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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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.

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