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All human things are subject to decay, And, when fate summons, monarchs must obey.
—  John Dryden
Death, in itself, is nothing; but we fear, To be we know not what, we know not where.
—  John Dryden
Mere poets are sottish as mere drunkards are, who live in a continual mist, without seeing or judging anything clearly. A man should be learned in several sciences, and should have a reasonable, philosophical and in some measure a mathematical head, to be a complete and excellent poet.
—  John Dryden
Since every man who lives is born to die, And none can boast sincere felicity, With equal mind, what happens, let us bear, Nor joy nor grieve too much for things beyond our care. Like pilgrims to the appointed place we tend; The world's an inn, and death the journey's end.
—  John Dryden
Here lies my wife: here let her lie! Now she's at rest, and so am I.
—  John Dryden
He was the man who of all modern, and perhaps ancient poets, had the largest and most comprehensive soul ... He was naturally learn'd; he needed not the spectacles of books to read Nature; he looked inwards, and found her there ... He is many times flat, insipid; his comic wit degenerating in to clenches, his serious swelling into bombast. But he is always great, when some occasion is presented to him.
—  John Dryden
Youth, beauty, graceful action seldom fail: But common interest always will prevail; And pity never ceases to be shown To him who makes the people's wrongs his own.
—  John Dryden
To see and to be seen, in heaps they run; Some to undo, and some to be undone.
—  John Dryden
For secrets are edged tools, And must be kept from children and from fools.
—  John Dryden
Could swell the soul to rage, or kindle soft desire.
—  John Dryden
One of the greatest, most noble, and most sublime poems which either this age or nation has produced.
—  John Dryden
Welcome, thou kind deceiver! Thou best of thieves; who, with an easy key, Dost open life, and, unperceived by us, Even steal us from ourselves.
—  John Dryden
For truth has such a face and such a mien As to be lov'd needs only to be seen.
—  John Dryden
A knock-down argument: 't is but a word and a blow.
—  John Dryden
Thou tyrant, tyrant Jealousy, Thou tyrant of the mind!
—  John Dryden
Thus, while the mute creation downward bend Their sight, and to their earthly mother ten, Man looks aloft; and with erected eyes Beholds his own hereditary skies.
—  John Dryden
But far more numerous was the herd of such Who think too little and who talk too much.
—  John Dryden
He is the very Janus of poets; he wears almost everywhere two faces; and you have scarce begun to admire the one, ere you despise the other.
—  John Dryden
And he who servilely creeps after sense, Is safe, but ne'er will reach an excellence.
—  John Dryden
How blessed is he, who leads a country life, Unvex'd with anxious cares, and void of strife! Who studying peace, and shunning civil rage, Enjoy'd his youth, and now enjoys his age: All who deserve his love, he makes his own; And, to be lov'd himself, needs only to be known.
—  John Dryden
I trade both with the living and the dead, for the enrichment of our native language.
—  John Dryden
Freedom which in no other land will thrive, Freedom an English subject's sole prerogative.
—  John Dryden
Plots, true or false, are necessary things, To raise up commonwealths and ruin kings.
—  John Dryden
Not Heav'n itself upon the past has pow'r; But what has been, has been, and I have had my hour.
—  John Dryden
An horrible stilness first invades our ear, And in that silence we the tempest fear.
—  John Dryden
We must beat the iron while it is hot, but we may polish it at leisure.
—  John Dryden
Love reckons hours for months, and days for years; and every little absence is an age.
—  John Dryden
I am devilishly afraid, that's certain; but ... I'll sing, that I may seem valiant.
—  John Dryden
In squandering wealth was his peculiar art: Nothing went unrewarded, but desert. Beggar'd by fools, whom still he found too late: H had his jest, and they had his estate.
—  John Dryden

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