Reference > Quotations > Hoyt & Roberts, comps. > Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations
Hoyt & Roberts, comps.  Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations.  1922.
England! my country, great and free!
Heart of the world, I leap to thee!
        Bailey—Festus. Sc. The Surface. L. 376.
  Let Pitt then boast of his victory to his nation of shopkeepers—(Nation Boutiquiere).
        Said by Barrère, June 16, 1794 before the National Convention. Attributed to NapoLeon—Scott’s Life of Napoleon. Claimed as a saying of Francis II. to Napoleon.
Quoique leurs chapeaux sont bien laids,
Goddam! j’aime les anglais.
  In spite of their hate being very ugly, Goddam! I love the English.
Ah! la perfide Angleterre!
  Ah! the perfidious English!
        Bossuet—Sermon on the Circumcision, preached at Metz. Quoted by Napoleon on leaving England for St. Helena.
If I should die, think only this of me:
  That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is forever England. There shall be
  In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
  Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England’s, breathing English air,
  Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.
        Robert Brooke—The Soldier.
Oh, to be in England,
  Now that April’s there,
And whoever wakes in England
  Sees some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf,
  Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
  In England—now.
        Robert Browning—Home Thoughts from Abroad.
  The men of England—the men, I mean of light and leading in England.
        Burke—Reflections on the Revolution in France. Phrase used by Disraeli in Speech. (Feb. 28, 1859.)
  England is a paradise for women, and hell for horses: Italy is a paradise for horses, hell for women.
        Burton—Anatomy of Melancholy. Pt. III. Sec. III. Memb. 1. Subsect. 2.
Men of England! who inherit
Rights that cost your sires their blood.
        Campbell—Men of England.
Britannia needs no bulwarks
  No towers along the steep;
Her march is o’er the mountain wave,
  Her home is on the deep.
        Campbell—Ye Mariners of England.
  Il y a en Angleterre soizante sectes religieuses différentes, et une seule sauce.
  In England there are sixty different religions, and only one sauce.
        Marquis Caraccioli.
  A certain man has called us, “of all peoples the wisest in action,” but he added, “the stupidest in speech.”
        Carlyle—The Nigger Question.
Where are the rough brave Britons to be found
With Hearts of Oak, so much of old renowned?
        Mrs. Centilivre—Cruel Gift. Epilogue written by Nicholas Rowe. He was … a heart of oak, and a pillar of the land. Wood—Ath. Oxon. (1691). II. 221. Yonkers that have hearts of oake at fourscore yeares. Old Meg of Hertfordshire. (1609). Those pigmy tribes of Panton street, / Those hardy blades, those hearts of oak, / Obedient to a tyrant’s yoke. A Monstrous good Lounge. (1777). P. 5.
          Be England what she will,
With all her faults, she is my country still.
        Churchill—The Farewell.
Bind her, grind her, burn her with fire,
  Cast her ashes into the sea,—
She shall escape, she shall aspire,
  She shall arise to make men free;
She shall arise in a sacred scorn,
Lighting the lives that are yet unborn,
    Spirit supernal, splendour eternal,
        Helen Gray Cone—Chant of Love for England. (1915).
’Tis a glorious charter, deny it who can,
That’s breathed in the words, “I’m an Englishman.”
        Eliza Cook—An Englishman.
England, with all thy faults, I love thee still—
My Country! and, while yet a nook is left
Where English minds and manners may be found,
Shall be constrained to love thee.
        Cowper—Task. Bk. II. L. 206.
Without one friend, above all foes,
Britannia gives the world repose.
        Cowper—To Sir Joshua Reynolds.
We are indeed a nation of shopkeepers.
        Benj. Disraeli—The Young Duke. Bk. I. Ch. XI.
Roused by the lash of his own stubborn tail,
Our lion now will foreign foes assail.
        Dryden—Astræa Redux. L. 117.
In these troublesome days when the great
Mother Empire stands splendidly isolated in Europe.
        Hon. George Eulas Foster—Speech in the Canadian House of Commons. (Jan. 16, 1896.)
  Ils s’amusaient tristement selon la coutume de leur pays.
  They [the English] amuse themselves sadly as is the custom of their country.
