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Il n'est pas nécessaire de connaître quelqu'un pour lui ôter son chapeau. (It is not necessary to know anyone to take off your hat to him.)

MARSHAL CATINAT (1637-1712) -to a young man who came to ask his pardon for having treated him unceremoniously, not knowing who he was.

Il n'oserait! (He would not

dare!) Sometimes quoted Ils n'oseraient. (they would not dare!)

Written by the DUC DE GUISE (1550-88) at the foot of a note found by him under his serviette at table (Dec. 22, 1588). The note, which he threw under the table, contained these words:

"Donnez-vous de garde, on est "sur le point de vous jouer un "mauvais tour." (Take care, they are on the point of doing you a bad turn.) During the evening, his cousin the duc d'Elbeuf, told him that an attempt would be made next day on the life of the Catholic princes; he laughingly advised him to go to bed as he himself intended dcing, adding:

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"Je vois bien, mon cousin, que

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vous avez regardé votre almanach, car tous les almanachs de cette "année sont farcis de telles "manaces." (I see clearly, cousin, that you have looked at your almanac, for all this year's almanacs are full of such threats.) The next day the duc de Guise was assassinated.

When Henri III. (1551-89) was assured that his great enemy was indeed no more, he came out from his cabinet, sword in hand, and exclaimed, spurning the corpse with his foot: "Nous ne sommes plus "deux! Je suis roi maintenant !" (There are no longer two of us! Now I am king!) After looking at the body a little time Henri said.

"Mon Dieu, qu'il est grand! [1 "paraît encore plus grand mort que "vivant." (My God, how tall he is! He seems taller dead than alive.)— Journal de L'Estoile. See Morte la bête, mort le venin.

Il n'y a de nouveau que ce qui est oublié. (Nothing is new but what is forgotten.)

MLLE. BERTIN, a celebrated modiste, to MARIE ANTOINETTE (1755-93). The queen asked whether the model of a costume was quite new, for she thought she had seen a drawing of it in some old engravings. Cf.

... Nothing is thought rare "Which is not new, and followed; yet we know

"That what was worn some twenty years ago

"Comes into grace again."

J. Fletcher,

The Noble Gentleman. Prologue, II. 4-7. Also Il n'y a de nouveau que ce qui a vieilli. (Nothing is new but what has grown old). Motto of the Revue rétrospective Ist series, published in 1833. Also

"There n'is no newë guise, that it n'as old."

Chaucer, The Knight's Tale, Tyrwhitt's edition, vol. 1, p. 66, 1. 2127.


. . and there is no new thing under the sun." Ecclesiastes i, 9.

Il n'y a pas de question sociale.

(There is no social question). Favourite saying of LEON GAMBETTA (1838-82). In his speech at Belleville, May 26, 1870, occur the words:-" 'car cette unité que l'on appelle la question sociale n'existe pas." (for the unity that is called the social question does not exist.) Le Rappel, May 28, 1870.

And in another at Havre, April 18, 1872:- Croyez qu'il n'y a pas de remède social parce qu'il n'y a pas une question sociale.' (Be sure

that there is no social remedy because there is no social question). Le Rappel, April 22, 1872.

Il n'y a plus de Pyrénées. (There

are no more Pyrenees.)

Attributed by Voltaire (Siècle de Louis XIV, ch. 28) to LOUIS XIV (1638-1715) (but authenticity doubt. ful) on the occasion of declaring Philip, duke of Anjou, king of Spain (Nov. 16, 1700), under the title of Philip V.

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The Journal du marquis de Dangeau (vol. vii, p. 419) credits the Spanish ambassador with the words which probably gave rise to the above saying, namely:"L'ambassadeur d'Espagne dit fort "à propos que ce voyage* devenoit "aisé, et que présentement les "Pyrénées étoient fondues." (The Spanish ambassador said very d propos that this journey became easy and that now the Pyrenees had melted away.)

The poet Malherbe (1555-1628), however, previously used the words "aplanir les Pyrénées". (to remove, or sinooth away, the Pyrenees.) Cf. Mountains interposed

Make enemies of nations, who had else, "Like kindred drops, been mingled into


Cowper, The Task, bk. ii (The Timepiece). Il n'y a plus une seule faute à

commettre. (There is now not a single mistake left to make.) LOUIS ADOLPHE THIERS (17971877), in a speech to the Corps législatif, Mar. 14, 1867, alluding to foreign affairs.-Le Moniteur universel, Mar. 15, 1867, p. 295.

Il n'y a point de héros pour un valet de chambre. (No one man is a hero to a valet.) MME. CORNUEL (1605-94). Cf.

Alluding to the permission given Nov. 16, 1700, by the new king of Spain to the young courtiers to follow him there.

Lettres de Mlle. Aïssé (Aug. 13, 1728), 5th édition p. 161. Cf.

"Il faut être bien héros pour l'être aux yeux de son valet de chambre." (It is necessary to be indeed a hero to be one to one's valet.) Said by the MARECHAL DE CATINAT (1637-1712).

