Page images
PDF
EPUB

vivoμai." ("In peace I provide enjoyment, and in war become the sinews of action.") CRANTOR. (Sextus Empiricus, Adversus Ethicos, XI., 53.) “Ο πόλεμος οὐ τεταγμένα σιτεῖται.” (“War cannot be maintained by allotting funds as one allots rations.") Archidamus (d. 338 B.C.) Plutarch, Cleomenes, XXVII. 4. Υποτέτμηται τὰ νεῦρα τῶν πραγμάτων.” (The sinews of affairs are severed.) Aeschines, In Ctesiphontem, 166. DEMOSTHENES (abt. 382--322 B.C.) "I danari non sono il nervo della "guerra, secondo che è la comune "opinione," etc. (Money is not the sinews of war, according to the popular belief, etc.) Machiavelli, Discorsi sopra la prima Deca di T. Livie, bk. 2, ch. x, (written about 1516).

Si le cardinal est en paradis, il

faut que le diable se soit laissé escamoter en chemin. (If the cardinal is in Paradise, the Devil must have allowed himself to be cheated on the road.)

Said by the COMTE DE TRÉVILLE, captain of the guards, to LOUIS XIII (1601-43), speaking of Richelieu. See Ah! che se gli è un Dio &c. Si le peuple n'a pas de pain, qu'il mange de la brioche. (If the people have no bread, let them eat brioche.)* Attributed to MARIE ANTOINETTE (1755-93), also to her friend the DUCHESS OF POLIGNAC (died 1793, aged 44). See Si cette canaille n'a pas de pain &c. The following extract from J.-J. Rousseau's Les Confessions (pt. I, bk. vi.) which were written 1737-41, shews that at all events Marie Antoinette did not originate the saying :-"Enfin je "me rappelai le pis-aller d'une "grande princesse à qui l'on disoit

A sort of cake.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

que les paysans n'avoient pas de "pain, et qui répondit : Qu'ils mangent de la brioche."' (At last I remembered the resource of a great princess who was told that the peasants had no bread, and who replied: Let them eat brioche. (Cf. also Louis XVIII, Relation d'un voyage à Bruxelles et à Coblentz (Paris 1823, p. 59). "Aussi en

66

[ocr errors]

66

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

666

666

mangeant la croute avec le pâté, nous songeâmes à la reine MarieAntoinette, qui répondit un jour que l'on plaignait devant elle les pauvres gens qui n'ont pas de pain: Mais, mon Dieu, que ne mangent-ils de la croûte de "pâté?'” (Also when eating the crust with the pasty, we thought of queen Marie Antoinette, who one day, when poor people who have no bread were pitied in her presence replied: "But goodness me, why And : don't they eat pie-crust.) "Le hasard m'a fait, un de ces jours "derniers, rencontrer un livre daté "de 1760-où l'on raconte le même "mot d'une duchesse de Toscane "ce qui me paraît prouver, à peu "près, que le mot n'a pas été dit

66

par Marie-Antoinette, mais re"trouvé et mis en circulation par "elle." (Chance has brought to my notice a book dated 1760where a duchess of Tuscany is credited with the same mot, which seems to me to almost prove that it did not originate with MarieAntoinette, but that she merely found and put it into circulation.) --Alphonse Karr, Les Guêpes, April, 1843.

Si le roi mange une seconde fois, nous n'aurons plus personne. (If the king eats a second time, we shall have nobody.) DUKE OF ORLEANS (1674-1723) -alluding to the diminution in the number of courtiers round him when LOUIS XIV (1638-1715) rallied and

[graphic]
[ocr errors]
[graphic]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors]

Nicomède, act 1, sc. I. S'il vous arrive quelque chose d'heureux, ne manquez pas d'aller le dire à vos amis, afin de leur faire de la peine. (If anything lucky happens to you, don't fail to go and tell it to your friends, in order to annoy them).

A saying of COUNT MONTROND. Capt. Gronow's Recollections and Anecdotes-Count Montrond. Byron is supposed to have alluded to him, on his first visit to England, as the "... Preux chevalier de la Ruse."

Sinon, non! (If not, no!)

Generally quoted in French, but really said in Spanish as under: "Nos ostros que cada uno por si

66

somos tanto como os, y que "juntos podemos mas que os, os "hacemos nuestro Rey, contanto 'que guardareis nuestros fueros ;

66

66

si no, no!" (We who separately are worth as much as thou, and who united are worth more, make thee our king, on condition that thou preservest the privileges of the nation; if not, not!)

Formula used by the chief magistrate of the kingdom of Aragon to the sovereign at his coronation in the presence of the Cortès.

Si Poulle revient vous lui direz que je n'y suis pas. (If Poulle returns you will tell him that I am not at home).

The ABBE SIEYÈS (1748-1836) to his servant, on returning home after the trial of the ABBÉ POULLE (170381) who had discharged a pistol at Sieyes, fracturing his wrist (an III The of the Republic--1794-5). sympathies of the judges were with the accused.