        Attributed to Froissart. Not found in his works. Same in Duc de Sully’s Memoirs (1630). (“l’usage” instead of “coutume.”) See Emerson—English Traits. Ch. VIII. Hazlitt—Sketches and Essays. Merry England. (“se rejouissoient” instead of “s’amusaient.”)
  England is a prison for men, a paradise for women, a purgatory for servants, a hell for horses.
        Fuller—Holy State. Referred to as a proverb.
Hearts of oak are our ships,
  Jolly tars are our men,
We always are ready, steady, boys, steady,
  We’ll fight and will conquer again and again.
        David Garrick—Hearts of Oak.
Wake up England.
        King George V., when Prince of Wales. Speech at Guildhall after a trip around the world.
He is an Englishman!
  For he himself has said it,
  And it’s greatly to his credit,
That he’s an Englishman!

  For he might have been a Rooshian
  A French or Turk or Proosian,
Or perhaps Itali-an.
  But in spite of all temptations
  To belong to other nations,
He remains an Englisliman.
        W. S. Gilbert—H. M. S. Pinafore.
The land of scholars, and the nurse of arms.
        Goldsmith—The Traveller. L. 356.
  We have stood alone in that which is called isolation—our splendid isolation, as one of our Colonial friends was good enough to call it.
        Lord Goschen—Speech at Lewes. (Feb. 26, 1896).
Anglica gens est optima flens et pessima ridens.
  The English race is the best at weeping and the worst at laughing.
  (The English take their pleasures sadly.)
        Thomas Hearne—Reliquiæ Hearnianæ. Ed. 1857. Vol. I. P. 136. (Source referred to Chamberlayne—Anglicæ Notitia. (1669). From old Latin saying quoted in Kornmannus—De Linea Amoris. Ch. II. P. 47. (Ed. 1610). Binder—Novus Thesaurus Adagiorum Latinorum. No. 2983. Neander’s Ethic Vetus et Sapiens (1590). (With “sed” not “et,” “Rustica” not “Anglica.”)
What have I done for you,
  England, my England?
What is there I would not do,
  England, my own?
        W. E. Henley—England, My England.
His home!—the Western giant smiles,
  And turns the spotty globe to find it;—
This little speck the British Isles?
  ’Tis but a freckle,—never mind it.
        Holmes—A Good Time Going.
Old England is our home and Englishmen are we,
Our tongue is known in every clime, our flag on every sea.
        Mary Howitt—Old England is Our Home.
  The whole [English] nation, beyond all other mortal men is most given to banquetting and feasts.
        Paulus Jovius—Hist. Bk. II. Trans. by Burton—Anat. of Melancholy.
Never was isle so little, never was sea so lone,
But over the scud and the palm-trees an English flag was flown.
        Kipling—English Flag.
Winds of the World give answer! They are whimpering to and fro—
And what should they know of England who only England know?—
        Kipling—English Flag.
  Whether splendidly isolated or dangerously isolated, I will not now debate; but for my part, I think splendidly isolated, because this isolation of England comes from her superiority.
        Sir Wilfred Laurier—Speech in the Canadian House of Assembly, Feb. 5, 1896.
The New World’s sons from England’s breast we drew
  Such milk as bids remember whence we came,
Proud of her past wherefrom our future grew,
  This window we inscribe with Raleigh’s fame.
        Lowell. Inscription on the Window presented to St. Margaret’s Church, Westminster, London, by American citizens in honor of Sir Walter Raleigh. (1882).
  Non seulement l’Angleterre, mais chaque Anglais est une ile.
  Not only England, but every Englishman is an island.
        Novalis—Fragments. (1799).
  Let us hope that England, having saved herself by her energy, may save Europe by her example.
        William Pitt. In his last Speech, made at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet at Guildhall. (Nov. 9, 1805). As reported by Macaulay—Misc. Writings. Vol. II. P. 368. But Europe is not to be saved by any single man. England has saved herself by her exertions, and will, as I trust, save Europe by her example. Stanhope’s—Life of Pitt. Vol. IV. P. 346. Reported as told him by the Duke of Wellington. (1838). Neither the Morning Herald, nor the Times of Nov. 11, 1805 mention these words in comment on the speech. The London Chronicle and St. James’s Chronicle give different versions.
