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Reaction is the law of life; and
it is the characteristic of the House of Commons.
BENJAMIN DISRAELI [Earl of Beaconsfield] (1804-81)-in the debate on the Address in reply to the Queen's Speech, 6th Feb., 1867.
Reason thus with life, If I do lose thee I do lose a thing That none but fools would keep : a breath thou art." (Shakspere, Measure for Measure, act iii, sc. i, 11. 6-8).
PATERSON (d. 1758)-Last words. He was playing the Duke, and had no sooner uttered the above lines than he expired. They are engraved on his tomb at Bury St. Edmunds, where he was buried.
Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.
PRESIDENT JOHN BRADSHAW— from an inscription on the cannon near which his ashes were laid, on the top of a hill near Martha Bay in Jamaica. (Ezra Stiles, Hist. of Three of the Judges of King Charles I, p. 107.) "In a public print of 1775, it was said, The following inscription was made out three years ago on the cannon near which the ashes of President Bradshaw were lodged, on the top of a high hill near Martha Bay in Jamaica, to avoid the rage against the regicides exhibited at the Restoration.' [The inscription ends as follows:] "And never, never forget THAT REBELLION TO TYRANTS IS OBEDIENCE TO GOD," (ibid. pp. 106-7). Found among the papers of Thomas Jefferson (17431826) and in his handwriting. Supposed to be one of Dr. Franklin's inspirations. (Randall's Life of Jefferson, vol. iii, p. 585.) Cf.: Where justice reigns, 'tis freedom to obey. (J. Montgomery, Greenland, canto iv.), and see L'insurrection est le plus saint des devoirs.
CHARLES I(1600-49)—Last words to Bishop Juxon (1582-1663): said to be intended as a message to his son. Another account says that his last words were "I fear not death; death is not terrible to me." See I am not in the least afraid to die. Rescue and retire.
W. E. GLADSTONE (1809-98)— Phrase applied to the policy announced by him in Feb., 1885: to support the Khedive of Egypt in regaining his authority over the Soudan, but without a permanent English occupation of the country. Responsible government.
Phrase first used in 1829 in a petition presented to Parliament from Upper Canada. (Cf. Egerton's History of Colonial Policy, p. 304.) Revolutions are not made, they
particularly by Lord Shaftesbury, that ridicule is the best test of truth; for that it will not stick where it is not just. I deny it." (Lord Chesterfield's Letters to his Son. Feb. 6, 1752.) The following variants, however, occur in Lord Shaftesbury's Characteristics. "How comes it to pass, then, that we appear such cowards in reasoning, and are so afraid to stand the test of ridicule." (Letter concerning Enthusiasm, sec. 2). "Truth, 'tis supposed, may bear all lights; and one of those principal lights or natural mediums by which things are to be viewed, in order to a thorough recognition, is ridicule itself." (Sensus Communis &c., sec. I.)
Save me from my friends.
See Je vais combattre &c. Cf. But of all plagues, good Heaven, thy wrath can send,
Save, save, oh save me from the candid friend."-(Canning, New Morality, in The Anti-Jacobin.)
. . sea of upturned faces.
DANIEL WEBSTER (1782-1852) — in a speech, 30th Sept., 1842, which is generally supposed to be the origin of the phrase, but it occurs in Sir Walter Scott's Rob Roy (ch. 20): "I next strained my eyes, with equally bad success, to see if, among the sea of upturned faces which bent their eyes on the pulpit as a common centre, I could discover the sober and business-like physiognomy of Owen."
See me safe up, for my coming down I can shift for myself. SIR THOMAS MORE (1480-1535) -to Kingston, on ascending the scaffold, July 6, 1535. (Froude, Hist. of Engl. ch. ix.) Hume (Hist. of Engl.) has: "Friend, help me up when I come down again, I can shift for myself."
See, there is Jackson standing
HENRY II (1133-89) — Dying words.
Sir Boyle Roche's bird.
