William Wycherley (c. 1640 – 1 January 1716) was an English dramatist of the Restoration period.

See also: The Country Wife.

QuotesEdit

  • Necessity, the mother of invention.
    • Love in a Wood (1671), Act III, scene 3. (This was already a common proverb before Wycherley, cf. Invention, Necessity.)
  • And with faint praises one another damn.
    • The Plain Dealer (1677), Prologue.
  • I weigh the man, not his title; 'tis not the king's stamp can make the metal better.
    • The Plain Dealer (1677), Act I, scene 1.

Quotes about WycherleyEdit

  • He lost his memory forty years before he died by a fever, and would repeat the same thought sometimes in the compass of ten lines, and did not dream of its being inserted but just before. When you pointed it out to him he would say, "Gads-so, so it is! I thank you very much: pray blot it out." He had the same single thoughts (which were very good) come into his head again that he had used twenty years before. His memory did not carry above a sentence at a time.
    • Alexander Pope, as quoted in Anecdotes, Observations, and Characters, of Books and Men (1820) by Joseph Spence, "Spence's Anecdotes", Section IV. 1734...36. p. 160.
  • Wycherley used to read himself asleep o' nights either in Montaigne, Rochefoucault, Seneca, or Gracian; for these were his favourite authors. He would read one or other of them in the evening, and the next morning, perhaps, write a copy of verses on some subject similar to what he had been reading; and have all the thoughts of his author, only expressed in a different mode, and that without knowing that he was obliged to any one for a single thought in the whole poem. I have experienced this in him several times (for I visited him for a whole winter, almost every evening and morning), and look upon it as one of the strangest phenomena that I ever observed in the human mind.
    • Alexander Pope, as quoted in Anecdotes, Observations, and Characters, of Books and Men (1820) by Joseph Spence, "Spence's Anecdotes", Section V. 1737...39. p. 198.

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