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.. Asian mystery.
BERESFORD HOPE (1820-87)—during the discussion in the House of Commons, Apr. 12, 1867, referring to Benjamin Disraeli (180481). The latter, in his speech, said: "All his [Beresford Hope's] exhibitions in this House are distinguished by a prudery which charms me, and when he talks of Asian mysteries I may, perhaps, by way of reply, remark that there is a Batavian* grace about his exhibition which takes the sting out of what he has said."
*[Alluding to Beresford Hope's descent from the family of Hope of Amsterdam, and his action while speaking).
a social animal.
DUKE OF WELLINGTON (17691852)-in a letter to Thomas Raikes, March 1, 1841. Assassination has never changed
the history of the world. BENJAMIN DISRAELI [Earl of Beaconsfield] (1804-81)-in a speech in the House of Commons, May, 1865, on the death of President Lincoln (1809-65) who was assassinated on April 15th.
a star for every State, and a State for every star. ROBERT C. WINTHROP (b. 1809) -in an address on Boston Common in 1862.
A strange sight, sir, an old
man unwilling to die.
EBENEZER ELLIOTT (1781-1849) the Corn Law Poet-Last words. . . a 'superior person'.
BENJAMIN DISRAELI [Earl of Beaconsfield] (1804-81)-in a speech on a vote of censure against the government, July 8, 1864, alluded to the Rt. Hon. Edward Horsman (180776) as the 'superior person' of the House of Commons.
a wise and salutary neglect. EDMUND BURKE (1729-97)—in speech on Conciliation with America, March 22, 1775. Cf. the more modern phrase "masterly inactivity," which originated with Sir James Mackintosh, Vindicia Gallica: "The Commons, faithful to their system, remained in a wise and masterly inactivity" (ed. 1837. p. 14).
Be a whole man to one thing at a time.
THOMAS CARLYLE (1795-1881). Before this time to-morrow, I
shall have gained a peerage, or Westminster Abbey.
LORD NELSON (1758-1805)—just before the Battle of the Nile (Aug. I, 1798); when his officers rose from table and went to their respective stations. (Southey, Life of Nelson, ch. 5)
Be good, be virtuous, my lord;
you must come to this. LORD GEORGE LYTTELTON (1709-73)-Last words, addressed to his son-in-law, Lord Valentia.
"Be just and fear not.”
JOHN BRIGHT (1811-89)—his favourite maxim.
Be of good cheer, Master Ridley, and play the man. We shall this day light such a candle, by God's grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out.
HUGH LATIMER (c. 1472-1555) -to BISHOP NICHOLAS RIDLEY (c. 1500-55). Both were burned at the stake, Oct. 16. Hume records : "Be of good cheer, brother; shall this day kindle such a torch in England, as, I trust in God, shall never be extinguished." See Be of good comfort &c.
Be of good comfort, brother, for
we shall have a merry supper with the Lord this night if there be any way to heaven on horseback or in fiery chariots, this is it.
JOHN BRADFORD (d. 1555)-Last words, addressed to a fellow martyr. See Be of good cheer &c.
Blessed be God, I have kept a
conscience void of offence to this day, and have not deserted the righteous cause for which I suffer.
SIR HENRY VANE (1612-62), beheaded for treason, June 14-Last words.
which naturally involve States in financial embarrassment."
Blücher or night.
DUKE OF WELLINGTON (17691852) at the Battle of Waterloo (June 18, 1815), after looking at his watch. (Cf. Hugo, Les Misé rables: Cosette, bk. 1, ch. 10). Books, churches, governments, are what we make them. WENDELL PHILLIPS (1811-84)-in a speech at Boston, Mass., Oct. 4, 1859.
educated in this country, I glory in the name of Briton.
GEORGE III. (1738-1820)-added to his first speech to Parliament in 1760. See Thank God, I-I also --am an American.
Brother, I am too old to go again on my travels; you may, if you choose it.
