Last modified on 24 July 2014, at 20:07

England

England, with all thy faults, I love thee still. ~ William Cowper

England is a country which is part of the United Kingdom. It is situated on the island of Great Britain and located in the northwest Europe. The capital city of England is London. The population of the area, the English people, number around 51 million making up the bulk of the United Kingdom's populace. The English language is the primary language of most inhabitants.

QuotesEdit

Lords and Commons of England, consider what Nation it is whereof ye are, and whereof ye are the governors: a Nation not slow and dull, but of quick, ingenious, and piercing spirit, acute to invent, suttle and sinewy to discours, not beneath the reach of any point the highest that humane capacity can soar to. ~ John Milton
Hail England, dear England, true Queen of the West. With thy fair swelling bosom and ever-green vest. How nobly thou sittst in thine own steady light, on the left of thee Freedom, and Truth on the right. ~ Leigh Hunt
May God punish England. ~ Ernst Lissauer
I will not cease from mental fight, not shall my sword sleep in my hand. Till we have built Jerusalem, in England's green and pleasant land. ~ William Blake
An Englishman's home is his castle. ~ 17th century proverb
England expects every man to do his duty. ~ Horatio Nelson
  • The characteristic danger of great nations, like the Romans or the English which have a long history of continuous creation, is that they may at last fail from not comprehending the great institutions which they have created
    • Walter Bagehot, Lord Althorpe and the Great Reform Act of 1832, 1876.
  • England! my country, great and free!
    Heart of the world, I leap to thee!
  • The south-west wind roaring in from the Atlantic.... is, I think the presiding genius of England.
  • Whenever I think of Hell I cannot visualise it as a place of eternal fire, but as one of your English industrial towns on a day when the rain is pattering on the slate roofs and the wind is moaning up the street; a place where the horizon is bounded by dark factory chimneys, with crowds of women muffled up in waterproofs slipping in the puddles in their galoshes, with red noses peering out of heavy mufflers.
    • Colonel Bertolini, The Waveless Plain, 1938.
  • I will not cease from mental fight, not shall my sword sleep in my hand. Till we have built Jerusalem, in England's green and pleasant land.
  • Good ale, the true and proper drink of Englishmen. He is not deserving of the name of Englishman who speaketh against ale, that is good ale.
  • Oh, to be in England
    Now that April's there.
    • Robert Browning, Dramatic Romances and Lyrics (1845), "Home-Thoughts, from Abroad".
  • The men of England—the men, I mean of light and leading in England.
  • England is a paradise for women, and hell for horses: Italy is a paradise for horses, hell for women.
    • Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621), Part III, Section III. Memb. 1. Subsect. 2.
  • I know an Englishman. Being flattered, is a lamb; threatened, a lion.
  • The strangest country I ever visited was England; but I visited it at a very early age, and so became a little queer myself. England is extremely subtle; and about the best of it there is something almost secretive; it is an amateur even more than aristocratic in tradition; it is never official.
  • I have not become the King's First Minister in order to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire.
    • Winston Churchill, speech, Lord Mayor's luncheon, London (November 10, 1942); in Robert Rhodes James, , ed., Winston S. Churchill: His Complete Speeches, 1897–1963 (1974), vol. 6, p. 6695.
  • The late M. Venizelos observed that in all her wars England—he should have said Britain, of course—always wins one battle—the last.
    • Winston Churchill, speech, Lord Mayor's luncheon, London (November 10, 1942); in Robert Rhodes James, , ed., Winston S. Churchill: His Complete Speeches, 1897–1963 (1974), vol. 6, p. 6693. Eleuthérios Venizélos was a Greek statesman who championed the cause of the Allies in World War I.
  • 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,
    England!
  • I hope for nothing in this world so ardently as once again to see that paradise called England. I long to embrace again all my old friends there.
  • You often hear that the English climate has had a profound effect upon the English temperament. I don't believe it. I believe they were always like that.
    • Will Cuppy in W.C. Sellar and R.J. Yeatman, Garden Rubbish and Other Country Bumps (New York: Farrar and Rinehart, 1937).
  • Go into the length and breadth of the world, ransack the literature of all countries, find, if you can, a single voice, a single book—find, I would almost say, as much as a single newspaper article, unless the product of the day, in which the conduct of England towards Ireland is anywhere treated except with profound and bitter condemnation.
    • William E. Gladstone, speech on home rule (June 7, 1886); in A. W. Hutton and H. J. Cohen, eds., The Speeches of the Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone (1902), vol. 9, p. 127.
  • We shall treat England like a beautiful flower, but we shan't water the pot.
  • Non Angli sed Angeli (Not Angles but Angels).
    • Pope Gregory I, commenting on the beauty of English captives exposed for sale in Rome.
  • Living in England, provincial England, must be like being married to a stupid, but exquisitely beautiful wife.
  • Hail England, dear England, true Queen of the West. With thy fair swelling bosom and ever-green vest. How nobly thou sittst in thine own steady light, on the left of thee Freedom, and Truth on the right. While the clouds at thy smile, break apart and turn bright! The Muses, full voiced, half encircle the seat, and Ocean comes kissing thy princely white feet. All hail! All hail! All hail to the beauty immortal and free. The only true goddess that rose from the sea.
    • Leigh Hunt, National Song in the Examiner, 1815.
  • The pleasantness of the English... comes in great measure from the fact of their each having been dipped into the crucible, which gives them a sort of coating of comely varnish and colour. They have been smoothed and polished by mutual social attrition. You see Englishmen here in Italy to particularly good advantage. In the midst of these false and beautiful Italians they glow with the light of the great fact, that after all they love a bathtub and hate a lie.
