John Gay

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

John Gay
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John Gay was an English poet and dramatist and member of the Scriblerus Club. He is best remembered for The Beggar's Opera (1728), a ballad opera. The characters, including Captain Macheath and Polly Peachum, became household names.

Early Life

Gay was born in Barnstaple, England and was educated at the town's grammar school. On leaving school he was apprenticed to a silk mercer in London, but being weary, according to Samuel Johnson, "of either the restraint or the servility of his occupation", he soon returned to Barnstaple, where he was educated by his uncle, the Rev. John Hanmer, the Nonconformist minister of the town. He then returned to ... more »

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John Gay Quotations

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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.
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  • ''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.
    10 person liked.
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  • ''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).
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  • ''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.
    2 person liked.
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  • ''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.
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Comments about John Gay

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  • Bozorgmanesh Robert Sohrabi (4/18/2019 5:53:00 PM)

    A linear composition and the triad of a monologue, then the elements may function if the Good Ahura Mazda exists for others.

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  • urmomlel (3/26/2018 9:37:00 AM)

    ur mum gey lel. ur mum gey lel. ur mum gey lel.

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  • * Sunprincess * (6/30/2014 9:15:00 AM)

    ...............happy birthday john gay.....enjoyed your poems....

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Best Poem of John Gay

Trivia; Or, The Art Of Walking The Streets Of London (Excer

Thus far the Muse has trac'd in useful lays
The proper implements for wintry ways;
Has taught the walker, with judicious eyes,
To read the various warnings of the skies.
Now venture, Muse, from home to range the town,
And for the public safety risk thy own.

For ease and for dispatch, the morning's best;
No tides of passengers the street molest.
You'll see a draggled damsel, here and there,
From Billingsgate her fishy traffic bear;
On doors the sallow milk-maid chalks her gains;
Ah! how unlike the milk-maid of the ...

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