Isaac Bickerstaffe

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Isaac Bickerstaffe (26 September 1733 – 1812?) was an Irish playwright who arrived in London in 1755 and produced many successful comedies and opera librettos.


"Young fellows will be young fellows".
  • Hope! thou nurse of young desire.
    • Love in a Village (1762), Act i, scene 1.
  • There was a jolly miller once,
    Lived on the river Dee;
    He worked and sung from morn till night:
    No lark more blithe than he.
    • Love in a Village (1762), Act i, scene 2.
  • And this the burden of his song
    Forever used to be,—
    I care for nobody, no, not I,
    If no one cares for me.
    • Love in a Village (1762), Act i, scene 2. Compare: "If naebody care for me, I'll care for naebody", Robert Burns, I hae a Wife o' my Ain; "I envy none, no, no, not I, And no one envies me", Charles Mackay, The King and the Miller.
  • Young fellows will be young fellows.
    • Love in a Village (1762), Act ii, scene 2.
  • 'Tis a sure sign work goes on merrily, when folks sing at it.
    • The Maide of the Mill (1765), Act i, scene 1.
  • By candle-light nobody would have taken you for above five-and-twenty.
    • The Maide of the Mill (1765), Act i, scene 2.
  • Fine feathers, they say, make fine birds.
  • Ay, do despise me! I'm the prouder for it; I like to be despised.
    • The Hypocrite (1768), Act v, scene 1.
  • Perhaps it was right to dissemble your love,
    But - why did you kick me downstairs?
    • An Expostulation (1789).
  • Health is the greatest of all possessions; a pale cobbler is better than a sick king.
    • Reported in Tryon Edwards, A Dictionary of Thoughts (1908), p. 221.
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