The following occurs in Montaigne's Essais, bk. iii, ch. xi :-"Tel a esté miraculeux au monde,

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auquel sa femme et son valet n'ont "rien veu seulement de remarquable, 66 'peu d'hommes ont esté admirez par leurs domestiques," etc. (A man may astonish the world, an dhis wife and his valet see nothing even remarkable in him; few men are admired by their servants, etc.)

Cf. also A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house. St. Matthew, xiii, 57.

Heinrich Heine (1800-56) is reported to have remarked, when the above saying was quoted to him, That is not because the hero is not a hero, but because the valet is a valet.

Cf. Οὐ τοιαῦτά μοι ὁ λασανοφόρος σύνοιδεν.

(The carrier of my night-stool has not so good an opinion of me).

ANTIGONUS THE ELDER (382. 301 B.C.), King of Sparta-reply to verses by Hermodotus comparing him to the Sun and styling him a god.

Il n'y a point de place faible là où il y a des gens de cœur. (No place is weak where there are brave hearts.)

CHEVALIER BAYARD (1475-1524) -when it was proposed to destroy Mézières and ravage the neighbourhood to starve the enemy, Mézières being considered unable to sustain a siege. Bayard who had a horror of devastation replied “il n'y avait "point de place faible là où il y avait

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nos valets." (If our provisions do not hold out, we will begin by eating our horses, then we will salt and eat our servants.)

The siege was raised at the end of five weeks (Sep. 17, 1521), and the question was asked of the Duke of Nassau on his return to the Netherlands, Eh quoi! vous aviez

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quarante mille hommes et cent "pièces d'artillerie, et vous n'avez pu prendre Mézières, un pigeonnier?" (What! you had 40,000 men and a 100 pieces of cannon, and you could not take Mézières, a pigeon-house?) The Duke replied: "Le pigeonnier était gardé par un "aigle et par des aiglons autrement "becqués et membrés que toutes "les aigles de l'Empire." (The pigeon-house was guarded by an eagle and eaglets with beaks and limbs differing from all the eagles of the Empire.)-History of the Chevalier sans peur et sans reproche (Bayard) by the Loyal Serviteur (1527).

Il n'y a que les morts qui ne reviennent pas. (It is only the dead who do not come back.)

In a speech speech by BERTRAND BARERE DE VIEUZAC (1755-1841) in the Convention, May 26, 1794, alluding to the English. Le Moni teur, May 29, 1794; also Mémoires de Barère, 1842, vol. 2, p. 120.

* (A revenant is a ghost.)

Il n'y a rien à dire; la strophe est belle. (There is nothing to be said; the stanza is fine.) VOLTAIRE (1694-1778)—on hearing some lines by LEFRANC DE POMPIGNAN (in his Ode sur J. B. Rousseau.) Lefranc and Voltaire were literary enemies.

This is the stanza:

"Le dieu, poursuivant sa carrière,
"Versait des torrents de lumière
44 Sur ses obscurs blasphémateurs.

(The god, pursuing his onward career, Poured floods of light On his obscure blasphemers.)

Il n'y a rien de changé en France, il n'y a qu'un Français de plus. (Nothing is altered in France, there is only one more Frenchman.)


Phrase put by TALLEYRAND in the mouth of the COMTE D'ARTOIS afterwards Charles X (1757-1836) (although never uttered by him) on the occasion of his entry into Paris (Apr. 12, 1814) and forming the concluding words of a speech composed for the newspapers1 (as being made by the comte d'Artois) by the COMTE BEUGNOT (1761-1835), minister of the interior at the time. "Plus de divisions: la paix et la "France; je la revois, et rien n'y est changé, si ce n'est qu'il s'y trouve un Français de plus." (No more divisions: peace and France; I see it once more, and nothing is changed, unless it is that there is one more Frenchman.) On reading in the Moniteur the account of his entry into Paris, the comte d'Artois exclaimed "Mais je n'ai pas dit cela." (But I never said that.) It was pointed out to him that it was necessary that he should say it and the phrase remains historical.2 Revue rétrospective (2nd series) vol.


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Il reviendra!

(He will return !)

Popular cry, dating from end of May, 1887, when General Boulanger (1837-91) left the ministry of War-Le Soleil, July 10, 1887.

In 1814, Napoleon being at Elba, the soldiers used to console themselves by repeating "Il reviendra." Ils chantent, ils payeront. (They sing, they will pay.)

CARDINAL MAZARIN (1602-61) -when new taxes provoked new satirical songs. (L'Encyclopédie Méthodique du XVIIIe siècle, p. 63.)" tant mieux, reprenait "le cardinal, s'ils cantent la canson. nette, ils pagaront.' (. SO much the better, resumed the cardinal, if they sing

songs, they will pay.)

Note-The spelling cardinal's Italian accent.

indicates the

Voltaire's version is-"Laissons "les dire et qu'ils nous laissent "faire." (Let them talk and let them let us do.)-Letter to M. Hénin, Sep. 13, 1772. See Je laisse tout dire, etc. The cardinal also said: "La nation française est la plus "folle du monde: ils crient et "chantent contre moi, et me laissent "faire; moi, je les laisse crier et chanter, et je fais ce que je veux." (The French people are the maddest in the world: they cry out and sing against me and let me act; I let them cry out and sing and I do what I like.) Nouvelles lettres de la duchesse d'Orléans (née princesse Palatine), 1853, p. 249.