SIR BOYLE ROCHE (1743-1807) -a phrase alluding to a remark of his, when it was said that the sergeant-at-arms should have stopped someone in the rear of the House when he was trying to catch him in the front. Roche asked whether it was thought that the sergeant-atarms could be "like a bird, in two places at once?" In a play, written at the end of the 17th century, The Devil of a Wife, by Jevon, occur the words:
"I cannot be in two places at once. -Surely no-unless thou wert a bird." Sir Earl, by God, you shall either go or hang.
EDWARD I (1239-1307) -to Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of Hereford and Constable of England (died 1298) when in a passion, the Earls of Hereford and Norfolk having refused to take command of the forces Edward proposed to send to Guienne. The Earl replied, 'By God, Sir King, I will neither go nor hang." (Hume, Hist. of
England.) The Dict. of Nat. Biog. (vol. v, p. 26) gives the words as: By God, earl, you shall either go or hang, and "By God, O king, I will neither go nor hang," and says that the king addressed himself to Roger Bigod, Earl of Norfolk and marshal of England.
Sir, I can abstain; but I can't be moderate.
Dr. SAMUEL JOHNSON (1709-84) -referring to his own habits. See Depend upon it, of all vices &c. Sir, I have tasted your sherry,
and I prefer the gout.
EARL OF DERBY (1799-1869)— to a wine-merchant who recommended his sherry as not having gout in a hogshead of it.
Sir, I shall be glad to have a new
sense given to me.
DR. SAMUEL JOHNSON (1709-84) -to Dr. Burney, who had said "I believe, sir, we shall make a musician of you at last," observing the Doctor listening attentively to Miss Thrale's playing on the harpsichord. Sir, I would rather be right than
HENRY CLAY (1777-1852)—to Mr. Preston, of Kentucky, when told that the measures which he advocated would injure his chances of becoming president.
Sir Joshua is the ablest man I
know on a canvas.
GEORGE SELWYN (1719-91)—a silent English M.P.-when told that Reynolds intended to stand for Parliament.
Sister! sister! sister!
THOMAS DE QUINCEY (17851859)--Last words.
Six hours' sleep is enough for a man, seven for a woman, and eight for a fool.
.. smash the Mahdi.
GENERAL GORDON (1833-85)26th Feb. 1884: referring to his expedition to Khartoum, where he was killed, 26th Jan. 1885. "You must smash the Mahdi, or the Mahdi will smash you." Solier, second thought.
FISHER AMES (1758-1808)-in a speech on Biennial Elections, Jan. 1788. I consider biennial elections as a security that the sober, second thought of the people shall be law." Cf. Posteriores cogitationes, ut aiunt, sapientiores solent esse (Second thoughts, they say, are apt to be the best) (Cicero, First Philippic).
So, Flaxman, I am told you are married; if so, sir, I tell you
you are ruined for an artist.
SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS (1723-92) -to John Flaxman (1755-1826), shortly after the latter's marriage. Sir Joshua was a bachelor. Events falsified Sir Joshua's opinion. Cf. "He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune; for they are impediments to great enterprises either of virtue or of mischief." (Bacon, Essays, viii: Of Marriage and Single Life.) Soldiers, fire!
SIR CHARLES LUCAS, shot August 28, 1648-Last words, to the soldiers.
So little done, so much to do. (The Daily Telegraph, March 28, 1902.)
CECIL JOHN RHODES (1853-1902) -Dying words, to Mr. Michell.
So many worlds, so much to do,
(Tennyson, In Memoriam, lxxiii) Some men has plenty money and
no brains, and some men has plenty brains and no money. Surely men with plenty money and no brains were made for men with
plenty brains and no money. CLAIMANT TO THE TICHBORNE ESTATES (d. 1898)-written in his note-book (signed R. C. Tichborne, Bart.); rendered famous during the Tichborne case, which lasted from June, 1871 till Feb. 28, 1874.
Some men have only one book in them; others a library. REV. SYDNEY SMITH (1771-1845) Some things can be done as well as others.
