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Oh! le bon temps où nous étions si malheureux. (Oh! the good times when we were so miserable!) quoted by Dumas père in Le Chevalier d'Harmental (vol. 2, p. 318) as by either Ninon de l'Enclos or Sophie Arnould; and the song beginning


"Le bon temps que c'était, le bon temps que c'était,

"Du temps que la reine Berthe
filait !'

(What good times they were, what
good times they were,
When Queen Bertha span !)

Oh! Oh! voilà qui s'appelle_un
mauvais présage. Un Ro-
main à ma place serait
rentré. (Oh! Oh! that's what
is called a bad omen. A Roman
in my place would have gone
in again).

By C. G. DE LAMOIGNON DE MALESHERBES (1721-94), who stumbled as he was leaving the Conciergerie prison to moant the fatal cart, April 24, 1794. Derniers Cf. Teneo te momens, p. 211. Africa!

Oh! priez seulement pour le corps; il ne faut pas demander tant de choses à la fois. (Oh! pray for the body only; too many things must'nt be asked for at once).

Attributed to LOUIS XI. (142383) in reply to François de Paul (1416-1507) who is supposed to have said:- Sire, je vais prier Dieu pour le repos de Votre Majesté." (Sire, I am going to pray to God for your Majesty's repose).

on craint peu Oh, que non ! celui qu'on n'estime pas. (Oh no! we little fear him whom we do not esteem). Reply of Lucien Bonaparte's eldest daughter CHARLOTTE (1796

) when asked whether she was not afraid of the consequences of irritating her uncle (Napoleon) by refusing to marry Ferdinand VII of Spain (1784-1833).

O Liberté ! O Liberté que de crimes on commet en ton nom. (O Liberty! O Liberty! what crimes are committed in thy name !)

By MME. ROLAND (1754-93) on passing a statue of Liberty on her Lamartine, way to the scaffold. Hist. des Girondins, bk. 51, ch. 8.

Another version : "Ah! liberté, comme on t'a jouée! (Ah! liberty, how they have cheated thee!) Generally regarded as her last words. Derniers momens, p. 178.

O mon Dieu, conserve-moi innocente, donne la grandeur aux autres. (O God, keep me innocent, give greatness to others).

Words scratched with a diamond on a window of the castle of Frederiksborg by CAROLINE MATILDA (1751-75), Queen of Denmark and sister of George III.

Votre Sainteté, les rois Votre Majesté, les princes Votre Gracieuseté; pour vous, madame, on devrait vous Votre Solidité. appeler (They call popes, Your Holiness; kings, Your Majesty; princes, Your Graciousness; you, madam, should be called Your Solidity).

On appelle les papes

Words said to have been uttered by LOUIS XIV (1638-1715) to Mme. de Maintenon (1635-1719), referring to her reputation for judgment and good sense.

On croirait que je vous pardonne. (One would think that I am forgiving you).

Remark made by HENRI IV (1553-1610) to Rosny (1560-1641) (afterwards duc de Sully) in the park of Fontainebleau (early in May, 1605). Relevez-vous, mon ami, on croirait que je vous pardonne. (Rise, my friend, one would think that I am forgiving you); or Relevezvous, relevez-vous: ils vont croire que je vous pardonne. (Rise, rise, they will think that I'm forgiving you.) La Harpe-Eloge de Henri IV.

On fait un pont d'or à un ennemi

qui se retire. (We make a
golden bridge for a retreating

Russian General count Milorado-
vitch (1770-1825), when meeting
to propose terms of peace.
"Le Comte de Pitillan, en parlant
"de la guerre, souloit dire, Quant

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ton ennemy voudra fuyr, fay luy un pont d'or." (The count de I'itillan, in speaking of war, used to say, When thy enemy wishes to fly, make a bridge of gold for him.) Gilles Corrozet, "Les Divers Propos Memorables," etc. Paris, 1557, p. 78. Rabelais (Gargantua, bk. 1., ch. 43) makes Gargantua say :-"Ouvrez toujours "à vos ennemis toutes les portes et "chemins, et plûtôt leur faites un "pont d'argent,* afin de les renvoyer."

(Always open to your enemies all gates and outlets, and rather make for them a bridge of silver, to get rid of them). Cf.

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Scipio Africanus dicere solitus est, "hosti non solum dandam esse "viam fugiendi verum etiam "muniendam." (Scipio Africanus used to say that you ought to give the enemy not only a road for flight

*i.e. stratagem-give them a seeming advantage. The French proverb is "Il faut faire un pont d'or à son ennemi." (Make a golden bridge for your enemy).


but also a means of defending it). Frontinus, Strateg., IV. 7, 16.

Attributed to SCIPIO AFRICANUS (abt. 235-183 B.C.), ut supra. On n'aime pas un homme par qui on a été battu. (A man is not liked by those he has beaten.) NAPOLEON (1769-1821) referring to Wellington being sent as ambassador to France after the Restoration.

On ne gagne pas les batailles avec les mains, mais avec les pieds. (Battles are not won with the hands, but with the feet.)