CHARLES II. (1630-85)—referring to the hasty counsels of his brother, James, Duke of York, afterwards James II. (1633-1701), which gave him great uneasiness.
But ere this be done Take up our sister's handkerchief.
WILLIAM SHAKSPERE (15641616 when playing the King in one of his own tragedies before Queen Elizabeth. The Queen dropped her handkerchief on the stage as if by accident, to see whether he would depart from his regal dignity. The poet is said to have promptly exclaimed the above words. But may heaven avert her prin
ciples from our minds, and her daggers from our hearts! EDMUND BURKE (1729-97)—in a speech on the Alien Bill (1792), at the same time producing a dagger,
and throwing it on the floor. Preceded by: These are the presents which France designs for you! By these she would propagate her freedom and fraternity!" He had stated that there were 3,000 daggers then being manufactured at Birmingham, but whether for exportation or home consumption had not been ascertained. See Liberté, égalité, fraternité.
By my soul, maun, I have heard
but rawly of thee.
JAMES I. (1566-1625)-to Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618), when meeting him for the first time.
By seizing the Isthmus of Darien you will wrest the keys of the world from Spain.
SIR WALTER RALEIGH (15521618) Advice given to Queen Elizabeth (1533-1603).
By such means as these we shall
make the name of Englishman as great as that of Roman was in Rome's most palmy days.
OLIVER CROMWELL (1599-1658) -referring to his foreign policy, after reading one of Blake's despatches: See I would have the English republic &c.
Can this last long?
WILLIAM III. (1650-1702)—Last words, addressed to his physician.
Carry my bones before you on your march, for the rebels will not be able to endure the sight of me, alive or dead.
EDWARD I, of England, surnamed "Longshanks," (1239-1307) -Last words, addressed to his son Edward. The king died whilst endeavouring to subdue a revolt in Scotland.
Children are excellent physiognomists, and soon discover their real friends.
REV. SYDNEY SMITH (1771-1845) "Christ's rood!"
KING HAROLD (d. 1066)—his battle cry at the Battle of Hastings, Oct. 14, 1066. Cf. "I like that ancient Saxon phrase which calls The burial-ground God's acre !—" (Longfellow, Goa's-Acre.)
Civil equality prevails in Britain, social equality prevails in France.
BENJAMIN DISRAELI [Earl of Beaconsfield] (1804-81)—in a speech at Glasgow University, Nov. 19, 1873. Followed by, "The essence of civil equality is to abolish privilege; the essence of social equality is to destroy class."
Close this eye, the other is closed already; and now farewell! REV. CHARLES WOLFE (17911823), author of The Burial of Sir John Moore-Dying words. He then uttered part of the Lord's prayer. (Rev. J. A. Russell, Remains of Rev. Charles Wolfe.)
Colonies do not cease to be colonies because they are independent.
BENJAMIN DISRAELI [Earl of Beaconsfield] (1804-81)-in a speech in House of Commons, Feb. 5, 1863. Come, my son, and see how a
Christian can die.
SIR HENRY HAVELOCK (17951857) Last words. See I have sent for you &c., and Venez voir comment meurt &c.
Comfort the poor, protect and
shelter the weak, and, with all thy might, right that which is wrong. Then shall
the Lord love thee, and God himself shall be thy great reward.
ALFRED THE GREAT (849-901)— Last words.
Commend your souls to God,
for our bodies are the foes!
SIMON DE MONTFORT, Earl of Leicester (1206-65)-Last words; at the battle of Evesham. Another version is: "New let us commend our souls to God, for our bodies belong to our enemies." Also given as "It is God's grace."
Confidence is a plant of slow
growth in an aged bosom: WILLIAM PITT, first Earl of Chatham (1708-78)-in a speech, Jan. 14, 1766. (Dict. Nat. Biog., vol. xlv., p. 360.) Followed by-"Youth is the season of credulity." Cf. Disraeli's words in a speech at the Mansion House, Nov. 9, 1867: "I see before me the statue of a celebrated minister, who said that confidence was a plant of slow growth. But I believe, however gradual may be the growth of confidence, that of credit requires still more time to arrive at maturity." "Rashness is the error of youth, timid caution of age' (Colton, Lacon) and "True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation." (G. Washington, Social Maxims: Friendship.)
