John Gay Quotes

Do you think your mother and I should have lived comfortably so long together, if ever we had been married? Baggage!
John Gay (1685-1732), British dramatist. Peachum, in The Beggar's Opera, act 1, sc. 8.
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Through all the employments of life Each neighbour abuses his brother; Whore and rogue they call husband and wife: All professions be-rogue one another.
John Gay (1685-1732), British dramatist. Peachum, in The Beggar's Opera, act 1, sc. 1.
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Can you support the expense of a husband, hussy, in gaming, drinking and whoring? Have you money enough to carry on the daily quarrels of man and wife about who shall squander most?
John Gay (1685-1732), British dramatist. Peachum, in The Beggar's Opera, act 1, sc. 8.
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A fox may steal your hens, Sir, A whore your health and pence, Sir, Your daughter rob your chest, Sir, Your wife may steal your rest, Sir, A thief your goods and plate. But this is all but picking, With rest, pence, chest and chicken; It ever was decreed, Sir, If lawyer's hand is fee'd, Sir, He steals your whole estate.
John Gay (1685-1732), British dramatist. Peachum, in The Beggar's Opera, act 1, sc. 9, air 11.
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What then in love can woman do? If we grow fond they shun us. And when we fly them, they pursue: But leave us when they've won us.
John Gay (1685-1732), British playwright. Polly and Lucy, in The Beggar's Opera, act 3, sc. 8, air 49.
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Can love be controlled by advice? Will Cupid our mothers obey? Though my heart were as frozen as ice, At his flame 'twould have melted away. When he kissed me so closely he pressed, 'Twas so sweet that I must have complied: So I thought it both safest and best To marry, for fear you should chide.
John Gay (1685-1732), British dramatist, poet. Polly, in The Beggar's Opera, act 1, sc. 8, air 8 (1728), ed. F.W. Bateson (1934).
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"O Susan, Susan, lovely dear, My vows shall ever true remain; Let me kiss off that falling tear, We only part to meet again. Change, as ye list, ye winds; my heart shall be The faithful compass that still points to thee. 'Believe not what the landmen say, Who tempt with doubts thy constant mind: They'll tell thee, sailors, when away, In ev'ry port a mistress find. Yes, yes, believe them when they tell thee so, For thou art present wheresoe'er I go.
John Gay (1685-1732), British poet. Sweet William's Farewell to Black-eyed Susan (l. 19-30). . . New Oxford Book of Eighteenth Century Verse, The. Roger Lonsdale, ed. (1984) Oxford University Press.
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We only part to meet again. Change, as ye list, ye winds: my heart shall be The faithful compass that still points to thee.
John Gay (1685-1732), British dramatist, poet. Sweet William's Farewell to Black-Eyed Susan (1720).
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If the heart of a man is deprest with cares, The mist is dispell'd when a woman appears; Like the notes of a fiddle, she sweetly, sweetly Raises the spirits, and charms our ears.
John Gay (1685-1732), British poet. The Beggar's Opera (II, ii). . . Oxford Anthology of English Literature, The, Vols. I-II. Frank Kermode and John Hollander, general eds. (1973) Oxford University Press (Also published as six paperback vols.: Medieval English Literature, J. B. Trapp, ed.; The Literature of Renaissance England, John Hollander and Frank Kermode, eds.; The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century, Martin Price, ed.; Romantic Poetry and Prose, Harold Bloom and Lionel Trilling, eds.; Victorian Prose and Poetry, Lionel Trilling and Harold Bloom, eds.; Modern British Literature, Frank Kermode and John Hollander, eds.).
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Before the Barn-Door crowing, The Cock by Hens attended, His Eyes around him throwing, Stands for a while suspended: Then One he singles from the Crew, And cheers the happy Hen; With how do you do, and how do you do, And how do you do again.
John Gay (1685-1732), British poet. The Beggar's Opera (II, i). . . Oxford Anthology of English Literature, The, Vols. I-II. Frank Kermode and John Hollander, general eds. (1973) Oxford University Press (Also published as six paperback vols.: Medieval English Literature, J. B. Trapp, ed.; The Literature of Renaissance England, John Hollander and Frank Kermode, eds.; The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century, Martin Price, ed.; Romantic Poetry and Prose, Harold Bloom and Lionel Trilling, eds.; Victorian Prose and Poetry, Lionel Trilling and Harold Bloom, eds.; Modern British Literature, Frank Kermode and John Hollander, eds.).
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