William Congreve

(24 January 1670 – 19 January 1729)

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an English playwright and poet.

Early Life

Congreve was born in Bardsey, West Yorkshire, England (near Leeds). His parents were William Congreve (1637–1708) and his wife, Mary (née Browning; 1636?–1715); a sister was buried in London in 1672. He spent his childhood in Ireland, where his father, a Cavalier, had settled during the reign of Charles II. Congreve was educated at ... more »

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  • ''Heav'n has no Rage like Love to Hatred turn'd,
    Nor Hell a Fury, like a Woman scorn'd.''
    William Congreve (1670-1729), British dramatist. Zara, in The Mourning Bride, act 3 (1697).
  • ''Music has charms to soothe a savage breast,
    To soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.''
    William Congreve (1670-1729), British dramatist. Almeria, in The Mourning Bride, act 1, sc. 1 (1697). Opening lines of play.
  • ''Invention flags, his brain goes muddy,
    And black despair succeeds brown study.''
    William Congreve (1670-1729), British dramatist. An Impossible Thing.
  • ''I find we are growing serious, and then we are in great danger of being dull.''
    William Congreve (1670-1729), British dramatist. Araminta, in The Old Bachelor, act 2, sc. 2 (1693). The conversation turns on the subject of love...
  • ''In my conscience I believe the baggage loves me, for she never speaks well of me herself, nor suffers any body else to rail at me.''
    William Congreve (1670-1729), British dramatist. Bellmour, in The Old Bachelor, act 1, sc. 1. Said of Belinda.
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