Consummate master of language.
BENJAMIN DISRAELI [Earl of Beaconsfield] (1804-81) — referring to W. E. Gladstone, in a speech on the Black Sea Conference, Feb. 24, 1871.
Corporations have no souls.
SIR EDWARD COKE (1552-1633) -in the case of Sutton's Hospital
(10 Law Reports, 39): "They [i.e., corporations] cannot commit trespass, nor be outlawed, nor excommunicated; for they have no souls." Lord Thurlow is stated to have said later, 66 You never expected justice from a company, did you? They have neither a soul to lose nor a body to kick."
Cramming is the tribute which idleness pays to the excellence of industry.
LORD CHARI ES BOWEN (1835-94) -in a speech at a distribution of prizes at the City of London School, Dec. 1888.
Cranmer has got the right sow by the ear.
HENRY VIII (1491-1547) Cranmer's opinion as to the best method of procuring the divorce from Catherine of Aragon (IIume, Hist. of England.). Sir Robert Walpole (1676-1745), when asked how he had overcome Sir Spencer Compton, Earl of Wilmington, replied "He got the wrong sow by the ear, and I the right" (Anecdotal Hist. of Parliament).
Customs may not be as wise as laws, but they are always more popular.
BENJAMIN DISRAELI [Earl of Beaconsfield] (1804-81)-in a speech in the House of Commons on the Irish Land Bill, Mar. 11, 1870. Damn your principles! Stick to your party.
BENJAMIN DISRAELI [Earl of Beaconsfield] (1804-81)-to Bulwer Lytton, at Spa, Belgium, the latter having said that he could not vote for some Bill in Parliament it being "against his principles,"
Dear gentlemen, let me die a natural death.
SIR SAMUEL GARTH (c.1660-1718)
GUIDO(GUY) FAWKES (1570-1606) -when taken before King James I. (see Dict. Nat. Biog., vol. xviii, p. 268).
Dictionaries are like watches:
the worst is better than none, and the best cannot be expected to go quite true. DR. SAMUEL JOHNSON (1709-84). Did you know Burke ?
RICHARD BRINSLEY SHERIDAN (1751-1816)—Last words; alluding to Edmund Burke.
Die, my dear doctor! that's the last thing I shall do.
LORD PALMERSTON (1784-1865) -Death-bed utterance. Difference of religion breeds
more quarrels than difference of politics.
WENDELL PHILLIPS (1811-84)— in a speech, Nov. 7, 1860, on Abraham Lincoln's election to the Presi dency of the U.S.
.. distilled damnation.
DR. ROBERT HALL (1764-1831) -in replying to a request for a glass
Doctor Livingstone, I presume?
Sir H. M. STANLEY (b. 1840)—to Dr. David Livingstone, when he found him at Ujiji in 1871.
Do not let poor Nelly starve !
CHARLES II (1630-85)-Lying words, referring to Nell Gwynn, the celebrated actress, his mistress. Another version is: "Let not poor Nelly starve!" (Burnet, Hist. of his own Times, vol. ii, 473). Don't give up the ship!
CAPT. JAMES LAWRENCE, American naval officer (1781-1813)-when mortally wounded in the engagement between the Chesapeake and the Shannon he gave orders to "fire faster, and not give up the ship." This is according to the evidence of the surgeon's mate, Dr. John Dix, at the trial of Lieut. Cox, Apr. 14, 1814.
Don't quote Latin; say what you have to say, and then sit down.
DUKE OF WELLINGTON (17691852) - Advice to a new Member who asked him how to get on in the House of Commons.
Don't think, but try; be patient, be accurate.
JOHN HUNTER (1728-93)-Advice to Edward Jenner, when consulted as to the latter's views on the prophylactic virtues of cow-pox.