Quotations From JOHN DRYDEN


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  • He was the man who of all modern, and perhaps ancient poets, had the largest and most comprehensive soul.... He needed not the spectacles of books to read Nature; he looked inwards, and found her there.
    John Dryden (1631-1700), British poet, dramatist, critic. Neander, in An Essay of Dramatic Poesy (1668).

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  • He invades authors like a monarch; and what would be theft in other poets is only victory in him.
    John Dryden (1631-1700), British poet, dramatist, critic. Neander, in Essay of Dramatic Poesy (1668). Speaking of dramatist Ben Jonson.
  • Repentance is but want of power to sin.
    John Dryden (1631-1700), British poet, dramatist, critic. Palamon and Arcite, bk. 3.

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  • War is the trade of Kings.
    John Dryden (1631-1700), British poet, dramatist, critic. Arthur, in King Arthur, act 2, sc. 2 (1691).

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  • Resolved to ruin or to rule the state.
    John Dryden (1631-1700), British poet, dramatist, critic. Absalom and Achitophel, pt. 1, l. 174 (1681). Referring to Achitophel, who in the poem represents the statesman Anthony Ashley Cooper, Earl of Shaftesbury, "In friendship false, implacable in hate."
  • Self-defence is Nature's eldest law.
    John Dryden (1631-1700), British poet, dramatist, critic. Absalom and Achitophel, pt. 1, l. 458 (1681).

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  • Either be wholly slaves or wholly free.
    John Dryden (1631-1700), British poet, dramatist, critic. The Hind and the Panther, pt. 2, l. 285 (1687).
  • Even victors are by victories undone.
    John Dryden (1631-1700), British poet, dramatist, critic. Epistle to John Driden of Chesterton, l. 164 (1700).
  • Drinking is the soldier's pleasure.
    John Dryden (1631-1700), British poet, dramatist, critic. Alexander's Feast.

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  • All heiresses are beautiful.
    John Dryden (1631-1700), British poet, dramatist, critic. Albanat, in King Arthur, act 1, sc. 1 (1691).

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