Il se mettra en chemin un peu
tard, mais il ira plus loin
qu'un autre.
(He will begin

his career rather late, but he will go further than another.) CARDINAL MAZARIN (1602-61)— of LOUIS XIV. Followed by: Il y

a en lui de l'étoffe pour faire quatre rois et un honnête homme. (There is in him the making of four kings and an honest man).-Lettres de Guy Patin, vol 2, pp. 192-223, also St. Simon, Mémoires, vol. 24, p. 84 (1840 edition).

Il serait honteux au duc de venger les injures faites au comte. (It would be disgraceful of the duke to avenge insults offered to the count.)

Saying of PHILIP, COMTE DE BRESSE, afterwards duc de Savoie (died 1497). Suard, Notes sur Pesprit d'imitation. Earlier than Le roi de France ne venge pas les querelles du duc d'Orléans (q.v.). See also Evasisti.

Ils m'applaudirent! (They applauded me!)

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LOUIS PHILIPPE JOSEPH, duc d'Orléans, surnamed Egalité" (1747-93)—on the way to the scaffold, referring to his loss of popularity with the people.

Ils m'ont laissé arriver, comme

ils les ont laissés partir. (They let me arrive, as they let them leave.)

NAPOLEON (1769-1821)-to the COMTE MOLLIER (1758-1850) after his return to Paris from Elba (Mar. 20, 1815) alluding to the attitude of the people towards himself and Louis XVIII.

Ils n'ont rien appris, ni rien oublié. (They have neither

learnt nor forgotten anything.) Attributed to TALLEYRAND(17541838), but authenticity doubtful. A letter dated Jan. 1796, from the Chevalier de Panat (whom Talleyrand knew in London) to Mallet du

Pan, a celebrated journalist, contained the words: 66 ⚫ personne n'est corrigé, personne n'a su ni rien oublier, ni rien apprendre. (... no one has reformed, no one has known how to either forget or learn anything.)—Mémoires et correspondance de Mallet du Pan, 1851, vol. ii, p. 196. Twenty years later, at the time of the return of the Bourbons to France, the emperor ALEXANDER OF RUSSIA (1777-1825) exclaimed (a hope being expressed that misfortune had partly corrected their faults), "Corrigés ! ils sont incorrigés et incorrigibles." (Reformed! they are unreformed and unreformable.)

Ils sont là quarante qui ont de

l'esprit comme quatre. (There are forty there who have the wit of four.)

PIRON (1689-1773) -- of the French Academy (composed of forty members).—Euvres complètes d' Alexis Piron, 1777, vol. i, p. 122. Cf. "Elle a de l'esprit comme quatre." (She has the wit of four.) Molière, George Dandin, act 2, sc. 6.

Ils sont trop! (They [i.e. the

Germans] are too many.)

Words uttered by a wounded soldier at the battle of Paris, Mar. 30, 1814.-A. T. de Vaulabelle, Hist. des deux Restaurations, 1858, vol. i, p. 331.

Ils veulent être libres, et ils ne savent pas être justes. (They want to be free, and they do not know how to be just.)

ABBÉ SIEYES (1748-1836)-when the Constituent Assembly declared the dime (tithes) abolished (Aug. 10, 1789).-Le Moniteur, Aug. 11-14, 1789, p. 165.

Il vaut mieux écouter ceux qui vous crient de loin: Soulagez notre misère, que ceux qui vous disent à l'oreille: Augmentez votre fortune. (It is better to listen to those who cry out to you from a distance: Alleviate our misery, than those who say in your ear: Increase your fortune.)

Saying of MARIE LECZINSKA (1703-68), wife of Louis XV.

Il y a des juges à Berlin. (There are judges in Berlin.)

Reply (See Ja, wenn das Berliner &c.) made by a miller to FREDERICK THE GREAT (1712-86). Popularised by Andrieux (17591833) in his tale in verse, le Meunier de Sans-Souci. (Euvres [1818 edition] vol. 3, p. 208) “Oui, si nous n'avions pas de juges à Berlin." (Yes, if we had no judges in Berlin.) Cf. The Court of Berlin (Anon). (The

1000 Best Books in the world, 2nd series [Hutchinson & Co.]. Selected and arranged by Ernest Hope, p. 132.)

Il y a de l'écho en France quand

on prononce ici les mots d'honneur et de patrie. (There is an echo in France when the words of honour and mother-country are pronounced here.)

GENERAL (Maximilien Sebastien, comte) Fox (1775-1825)—in the French Chamber, Dec. 30, 1820.

Il y a plus loin de rien à un que d'un à mille. (It is farther from nothing to one than from one to a thousand.)

MME. PILOU (1578-1668), wife of Jean Pilou, proctor at the Châtelet, to a woman who asked her advice in a love intrigue.

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