Sire, je vous dois tout, mais je crois m'acquitter en quelque manière en vous donnant Colbert (Sire, I owe everything to you, but I think I can in some measure repay you by giving you Colbert).

CARDINAL MAZARIN (1602-61), when dying-to LOUIS XIV (16381715).

Sire, que cette vue vous apprenne à ménager le sang de vos sujets. (Sire, let this spectacle teach you to take care of the blood of your subjects). MARSHAL SAXE (1696-1750)— when visiting the battle-field of Fontenoy the day after the battle (fought May 11, 1745) to LOUIS XV (1710-74).

Sire, rien n'est impossible à Votre Majesté; elle a voulu faire de mauvais vers et elle a réussi. (Sire, nothing is impossible for Your Majesty; you wanted to write bad verses and you have succeeded).

Reply made by BOILEAU (16361711)-to LOUIS XIV (1638-1715) on being asked his opinion of some lines he had written.

Sire, voici un pauvre aveugle qui aurait besoin d'un bâton (Sire, here is a poor blind man, who requires a bâton [staff]). Remark made by the DUKE of BURGUNDY (1682-1712) in presenting lieutenant-general de Laubanie (after the siege of Landau in which he lost his sight) to LOUIS XIV.

Si vous voyez que la couronne soit mieux employée en l'un de vous qu'en moi, je m'y octroie volontiers et le veut de bon cœur. (If you think that the crown would be borne better by one of yourselves than by me, I will willingly and with all my heart resign it).Words used by PHILIP AUGUSTUS (Aug. 27, 1214) before the battle of Bouvines. M. L. Paris, Chronique de Rains (Reims) 1837, pp. 146-8.

A popular, but incorrect, version is: "S'il est quelqu'un parmi vous qui se juge plus capable que moi de la porter [the crown], je la mets sur sa tête et je lui obéis.” (If there is anyone among you who deems himself more capable of wearing it than I, I place it on his head and will obey him). Cf. A similar anecdote in the Alexiade, bk. 4, ch. 5, concerning Robert Guiscard (1015-85) before the battle of Dyrrachium (now Durazzo), 1082.

Soldats, c'est le soleil d'Aus

terlitz! (Soldiers, it is the sun of Austerlitz!)

NAPOLEON (1769-1821)-to his army (Sep. 7, 1812) on arriving at the battle-field of Moscow, the sun rising in a clear sky, although it had rained a great deal the previous day. Allusion to the brilliant sunrise the day of the battle of Austerlitz (Dec. 2, 1805). Ségur (Hist. de Napoléon et de la Grande Armée, bk. 7, ch. 9, vol. I, p. 380, 1826 edit.) gives the phrase as: "Voilà le soleil d'Austerlitz!" (There is the sun of Austerlitz!) Soldats, droit au cœur! (Soldiers, straight at my heart!)

Last words of MARSHAL M. NEY (1769-1815), shot Dec. 7, 1815. After declaring that he had never betrayed his country. Another version: "Soldats! hatez-vous, et tirez-là!" (Soldiers! make haste,

and aim there!) putting his hand to his heart.-Derniers momens, p. 333

Soldats! M. l'abbé veut dire

qu'il n'y a pas de salut pour les lâches! Vive le roi! et en avant! (Soldiers! M. l'abbé means that there is no salvation for cowards! Long live the king! and forward!) Said by LIEUTENANT-COLONEL DE CHAMOUROUX before the battle of Rocoux (1746), losing patience at the length of the almoner of the Auvergne regiment's exhortation.

Sonate, que me veux-tu? (Sonata,

what dost thou want with me?) FONTENELLE (1657-1757),—tired of sonatas, much in vogue in his day. Cl. Canon, que me veux-tu? -Victor Hugo, Les Misérables.

[ocr errors]

Songez que du haut de ces pyramides quarante siècles vous contemplent ! (Remember that forty centuries are looking down at you from the summit of these pyramids !) NAPOLEON'S (1769-1821) words to his soldiers (July 21, 1798) after landing in Egypt.-Thiers, Hist. de la Révolution française. Other authorities quote the famous phrase as follows: "Français, songez que "du haut de ces monuments quarante siècles ont les yeux fixés sur vous." (Frenchmen, remember that from the summit of these monuments forty centuries have their eyes fixed upon you.)-P. Martin, Histoire de l'expédition française en Egypte, 1815, vol. 1, p. 199. "Soldats, quarante siècles vous regardent." (Soldiers, forty centuries are looking at you.)-Napoléon's Mémoirs-Guerre d'Orient, vol. I, p. 160 (dictated at St. Helena to General Bertrand). "Du haut de ces Pyramides," &c. (From the summit of these Pyramids, &c.)-Mémoires,

66

« PreviousContinue »