Page images

anger, they may be multiplied, and heaped up as much as may be desired, but they will never be raised above my contempt.)—Moniteur, Jan. 27, 1844.

Qu'a-t-on décidé? (What has been decided?)

ISAAC CASAUBON (1559-1614)— on seeing the Sorbonne for the first time (it had not been rebuilt) and when told that there was a salle where discussions had taken place for 400 years.

Que celui qui a peur s'en aille ! (Let him who is afraid go away!)


Reply made by the DUC GUISE (1550-88) on being advised by some of his people to accept peace and pardon for his friends if he consented to quit Paris (1588).

Que d'eau ! que d'eau! (What a

quantity of water! what a quantity of water!)

Attributed to MARSHAL MAC MAHON (1808-93)- -on seeing the inundations caused by the overflow of the Garonne. The abbé Berry (MACMAHON, 1895, p. 65) says that the Marshal made the remark to cut short a long speech by the mayor of Toulouse.

Que de choses dans un menuet!

(What a number of things in a minuet) -- Helvétius, de l'Esprit, 1758, Discours 2, ch. I.

MARCEL, a celebrated dancingmaster of the 17th century, when admiring the dancing of one of his pupils.

Que de sang et de meurtres!

Ah! que j'ai suivi un méchant conseil ! (What a quantity of blood and murders! Ah! what bad advice have I followed!)-Th. Lavallée, Hist. des Français.

Last words attributed to CHARLES IX of France (1550-74), but authenticity disputed. In A. Sorbin de Sainte-Foy's Hist. contenant 21 abrégé de la vie, etc., de Charles IX (Paris, in-8°, 1574) Archives curieuses, 1ère série, vol. 8, pp. 273-331, the king is reported to have said "Oui," in reply to Sorbin's question, "Sire, m'entendez-vous pas bien?" (Sire, do you not hear me well?)


Dieu ne m'abandonne jamais! (May God never forsake me!)

Last words of BLAISE PASCAL (1623-62). See Life of Pascal, by Mme Périer.

Que mon sang soit le dernier versé. Le bon Pasteur donne sa vie pour ses brebis. (May my blood be the last shed. The good Shepherd giveth His life for His sheep).

Dying words of D.-A. AFFRE, Archbishop of Paris (1793-1848), hit by a stray shot at the barricades of the Faubourg St.-Antoine, June 25, 1848. Died two days after. Qu'est-ce que cela prouve? (What does that prove?)

A geometrician who witnessed a performance of Racine's Phedre, while the rest of the audience were moved to tears at the pathetic parts, simply said: "Qu'est-ce que cela "prouve?" Attributed by Dumont (Souvenirs sur Mirabeau, 1832, p. 314) to JEAN TERRASSON (16701750).

Qu'est-ce que la raison avec un filet de voix, contre une gueule comme celle-là? (What is reason with a weak voice against a mouth like that?)

MOLIÈRE (1622-73) to BOILEAU (1636-1711), at table, of his friend Furcroi, a barrister with powerful lungs.

Qu'est-ce que le tiers état? tout; qu'a-t-il été jusqu'à présent dans l'ordre politique? rien; que demande-t-il? à devenir quelque chose. (What is the Third Estate? - Everything. What has it been until now in regard to politics?—Nothing. What does it want?-To become something).

Words forming the title of the ABBÉ SIEYES' (1748-1836) famous pamphlet (Jan. 1789), said to have been suggested to him by CHAMFORT (1741-94). Also quoted as follows: "Qu'est-ce que le Tiers

Etat? Rien ! Que doit-il être ? "Tout!" (What is the Third Estate?-Nothing! What should it be?--Everything!) and attributed to L.-L.-F. DE LAURAGUAIS (17331824) Cf. Lettres de L.-B. Lauraguais à madame (1801) pp. 161-2.


[ocr errors]

an X

Que vouliez-vous qu'il fit contre trois? (What did you expect him to do against three?)

ABBÉ SIEYES (1748-1836) to Dr. J. N. CORVISART - DESMARETS (1755-1821), who deplored the death of a friend who had been attended by two physicians besides himself. The phrase is a quotation from Horace (act 3, sc. 6): Julie says, "Que "vouliez-vous qu'il fit contre trois?" Le vieil Horace replies, Qu'il mourût." — (To die!) Delavigne uses words in a similar manner to Sieyes in his Comédiens.


Qui a peur des feuilles n'aille pas

au bois. (He who is afraid of the leaves let him not go to the wood).

Said by the young nobles (July 2, 1431) to BARBAZAN, a valiant captain who proposed deferring the attack on the Burgundians owing to their strong strategic position. He replied "that he had lived without

reproach until then; and that day would prove whether he had so spoken through fear or wisdom." The issue of the fight, as he had forescen, proved disastrous to the French, and Barbazan was mortally wounded (1431). Also a proverb. Qu'il doit en coûter cher à un bon cœur pour remporter des victoires! (How dearly it

must cost a good heart to gain victories!)

