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FERNAND CORTEZ (1485-1547) to CHARLES-QUINT (1500-58). Being unable to obtain an audience of that monarch, Cortez mounted the carriage-step and made the above reply when Charles asked who he was. Prescott, however, doubts the authenticity of the phrase (Cf. Conquest of Mexico VII, 5 note). Je suis né sans savoir pourquoi,

j'ai vécu sans savoir com-
ment, et je meurs sans savoir
ni pourquoi, ni comment.
(I was born without knowing
why, I have lived without
knowing how, and I am dying
without either knowing why
or how.)

Dying words of P. GASSENDI
(1592-1655), a French philosopher.
Je suis venu ici pour recevoir des
hommages et non des leçons.
(I have come here to receive
homage and not lessons.)
Reply of Charles X. (1757-1836)
to the National Guards, when re-
viewing them at the Champ de Mars
(Apr. 29, 1827). He was asked-
"Is the Charter an outrage then?"
-and replied as above.

Jésus! (Jesus!)

Last words of JOAN OF ARC (141031) the "Maid of Orleans," burned at the stake, May 31, 1431. -O'Reilly, Les deux Procès Jeanne Darc.


Jeune homme, apprenez qu'il y

a toujours bien loin de la poitrine d'un homme de bien au poignard d'un séditieux. (Young man, know that there is always a great distance between the breast of a good citizen and the dagger of a rebel)-Claude Le Peletier, Mémoire, etc., de Mr. Molé. Said by President MATHIEU MOLÉ (1584-1656) to the abbé de Chanvallon (afterwards archbishop

of Paris) on the Day of the Barricades, Aug. 26, 1648. Another version: " Il y a loin du poignard d'un assassin à la poitrine d'un honnête homme !" (It is a great distance from the dagger of an assassin to the breast of an honest man!) Je vais combattre les ennemis de Votre Majesté, et je vous laisse au milieu des miens. (I am going to fight your Majesty's enemies, and I leave you in the midst of my own). Said by the MARECHAL VILLARS (1653-1734) to LOUIS XIV (1638-1715) before starting for the Rhine army.


Je vais quérir un grand peut-être. (I am going to seek agreat "perhaps.")-Sketch of Rabelais by P. Dupont, prefacing 1858 edition.

See Tirez le rideau, la farce est
jouée; Now am I about to take etc.;
I shall soon know the grand secret ;
Now comes the mystery. Another
version, but contradicted: "Je m'en
vais chercher un grand peut-être ;
tirez le rideau, la farce est jouée.”
Je veux bien que la langue espa-
gnole demeure à l'Espagnol,
l'allemande à l'Allemand;
maise toute la françoise doit
être à moy.
(I am willing
that the Spanish language
should belong to the Spaniards;
the German to the Germans ;
but all the French should be-
long to me).-Mathieu, Hist. de
Henry le Grand, vol. 2, p. 444.
Saying of HENRY IV (1553-1610).
Cf. Béranger, Le bon Français :
"J'aime qu' un Russe soit Russe,

Et qu 'un Anglais soit Anglais,
Si l'on est Prussien en Prusse,
En France soyons Français."
(I'd have a Russian be a Russian,
A Briton British I would see,
And if in Prussia one is Prussian,
Why then in France let's French-
men be.)

Je veux honorer dans ma vieil

lesse une charge qui m'a fait honneur quand j'étais jeune. (I wish to honour in my old age an office which honoured me when I was young.) Given by the COMTE DE RICHEMONT (1398-1458) as a reason for not delivering up his sword as Constable of France on acceding to the dignity of Duke of Brittany (1457) under the title of Arthur III. Je veux que chaque laboureur

de mon royaume puisse

mettre la poule au pot le dimanche. (I desire that every labourer in my realm should be able to put a fowl in the pot on Sundays.)

