John Lyly (Lilly or Lylie) (c. 1553 – 1606) was an English writer, best known for his Euphues (1579).
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- Cupid and my Campaspe play'd
At cards for kisses—Cupid paid:
He stakes his quiver, bow, and arrows,
His mother's doves, and team of sparrows;
Loses them too; then down he throws
The coral of his lips, the rose
Growing on 's cheek (but none knows how);
With these, the crystal of his brow,
And then the dimple of his chin:
All these did my Campaspe win.
At last he set her both his eyes—
She won, and Cupid blind did rise.
O Love! has she done this for thee?
What shall, alas! become of me?
- Poem: Cupid and Campaspe.
- How at heaven's gates she claps her wings,
The morne not waking til she sings.
- Cupid and Campaspe, Act v, Sc. 1. Compare: "Hark, hark! the lark at heaven's gat sings,/And Phœbus 'gins arise", William Shakespeare, Cymbeline, act ii, sc. 3.
- There can no great smoke arise, but there must be some fire.
- Euphues and his Euphœbus, p. 153, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919). Compare: "There is no fire without some smoke", John Heywood, Proverbes, Part ii, Chap. v.
- A clere conscience is a sure carde.
- Euphues, p. 207, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919). Compare: "This is a sure card", Thersytes, circa 1550.
- As lyke as one pease is to another.
- Euphues, p. 215, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).
Euphues (Arber )
- Be valyaunt, but not too venturous. Let thy attyre bee comely, but not costly.
- Though the Camomill, the more it is trodden and pressed downe the more it spreadeth.
- P. 46. Compare: "The camomile, the more it is trodden on the faster it grows", William Shakespeare, 1 Henry IV, act ii, sc. 4.
- The finest edge is made with the blunt whetstone.
- P. 47.
- I cast before the Moone.
- P. 78. Compare: "Feare may force a man to cast beyond the moone", John Heywood, Proverbes, Part i, Chap. iv.
- It seems to me (said she) that you are in some brown study.
- P. 80. Compare: "A brown study", Jonathan Swift, Polite Conversation.
- The soft droppes of rain perce the hard marble; many strokes overthrow the tallest oaks.
- P. 81. Compare: "Water continually dropping will wear hard rocks hollow", Plutarch, Of the Training of Children; "Stillicidi casus lapidem cavat" (translation: "Continual dropping wears away a stone"), Lucretius, i. 314; "Many strokes, though with a little axe,/ Hew down and fell the hardest-timber'd oak", William Shakespeare, 3 Henry VI, act ii, sc. 1.
- He reckoneth without his Hostesse. Love knoweth no lawes.
- P. 84. Compare: "Reckeners without their host must recken twice", John Heywood, Proverbes, Part i, Chap. viii.
- That honourable estate of Matrimony, which was sanctified in Paradise, allowed of the Patriarches, hallowed of the olde Prophets, and commended of al persons.
- P. 86.
- Did not Jupiter transforme himselfe into the shape of Amphitrio to embrace Alcmæna; into the form of a swan to enjoy Leda; into a Bull to beguile Io; into a showre of gold to win Danae?
- P. 93. Compare: "Jupiter himself was turned into a satyr, a shepherd, a bull, a swan, a golden shower, and what not for love", Robert Burton, Anatomy of Melancholy, part iii, sec ii, mem. i, subs. 1.
- Lette me stande to the maine chance.
- I mean not to run with the Hare and holde with the Hounde.
- P. 107. Compare: "To hold with the hare and run with the hound", John Heywood, Proverbes, Part i, Chap. x.
- Rather fast then surfette, rather starue then striue to exceede.
- P. 108.
- Is it not true which Seneca reporteth, that as too much bending breaketh the bowe, so too much remission spoyleth the minde?
- P. 112.
- It is a world to see.
- P. 116. Compare: "'T is a world to see", William Shakespeare, Taming of the Shrew, act ii, sc. 1.
In Popular Culture
" Be valyaunt, but not too venturous " is quoted in Jeeves and Wooster, when Wooster is playing golf, and getting his ball into the rough once too often. In this, he refers to Lyly simply as " The Poet "
Euphues and his England
- Goe to bed with the Lambe, and rise with the Larke.
- A comely olde man as busie as a bee.
- P. 252.
- Maydens, be they never so foolyshe, yet beeing fayre they are commonly fortunate.
- P. 279.
- Where the streame runneth smoothest, the water is deepest.
- P. 287. Compare: "Passions are likened best to floods and streams: The shallow murmur, but the deep are dumb", Sir Walter Raleigh, The Silent Lover.
- Your eyes are so sharpe that you cannot onely looke through a Milstone, but cleane through the minde.
- P. 289.
- I am glad that my Adonis hath a sweete tooth in his head.
- P. 308.
- For experience teacheth me that straight trees have crooked roots.
- A Rose is sweeter in the budde than full blowne.
- P. 314. Compare: "The rose is fairest when 't is budding new", Sir Walter Scott, Lady of the Lake, canto iii. st. 1.