William Shenstone

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A man has generally the good or ill qualities which he attributes to mankind.

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

Quotes[edit]

Necessity may be the mother of lucrative invention, but it is the death of poetical invention.
  • Oft has good nature been the fool's defence,
    And honest meaning gilded want of sense.
    • To a Lady (1736).
  • 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; a man of genius and his money.
    • 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.

The Schoolmistress (1737-48)[edit]

Full text online
  • Her cap, far whiter than the driven snow,
    Emblem right meet of decency does yield.
    • Stanza 6.
  • Pun-provoking thyme.
    • Stanza 11.
  • A little bench of heedless bishops here,
    And there a chancellor in embryo.
    • Stanza 28.

Essays on Men and Manners (1804)[edit]

Zealous men are ever displaying to you the strength of their belief, while judicious men are shewing you the grounds of it.
  • 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 invention.
    • "Detached Thoughts : On Writing and Books", p. 129.

External links[edit]

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