William Temple

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Sir William Temple

Sir William Temple (25 April, 162827 January, 1699) was a statesman and essayist, who successfully negotiated the marriage of William, Prince of Orange and Princess Mary of England.


  • All the precepts of Christianity agree to teach and command us to moderate our passions, to temper our affections towards all things below; to be thankful for the possession, and patient under the loss whenever he that gave it shall see fit to take away.
    • "To the Countess of Essex, Upon Her Grief occasioned by the loss of Her only Daughter" (29 January 1674), in Miscellanea (4th ed. pub. 1705), p. 172.
    • Variant: "Christianity teaches us to moderate our passions; to temper our affections toward all things below; to be thankful for the possession, and patient under loss, whenever He who gave shall see fit to take away." Reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 140.
  • Whoever converses much among the old books, will be something hard to please among the new.
    • Miscellanea (1690), Part II, Essay "Upon the Ancient and Modern Learning".
  • Books, like proverbs, receive their chief value from the stamp and esteem of ages through which they have passed.
    • Miscellanea (1690), Part II, "Upon the Ancient and Modern Learning".
  • When all is done, human life is, at the greatest, and the best, but like a froward child, that must be played with and humored a little to keep it quiet till it falls asleep, and then the care is over.
    • Miscellanea (4th ed. pub. 1705), Part II, "Of Poetry".
  • No clap of thunder in a fair frosty day could astonish the world more than [England's] declaration of war against Holland in 1672.
    • Memoirs, Volume II, p. 255.

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