Reply made by the dauphin LOUIS DE FRANCE (1729-1765) to his father, LOUIS XV (1710-74), whom he accompanied to Fontenoy (May 11, 1745) when the latter visited the battle-field with him, and called his attention to the horrors of war.

Qui m'aime me suive! (Let those who love me follow me!) PHILIP IV of Valois (1293-1350). His barons wished to postpone the war against the Flemish until the following year, but GAUTIER DE CHATILLON, Constable of France, on being asked his opinion, replied: "Qui a bon coeur trouve toujours "bon temps pour la guerre." (He who has a stout heart is always ready to fight). Thereupon Philip exclaimed: "Qui m'aime me "suive!"-Chronique de SaintDenis. Also attributed to FRANCIS I (1494-1547) at Marignan (1515). and CYRUS, King of Persia (died about 529) is credited with a similar saying to his soldiers. Cf. Qui te, Pollio, amat veniat quo te quoque gaudet. (He who loves thee, Pollis, would go to a place which delights thee too)---Virgil, 3rd eclogue. The expression was also used by LA BEDOYÈRE (1786-1815) at Grenoble. At the news of Napoleon's approach he assembled his regiment, and cried "Vive l'Empereur ! adding, "Qui m'aime me suive!" -Thiers' Histoire du Consulat.

Qui ne sait pas dissimuler ne sait pas régner; si mon chapeau savait mon secret je le brûlerais. (Who knows not how to dissimulate knows not how to reign; if my hat knew my secret, I would burn it).

Favourite saying of Louis XI (1423-83). Cf. Sir Walter Scott, Quentin Durward, ch. i. The French proverb "Ta chemise Ne "sache ta guise," (Let not thy shirt know thy mind) is said to be founded on a mot attributed to the wise Captain Metellus, to Peter III, King of Arragon, and to Pope Martin IV: "Si ma chemise savait "mon dessein, je la brûlerais." (If my shirt knew my design, I would burn it.) See Qui nescit dissimulare &c.

Qui quitte la partie la perd. (Who leaves the game loses it).—Also a proverbial expression.

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

Qui t'a fait comte ?-Qui t'a fait roi? (Who made thee count? Who made thee king?) Adalbert, comte de Périgueux, who had usurped the titles of comte de Poitiers and de Tours, received a message from the king, Hugues Capet (d. 996) "Qui t'a fait comte?" to which he replied "Qui t'a fait roi ?" Ralliez-vous à mon panache blanc. (Rally to my white crest).

Words used by HENRI IV (15531610) in his harangue to his troops before the battle of Ivry (Mar. 14, 1590). Wearing a plume of white feathers in his helmet, so as to be recognised by all, enemies as well as friends, he said: "Mes com"pagnons, Dieu est pour nous ! "Voici ses ennemis et les nôtres! "Voici votre roi! A eux! Si vous perdez vos cornettes, ralliez-vous à mon panache blanc: vous le trouverez au chemin de la victoire et de l'honneur!" (Companions, God is on our side! Here are his enemies and yours! Here is your king! Upon them! If you lose your standards rally to my white crest, you will find it in the path of victory and honour).



[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

At one time the king was believed to be dead and the leaguers having seen an officer bearing, like the king, a white crest, fall, deemed the victory theirs. Suddenly Henri reappeared, covered with blood and dust, and cried out to his wavering troops: "Tournez visage, afin que "si vous ne voulez combattre, pour "le moins vous me voyiez mourir." (Turn your faces, so that if you will not fight, you may at least see me die). See Ostez-vous de devant moi &c.

Rendez-moi mon père et mes

enfants, et vous me guérirez.

(Give me back my father and my children [6] and you shall cure me).

MARIE-LECZINSKA (1703-68) wife of Louis XV (1710-74) when dying, -to the doctors who sought a remedy for her ills.

Revanche pour Speierbach. (Re

venge for Speierbach.)

The Germans were defeated at the battle of Speierbach, Nov. 14, 1703; but they were victorious at Hochstedt (Blenheim), Aug. 13, 1704.

When MARSHAL TALLARD (16521728), a prisoner at the latter battle, was taken before the Erbprinzen von Hessen, he said :—

[ocr errors]

Ah, monsieur le maréchal, vous "êtes très bien venu, voilà de là revanche pour Speierbach.' (Ah, monsieur le maréchal, you are very welcome, there is some revenge for Speierbach.)

Rien ne manque à sa gloire, il manquait a la nôtre. (Nothing is wanting to his glory, he was wanting to ours.)

Inscription on astatue of MOLIÈRE (1622-73) at the French Academy (1773) and suggested by B.-J. SAURIN (1706-81). Cf.

"Intrépide, et partout suivi de la victoire,

Charmant, fidèle; enfin rien ne manque à sa gloire." (Intrepid, and everywhere followed by victory,

Charming, faithful; in short nothing is wanting to his glory). Andromaque, act 3, sc. 3, 11. 21-2. - Racine.

