I do not love thee, Doctor Fell,
The reason why I cannot tell;
But this alone I know full well,
I do not love thee, Doctor Fell.
Laconics, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919). A slightly different version is found in Brown's Works collected and published after his death. Compare: "Non amo te, Sabidi, nec possum dicere quare; Hoc tantum possum dicere, non amo te" (translation: "I do not love thee, Sabidius, nor can I say why; this only I can say, I do not love thee"), Martial, Epigram i. 33; "Je ne vous aime pas, Hylas; Je n'en saurois dire la cause, Je sais seulement une chose; C'est que je ne vous aime pas", Marquis de Bussy-Castelnau, Comte de Rabutin (1618–1693).
To treat a poor wretch with a bottle of Burgundy, and fill his snuff-box, is like giving a pair of laced ruffles to a man that has never a shirt on his back. 2.
Laconics, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919). Compare: "Like sending them ruffles, when wanting a shirt", Sorbienne (1610–1670); also used in Oliver Goldsmith, The Haunch of Venison.
In the reign of Charles II. a certain worthy divine at Whitehall thus addressed himself to the auditory at the conclusion of his sermon: "In short, if you don't live up to the precepts of the Gospel, but abandon yourselves to your irregular appetites, you must expect to receive your reward in a certain place which 't is not good manners to mention here."
Laconics, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919). Compare: "Who never mentions hell to ears polite", Alexander Pope, Moral Essays, epistle iv, line 149.