Quotes by Alexander Pope

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Alexander Pope (May 22, 1688 May 30, 1744) is considered one of the greatest English poets of the eighteenth century. more

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To err is human, to forgive is divine.

Good God! how often are we to die before we go quite off this stage? In every friend we lose a part of ourselves, and the best part.
No one should be ashamed to admit they are wrong, which is but saying, in other words, that they are wiser today than they were yesterday.
Histories are more full of examples of the fidelity of dogs than of friends.
Teach me to feel another's Woe. To hide the Fault I see; That mercy I to others show, That Mercy show to me.
An excuse is worse than a lie, for an excuse is a lie, guarded.
Never elated when someone's oppressed, never dejected when another one's blessed.
Blessed is the man who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed was the ninth beatitude.
Satan is wiser now than before, and tempts by making rich instead of poor.
Remembrance and reflection how allied. What thin partitions divides sense from thought.
Charm strikes the sight, but merit wins the soul.
All looks yellow to a jaundiced eye.
Act well your part; there all honor lies.
An honest man's the noblest work of God.
To be angry is to revenge the faults of others on ourselves.
Many people are capable of doing a wise thing, more a cunning thing, but very few a generous thing.
Let me tell you I am better acquainted with you for a long absence, as men are with themselves for a long affliction: absence does but hold off a friend, to make one see him the truer.
To err is human, to forgive, divine.
On wrongs swift vengeance waits.
Men dream of courtship, but in wedlock wake.
At every trifle take offense, that always shows great pride or little sense.
Pride is still aiming at the best houses: Men would be angels, angels would be gods. Aspiring to be gods, if angels fell; aspiring to be angels men rebel.
Know then thyself, presume not God to scan; The proper study of mankind is man.
There goes a saying, and 'twas shrewdly said, Old fish at table, but young flesh in bed.
At every word a reputation dies.
How shall I lose the sin, yet keep the sense, and love the offender, yet detest the offence?
We think our fathers fools, so wise we grow. Our wiser sons, no doubt will think us so.
The worst of madmen is a saint run mad.
Be not the first by which a new thing is tried, or the last to lay the old aside.
Men would be angels, angels would be gods.
Like Cato, give his little senate laws, and sit attentive to his own applause.
The hungry judges soon the sentence sign, and wretches hang that jurymen may dine.
They dream in courtship, but in wedlock wake.
Lulled in the countless chambers of the brain, our thoughts are linked by many a hidden chain; awake but one, and in, what myriads rise!
A man should never be ashamed to own that he is wrong, which is but saying in other words that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.
Two purposes in human nature rule. Self-love to urge, and reason to restrain.
All nature is but art unknown to thee.
One who is too wise an observer of the business of others, like one who is too curious in observing the labor of bees, will often be stung for his curiosity.
An obstinate person does not hold opinions; they hold them.
Order is Heaven's first law; and this confessed, some are, and must be, greater than the rest, more rich, more wise; but who infers from hence that such are happier, shocks all common sense. Condition, circumstance, is not the thing; bliss is the same in subject or in king.
Passions are the gales of life.
The ruling passion, be it what it will, The ruling passion conquers reason still.
Our passions are like convulsion fits, which, though they make us stronger for a time, leave us the weaker ever after.
I find myself... hoping a total end of all the unhappy divisions of mankind by party-spirit, which at best is but the madness of many for the gain of a few.
Praise undeserved, is satire in disguise.
Fondly we think we honor merit then, When we but praise ourselves in other men.
Not to go back is somewhat to advance, and men must walk, at least, before they dance.
On life's vast ocean diversely we sail. Reasons the card, but passion the gale.
Learn to live well, or fairly make your will; you played, and loved, and ate, and drunk your fill: walk sober off; before a sprightlier age comes tittering on, and shoves you from the stage: leave such to trifle with more grace and ease, whom Folly pleases, and whose Follies please.
One science only will one genius fit; so vast is art, so narrow human wit.
Trust not yourself, but your defects to know, make use of every friend and every foe.
By foreign hands thy humble grave adorned; By strangers honored, and by strangers mourned.
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.
Curse on all laws, but those that love has made.
It is with our judgments as with our watches: no two go just alike, yet each believes his own.