Maxim of MARSHAL SAXE (16961750), he considering quickness of movement of more importance than actual combats.

On ne me touche pas, je suis l'arche. (They will not touch me, I am the arch.)

Saying of DANTON (1759-94) rereferring to his life being threatened. Cf. Il n'oserait.

On ne passe pas, quand bien meme qu'encore tu serais le petit caporal. (You cannot pass not even if you were the "little corporal " himself.) Attributed to JEAN COLUCHE, the sentry of Ebersberg, to Napoleon, but he really only said On ne passe pas! (You cannot pass !) Cf. Journal du Loiret, August 29, L'Illustration of 1846 and the 1862. According to the Mémorial de Sainte-Hélène (vol i., p. 232), the sobriquet "le petit caboral" originated from the singular custom of the oldest soldiers giving after each battle (during the Italian campaign) a new title to their young general. He was made corporal at Lody and sergeant at Castiglione. The soldiers continued to call him "le petit caporal."

On ne perd pas plus gaiement

son royaume. (No one could lose a kingdom more gaily.) Said by ETIENNE DE VIGNOLLES, surnamed La Hire (1390-1442) to Charles VI (1403-61), abt. 1428. On n'avoit jamais veu nv ouy parler qu'aucun perdist si gayement son Estat que lui. (No one had ever heard or seen anyone lose his kingdom so gaily as he).-Edmond Richer (early in 17th century.)

On ne prend jamais le roi, pas même aux échecs. (The king is never taken, not even at chess.)

Phrase attributed (erroneously) to Louis VI. (1078-1137), at the battle of Brémule (Brenneville) where he was beaten by Henry I of England (August 20, 1119). Sache qu'on ne prend jamais le roi, pas même aux échers. (Know that the king is never taken, not even at chess.) Dreux du Radier, Tablettes anecdotes et historiques des rois de France, depuis Pharamond jusqu'à Louis XV, vol. I., p. 148. It is said that an English knight took hold of the horse's reins, saying "Le roi est pris" (The king is taken); and the king knocked him down with his war club, using the above words.

On ne ramène guère un traitre

par l'impunité, au lieu que par la punition l'on en rend mille autres sages. (One traitor can scarcely be reclaimed by impunity, while a thousand others are made wise by punishment.)

Saying of CARDINAL RICHELIEU (1585-1642.) Mercure hist. et polit., July, 1688, pp. 7-8.

On ne s'appuie que sur ce qui résiste. (We only lean on that which resists.)

Reply made by ANDRIEUX (17591833) to NAPOLEON (1769-1821) (when First Consul), who com plained of the Tribunat's resistance. "Vous êtes à l'Institut,

général, de la section de mécanique; vous devez donc savoir "qu'on," etc. (You are at the Institute, general, you belong to the mechanics section; you ought, therefore, to know that, &c.

On ne tombe jamais que du côte où l'on penche. (One never falls but on the side towards which one leans.)

By F.-P.-G. GUIZOT (1787-1874), in the Chamber of Deputies, May 5, 1837. Moniteur, May 5-6, 1837. Referred to by NAPOLEON III (180873), in a letter, dated Jan. 13, 1867, to Emile Ollivier.

On prend plus de mouches avec une cuillerée de miel, qu'avec vingt tonneaux de vinaigre. (More flies are caught with a spoonful of honey than with twenty barrels of vinegar.) Favorite saying (proverb) of HENRY IV (1553-1610.) H. de Péréfixe, hist du roi Henri le Grand, vol. 2, p. 306.

On presse l'orange et on jette l'écorce. (One squeezes the orange and throws away the peel.)

FREDERICK II of Prussia (171286), is reported to have said to La Mettrie (1709-1751), alluding to Voltaire (1694-1778), J'aurai besoin de lui encore un an tout au

plus; on presse, etc. (I shall want him another year at most; one squeezes, etc.) Cf. Also Voltaire's letter to Mme. Denis, Sept. 2, 1751. "On presse l'orange et on en jette l'écorce."

On rend l'argent de tout achat




de plaire. (Money returned for any purchase that has ceased to please.) Advertisement of a establishment at Paris, established tailoring in 1868. Abbrevated on its sign or trade-mark to "On rend l'argent (Money returned) and often quoted.



On reprend son bien où on le trouve. (One takes back one's property wherever one finds it.) Reply made by MOLIÈRE (162273) when reproached with having appropriated two scenes" * from Le Pedant joué (Cyrano de Bergerac) in Les Fourberies de Scapin.

Another version is as follows:

Cette scène est bonne, elle "m'appartient de droit ; je reprends


mon bien partout où je le trouve." (That scene is good, it belongs to me by right; I take back my property wherever I find it.) Cf. also La Vie de M. de Molière, by Jacques le Febvre, 1705, pp. 13-14.

De Grimarest's Vie de Molière (1705 edit., p. 14) says: "Il m'est permis de reprendre mon bien où je le trouve. (I am permitted to take back my property, where I find it.) Cf.

