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Sir Henry Wotton

(1568 - 1639 / England)

Quotations

  • ''An Ambassador is an honest man sent to lie abroad for the good of his country.''
    Sir Henry Wotton (1568-1639), British diplomat, poet. Written in the album of Christopher Fleckmore, c. 1612. Quoted in Izaak Walton, Life of Sir Henry Wotton, published in Reliquiae Wottonianae (1651). Wotton wrote the remark while in Germany, en route to Venice where he was serving as James I's envoy. However, he spoiled his pun by writing it in Latin, thus reducing "to lie" (ad mentiendum) to one meaning only—and thereby ruining his career.
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Elizabeth of Bohemia

YOU meaner beauties of the night,
   That poorly satisfy our eyes
More by your number than your light,
   You common people of the skies;
   What are you when the moon shall rise?

You curious chanters of the wood,
   That warble forth Dame Nature's lays,
Thinking your passions understood

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