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Aphra Behn

  • ... I think a Play the best divertisement that wise men have: but I do also think them nothing so who do discourse so formallie about the rules of it, as if 'twere the grand affair of humane life.

  • ... affectation hath always had a greater share both in the action and discourse of men than truth and judgment have ...

  • He'll sooner lend thee his wife than his Money.

  • 'Banter? what's that, man?' 'Why Sir, talking very much, and meaning just nothing; be full of words without any connexion, sence, or conclusion.'

  • [Epilogue:] As for you half wits, you unthinking tribe, / We'll let you see, what e'er besides we do, / How artfully we copy some of you: / And if you're drawn to the life, pray tell me then, / Why women should not write as well as men.

  • Patience is a flatterer, sir — and an ass, sir.

    • Aphra Behn,
    • Feigned Courtesans
    • ()
  • ... he that will live in this World, must be endu'd with the three rare Qualities of Dissimulation, Equivocation, and mental Reservation.

    • Aphra Behn,
    • The Round-Heads, Or, The Good Old Cause
    • ()
  • Come away; poverty's catching.

  • One hour of right-down love / Is worth an age of dully living on.

  • There is no sinner like a young saint.

  • ... Money speaks sense in a Language all Nations understand.

    • Aphra Behn,
    • The Rover, Part II
    • ()
  • Kings that made laws, first broke 'em ...

    • Aphra Behn,
    • "The Golden Age," Poems on Several Occasions ()
  • Love ceases to be a pleasure, when it ceases to be a secret.

  • Dear me no Dears, Sir ...

  • ... Jealousy, the old Worm that bites ...

  • Love's a thin Diet, nor will keep out Cold.

  • ... faith, Sir, we are here to Day, and gone to Morrow ...

  • He that knew all that ever Learning writ, / Knew only this — that he knew nothing yet.

  • Oh, what a dear ravishing thing is the beginning of an Amour!

  • ... time lessens all extremes and reduces 'em to mediums and unconcern ...

  • God makes all things good; Man meddles with 'em and they become evil.

  • ... that perfect tranquility of life, which is nowhere to be found but in retreat, a faithful friend, a good library ...

  • ... the Gods / by teaching us religion first, first set the World at Odds.

    • Aphra Behn,
    • "The Golden Age," in Janet M. Todd, The Works of Aphra Behn ()
  • Oh Love! that stronger art than wine, / Pleasing delusion, witchery divine, / Wont to be priz'd above all wealth, / Disease that has more joys than health; / Tho' we blaspheme thee in our pain, / And of thy tyranny complain, / We all are better'd by thy reign.

    • Aphra Behn,
    • "Song," in Alexander Dyce, ed., Specimens of British Poetesses ()

Aphra Behn, English playwright, poet, novelist

(1640 - 1689)

Full name: Aphra Johnson Behn.