A wish attributed to HENRI IV (1553-1610), said to the Duc DE SAVOIE early in 1600. "Si Dieu me donne encore de la vie, je ferai qu'il n'y aura pas de laboureur en mon royaume qui n'ait moyen d'avoir une poule dans son pot." (If God spares my life, I will see that there is no labourer in my realm without means to have a fowl in his pot.) Mathieu, Hist. des Années de Paix. H. de Péréfixe, Hist. de Henri le Grand, 1749, p. 559. Cf. the following paraphrase in Legouve's LA MORT DE HENRI IV (act IV, sc 1):

"Je veux enfin qu' au jour marqué pour

le repos,

L'hôte laborieux des modestes hameaux, Sur sa table moins humble, ait par ma bienfaisance,

Quelques-uns de ces mets réservés à l'aisance.'


(I wish, in short, that on the day set aside for repose,

The hard-working host of the modest hamlets,

On his less humble table, should have by my beneficence,

A few of those dishes reserved for the well-to-do.)

Je vis par curiosité. (I live out of curiosity).-Mme. de Bawr, Mes souvenirs, p. 137.

Remark made by a singular personage named MARTIN (about whom very little is known) to his friend DUCIS during the Terror. Also ascribed to MERCIER (1740-1814) author of Le Tableau de Paris (cf. V. Hugo's Marion Delorme, act iv, sc. 8.)

Je vois bien qu'à la cour on fait argent de tout. (I see clearly that at the court money is made out of everything.)

LOUIS XIV (1638-1715) referring to the princess de Montauban's offer to the princess d'Harcourt of 1000 crowns to take her place at Marly.

Je voudrois bien voir la grimace qu'il fait à cette heure sur cet échafaud. (I should like to see the grimace he is making now on that scaffold). Attributed (but denied) to LOUIS XIII (1601-43)-alluding to CINQMARS (1620-42) surnamed M. le Grand.Tallement des Reaux, Historiettes, vol. 3, P. 58. According to M. Paulin Paris, the

phrase originates from a saying of the DUC D'ALENÇON, (afterwards duc d'Anjou, 155484) when news was brought to him that the COMTE DE SAINT-AIGNAN had been killed at Antwerp, Jan. 19, 1583. "Je croy que quy eust pu prendre le loisir de contempler à cette heure-là Saint-Aignan, qu'on luy eust veu faire alors une plaisante grimace." (I think that whoever had the opportunity of looking at Saint Aignan then would have seen him make a lovely grimace.)--P. de l'Estoile, Journal, vol. I, P. 156 (edition 1719). Another version (with regard to CinqMars) is "Je crois qu'à cette heure 'cher ami' fait une vilaine mine." (I think "dear friend" is making an ugly grimace just now). Another:

"Je crois que 'cher ami' fait à présent une vilaine mine." (I think "cher ami" is making an ugly grimace now.) Louis XIII used to call Cinq-Mars "cher ami." "As the hour appointed for the execution was drawing nigh, the king, looking at his watch, remarked with much satisfaction that Monsieur le Grand 'passait alors un mauvais quartd'heure.'-This is said to have been the origin of the phrase."-Lady Jackson, Old Paris, i, 227. Le quart d'heure de Rabelais. Je voudrais te la laisser en héritage. (I should like to


leave it to you as an inheritance) Dying words of MIRABEAU (174991), to one of his friends who was supporting his head. Followed by: "J'emporte avec moi" etc. (q.v. )— A. Mézières, vie de Mirabeau, p. 322.

Je vous ai assemblés pour me

mettre en tutelle entre vos mains, envie qui ne prend guère aux rois, aux barbes grises et aux victorieux. (I have called you together in order to place myself in your hands, a course which is not usually taken by kings, greybeards or victors.)

Words occurring in the speech made by HENRI IV (1553-1610) to the Assembly of Notables at Rouen (Nov. 4, 1596).

J'ignorais que j'eusse mérité ni

la mort ni le pardon. (I did not know that I had deserved either death or pardon.) MICHEL DE L'HOSPITAL (150673) in 1572. The news of the massacre of St. Bartholomew reached him at Vignay, near Etampes, where he had retired. "Je ne pensois pas avoir jamais mérité ni pardon, ni mort advancée." (I did not think that I had deserved either pardon or premature death.)

