Matthew Prior

(1664 - 1721 / Dorset / England)

Matthew Prior
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Matthew Prior, poet and diplomat, was born near Wimborne Minster, Dorset. His family moved to London while he was still a child. He was educated at Westminister School, but was taken out when his father died and apprenticed to his uncle, a tavern-keeper. In 1680 he went to Cambridge on a scholarship from the Earl of Dorset and while there he co-wrote with Charles Montague, The Hind and the Panther Transversed to the Story of the Country and City Mouse (1687), a burlesque on Dryden's Hind and the Panther which cuts it down to size by making it absurd.

Prior held various diplomatic posts, and in 1700 entered parliament with the Tories. He was Ambassador at Paris when he was recalled... more »

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  • What I speak, my fair Chloe, and what I write, shows
    The difference there is betwixt Nature and Art:
    I court others in verse, but I love thee in prose;
    And they have my whimsies, ...
    Matthew Prior (1664-1721), British poet. Answer to Cloe Jealous (l. 13-16). . . New Oxford Book of English Verse, The, 1250-1950. Helen Gardner, e...
  • ''A diff'rent cause, says Parson Sly,
    The same effect may give:
    Poor Lubin fears, that he shall die;
    His wife, that he may live.''
    Matthew Prior (1664-1721), British poet. A Reasonable Affliction (l. 5-8). . . Norton Anthology of Poetry, The. Alexander W. Allison and others, e...
  • '''No, no; for my virginity,
    When I lose that,' says Rose, 'I'll die':
    'Behind the elms last night,' cried Dick,
    'Rose, were you not extremely sick?'''
    Matthew Prior (1664-1721), British poet. A True Maid (l. 1-4). . . Norton Introduction to Poetry, The. J. Paul Hunter, ed. (3d ed., 1986) W. W. No...
  • ''Forbear to mention what thou canst not praise.''
    Matthew Prior (1664-1721), British poet, diplomat. Carmen Seculare.
  • ''To John I owed great obligation;
    But John, unhappily, thought fit
    To publish it to all the nation:
    Sure John and I are more than quit.''
    Matthew Prior (1664-1721), British poet, diplomat. repr. In The Writings of Matthew Prior (1905). EpigramAnother, Poems (1718).
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