none but the brave deserve the fair

The pair referred to in Dryden’s poem (Alexander’s Feast) are Alexander the Great and the Athenian courtesan Thais.

1697 DRYDEN Poems (1958) III. 148 Happy, happy, happy Pair!.. None but the Brave deserves the Fair.

1829 P. EGAN Boxiana 2nd ser. II. 354 The tender sex..feeling the good old notion that ‘none but the brave deserve the fair’, were sadly out of temper.

1873 TROLLOPE Phineas Redux II. xiii. All the proverbs were on his side. ‘None but the brave deserve the fair,’ said his cousin.

1978 F. WELDON Praxis xii. She frequented the cafe where the Rugger set hung out, and on a Saturday, after closing hours, could be seen making for the downs, laughing heartily and noisily in the company of one or other of the brave, who clearly deserved the fair.

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