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DUKE OF WELLINGTON (17691852)-written from Coimbra, May 31, 1809, to the Rt. Hon. J. Villiers. See The English nation is never so great as in adversity.
I have long been of the opinion that the foundations of the future grandeur and stability of the British Empire lie in America.
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN (1706-90) -written in 1761 to Lord Kames. I have neither eyes to see, nor ears to hear, save as the Commons of England do direct.
SPEAKER LENTHALL (1591-1662) -reply, Jan. 4, 1642, to Charles I (1600-49), who had entered the House for the purpose of arresting Pym, Hampden, Holles, Hazlerig and Strode. Hume (Hist. of Engl.) has it: "I have, sir, neither eyes to see, nor tongue to speak, in this place, but as the House is pleased to direct me, whose servant I am; and I humbly ask pardon that I cannot give any other answer to what your majesty is pleased to demand of me."
I have no patience whatever with these gorilla damnifications of humanity.
THOMAS CARLYLE (1795-81)— referring to the Darwinian theory of development. See I am on the side of the angels.
I have not yet begun to fight.
PAUL JONES, Naval Commander (1747-92)-to the captain of the Serapis, who asked if he had struck his colours, during a lull in the engagement.
I have no wish to believe on that
THOMAS PAINE, author of The Rights of Man, &c. (1737-1809)--Last words, in reply to his physician's question, "Do you wish to believe that Jesus is the Son of God?" I have often read and thought of that scripture, but never till this moment did I feel its full power, and now I die happy.
BISHOP JOSEPH BUTLER (16921752) Last words, to his chaplain who read to him chapter vi. of St. John, calling his attention to the 37th verse: "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. ""
I have Old England set against me, and do you think I will have New England also? SIR ROBERT WALPOLE (16761745)-in 1739, when sounded by Lord Chesterfield as to a project for the taxation of America. The Dict. Nat. Biog. (vol. lix, p. 202) gives the last word as "likewise."
I have peace, perfect peace. 'Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee.'
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN BUTLER (1795-1858), Attorney General of the U.S. 1831-4-Last words
I have seen many a man turn his gold into smoke, but you are the first who has turned his smoke into gold.
QUEEN ELIZABETH (1533-1603) -to Sir Walter Raleigh. The latter made a wager with the Queen that he could weigh the smoke from his tobacco-pipe, and she used the above words on paying him the bet. He weighed the tobacco before smoking and the ashes afterwards.
I have sent for you that you may see how a Christian can die.
JOSEPH ADDISON (1672-1719) -shortly before his death, to his step son, Lord Warwick. Another
account gives the words as "See in what peace a Christian can die." Cf. Venez voir comment meurt, &c. I have sought Thee in the fields, and gardens, but I have found Thee O God, in thy Sanctuary-thy Temple. FRANCIS BACON (1561-1626)— Last words. Preceded by: "Thy creatures, O Lord, have been my books, but Thy Holy Scriptures much more."
I have sought the Lord night and
day that he would rather slay me than put me upon the doing of this work. OLIVER CROMWELL (15991658)-referring to the dissolution of the Long Parliament, Apr. 20, 1653. Preceded by, addressing the House: "It is you that have forced me upon this.' (Hume, Hist. of Engl.)
I hold that the characteristic of the present age is craving credulity.
BENJAMIN DISRAELI [Earl of Beaconsfield] (1804-81)-in a speech at Oxford, Nov. 25, 1864.
I know I have the body but of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too. QUEEN ELIZABETH (1533-1603) -in her address to the troops assembled at Tilbury to oppose the Spanish Armada in 1588. See No. 6798 Harleian MSS.
I know no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution.
ULYSSES S. GRANT (1822-85)-in his inaugural address as President of the U.S. Mar. 4, 1869.
I know not what profit there may be in the study of history, what value in the sayings of wise men, or in the recorded experience of the past, if it be not to guide and instruct us in the present. BENJAMIN DISRAELI [Earl of Beaconsfield] (1804-81)-in a speech on the state of the nation, July 2, 1849. See Anything but history, &c. I know that all things on earth must have an end, and now I am come to mine.
SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS (1723-92) -Last words. Preceded by: "I have been fortunate in long good health, and constant success, and I ought not to complain."
"I know that my Redeemer liveth."
ANNE STEELE (1716-78)-Last words.
I know what you are thinking of, but I have nothing to communicate on the subject of religion.
MARY WOLLSTONECRAFT, afterwards Mrs. Godwin (1759 97)— Last words, to her husband.
I learn more from conversation than from all the books I ever read.
CHARLES JAMES FOX (17491806)-Cf. "A great thing is a great book, but a greater thing than all is the talk of a great man." (Disraeli, Coningsby.)
I leave this world without a regret.
HENRY DAVID THOREAU (181762) Last words.
I like thee better because thou livest unmarried.
QUEEN ELIZABETH (15331603) to Dr. Whitehead, who replied, "I like you the worse for the same cause. See, And you, madam I may not call you, &c. I'll bell the cat.
ARCHIBALD DOUGLAS, 5th Earl of Angus (1449-1514)-to the Scotch nobles in 1482 at a midnight council in the church of Lauder (cf. La Fontaine, Conseil tenu par les Rats).
Princes and favourites long grew tame And trembled at the homely name Archibald " Bell-the-Cat." (Scott, Marmion v, 14 and note.) I'll be shot if I don't believe I'm dying.
LORD THURLOW (1732-1806)— Last words.
I'll have a 'Gazette' of my own.
LORD NELSON (1758-1805)-in his journal referring to his services at the siege of Calvi, in Corsica (1794), not having been mentioned in the official report. They have not done me justice. But, never
mind, I'll have a 'Gazette' of my (Southey, Life of Nelson, ed. 1888, p. 99). Later (1797), in a letter to his wife, he wrote "One day or other I will have a long 'Gazette' to myself," (ibid, p. 131). Illustrious predecessor.
PRESIDENT MARTIN VAN BUREN (1782-1862)—in his inaugural address, March 4, 1837. "I shall tread in the footsteps of my illustrious predecessor [Genl. Jackson].” The expression occurs, however, in Burke's Thoughts on the Present Discontents, vol. I, p. 456.
I look to the event with perfect resignation.
GEORGE WASHINGTON (1732-99) -a few hours before his death, Dec. 14, 1799.
I make this vow, that mine eyes
desire you above all things. CATHERINE OF ARAGON (14861536)-Concluding words of a tender letter written to Henry VIII shortly before her death. He had divorced
her in 1533. (Hume, Hist. of Engl.)
I mak siccar! (Scotch for sure).
KIRKPATRICK, of Closeburn, one of Robert Bruce's followers, the latter having in a rage stabbed John Comyn, a claimant for the Scottish Crown. Bruce cried, "I doubt I have slain the Comyn!" "You doubt!" said Kirkpatrick, "I mak siccar !" The words have been adopted as the motto of the Kirkpatricks.
I may say of our literature that it has one characteristic which distinguishes it from almost all the other literatures of modern Europe, and that is its exuberant reproductiveness.
BENJAMIN DISRAEL. [Earl of
(1804-81) - in
speech at the Royal Literary Fund Dinner, May 6, 1868.
I mistrust the judgment of every man in a case in which his own wishes are concerned.
DUKE OF WELLINGTON (1769. 1852).
I mix them with (my) brains, sir.
JOHN OPIE (1761-1807)—Reply, when asked how he mixed his colours. "With Brains, Sir" is the title of a paper (1st series, 2nd paper) in Dr. John Brown's Spare the Hours (Boston 1883), and paper begins with the anecdote of Opie. A similar saying is recorded of William Etty, R.A. (1787-1849). He replied, when questioned as to the medium,' saying, "Tell them the only medium I use is brains." (Gilchrist, Life of Etty, vol. ii, p. 191).
Impossible, sir! don't talk to
me of impossibilities.
WILLIAM PITT, [Earl of Chatham] (1708-78)-to Mr. Cleveland, who brought a message from Lord Anson that it was impossible to fit out the ships for a naval expedition by a given time. See, Le mot impossible n'est pas français.
I must arrange my pillows for another weary night. WASHINGTON IRVING (1783. 1859)-Last (coherent) words. I must sleep now.
