Inspirational Quotations by Alexander Pope (#685)

Inspirational Quotations by Alexander Pope

Today marks the birthday of Alexander Pope (1688–1744,) one of the most vivid poets and extraordinary satirists to have ever written in the English language.

Pope was born Catholic in Protestant England, so he was denied access to the best schools and a university. His aunt taught him to read and a priest taught him Greek and Latin. At age eight, Pope was captivated by the works of Homer. Later, in his thirties, he published English translations of Homer’s Illiad (1720) and Odyssey (1726,) now considered Pope’s greatest literary accomplishments.

'An Essay on Criticism' by Alexander Pope (ISBN 1407643258) Pope’s first literary success came just before his 23rd birthday when he published a 744-line poem called An Essay on Criticism (1711) about the history of literature. Not only did this poem make Pope famous for his attack of contemporaneous literary critics, but it also became one of the most quoted poems in the English language. This poem comprises such prominent adages as, “A little learning is a dangerous thing,” “To err is human, to forgive, divine,” and “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.”

After contracting spinal tuberculosis at the age of 12, Pope became hunchbacked and crippled. He never grew beyond 4’6″ in height and remained in frail health throughout his life. His adversaries derided his physical appearance as much as they did his works of satire. Pope’s other major works include The Rape of the Lock (1714), The Dunciad (1728), and An Essay on Man (1734.)

Pope was the first English poet who financially supported himself through only his writing. He was also the first English writer to have translations of his poems into other languages and become famous all over Europe—all during his lifetime. He is the second-most frequently quoted writer in the English language after Shakespeare.

Inspirational Quotations by Alexander Pope

Amusement is the happiness of those who cannot think.
Alexander Pope

Get place and wealth, if possible with grace; if not, by any means get wealth and place.
Alexander Pope

Some praise at morning what they blame at night, But always think the last opinion right.
Alexander Pope

I believe no one qualification is so likely to make a good writer, as the power of rejecting his own thoughts.
Alexander Pope

Remembrance and reflection how allied. What thin partitions divides sense from thought.
Alexander Pope

He serves me most, who serves his country best.
Alexander Pope

They dream in courtship, but in wedlock wake.
Alexander Pope

It is with our judgments as with our watches: no two go just alike, yet each believes his own.
Alexander Pope

Talk what you will of taste, you will find two of a face as soon as two of a mind.
Alexander Pope

I would tear out my own heart if it had no better disposition than to love only myself, and laugh at all my neighbors.
Alexander Pope

To be angry, is to revenge the fault of others upon ourselves.
Alexander Pope

Some old men, by continually praising the time of their youth, would almost persuade us that there were no fools in those days; but unluckily they are left themselves for examples.
Alexander Pope

Be silent always when you doubt your sense.
Alexander Pope

Never elated when someone’s oppressed, never dejected when another one’s blessed.
Alexander Pope

In faith and hope the world will disagree, but all mankind’s concern is charity.
Alexander Pope

To err is human, to forgive divine.
Alexander Pope

Histories are more full of examples of the fidelity of dogs than of friends.
Alexander Pope

Be thou the first true merit to befriend, his praise is lost who stays till all commend.
Alexander Pope

Some people will never learn anything, for this reason, because they understand everything too soon.
Alexander Pope

Absent or dead, still let a friend be dear.
Alexander Pope

An honest man’s the noblest work of God.
Alexander Pope

Fondly we think we honor merit then, When we but praise ourselves in other men.
Alexander Pope

We think our fathers fools, so wise we grow. Our wiser sons, no doubt will think us so.
Alexander Pope

There is a majesty in simplicity which is far above the quaintness of wit.
Alexander Pope

Ten censure wrong, for one that writes amiss.
Alexander Pope

He who tells a lie, is not sensible how great a task he undertakes; for he must be forced to invent twenty more to maintain that one.
Alexander Pope

‘Tis education forms the common mind: just as the twig is bent the tree’s inclined.
Alexander Pope

It is very natural for a young friend and a young lover to think the persons they love have nothing to do but to please them.
Alexander Pope

Many men have been capable of doing a wise thing, more a cunning thing, but very few a generous thing.
Alexander Pope

Pride is still aiming at the best houses: Men would be angels, angels would be gods. Aspiring to be gods, if angels fell; aspiring to be angels men rebel.
Alexander Pope

The hidden harmony is better than the obvious.
Alexander Pope

Party is the madness of many, for the gain of a few.
Alexander Pope

There is nothing meritorious but virtue and friendship.
Alexander Pope

True politeness consists in being easy one’s self, and in making every one about one as easy as one can.
Alexander Pope

It is with narrow-souled people as with narrow necked bottles: the less they have in them, the more noise they make in pouring it out.
Alexander Pope

False happiness is like false money; it passes for a long time as well as the true, and serves some ordinary occasions; but when it is brought to the touch, we find the lightness and alloy, and feel the loss.
Alexander Pope

When we are young, we are slavishly employed in procuring something whereby we may live comfortably when we grow old; and when we are old, we I perceive it is too late to live as we proposed.
Alexander Pope

Two purposes in human nature rule. Self-love to urge, and reason to restrain.
Alexander Pope

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