  [King Edward] was careful not to tear England violently from the splendid isolation in which she had wrapped herself.
        Poincaré—Speech at Cannes. (April 13, 1912).
Oh, when shall Britain, conscious of her claim,
Stand emulous of Greek and Roman fame?
In living medals see her wars enroll’d,
And vanquished realms supply recording gold?
        Pope—Moral Essays. Epistle to Addison. L. 53.
Dieu et mon droit.
  God and my right.
        Password of the day given by Richard I, to his army at the battle of Gisors. In memory of the victory it was made the motto of the royal arms of England.
The martial airs of England
Encircle still the earth.
        Amelia B. Richards—The Martial Airs of England.
O England! model to thy inward greatness,
Like little body with a mighty heart,
What might’st thou do, that honour would thee do,
Were all thy children kind and natural!
But see thy fault!
        Henry V. Act II. Chorus. L. 16.
This royal throne of kings, this scepter’d isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war;
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea.
        Richard II. Act II. Sc. 1. L. 40.
  There is nothing so bad or so good that you will not find Englishmen doing it; but you will never find an Englishman in the wrong. He does everything on principle. He fights you on patriotic principles; he robs you on business principles; he enslaves you on imperial principles.
        G. Bernard Shaw—The Man of Destiny.
Oh, Britannia the pride of the ocean
  The home of the brave and the free,
The shrine of the sailor’s devotion,
  No land can compare unto thee.
        Davis Taylor Shaw—Britannia. Probably written some time before the Crimean War, when it became popular. Changed to “Columbia the Gem of the Ocean” when sung by Shaw in America. Claimed that Thomas à Becket wrote words for Shaw. See Notes and Queries. (Aug. 20, 1899). Pp. 164, 231.
  To found a great empire for the sole purpose of raising up a nation of shopkeepers, may at first sight appear a project fit only for a nation of shopkeepers. It is, however, a project altogether unfit for a nation of shopkeepers, but extremely fit for a nation whose government is influenced by shopkeepers.
        Adam Smith—Wealth of Nations. Vol. II. Bk. IV. Ch. VII. Pt. III.
          Saint George shalt called bee,
Saint George of mery England, the sign of victoree.
        Spenser—Faerie Queene. Bk. I. Canto X. St. 61.
There is no land like England,
  Where’er the light of day be;
There are no hearts like English hearts,
  Such hearts of oak as they be;
There is no land like England,
  Where’er the light of day be:
There are no men like Englishmen,
  So tall and bold as they be!
  And these will strike for England,
  And man and maid be free
  To foil and spoil the tyrant
  Beneath the greenwood tree.
        Tennyson—Foresters. Song.
First drink a health, this solemn night,
  A health to England, every guest;
That man’s the best cosmopolite,
  Who loves his native country best.
May Freedom’s oak forever live
  With stronger life from day to day;
That man’s the true Conservative
  Who lops the moulder’d branch away.
        Hands all round!
        God the tyrant’s hope confound!
To this great cause of Freedom drink, my friends,
And the great name of England round and round.
        Tennyson—Hands all around. In Memoirs of Tennyson by his son. Vol. I. P. 345.
When Britain first at Heaven’s command,
Arose from out the azure main,
This was the charter of the land,
And guardian angels sung this strain;
  “Rule Britannia! rule the waves;
  Britons never will be slaves.”
        James Thomson—Masque of Alfred. Written by Thompson and Mallet. Mallet rearranged the Masque Alfred for the stage, and introduced Thompson’s Song. See Dr. Dinsdale’s edition of Mallet. (1851). P. 292.
  A shopkeeper will never get the more custom by beating his customers, and what is true of a shopkeeper is true of a shopkeeping nation.
        Josiah Tucker—Four Tracts on Political and Commercial Subjects. (The words are said to have been used by Dr. Tucker, in a sermon, some years before they appeared in print.)
Froth at the top, dregs at bottom, but the middle excellent.
        Voltaire—Description of the English Nation.
Set in this stormy Northern sea,
  Queen of these restless fields of tide,
England! what shall men say of thee,
  Before whose feet the worlds divide?
        Oscar Wilde—Ave Imperatrix.

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