LORD BYRON (1788-1824)-Last words.
In a progressive country change is constant.
BENJAMIN DISRAELI, [Earl of Beaconsfield] (1804-81)—in a speech
at Edinburgh, Oct. 29, 1867, on the Reform Bill.
Increased means and increased leisure are the two civilisers of man.
BENJAMIN DISRAEL [Earl of Beaconsfield] (1804-81)—in a speech at Manchester, April 3, 1872. Indemnity for the past and security for the future.
WILLIAM PITT, [Earl of Chatham] (1708-78)-attributed to him by De Quincey, Theol. Essays, vol. ii, p. 170. (see also Russell, Memoir of Fox, vol. iii, p. 345.) Pitt, in a letter to the Earl of Shelburne, Sep. 29, 1770, speaks of "reparation for our rights at home and security against the like future violations." Individuals may form commun
ities, but it is institutions alone that can create a nation.
BENJAMIN DISRAELI, [Earl of Beaconsfield] (1804-81)-in a speech at Manchester (1866).
Inebriated with the exuberance of his own verbosity.
LORD BEACONsfield, (1804-81) -in a speech at Knightsbridge (July 28, 1878) on his return from Berlin, referring to Mr. Gladstone. The latter had shortly before described the Convention of Constantinople as an insane convention. "A sophistical rhetorician, inebriated with the exuberance of his own verbosity, and gifted with an egotistical imagination, that can at all times command an interminable and inconsistent series of arguments to malign his opponents, and to glorify himself."
I never heard of a king being drowned.
WILLIAM II, (1056-1100) in 1099, when about to embark at Southamp
ton for Normandy, being entreated by the sailors not to put to sea in an old crazy ship, when the wind was contrary, and the waves high. "I never heard of a king being drowned," cried Rufus, "make haste, loose your cables; you will see the elements join to obey me.' (Freeman, Life of William Rufus, vol. ii, 284 and note.) Another version is i Weigh anchor, hoist sail and begone. Kings never drown!" See Queens of England are never drowned.
I never knew a man of merit neglected; it was generally by his own fault that he failed of success.
DR. SAMUEL JOHNSON (1709-84) -Preceded by: "All the complaints which are made of the world are unjust."
I never knew a man that was bad fit for service that was good.
EDMUND BURKE (1729-97)-—of Warren Hastings.
I never read a book before reviewing it, it prejudices a
Rev. SYDNEY SMITH (1771-1845) In honour I gained them, and in
honour I will die with them. LORD NELSON (1758-1805)-of his decorations (not at the battle of Trafalgar, Oct. 21, 1805, but on a previous occasion), when it was hinted that they rendered him a conspicuous mark for the enemy. (Southey, Life of Nelson, ed. 1888, p. 366.)
In me behold the end of the world with all its vanities. SIR PHILIP SIDNEY (1554-1586) -Last words, when mortally wounded at Zutphen, Sep. 22, 1586. See, Take it, thy necessity is greater than mine.
PRESIDENT GROVER CLEVELAND (b. 1837) in a message to the Senate, Mar. 1, 1886: "And so it happens that after an existence of nearly twenty years of an almost innocuous desuetude these laws are brought forth, apparently the repealed as well as the unrepealed, and put in the way of an executive who is willing, if permitted, to attempt an improvement in the methods of administration." He declined to furnish papers relative to suspensions from office during the recess of the Senate, as demanded by that body.
Instruction ladled out in a hurry is not education.
LORD JUSTICE BOWEN (1835-94) -in a lecture on Education. In the same lecture he said: "In ancient times when duty to the State was the keynote of civilisation, education was that culture of mind and body which tended to turn out the ideal citizen."
Insurrection of thought always precedes insurrection of
WENDELL PHILLIPS (1811-84) -in a speech at Brooklyn, on John Brown, Nov. 1, 1859. See Revolutions never go backward.
In this country ministers are king.
GEORGE II (1683-1760). In times of danger it is the custom of England to arm. QUEEN ELIZABETH (1533-1603) -referring to a possible attack by the French.
Into thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
THOMAS A BECKET, Archbishop of Canterbury (1117-70), assassin ated in Canterbury Cathedral