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MARSHAL MACMAHON (180893) at Sebastopol, Sep. 8, 1855, on being asked whether he could retain the Malakoff which he had taken. "Dites à votre général, que j'y suis et que j'y reste". (Tell your general that I am there and that I remain there.) Cf. Le Figaro, Oct. 28, 1893. siamo e ci resteremo. L'abîme de Pascal. abyss.)

See Ci


Saying, meaning an imaginary gulf, derived from an accident that happened to BLAISE PASCAL (162362) near the Seine, from which he narrowly escaped with his life. After the accident Pascal was haunted by the idea that there was always an abyss by his side ready to swallow him up, and, although he placed a chair near him, he was unable to dismiss the hallucination from his mind.

La carrière ouverte aux talents, voilà mon principe. (Professions [Lit. The career] open to talent, that is my principle). NAPOLEON (1769-1821) to O'MEARA (1786-1836). Quoted by Carlyle in his essay "Sir Walter Scott" (Critical and Miscellaneous Essays, vol. vi. p. 35). See Tout soldat français porte dans giberne &c.


La Charte sera désormais une

vérité. (The Charter shall be henceforth a reality.) Concluding words of the DUKE OF ORLEANS' proclamation on being appointed (July 31, 1830) lieutenant-general of the realmafterwards LOUIS-PHILIPPE (17731850). Guizot, Mémoires pour servir à l'histoire de mon temps, vol. ii, p. 22. The proclamation in question was drawn up by M. Dupin aîné (cf. his Memoirs, vol. ii,p. 151).

La confiance doit venir d'en bas, le pouvoir doit venir d'en haut. (Confidence must come

from below, power must come from above.)

The ABBÉ SIEYÈS (1748-1836).— Thiers, Hist. du Consulat et de l'Empire, vol. i, p. 98.

La cour rend des arrêts et non

pas des services. (The court renders judgments and not services.)

Reply made by M. SEGUIER (1768-1848), chief president of the court of Paris, to an influential person who asked a service in a case pending.-Le Courrier de Vaugelas, Nov. 15, 1886. Although the authenticity of the mot is confirmed by the president's grandson in the Courrier de Vaugelas as above, yet M. Séguier is said-in a letter that he wrote to M. DE PEYRONNET, (1775-1853), keeper of the seals (Nov. 28, 1828)-to have denied it (Cf. Crétineau-Joly, Hist. de LouisPhilippe).

La démocratie coule à pleins bords. (Democracy is flowing full-tide.)

The COMTE DE SERRE (17761824) brought before the Chamber of Deputies, on Dec. 3, 1821, a bill for increasing the penalties for illegalities by the Press, and in his speech used the words ".. si le torrent [of democracy] coule à pleins bords dans de faibles digues qui le contiennent à peine," &c. (... . if the torrent flows full-tide between feeble dykes which scarcely keep it within bounds, &c.) Moniteur, Dec. 4, 1821.

La force prime le droit.

See Macht geht vor Recht. Cf. "Il y a bien un droit du plus sage, mais non pas un droit du plus fort." (There is indeed a right of the wisest, but not a right of the strongest.) Joubert, Pensées xv., 4.

La France est assez riche pour payer sa gloire. (France is rich enough to pay for her glory.)

Phrase used in the Journal des Débats, Sep. 14, 1844, after the war in Morocco.

Le garde meurt et ne se rend pas. (The guard dies, and does not surrender).

Phrase attributed to CAMBRONNE (1770-1842) at the battle of Waterloo (June 18, 1815), but he denied having uttered it.-L'Indépendant, June 20, 1815; Thiers, Histoire du Consulat et de l'Empire. See Dieu m'a confié &c. Really said by GENERAL COUNT MICHEL (1772-1815). Cambronne is said to have uttered a single word, not fit for ears polite, but which V. Hugo has written at the end of Bk. i, ch. 14, of Les Misérables (Cosette). The inscription at the foot of Cambronne's statue at Nantes, however, remains. La grande nation. (The great nation.)

