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QUEEN ELIZABETH (1533-1603). Yes, it would be rash to say that
they have no reasons.
THOMAS CARLYLE (1795-1881)— Last words, to Froude. Preceded by: "I am very ill. Is it not strange that these people should have chosen the very oldest man in all Britain to make suffer in this way?" Froude said "We do not know exactly why those people act as they do. They may have reasons we cannot guess at." Carlyle replied as above. His mind was wandering. Yes, yes, sing that for me. I
am poor and needy. CORNELIUS ("COMMODORE ") VANDERBILT (1794-1877) Last words, to some one who was singing to him the hymn "Come, ye sinners, poor and needy."
You are fighting for an earthly
crown; I am going to receive a heavenly one.
COLONEL JAMES GARDINER (1688-1745)-Last words attributed to him, but see Doddridge's Life, 1747, p. 187, and note to Scott's Waverley, ch. xlvii.
You are going to leave us, but
I will never leave you while your head is upon your shoulders.
JOHN PYM (1584-1643) — when Sir Thomas Wentworth was raised to the peerage as Earl of Strafford. You are no longer a parliament:
I tell you, you are no longer a parliament.
OLIVER CROMWELL (1599-1658) -when dissolving the Long Parliament, Apr. 20, 1653. Preceded by: "For shame, get you gone; give place to honester men; to those who will more faithfully discharge their trust," and followed by: "The Lord has done with you: he has
chosen other instruments for carrying on his work." (Hume, Hist. of Engl.) See also What shall we
do with this bauble?
You can always get the truth from an American statesman after he has turned seventy, or given up all hope of the Presidency
Wendell Phillips (1811-84)— in a speech (Nov. 7, 1860,) on the election of Abraham Lincoln to the Presidency of the U.S.
You have not to do with Holbein, but with me; I tell you of seven peasants I can make as many lords; but of seven lords I could not make one Holbein.
HENRY VIII. (1491-1547)—to a nobleman who complained of some rude treatment by the painter. See Avec quatre aunes de drap &c. Je puis faire des nobles quand je
JAMES I. (1566-1625) is credited with saying, "I can make a lord, but only God Almighty can make a gentleman."
You have risen by your gravity: I have sunk by my levity. JOHN HORNE TOOKE (1736-1812) -remarking to his more prosperous brother that they had reversed the natural order of things.
You have swept away our con
stitution, you have destroyed our parliament, but we will have our revenge. We will send into the ranks of your parliament a hundred of the greatest scoundrels of the kingdom.
HENRY GRATTAN (1750-1820)— referring to the Irish representatives in the British parliament after the Union.
You make me drink. Pray leave
me quiet. I find it affects my head.
PRINCESS AUGUSTA CHARLOtte, daughter of George IV. and Queen Caroline (1796-1817)-Last words, dying in childbed.
You may call it the accidental and fortuitous concourse of atoms.
LORD PALMERSTON (1784-1865) -of the combination of parties, led by Disraeli and Gladstone, which defeated the government on the Chinese War, Mar. 5, 1857. (See Quarterly Review, 1835, vol. liii, p. 270)
You may go on, sir: so far,
court is quite with you.
LORD ELLENBOROUGH (17501818)--to a young barrister who began his speech, "The unfortunate client who appears by me"-and stopped short after repeating the words several times. (Campbell Life.)
You may polish the pewter till it shines without its becoming silver.
LORD JUSTICE BOWEN (1835-94) -in a lecture on Education.
You must not contrast too
strongly the hours of courtship with the years of pos
BENJAMIN DISRAELI [Earl of Beaconsfield] (1804-81)—in a speech, Mar. 17, 1845, on agricultural distress. Preceded by: "There is no doubt a difference in the right honourable gentleman's [Sir Robert Peel] demeanour as leader of the Opposition and as minister of the Crown. But that's the old story; you must not, &c.
You must stand afar off to judge St. Peter's.
WENDELL PHILLIPS (1811-84)—
in a speech at Boston (Mass.) Feb. 17, 1861. See Great objects can only be seen, &c.
You need not be anxious concerning to-night. It will be very peaceful and quiet with
WILLIAM ELLERY CHANNING (1780-1842)-Last words.
Young man, you have heard, no doubt, how great are the terrors of death: this night will probably afford you some experience; but you may learn, and may you profit by the example, that a conscientious endeavour to perform his duties through life, will ever close a Christian's eyes with comfort and tranquillity.
WILLIAM BATTIE (1704-76)— Last words.
Your highness has made me too great for my house.
SIR NICHOLAS BACON, father of Lord Bacon (1510-79)—to Queen Elizabeth when on a visit to him in 1572. Elizabeth had remarked that
his house was too small.
Your Majesty is not a gentleman.
DUKE OF WELLINGTON (17691852)-reply to George IV in 1822, on the latter protesting that he could not "on his honour as a gentleman" appoint Canning secretary for foreign affairs. "Your Majesty, I say, is not a gentleman, but the sovereign of England, with duties to your people far above any to yourself", &c.
