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Henry Wotton

Tell the truth so as to puzzle and confound your adversaries.

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An ambassador is an honest man sent abroad to lie for his country.

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Well-building hat three conditions. Commodity, firmness, and delight.

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Upon the death of Sir Albert Morton's Wife

He first deceased; she for a little tried
To live without him, liked it not, and died.

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An ambassador is an honest man sent abroad to lie and intrigue for the benefit of his country.

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An ambassador is a man of virtue sent to lie abroad for his country; a news-writer is a man without virtue who lies at home for himself.

Henry Wotton in Reliquae WottonianaeReport problemRelated quotes
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Upon The Sudden Restraint Of The Earl Of Somerset, Then Falling From Favour

Dazled thus with height of place,
Whilst our Hopes our wits Beguile,
No man marks the narrow space
'Twixt a Prison and a Smile.

Then since Fortunes favours fade,
You that in her arms do sleep,
Learn to swim and not to wade;
For the Hearts of Kings are deep.

But if Greatness be so blind,
As to trust in Towers of Air,
Let it be with Goodness lin'd,
That at least the Fall be fair.

Then though darkned you shall say,
When Friends fail and Princes frown,
Vertue is the roughest way,
But proves at night a Bed of Down.

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A Hymn To My God

OH thou great Power, in whom I move,
For whom I live, to whom I die,
Behold me through thy beams of love,
Whilest on this Couch of tears I lye;
And Cleanse my sordid soul within,
By thy Chirsts Bloud, the bath of sin.

No hallowed oyls, no grains I need,
No rags of Saints, no purging fire,
One rosie drop from David's Seed
Was worlds of seas, to quench thine Ire.
O pretious Ransome! which once paid,
That Consummatum est was said.

And said by him, that said no more,
But seal'd it with his sacred breath.
Thou then, that hast dispung'd my score,
And dying, wast the death of death;
Be to me now, on thee I call,
My Life, my Strength, my Joy, my All.

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You Meaner Beauties of the Night

You meaner beauties of the night,
That poorly satisfy our eyes
More by your number than your light;
You common people of the skies,
What are you when the sun shall rise?

You curious chanters of the wood,
That warble forth Dame Nature's lays,
Thinking your voices understood
By your weak accents; what's your praise
When Philomel her voice shall raise?

You violets that first appear,
By your pure purple mantles known,
Like the proud virgins of the year,
As if the spring were all your own;
What are you when the rose is blown?

So, when my mistress shall be seen
In form and beauty of her mind,

[...] Read more

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To A Noble Friend In His Sickness

Untimely Feaver, rude insulting guest,
How didst thou with such unharmonious heat
Dare to distune his well-composed rest;
Whose heart so just and noble stroaks did beat?

What if his Youth and Spirits well may bear
More thick assaults, and stronger siege then this?
We measure not his courage, but our fear:
Not what our selves, but what the Times may miss.

Had not that blood, which thrice his veins did yield,
Been better treasur'd for some glorious day:
At farthest West to paint the liquid field,
And with new Worlds his Masters love to pay?

But let those thoughts, sweet Lord, repose a while,
Tend only now thy vigour to regain;
And pardon these poor Rimes, that would beguile
With mine own grief, some portion of thy pain.

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