You beat your Pate, and fancy Wit will come: Knock as you please, there's no body at home.
For virtue's self may too much zeal be had; the worst of madmen is a saint run mad.
But thousands die without or this or that, die, and endow a college, or a cat: To some, indeed, Heaven grants the happier fate, Tenrich a bastard, or a son they hate.
Die and endow a college or a cat.
Fix'd like a plan on his peculiar spot, to draw nutrition, propagate, and rot.
If, presume not to God to scan; The proper study of Mankind is Man. Plac'd on this isthmus of a middle state, a being darkly wise, and rudely great.
Health consists with temperance alone.
Know then this truth, enough for man to know virtue alone is happiness below.
Happy the man whose wish and care a few paternal acres bound, content to breathe his native air in his own ground.
For Forms of Government let fools contest; whatever is best administered is best.
And all who told it added something new, and all who heard it, made enlargements too.
Fools rush in where Angels fear to tread.
What's fame? a fancy'd life in other's breath. A thing beyond us, even before our death.
I was not born for courts and great affairs, but I pay my debts, believe and say my prayers.
Why has not man a microscopic eye? For the plain reason man is not a fly.
Who breaks a butterfly on a wheel?
Education forms the common mind. Just as the twig is bent, the tree's inclined.
A person who is too nice an observer of the business of the crowd, like one who is too curious in observing the labor of bees, will often be stung for his curiosity.
Did some more sober critics come abroad? If wrong, I smil'd; if right, I kiss'd the rod.
Blest paper-credit! last and best supply! That lends corruption lighter wings to fly!
True politeness consists in being easy one's self, and in making every one about one as easy as one can.
I am his Highness dog at Kew; pray tell me, sir, whose dog are you?
Behold the child, by nature's kindly law, pleased with a rattle, tickled with a straw.
How happy is the blameless vestal's lot? The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
Honor and shame from no condition rise; Act well your part, there all the honor lies.
Lo! thy dread empire, Chaos! is restored; dies before thy uncreating word: thy hand, great Anarch! lets the curtain fall; and universal darkness buries all.
Beauties in vain their pretty eyes may roll; charms strike the sight, but merit wins the soul.
Let sinful bachelors their woes deplore; full well they merit all they feel, and more: unaw by precepts, human or divine, like birds and beasts, promiscuously they join.
The hidden harmony is better than the obvious.
Sure of their qualities and demanding praise, more go to ruined fortunes than are raised.
When much dispute has past, we find our tenets just the same as last.
True disputants are like true sportsman: their whole delight is in the pursuit.
We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.
Some old men, continually praise the time of their youth. In fact, you would almost think that there were no fools in their days, but unluckily they themselves are left as an example.
Fools admire, but men of sense approve.
Virtuous and vicious everyone must be; few in extremes, but all in degree.
Do good by stealth, and blush to find it fame.
To endeavor to work upon the vulgar with fine sense is like attempting to hew blocks with a razor.
But Satan now is wiser than of yore, and tempts by making rich, not making poor.
True wit is nature to advantage dressed, what oft was thought, but never so well expressed.
Most women have no characters at all.
Most authors steal their works, or buy.
Ten censure wrong, for one that writes amiss.
Why did I write? What sin to me unknown dipped me in ink, my parents , or my own?
True ease in writing comes from art, not chance, as those move easiest who have learned to dance. 'Tis not enough no harshness gives offence. The sound must seem an echo to the sense.
In Words, as Fashions, the same Rule will hold;Alike Fantastick, if too New, or Old;Be not the first by whom the New are tryd,Nor yet the last to lay the Old aside.
Scarce any Tale was sooner heard than told;And all who told it, added something new,And all who heard it, made Enlargements too,In evry Ear it spread, on evry Tongue it grew.
Vital spark of heav'nly flame! Quit, oh quit this mortal frame: Trembling, hoping, ling'ring, flying, Oh the pain, the bliss of dying!
. . . true Expression, like th' unchanging Sun, Clears, and improves whate'er it shines upon, It gilds all Objects, but it alters none. Expression is the Dress of Thought, and still Appears more decent as more suitable; A vile Conceit in pompous Words exprest, Is like a Clown in regal Purple drest; For diff 'rent Styles with diff'rent Subjects sort, As several Garbs with Country, Town, and Court.
O fool! to think God hates the worthy mind, The lover and the love of humankind, Whose life is healthful, and whose conscience clear; Because he wants a thousand pounds a year.
To Err is Humane; to Forgive, Divine.