Your warrant is written in fair characters, legible without spelling.
-to CHARLES I (1600-49) — one Joyce, who came with some troopers to conduct him to the army (June 5,
1647) and, in answer to the king's enquiries for his authority, pointed to the soldiers. See Vous avez fait, monsieur, trois fautes d'orthographe.
You sit upon a form, but you
stand upon a ceremony. ARCHBISHOP WHATELY (17871863)-replying to his own question, what is the difference between form and ceremony?
Youth, I forgive thee!
RICHARD I (1157-99)—to an archer, named Gourdon, who had wounded him while besieging the castle of Chaluz. He added "Loose his chains, and give him a hundred shillings." The king died next day, but his order was disobeyed and the archer flayed alive and hanged.
You will be hanged if you do.
THOMAS (afterwards) LORD ERSKINE (1750-1823)-reply on a slip of paper to a message from Thelwall, charged with high treason, whom he was defending. Thelwall wrote "I'll be hanged if I don't plead my Own cause." After Erskine's reply, Thelwall wrote "Then I'll be hanged if I do."
You will never get credit by beheading me, my neck is so
SIR THOMAS MORE (1480-1535) -to the executioner, who had previously asked his forgiveness, which was granted (Hume, Hist. of Engl.) Anne Boleyn (c. 1507-36), wife of Henry VIII, remarked to the Lieutenant of the Tower "The executioner is, I hear, very expert; and my neck is very slender."
Cf. "Adieu, charmant pays de France Que je dois tant chérir !
"Berceau de mon heureuse enfance "Adieu! te quitter c'est mourir." Béranger, Adieu de Marie Stuart. (Farewell, farewell, sweet land of France, Enshrined in my heart!
Home of my childhood's happy hours,
Farewell! 'tis death from thee to part). also "Mary, Queen of Scots," Poem by Henry Glassford Bell. See Farewell, France, farewell, &c. Adieu, mon cher Morand, je me meurs. (Adieu, my dear Morand, I am dying.)
VOLTAIRE (1694-1778)-Last words. Wagnière, Relation du Voyage de M. de Voltaire à Paris en 1778, et de sa mort (Mémoires sur Voltaire, etc. Longchamp and Wagnière, Paris, 1826, p. 163.) Adieu, prince sans terre. landless prince.)
Remark by NINON DE LENCLOS (1620-1705) on remembering her written promise to remain faithful to the Marquis de La Châtre during his absence. Voltaire quotes the phrase as le beau billet qu'a La Chatre; in a letter to the Comtesse de Lutzelbourg, Sep. 14, 1753; also as "On sait l'aventure du beau billet qu'a La Châtre" in a letter Sur Mlle. de Lenclos à M.... (1751) (Cf. Nouveaux mélanges philosophiques, etc.) The anecdote is told by Saint Simon in ch. 151 of his Mémoires. Ah! pour Dieu, monsieur, n'ayez
pitié de moi, mais plutôt de vous-même, qui combattez contre votre foi et votre roi. (Ah! for God's sake, sir, don't pity me, but rather pity yourself, who are fighting against your religion and your king.)
Reply made by BAYARD (14751524) when mortally wounded (Apr. 30, 1524) in Italy, to the traitorous constable Charles de Bourbon. Said
to be Bayard's last words. Another version is: "Ce n'est pas moi qu'il faut plaindre, mais vous, qui "combattez contre votre roi et votre "patrie." (It is not I who should be pitied, but you, who are fighting against your king and country.) Ah! sainte Vierge, ayez pitié de moi et recevez mon âme. (Ah! holy Virgin, have pity on me and receive my soul.) Dying words of CARDINAL MAZARIN, (1602-61), March 8-9, 1661.
Ah! si je n'étais pas roi, je me mettrais en colère. (Ah! if I were not a king, I should lose my temper.)
LOUIS XIV (1638-1715). (Dreux du Radier, Tablettes hist. et anecdotes des rois de France, vol. 3, p. 199, 2nd edit.)
Ah! si le roi le savait! (Ah! if the king knew it!)
Saying of the people, dating from, at least, feudal times, when oppressed by the nobles.
Ah! s'il se fallait méfier de celui-là, en qui pourrait-on mettre sa confiance? (Ah! if he must be mistrusted, in whom could confidence be placed.)
Said by CARDINAL MAZARIN (1602-61) of Fabert (1599-1662) when doubts were cast upon the latter's fidelity.
Ah! sire, la pluie de Marly ne mouille pas. (Ah! sire, the rain at Marly does not anyone.)
Said by the CARDINAL DE POLIGNAC (1661-1741) to LOUIS XIV (1638-1715)
Ah, sire, qu'est-ce qui n'a pas soixante ans? (Ah, sire, who isn't sixty?)