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1670 - 1729
Congreve was educated at Trinity College, Dublin (Swift was a fellow student) after which he went off to London and studied to become a lawyer. Congreve turned to writing plays and poetry. He is best remembered for the two overworked quotations: 'music hath charms to soothe the savage breast" and "hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." (The Mourning Bride, 1697.)
False though she be to me and Love,
I'll ne'er purse Revenge;
For still the Charmer I approve,
Thou' I deplore her Change.
In Hours of Bliss we oft have met,
They could not always last;
And though the present I regret,
I'm grateful for the past.
Pious Selinda goes to Pray'rs,
If I but ask the Favour;
And yet the tender Fool's in Tears,
When she believes I'll leave her.
Wou'd I were free from Restraint,
Or else had Hopes to win her;
W ou'd she cou'd make of me a Saint,
Or I of her a Sinner.
© 2000 Elena and Yacov Feldman