George Crabbe

English poet, surgeon, and clergyman

George Crabbe (December 24, 1754February 3, 1832) was an English poet, known for his realistic and unsentimental portrayals of peasant life.

George Crabbe

Quotes edit

  • Where Plenty smiles - alas! she smiles for few,
    And those who taste not, yet behold her store,
    Are as the slaves that dig the golden ore,
    The wealth around them makes them doubly poor.
    • The Village, Book 1, line 136 (1783).
  • The murmuring poor, who will not fast in peace.
    • The Newspaper (1785), line 158.
  • A master passion is the love of news.
    • The Newspaper (1785), line 279.
  • Our farmers round, well pleased with constant gain,
    Like other farmers, flourish and complain.
    • The Parish Register (1807), Part 1: "Baptisms", line 273.
  • Oh, rather give me commentators plain,
    Who with no deep researches vex the brain;
    Who from the dark and doubtful love to run,
    And hold their glimmering tapers to the sun.
    • The Parish Register (1807), Part i, "Introduction". Compare "How commentators each dark passage shun, / And hold their farthing candle to the sun", Edward Young, Love of Fame, Satire vii, Line 97.
  • Her air, her manners, all who saw admir'd;
    Courteous though coy, and gentle though retir'd;
    The joy of youth and health her eyes display'd,
    And ease of heart her every look convey'd.
    • The Parish Register (1807), Part ii, "Marriages".
  • The mind here exhibited is one untouched by pity, unstung by remorse, and uncorrected by shame; yet is this hardihood of temper and spirit broken by want, disease, solitude, and disappointment, and he becomes the victim of a distempered and horror-stricken fancy.
    • The Borough (1810), "Preface"
  • Habit with him was all the test of truth,
    It must be right: I’ve done it from my youth.
    • The Borough (1810), Letter iii, "The Vicar", line 138.
  • In this fool's paradise he drank delight.
    • The Borough (1810), Letter xii, "Players".
  • Books cannot always please, however good;
    Minds are not ever craving for their food.
    • The Borough (1810), Letter xxiv, "Schools".
  • In idle wishes fools supinely stay;
    Be there a will, and wisdom finds a way.
    • The Birth of Flattery, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).

Tales in Verse (1812) edit

  • Who calls a lawyer rogue, may find, too late
    Upon one of these depends his whole estate.
    • Tales iii, "The Gentleman Farmer".
  • Cut and come again.
    • Tale vii, "The Widow's Tale".
  • Better to love amiss than nothing to have loved.
    • Tale xiv, "The Struggles of Conscience". Compare: "'T is better to have loved and lost, Than never to have loved at all", Alfred Tennyson, In Memoriam, xxvii.
  • But 'twas a maxim he had often tried,
    That right was right, and there he would abide.
    • Tale xv, "The Squire and the Priest". Compare: "For right is right, since God is God", Frederick William Faber, The Right must win.
  • 'T was good advice, and meant, my son, Be good.
    • Tale xxi, "The Learned Boy".

Tales of the Hall (1819) edit

  • Secrets with girls, like loaded guns with boys,
    Are never valued till they make a noise.
    • "The Maid's Story", line 84 (1819).
  • He tried the luxury of doing good.
    • Book iii, "Boys at School". Compare: "And learn the luxury of doing good", Oliver Goldsmith, The Traveller, Line 22.
  • To sigh, yet not recede; to grieve, yet not repent.
    • Book iii, "Boys at School". Compare: To sigh, yet feel no pain", Thomas Moore The Blue Stocking.
  • And took for truth the test of ridicule.
    • Book viii, "The Sisters".
  • Time has touched me gently in his race,
    And left no odious furrows in my face.

External links edit

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