"Cette culotte est mienne: et "Ce qui fut mien où je le je prendrai trouverai." ("Mine are these breeches, and Where'er I find my property, to a rule I make it,

Voltaire, La Pucelle (1841) chant 3, take it.") 1. 374. See Il est permis en littéra

ture &c.

On retrouve des soldats, il n'y a

que l'honneur qui ne se retrouve pas. (We can get

More particularly that in which the words "Que diable allait-il faire dans cette galère ?"


other soldiers, it is only honour which cannot be regained). Said by NAPOLEON (1769-1821) to Maret (1763-1839) at Bordeaux, on learning the capitulation of Baylen (July 22, 1808).

On veut me faire mourir de plaisir. (They want to kill me with pleasure).

Said by VOLTAIRE (1694-1778) March 30, 1778, referring to the public enthusiasm for him. Another account has it that the words used were : "Vous voulez m'étouffer sous les roses." (You want to stifle me with roses.)

Ostez-vous de devant moy, ne m'offusquez pas, car je veux paroistre. (Don't get in front of me, don't obscure me for I wish to be seen). — Brantôme.

By HENRY IV (1553-1610), wearing long plumes, to his soldiers at the battle of Coutras (1587). See Ralliez vous à mon panache blanc.

Où est la femme? See Cherchez la femme.

Oui, et combien les hommes sont petits. (Yes, and how little men are.)


Death-bed utterance of MONTESQUIEU (1689-1755)-in reply to the question, by the Curate of SaintSulpice: Monsieur, vous comprenez combien Dieu est grand?" (You understand how great God is?) The Jesuits were anxious to obtain his retractation of the Lettres Persanes, whilst the Encyclopaedists were endeavouring to prevent it. Biog. universelle (Michaud), vol. xxix, pp. 519-20.


Oui, je suis Français ; je mourrai
Français. (Yes, I
Frenchman; I shall die

a a

By MARSHAL M. NEY (17691815) during his trial. Condemned by the court of peers Dec. 6, 1815. Derniers momens, p. 328.

Oui, sire, le moulin n'y est plus ;

mais le vent y est encore. (Yes, sire, the mill is there no longer, but the wind is there still).

Reply made by the DUC DE VIVONNE (1636-88) to Louis XIV (1638-1715) in the park at Versailles, on being asked if he remembered that a mill used to be there. Où la vertu va-t-elle se nicher ! (Where is virtue going to nestle !)

Attributed to MOLIÈRE (1622-73). He gave a louis to a poor man and the latter ran after him, saying that he must have given it him in mistake. Molière gave him another, making Voltaire the above exclamation. (édit. Garnier) vol. 23, p. 95 (Vie de Molière).

Sometimes quoted: "Où diable la vertu va-t-elle se nicher?" Ouvrez, c'est l'infortuné roi de

France. (Open, it is the unfortunate king of France).Froissart.

Words uttered by PHILIP VI (1293-1350) after the battle of Crecy (Aug. 26th, 1346) on arriving at the château de Broye. Generally misquoted "Ouvrez, c'est la fortune de la France." (Open it is the fortune of France).

Note. In the earliest edition of Froissart's Chronicles (abt. 1495) the words are la fortune de France, but in that of 1840, edited by J. A. C. Buchon, the error has been corrected and noted. "Ouvres, ouvrez, châtelain, c'est l'infortuné roi de France," (Cf. Froissart, bk. 1, pt. 1, ch. 292, p. 240, 1840 edition).

Panat fait tache dans la boue.

(Panat makes even mud dirtier.) Saying of RIVAROL (1753-1801) alluding to the untidy personal ap. pearance of the Chevalier de Panat.

Pardon, Sire, il n'en a tué qu'une ; c'est votre Majesté qui a tué (l'ardon, les vingt autres. Sire, he has only killed one; it is your Majesty who has killed the twenty others).

Saying attributed to the DUC DE MONTAUSIER (1610-90), governor to the eldest son of Louis XIV. The king said that he had let justice take its course with regard to an assassin whom he had pardoned after his first crime, but who had since killed twenty people.

Paris vaut bien une messe. (Paris is indeed worth a mass). Expression generally attributed to HENRI IV (1553-1610), but probably invented after his death.

The phrase Sire, sire, la couronne vaut bien une messe (Sire, sire, the crown is indeed worth a mass), is in the Caquets de l'accouchée, ascribed to the DUC DE ROSNY, (Sully) (1560-1641) the king having asked him why he didn't attend Cf. mass like himself. "A la vue "de Gênes la superbe et de ses en"virons pittoresques, il [Napoleon] 's'écria : 'cela vaut bien une

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guerre.' (At the sight of Genoa the superb and its picturesque surroundings, he cried: that is indeed worth a war.') This was on his journey through Italy after his coronation in Milan.-J. Fouché, Mémoires, 1824, pt. 1, p. 332. Pas encore, mon fils, pas encore.

(Not yet, my son, not yet.) Attributed to LOUIS XIII (160143) when on his death-bed, after asking the dauphin his name (he had just been baptised) and receiving the reply "Je m'appelle Louis XIV." (My name is Louis XIV).

* Dentu's edition (Bibliothèque elzévirienne) pp. 172-3.

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