Richard Brinsley Sheridan
Richard Brinsley Butler Sheridan (30 October 1751 – 7 July 1816) was an Irish
Irish people
The Irish people are an ethnic group who originate in Ireland, an island in northwestern Europe. Ireland has been populated for around 9,000 years , with the Irish people's earliest ancestors recorded having legends of being descended from groups such as the Nemedians, Fomorians, Fir Bolg, Tuatha...

-born playwright
A playwright, also called a dramatist, is a person who writes plays.The term is not a variant spelling of "playwrite", but something quite distinct: the word wright is an archaic English term for a craftsman or builder...

 and poet
A poet is a person who writes poetry. A poet's work can be literal, meaning that his work is derived from a specific event, or metaphorical, meaning that his work can take on many meanings and forms. Poets have existed since antiquity, in nearly all languages, and have produced works that vary...

 and long-term owner of the London Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane is a West End theatre in Covent Garden, in the City of Westminster, a borough of London. The building faces Catherine Street and backs onto Drury Lane. The building standing today is the most recent in a line of four theatres at the same location dating back to 1663,...

. For thirty-two years he was also a Whig Member
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 of the British House of Commons for Stafford
Stafford (UK Parliament constituency)
Stafford is a county constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election. The sitting MP is the Conservative Jeremy Lefroy....

 (1780–1806), Westminster
Westminster (UK Parliament constituency)
Westminster was a parliamentary constituency in the Parliament of England to 1707, the Parliament of Great Britain 1707-1800 and the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1801. It returned two members to 1885 and one thereafter....

 (1806–1807) and Ilchester
Ilchester (UK Parliament constituency)
Ilchester was a constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of England then of the Parliament of Great Britain from 1707 to 1800 and of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1801 to 1832. It was represented by two Members of Parliament until 1832...

 (1807–1812). Such was the esteem he was held in by his contemporaries when he died that he was buried at Poets' Corner
Poets' Corner
Poets' Corner is the name traditionally given to a section of the South Transept of Westminster Abbey because of the number of poets, playwrights, and writers buried and commemorated there. The most recent additions were a memorial floor stone unveiled in 2009 for the founders of the Royal Ballet...

 in Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey Burials and Memorials
Honouring individuals with Burials and Memorials in Westminster Abbey has a long tradition. Henry III rebuilt Westminster Abbey in honour of the Royal Saint Edward the Confessor whose relics were placed in a shrine in the sanctuary and now lie in a burial vault beneath the 1268 Cosmati mosaic...


An apothecary should never be out of spirits.

St. Patrick's Day (1775), Act I, sc. i.

Death's a debt; his mandamus binds all alike — no bail, no demurrer.

St. Patrick's Day (1775), Act II, sc. iv.

Date not the life which thou hast run by the mean of reckoning of the hours and days, which though hast breathed: a life spent worthily should be measured by a nobler line, — by deeds, not years...

Pizarro (first acted 24 May 1799), Act iv, Scene 1. Compare: "Who well lives, long lives; for this age of ours / Should not be numbered by years, daies, and hours", Guillaume de Salluste Du Bartas, Second Week, Fourth Day, Book ii.

You write with ease to show your breeding,But easy writing's curst hard reading.

Clio's Protest (1819).

An oyster may be crossed in love.

Clio's Protest (1819).

The right honorable gentlemen is indebted to his memory for his jests, and to his imagination for his facts.

Sheridaniana, Speech in Reply to Mr. Dundas.

Believe not each accusing tongue,As most weak persons do;But still believe that story wrong,Which ought not to be true!

Reported in Nicholas Harris Nicolas, The Carcanet: a Literary Album, Containing Select Passages from the Most Distinguished English Writers (1828), p. 132.

'Tis safest in matrimony to begin with a little aversion.

Act I, sc. ii

A progeny of learning.

Act I, sc. i

Never say more than is necessary.

Act II, sc. i