learn anything, for this reason, because they understand everything too soon. True ease in writing comes from art, not chance,
As those move easiest who have learn'd to dance. Do good by stealth, and blush to find it fame. Our judgments, like our watches, none
go just alike, yet each believes his own To wake the soul by tender strokes of art,
To raise the genius, and to mend the heart Death, only death, can break the lasting chain;
And here, ev'n then, shall my cold dust remain If I am right, Thy grace impart
Still in the right to stay;
If I am wrong, O, teach my heart
To find that better way! No woman ever hates a man
for being in love with her;
but mainly a woman hates a
man for being her friend. Nature and Nature's laws lay hid in night:
God said, Let Newton be! and all was light. Histories are more full of examples of the fidelity of dogs than of friends. The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind! And die of nothing but a rage to live All Nature is but art, unknown to thee
All chance, direction, which thou canst not see;
All discord, harmony not understood;
All partial evil, universal good. I am his Highness' dog at Kew;
Pray tell me, sir, whose dog are you? Man never thinks himself happy, but when he enjoys those things which others want or desire. Of all the causes which conspire to blind
Man's erring judgement, and misguide the mind,
What the weak head with strongest bias rules,
Is PRIDE, the never-failing vice of fools. Men must be taught as if you taught them not,
And things unknown propos'd as things forgot. Music resembles poetry, in each
Are nameless graces which no methods teach,
And which a master hand alone can reach. An honest man's the noblest work of God An excuse is worse and more terrible than a lie;for an excuse is a lie guarded This long disease, my life. Yet graceful ease, and sweetness void of pride,
Might hide her faults, if belles had faults to hide:
If to her share some female errors fall,
Look on her face, and you'll forget 'em all. What dire offence from am'rous causes springs,
What mighty contests rise from trivial things,... The world forgetting by the world forgot. Order is heaven's first law. Chaos of thought and passion, all confus'd. Sir, I admit your general rule,
That every poet is a fool.
But you yourself may prove to show it,
Every fool is not a poet. In words, as fashions, the same rule will hold;
Alike fantastic, if too new, or old:
Be not the first by whom the new are tried,
Nor yet the last to lay the old aside. Authors are partial to their wit, 'tis true,
But are not critics to their judgment, too? While pensive poets painful vigils keep,
Sleepless themselves, to give their readers sleep. Brevity is the soul of wit. All forms that perish other forms supply,
(By turns we catch the vital breath and die)
Like bubbles on the sea of matter borne,
They rise, they break, and to that sea return. Our rural ancestors, with little blest,
Patient of labor when the end was rest,
Indulged the day that housed their annual grain,
With feasts, and off'rings, and a thankful strain. Know thyself, presume not God to scan;
The proper study of mankind is man. A work of art that contains theories is like an object on which the price tag has been left. True wit is nature to advantage dressed;
What oft was thought, but ne'er so well expressed. Some who grow dull religious straight commence
And gain in morals what they lose in sense. Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;
Thus unlamented let me die;
Steal from the world, and not a stone
Tell where I lie. Remembrance and reflection how allied!
What thin partitions Sense from Thought divide! Men, some to business take, some to pleasure take; but every woman is at heart a rake Then most our trouble still when most admired,
And still the more we give, the more required;
Whose fame with pains we guard, but lose with ease,
Sure some to vex, but never all to please. Happy the man, whose wish and care
A few paternal acres bound,
Content to breathe his native air
In his own ground. The Dying Christian to His Soul (1712)
-Vital spark of heav'nly flame!
Quit, oh quit, this mortal frame:
Trembling, hoping, ling'ring, flying,
Oh the pain, the bliss of dying!
Stanza 1. Yes, I am proud; I must be proud to see
Men not afraid of God afraid of me. Averse alike to flatter, or offend;
Not free from faults, nor yet too vain to mend. Philosophy, that leaned on Heaven before,
Shrinks to her second cause, and is no more. No place so scared from such frops is barred
Nor is Paul's Church more safe than Paul's Churchyard
Na fly to alter there they'll talk you dead
For fools rush in where angels fear to tread. One science only will one genius fit/ So vast is art, so narrow human wit For he lives twice who can at once employ,
The present well, and e’en the past enjoy. What conscience dictates to be done,
Or warns me not to do,
This, teach me more than Hell to shun,
That, more than Heaven pursue. For when success a lover's toil attends,
Few ask, if fraud or force attain'd his ends For forms of Government let fools contest. Whate'er is best administered is best. Next o'er his books his eyes began to roll,
In pleasing memory of all he stole. Why charge we Heav'n in those, in these acquit?
In both, to reason right is to submit. Thy voice I seem in ev'ry hymn to hear, with ev'ry bead I drop too soft a tear... How vain are all these Glories, all our Pains,
Unless good Sense preserve what Beauty gains:
That Men may say, when we the Front-box grace,
Behold the first in Virtue, as in Face! Sure flattery never traveled so far as three thousand miles; it is now only for truth, which over takes all things, to reach you at this distance. We may see the small Value God has for Riches, by the People he gives them to."
[Thoughts on Various Subjects, 1727] Some judge of authors' names, not works, and then nor praise nor blame the writings, but the men. The hungry judges soon the sentence sign, and wretches hang that jurymen may dine. For modes of faith let graceless zealots fight, His can't be wrong whose life is in the right. To be angry is to revenge the faults of others on ourselves. Intrepid then, o'er seas and lands he flew:
Europe he saw, and Europe saw him too. Oh! if to dance all night, and dress all day,
Charm'd the small-pox, or chased old age away;
Who would not scorn what housewife's cares produce,
Or who would learn one earthly thing of use? Who sees with equal eye, as God of all,
A hero perish, or a sparrow fall,
Atoms or systems into ruin hurled,
And now a bubble burst, and now a world. A little learning is a dangerous thing;
drink deep, taste not the Pierian Spring How happy he, who free from care
The rage of courts, and noise of towns; Contented breathes his native air,
In his own grounds All this dread order break- for whom? for thee?
Vile worm!- oh madness! pride! impiety!
Trust not yourself; but your defects to know,
Make use of ev'ry friend—and ev'ry foe.
Know thy own point: this kind, this due degree
Of blindness, weakness, Heav'n bestows on thee.
Las palabras son como las hojas; cuando abundan, poco fruto hay entre ellas.
Inscriptions here of various Names I view'd,
The greater part by hostile time subdu'd;
Yet wide was spread their fame in ages past,
And Poets once had promis'd they should last.
An excuse is worse and more terrible than a lie
Where beams of imagination play,
The memory's soft figures melt away. Reason's whole pleasure, all the joys of Sense,
Lie in three words, Health, Peace, and Competence.
But Health consists with Temperance alone,
And Peace, oh Virtue! Peace is all thy own.