Treasure Island

John Gay

(30 June 1685 – 4 December 1732 / Barnstaple, England)

Quotations

  • ''O ruddier than the cherry,
    O sweeter than the berry,
    O Nymph more bright
    Than moonshine night,
    Like kidlings blithe and merry.
    Ripe as the melting cluster,
    No lily has such lustre,
    Yet hard to tame,
    As raging flame,
    And fierce as storms that bluster.''
    John Gay (1685-1732), British poet. Acis and Galatea (l. 1-10). . . New Oxford Book of English Verse, The, 1250-1950. Helen Gardner, ed. (1972) Oxford University Press.
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  • ''Lions, wolves, and vultures don't live together in herds, droves or flocks. Of all animals of prey, man is the only sociable one. Every one of us preys upon his neighbour, and yet we herd together.''
    John Gay (1685-1732), British dramatist. Lockit, in The Beggar's Opera, act 3, sc. 2.
  • ''But his kiss was so sweet, and so closely he pressed,
    That I languished and pined till I granted the rest.''
    John Gay (1685-1732), British dramatist. Lucy, in The Beggar's Opera, act 3, sc. 1, air 41.
  • ''Sure men were born to lie, and women to believe them!''
    John Gay (1685-1732), British dramatist. Lucy, in The Beggar's Opera, act 2, sc. 13.
  • ''I must have women—there is nothing unbends the mind like them.''
    John Gay (1685-1732), British dramatist, poet. Macheath, in The Beggar's Opera, act 2, sc. 3 (1728), ed. F.W. Bateson (1934).
  • ''I must have women—there is nothing unbends the mind like them.''
    John Gay (1685-1732), British dramatist. Macheath, in The Beggar's Opera, act 2, sc. 3.
  • ''I must have women—there is nothing unbends the mind like them.''
    John Gay (1685-1732), British dramatist, poet. Macheath, in The Beggar's Opera, act 2, sc. 3 (1728), ed. F.W. Bateson (1934).
  • ''Of all mechanics, of all servile handycrafts-men, a gamester is the vilest. But yet, as many of the quality are of the profession, he is admitted amongst the politest company.''
    John Gay (1685-1732), British dramatist. Matt of the Mint, in The Beggar's Opera, act 3, sc. 4.
  • ''O Polly, you might have toyed and kissed,
    By keeping men off, you keep them on.''
    John Gay (1685-1732), British dramatist, poet. Mrs. Peach, in The Beggar's Opera, act 1, sc. 8, air 9 (1728), ed. F.W. Bateson (1934).
  • ''How the mother is to be pitied who hath handsome daughters! Locks, bolts, bars, and lectures of morality are nothing to them: they break through them all. They have as much pleasure in cheating a father and mother, as in cheating at cards.''
    John Gay (1685-1732), British dramatist. Mrs. Peachum, in The Beggar's Opera, act 1, sc. 8.

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Fable XLII. The Juggler

A juggler long through all the town
Had raised his fortune and renown;
You'd think (so far his art transcends)
The devil at his fingers' ends.
Vice heard his fame, she read his bill;
Convinced of his inferior skill,
She sought his booth, and from the crowd
Defied the man of art aloud:
'Is this, then, he so famed for sleight?

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