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he said to the Comte de Brienne (1635-98) "Ah! mon pauvre ami, il faut quitter tout cela! Adieu! chers tableaux que j'ai tant aimés, et qui m'ont tant coûté!" (Ah! my poor friend, I must leave all this! Adieu, dear pictures that I have loved so dearly, and which have cost me so much!)-Comte de Brienne, Mémoires, etc.
Il faut tout prendre au sérieux,
mais rien au tragique. (Everything should be taken seriously, but nothing tragically.)
LOUIS ADOLPHE THIERS (17971887) May 24, 1873, the day of his political defeat. Journal Officiel, May 25, 1873.
Il faut user des amis comme des meubles, que l'on change quand ils sont usés. (Friends should be used like furniture, changed when worn out.)
Saying attributed to FONTENELLE (1657-1757), but of doubtful authenticity. Cf. Dr. Johnson's saying: "If a man does not make new acquaintance as he advances through life, he will soon find himself left alone. A man, sir, should keep his friendship in constant repair.' Il faut vouloir vivre et savoir mourir. (We should wish to live and know how to die.) Maxim of NAPOLEON (1769-1821) and repeated by him in May, 1805, after seeing Raynouard's (1761-1836) tragedy, Les Templiers.
Il m'arrive un grand malheur :
hier Marat a dit du bien de moi. (A great misfortune has happened to me: yesterday Marat spoke well of me).
Reply of PIERRE VERGNIAUD (1759-93) to A. GENSONNÉ, a Girondist leader, who asked why he seemed depressed.
Il me bat dans la chambre, mais il n'est pas plutôt au bas de l'escalier que je l'ai confondu. (He beats me in the room, but he is no sooner at the bottom of the stairs than I have confounded him.)
PIERRE NICOLE (1625-95) of M. DE TREVILLE. The latter was a good talker, but the former was not. See I always get the better when I argue alone.
Il ne faut plus de bavards, il faut une tête et une épée. (We want no more talkers, we must have a head and a sword.) ABBÉ SIEYES (1748-1836)—when he felt that it was time to prepare the coup d'état of le 18 brumaire, an VIII (Nov 9, 1799). The head was himself, the sword, Bonaparte.
Il neige; nous n'aurons pas la révolution. (It snows; we shall not have the revolution.) M. ANISSON (1776-1852)—on the night of the 22nd Feb. 1848, putting his head out of the carriage-window. Authority of Mrs. Austin who was riding with him, in Paris. Sir M. E. Grant Duff, Notes from a diary, vol I, p. 194.
Il ne s'agit pas de vivre, mais de partir. (It is not a question of living, but of departing.) Reply made by MARSHAL SAXE (1696-1750), April 1745, when about starting to take command of the French Army in the Netherlands, to VOLTAIRE (1694-1778) who reminded him of his bad state of health. Il n'est pas juste que j'expose un
homme d'esprit comme moi contre un sot comme lui. (It is not just that a man of sense like myself should risk death at the hands of a fool like him.) A saying of MIRABEAU (1749-91 when challenged to a duel.
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
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 :
"Je vois bien, mon cousin, que
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.
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 1st 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.) 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 doubtful) on the occasion of declaring Philip, duke of Anjou, king of Spain (Nov. 16, 1700), under the title of Philip V.
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 propos that this journey became easy and that now the Pyrenees had meited away.)
The poet Malherbe (1555-1628), however, previously used the words "aplanir les Pyrénées". (to remove, or sinooth away, the Pyrenees.) Cf.
"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, auquel sa femme et son valet n'ont "rien veu seulement de remarquable, 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 (382301 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
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." 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 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,
(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 com posed 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.
1 Le Moniteur universel, April 13, 1814. 2Memoirs du comte Beugnot. 1866, vol. 2, Pp. 112-4.
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 disgrace. ful 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 Desprit 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!)
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.
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