William Shenstone

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Necessity may be the mother of lucrative invention, but it is the death of poetical.

William Shenstone (November 13, 1714 - February 11, 1763), English poet and essayist, was one of the earliest practitoners of landscape gardening through the development of his estate, The Leasowes.

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  • Oft has good nature been the fool's defence,
    And honest meaning gilded want of sense.
    • To a Lady (1736).
  • Her cap, far whiter than the driven snow,
    Emblem right meet of decency does yield.
    • The Schoolmistress (1737-48), st. 6.
  • Whoe'er has traveled life's dull round,
    Where'er his stages may have been,
    May sigh to think he still has found
    The warmest welcome, at an inn.
    • Written at an Inn at Henley (1758), st. 6. Compare: " From thee, great God, we spring, to thee we tend,— Path, motive, guide, original, and end", Samuel Johnson, Motto to the Rambler, No. 7.
  • Every good poet includes a critic; the reverse will not hold.
    • On Writing and Books.
  • A fool and his words are soon parted.
    • On Reserve.
  • Love is a pleasing but a various clime.
    • Elegies, no. 5, st. 3.
  • So sweetly she bade me adieu,
    I thought that she bade me return.
    • A Pastoral, part i.
  • I have found out a gift for my fair;
    I have found where the wood-pigeons breed.
    • A Pastoral, part i.
  • My banks they are furnish’d with bees,
    Whose murmur invites one to sleep.
    • A Pastoral, part ii, "Hope".
  • For seldom shall she hear a tale
    So sad, so tender, and so true.
    • Jemmy Dawson (c. 1745), st. 20.
  • Her cap, far whiter than the driven snow,
    Emblems right meet of decency does yield.
    • The Schoolmistress, stanza 6.
  • Pun-provoking thyme.
    • The Schoolmistress, stanza 11.
  • A little bench of heedless bishops here,
    And there a chancellor in embryo.
    • The Schoolmistress, stanza 28.

Essays on Men and Manners

  • Some men are called sagacious, merely on account of their avarice: whereas a child can clench its fist the moment it is born.
  • Zealous men are ever displaying to you the strength of their belief, while judicious men are shewing you the grounds of it.
  • There seem near as many people that want passion as want reason.
  • A man has generally the good or ill qualities which he attributes to mankind.
  • Necessity may be the mother of lucrative invention, but it is the death of poetical.

External links

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