Euphues, the Anatomy of Wit

by John Lyly

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Last Updated September 5, 2023.

Euphues: The Anatomy of Wit is a romance written by John Lyly in an ornate and sophisticated style. Being very didactic in nature, it would stand to reason that the work would be full of inspiring and thought-provoking quotes, some of which you have most likely heard before.

The Euphues quote that most are immediately familiar with is: "All is fair in love and war." This quote has survived as something of an uncomfortable truth, reminding us that some areas of life are so overwhelming that one can scarcely blame another for acting in their own self-interest.

Another popular quote is: "In misery it is a great comfort to have a companion." The more common version of this quote that we've all heard is "Misery loves company." This simply means that when someone is unhappy, it may serve as a small comfort to know that others are unhappy as well.

Euphues is full of quotes that teach compassion. One of the best of these is "The sun shineth upon the dunghill, and is not corrupted." This reminds us not to think of ourselves as greater than others, and that we cannot be corrupted by being kind to someone in worse circumstances.

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