Racine's line probably suggested part of the inscription. Rien ne prépare mieux à la

diplomatie que l'étude de la théologie. (There is no better preparation for diplomacy than the study of theology). Saying of TALLEYRAND (17541838).

Rien n'est plus adroit qu'une conduite irréprochable. (Nothing is more adroit than irreproach. able conduct.)

Maxim of MADAME DE MAINTENON (1635-1719).

Rien! rien ! rien ! (Nothing

nothing! nothing!)

Words used by M. DESMOUSSEAUX DE GIVRÉ, deputy for Eureet-Loir, April 27, 1847, in the French Chamber, alluding to the Conservative policy of L.-A. Thiers. Saint-Arnaud de café-concert.

(Saint-Arnaud of the musichalls).

Words by which JULES FERRY (1832-93) alluded to GENERAL BOULANGER (1837-91) in a speech at Epinal, July 24, 1887.-Le Matin, July 26, 1887.

Note. St. Arnaud was a famous French general (1798-1854).

Sans peur et sans reproche.

See Le chevalier sans peur &c.

Santé, donc elle peut; gaieté, donc elle veut. (Health, then she can; gaiety, then she wishes to).

Remark made by D'ORLÉANS DE LA MOTHE, (1683-1774), bishop of Amiens, three years before his death, to a young woman who had just taken the vows.

Seigneur, je Vous demande pardon, je ne l'avais pas fait pour vous. (Lord, forgive me, I did not do it for you). G.-B. LULLI (1633-87) on hearing sung at a mass an air that he had composed for the opera.

Se soumettre ou se démettre.

(Submit or demit [resign].) Journal des Débats, Aug. 18, 1877.

Phrase used by LEON GAMBETTA (1838-82) at a banquet at Lille, Aug. 15, 1877, alluding to the government of Marshal MacMahon.

near as

Se tenir le plus près possible du roi. (To keep as possible to the king.) Advice given to the MARECHAL DE VILLARS (1653-1734) by his mother.

Si ce n'est pas là Dieu, c'est du moins son cousin germain. (If that is not God, it is at least his cousin german).Carlyle, The French Revolution, 1837, vol. 2.

Last words of MIRABEAU (174991)-referring to the sun. He afterwards wrote a request for opium, and on the doctor shaking his head wrote "Dormir!" (to sleep), pointing to the word. Carlyle refers to "Fils adoptif, viii, 450. Journal de la maladie et de la mort de Mirabeau, by P. J. G. Cabanis, 1803."

Si ces messieurs qui causent ne faisoient pas plus de bruit que ces messieurs qui dorment, cela accommoderoit fort ces messieurs qui écoutent. (If those gentlemen who are talking made no more noise than those who are asleep, it would be a great convenience to those gentlemen who are listening.)

Rebuke by ACHILLE DE HARLAY, (1639-1712) comte de Beaumont (great nephew of the grand Harlay), chief president of the l'aris Parliament, to those councillors who were sleeping and those who were talking. Si c'est possible, c'est fait; si

c'est impossible, cela se fera. (If it is possible, it is done; if it is impossible, it shall be done). C.-A. DE CALONNE (1734-1802) to MARIE ANTOINETTE (1755-93) on being asked to obtain a large sum of money for her. The exact words, however, were: 66 'Madame, "si cela n'est que difficile, c'est fait ; "si cela est impossible, nous ver

"rons." (Madame, if that is only difficult, it is done; if that is impossible, we will see).

Si cette canaille n'a pas de pain, elle mangera du foin (or qu'elle mange du foin). (If the rascals have no bread they will eat hay [or let them eat hay]).

Saying attributed to J.-F. FOULON (1715-89)-alluding to the people during the famine. See Si le peuple n'a pas de pain &c.

Si, dans le siècle dernier, on eût fait enfermer Luther and Calvin, on aurait épargné bien des troubles et bien du sang à l'Europe. (If, in the last century, Luther and Calvin had been imprisoned, Europe would have been spared many troubles and much bloodshed). Answer made by CARDINAL RICHELIEU (1585-1642) to the DUCHESSE D'AIGIULLON (died 1675) and others who interceded for the abbé de Saint-Cyran, arrested in 1638 as a Jansenist.

Si Dieu n'existait pas, il faudrait

l'inventer. (If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.)-Voltaire, A l'auteur du livre des Trois Imposteurs, 1. 22.

Phrase quoted in a speech by ROBESPIERRE (1758-94) Nov. 21, 1793.-Le Moniteur universel, Nov. 26, 1793, p. 508. Mentioned by Carlyle in his essay "Voltaire" (Critical and Miscellaneous Essays, vol. 2, p. 146, 1888 ed.) Si j'avais connu un plus homme de bien et un plus digne sujet, je l'aurais choisi. (If I had known a better man and a worthier subject, I should have chosen him).


LOUIS XIV (1638-1715) GUILLAUME DE LAMOIGNON (161777) on his being selected to replace

« PreviousContinue »