SAMUEL PATCH (c. 1807-29) to the Rev. Dr. Bushnell (1802-76). The latter met Patch at Rochester (New York) just before his fatal attempt to jump the Genesee Falls and, asked why he wished to expose his life, Patch replied: To shew people that some things can be done as well as others." (Life and Letters of Horac Bushnell, p. 52.)
Sooner than make our colonies our allies, I should wish to see them returned to their primitive deserts.
CHARLES TOWNSHEND (172567)-in a speech in the House of Commons, 17th Dec. 1865, in support of the Stamp Act.
So perish all Queen Elizabeth's enemies!
DR. RICHARD FLETCHER, Dean of Peterborough (d. 1596), at the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots. (Hume, Hist. of Engl., ch. xlii)
The Dict. of Nat. Biog. (vol. xix, p. 318) gives the words as: "So perish all the queen's enemies," crediting the Earl of Kent with them, and Dr. Fletcher with saying "Amen"; whereas Hume's account is that the Earl of Kent said "Amen." So the heart be right, it is no matter which way the head lies.
SIR WALTER RALEIGH (15521618) at his execution, when asked on which side he preferred to lay his head on the block. Speak, good mouth!
QUEEN ELIZABETH (1533-1603) -to the Mayor of Bristol, who, on welcoming her, stopped short after saying, "I am the mouth of the 'Speak, good mouth!”
being a saying of WILLIAM LOWNDES (1652-1724). Chesterfield's advice took the shape of, "I recommend you to take care of the minutes, for the hours will take care of themselves."
Take it, thy necessity is greater than mine.
SIR PHILIP SYDNEY (1554-86) -to a wounded soldier at the Battle of Zutphen (Sept. 22, 1586) who looked wistfully at some water which had been obtained with difficulty for Sir Philip, who was himself mortally wounded. Other versions are: "This man's necessity is still greater than mine." (Hume, Hist. of Engl.) "Thy necessity is yet greater than mine." (Percy Anecdotes) Cf. Sydney at Zutphen, F. T. Palgrave.
Take notes on the spot: a note
is worth a cart-load of recollections.
RALPH WALDO EMERSON (180382).
Take not this for a threatening, for I scorn to threaten any but my equals.
CHARLES I. (1600-49)—in his first speech to his third parliament, having referred to using those other means which God had placed in his hands,' if the members did not do their duty 'in contributing to the necessities of the state.' He added, "but as an admonition from him who, by nature and duty, has most care of your preservation and prosperity." (Hume, Hist. of Engl.) Take short views, hope for the best, and trust in God.
REV. SYDNEY SMITH (1771-1845) -Favourite maxim.
Tell Hill he must come up.
ROBERT EDMUND LEE (1806-70) -Last words (his mind wandering).
Texas Texas! (followed, after a pause, by his wife's name) Margaret!
SAMUEL HOUSTON (1793-1862), President of Texas and afterwards United States Senator-Last words. Thank God, I have done my duty!
LORD NELSON (1758-1805)-Last words. (Southey, Life, 1888, p. 377) (Dict. Nat. Biog., vol. xl., p. 206) See also They've done for me at last, Hardy.
Thank God, I-I also-am an American!
DANIEL WEBSTER (1782-1852) -in a speech at the completion of the Bunker Hill Monument, June 17, 1843. In a speech at the laying of the corner-stone, June 17, 1825, he said, "I was born an American; I live an American ; I shall die an American!" See Born and educated in this country &c. Thank God! Thank Heaven! SIR MOSES MONTEFIORE (17841885)-Last words.
Thank God, to-morrow I shall join the glorious company above.
SAMUEL DREW (1765-1833)Last recorded words.
That is enough to last till I get to Heaven.
WILLIAM WARHAM Archbishop of Canterbury, (1450-1532)-Last words, to his servant, who had informed him that he had thirty pounds still left.
That's a pretty sum to begin the next world with.
THOMAS ERSKINE (1750-1823) -when told that one of his acquaintances had died worth two hundred thousand pounds.