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John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester

Here lies our sovereign lord the king, Whose word no man relies on; He never says a foolish thing, Nor ever does a wise one.
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester lies
Before I got married I had six theories about bringing up children; now I have six children and no theories.
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester children
As published in The Works of the Poets of Great Britain and Ireland (1800) by , p. 9
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester work
Love, the most generous passion of the mind The softest refuge innocence can find
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester passion
When my young master's worship comes to town, From pedagogue and mother just fit free, The heir and hopes of a great famiiy; Who with strong beer and beef the country rules, And ever since the Conquest have been fools; And now, with careful prospect to maintain This character, lest crossing of the strain Should mend the booby breed, his friends provide A cousin of his own to be his bride…
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester hope
Were I, who to my Cost already am One of those strange, prodigious Creatures Man, A Spirit free, to choose for my own Share, What sort of Flesh and Blood I pleas’d to wear, I’d be a Dog, a Monkey, or a Bear, Or any thing, but that vain Animal, Who is so proud of being Rational.
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester strange
Reason, an Ignis fatuus of the Mind, Which leaves the light of Nature, Sense, behind.
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester light
Whilst the misguided Follower climbs with Pain, Mountains of Whimsies, heapt in his own Brain, Stumbling from Thought to Thought, falls headlong down Into Doubt’s boundless Sea, where like to drown, Books bear him up a-while, and make him try To swim with Bladders of Philosophy.
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester rain
Then Old Age, and Experience, hand in hand, Lead him to death, and make him understand, After a Search so painful, and so long, That all his Life he has been in the wrong.
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester death
For Wits are treated just like Common Whores; First they're enjoy'd, and then kickt out of Doors.
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester joy
For all Men would be Cowards if they durst: And Honesty’s against all common Sense.
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester war
Most Men are Cowards, all Men should be Knaves. The Difference lies, as far as I can see, Not in the thing it self, but the Degree.
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester war
But a meek humble Man of modest Sense, Who, Preaching Peace, does practice Continence; Whose pious life’s a proof he does believe, Mysterious Truths, which no Man can conceive. If upon Earth there dwell such God-like Men, I'll here Recant my Paradox to them; Adore those Shrines of Virtue, homage pay, And, with the rabble world, their Laws obey. If such there are, yet grant me This at least, Man differs more from Man, than Man from Beast.
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester life
If you have a grateful heart (which is a miracle amongst you statesmen), show it by directing the bearer to the best wine in town, and pray let not this highest point of sacred friendship be performed slightly, but go about it with all due deliberation and care, as holy priests to sacrifice, or as discreet thieves to the wary performance of burglary and shop-lifting. Let your well-discerning palate (the best judge about you) travel from cellar to cellar and then from piece to piece till it has lighted on wine fit for its noble choice and my approbation.
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester friendship
The world appears like a great family, Whose lord, oppressed with pride and poverty, (That to the few great bounty he may show) Is fain to starve the numerous train below.
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester family
Dead we become the lumber of the world.
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester world
It is a good world to live in, To lend, or to spend, or to give in; But to beg or to borrow, or to get a man's own, It is the very worst world that ever was known.
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester world
There's not a thing on earth that I can name, So foolish, and so false, as common fame.
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester art
A merry monarch, scandalous and poor.
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester poor
For pointed satire I would Buckhurst choose, The best good man with the worst-natured muse.
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester nature
Angels listen when she speaks: She ’s my delight, all mankind’s wonder; But my jealous heart would break Should we live one day asunder.
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester art
Then talk not of Inconstancy, False Hearts, and broken Vows; If I, by Miracle, can be This live-long Minute true to thee, ‘Tis all that Heav’n allows.
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester art
So, when my Days of Impotence approach, And I’m by Pox and Wine’s unlucky chance Driv'n from the pleasing Billows of debauch On the dull Shore of lazy Temperance; My Pains at least some Respite shall afford While I behold the Battles you maintain When Fleets of Glasses sail about the Board, From whose Broad-sides Volleys of Wit shall rain.
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester sin
Thus, Statesman-like, I’ll saucily impose, And, safe from Danger, valiantly advise; Sheltered in Impotence, urge you to Blows, And, being good for nothing else, be Wise.
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester man
See the kind seed-receiving earth To every grain affords a birth: On her no showers unwelcome fall, Her willing womb retains ‘em all, And shall my Caelia be confined? No, live up to thy mighty mind, And be the mistress of Mankind!
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester art
Lest, once more wandering from that heaven, I fall on some base heart unblest, Faithless to thee, false, unforgiven, And lose my everlasting rest.
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester art
On thy wither’d lips and dry, Which like barren furrows lie, Brooding kisses I will pour, Shall thy youthful heart restore. (Such kind showers in autumn fall, And a second spring recall); Nor from thee will ever part, Ancient Person of my Heart.
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester art
Farewell, woman! I intend Henceforth every night to sit With my lewd, well-natured friend, Drinking to engender wit.
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester nature
Naked she lay, clasped in my longing arms, I filled with love, and she all over charms; Both equally inspired with eager fire, Melting through kindness, flaming in desire. With arms, legs, lips close clinging to embrace.
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester love
Thou treacherous, base deserter of my flame, False to my passion, fatal to my fame, Through what mistaken magic dost thou prove So true to lewdness, so untrue to love?
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester love
But oh, how slowly minutes roll When absent from her eyes, That feed my love, which is my soul: It languishes and dies.
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester love
The clog of all pleasure, the luggage of life, Is the best can be said for a very good wife.
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester life
Great Negative, how vainly would the Wise Enquire, define, distinguish, teach, devise, Didst thou not stand to point their dull Philosophies? Is, or is not, the Two great Ends of Fate, And, true or false, the Subject of Debate, That perfect, or destroy, the vast Designs of Fate.
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester true
The Elephant is never won with Anger, Nor must that man, who would reclaim a Lion, Take him by the teeth.
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester man
We have a pretty witty king, Whose word no man relies on; He never said a foolish thing, Nor ever did a wise one.
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester lies

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