NAPOLEON (1769-1821)—in his proclamation to the Italian people, Nov. 17, 1797.-Lanfrey, Hist. de Napoléon, vol. I., ch. x; Joseph de Maistre, Letter to M. Vignet des Etoles, 1794.

L'aigle volera de clocher en clocher_jusqu'aux tours de Notre-Dame. (The eagle will fly from steeple to steeple until it reaches the towers of NotreDame).


a proclamation read by NAPOLEON (1769-1821) to his soldiers on landing at Cannes (Mar. 1, 1815). "L'aigle, avec les couleurs nationales, volera", etc. (The eagle, with the national colours, will fly, etc). -Le Moniteur universel, March 21, 1815. The phrase is used by V. Hugo at end of ch. 18, bk. I of Cosette: Les Misérables.

Laissez faire et laissez passer. (Liberty of action and liberty of movement.)

Maxim of the school of QUESNAY (1694-1774), generally attributed to GOURNAY (1712-59). Cf. Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations, bk. iv, ch. 9.

Laissez la verdure.

(Leave the green [i.e. do not cover my tomb with anything, but let the grass grow there].)

Last words of GEORGE SAND [Pseudonym of Aurore Dupin, dame Dudevant] (1804-76).

Laissez-moi mourir au son de la musique. (Let me die to the sound of music.)

Often given as the last words of MIRABEAU (1749-91), but probably a résumé of what he did say just before his death. See Mon ami, je mourrai aujourd'hui.

Laissez passer la justice du roi.

(Make way for the king's justice.)

Inscription said to have been placed, in the reign (1380-1422) of CHARLES VI (1368-1422), on the sacks in which the bodies of rebels were sewn up and thrown into the Seine during the night. (Cf. C. Dareste, Histoire de France, vol. 2, P. 552). Chamfort, Tableaux historiques de la Révolution (Tableau 21) refers to July 22, 1789, when (J.-J.) Foulon's (1715-89) head was carried through the streets

on a

pike preceded by a man who cried out "Laissez passer la justice du peuple!" (Make way for the people's justice.) Cf. "We will over with him into the Somme, and put a paper on his breast, with the legend, Let the justice of the King pass toll-free."" - Scott, Quentin Durward, ch. xxviii.

Laissez passer le tapissier de Notre-Dame. (Make way for the tapestry-maker of NotreDame.)

Remark made by the PRINCE de CONTI (1664-1709) when accompanying the MARECHAL DE LUXEMBOURG (1628-95) to Notre-Dame (abt. 1694). Lettres de J.-B. Rousseau, vol. 3, p. 112 (Ist edition). The custom then was to place in the cathedral the flags taken from the enemy.

La justice immanente des choses.' (The inherent justice of things.)


LÉON GAMBETTA (1838-82) in a speech at Cherbourg, Aug. 9, 1880, said, ". . et savoir s'il y a dans les choses d'ici-bas une justice immanente qui vient à son jour et à son heure". (.. and know whether there is in the things of this world an inherent justice which comes at its day and hour.) La République française, Aug. 12, 1880, p. 2 (Résumé de l'agence Havas.)

La lecture fait à l'esprit ce que

vos perdrix font à mes joues. (Reading does for the mind what your partridges do for my cheeks.)

Reply made by the Duc DE VIVONNE (1636-88) when asked by LOUIS XIV (1638-1715) what was the use of reading. Vivonne was stout and of ruddy complexion. Another version : "Mais à quoi sert la lecture?-"Sire, la lecture fait à l'esprit ce que les perdrix de votre table font à mes joues." (But what is the use of reading?-Sire, reading does to the mind what the partridges of your table do to my cheeks.)

La légalité nous tue. (Legality is killing us.) Euvres de Carrel, vol. 3, p. 383.

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