  • He spoke of the English, a noble race, rulers of the waves, who sit on thrones of alabaster, silent as deathless gods.
  • England's innermost truth and at the same time her most valuable contribution to the assets of the human family is the "gentleman", rescued from the dusty chivalry of the early Middle Ages and now penetrating into the remotest corner of modern English life. It is an ultimate principle hat never fails to carry conviction, the shining armour of the perfect knight in soul and body, and the miserable coffin of poor natural feelings.
    • C.G. Jung, The Complications of American Psychology, 1930.
  • England is the only country in Europe that can boast of having improved its agriculture and the cultivation of its soil beyond that of any other European nation. The condition of English agriculture, compared with that of our own, is like light contrasted with shade.
  • The real tragedy of England as I see it, is the tragedy of ugliness. The country is so lovely: the man-made England is so vile.
  • An Englishman hath three qualities, he can suffer no partner in his love, no stranger to be his friend, nor to be dared by any.
    • John Lyly, Euphues and his England (16th century).
  • The English take their pleasures sadly after the fashion of their country.
  • We do not intend to part from the Americans and we do not intend to be satellites. I am sure they do not want us to be so. The stronger we are, the better partners we shall be; and I feel certain that as the months pass we shall draw continually closer together with mutual confidence and respect.
    • Harold Macmillan, broadcast to the nation, London (January 17, 1957); in Vital Speeches of the Day (February 1, 1957), p. 247. This was his first broadcast as prime minister.
  • Continental people have sex lives; the English have hot-water bottles.
  • I am American bred; I have seen much to hate here - much to forgive. But in a world where England is finished and dead, I do not wish to live.
  • Lords and Commons of England, consider what Nation it is whereof ye are, and whereof ye are the governors: a Nation not slow and dull, but of quick, ingenious, and piercing spirit, acute to invent, suttle and sinewy to discours, not beneath the reach of any point the highest that humane capacity can soar to.
  • To be an Englishman is to belong to the most exclusive club there is.
  • England expects every man to do his duty.
    • Horatio Nelson, Signal to the Fleet at the Battle of Trafalgar, 1805.
  • [Britons] would rather take the risk of civilizing communism than being kicked around by the unlettered pot-bellied money magnates of the United States.
    • Tom O'Brien, M.P., as quoted by The New York Times (August 23, 1949), p. 4.
  • There'll always be an England, while there's a country lane. Wherever there's a cottage small, beside a field of grain
  • I return you many thanks for the honour you have done me; 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.
    • William Pitt the Younger, speech at the Lord Mayor's banquet at Buildhall, November 9, 1805. This was Pitt's last public utterance.
  • Those proud Islanders whom many unduly honour, know no watchword but gain and enjoyment. Their zeal for knowledge is only a sham fight, their worldly wisdom a false jewel, skilfully and deceptively composed, and their sacred freedom itself too often and too easily serves self-interest. They are never in earnest with anything that goes beyond palpable utility. All knowledge they have robbed of life and use only as dead wood to make masts and helms for their life's voyage in pursuit of gain.
    • Schleiermacher, On Religion: Speeches to its Cultured Despisers, J. Oman, trans. (1898), pp. 9-10
  • 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!
  • This royal throne of kings, this sceptred 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,
    Which serves it in the office of a wall
    Or as a moat defensive to a house,
    Against the envy of less happier lands,—
    This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.
  • There is nothing so bad or so good that you will not find an Englishman 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.
    • George Bernard Shaw, Man of Destiny, one act play, in his Complete Plays with Prefaces, vol. 1, p. 743 (1962).
  • Saint George shalt called bee,
    Saint George of mery England, the sign of victoree.
    • Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene (1589-96), Book I, Canto X, Stanza 61.
  • I hold that the real policy of England—apart from questions which involve her own particular interests—is to be the champion of justice and right; pursuing that course with moderation and prudence, not becoming the Quixote of the world, but giving the weight of her moral sanction and support wherever she thinks that justice is, and wherever she thinks that wrong has been done.
  • I think England is the very place for a fluent and fiery writer. The highest hymns of the sun are written in the dark. I like the grey country. A bucket of Greek sun would drown in one colour the crowds of colour I like trying to mix for myself out of grey flat insular mud.
  • A Frenchman is self-assured because he regards himself personally, both in mind and body, as irresistibly attractive to men and women. An Englishman is self-assured, as being a citizen of the best-organized state in the world, and therefore as an Englishman always knows what he should do and knows that all he does as an Englishman is undoubtedly correct. An Italian is self-assured because he is excitable and easily forgets himself and other people. A Russian is self-assured just because he knows nothing and does not want to know anything, since he does not believe that anything can be known. The German's self-assurance is worst of all, stronger and more repulsive than any other, because he imagines that he knows the truth--science--which he himself has invented but which is for him the absolute truth.
    • Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace, (1865-1869). Book 9, Chapter 10.
  • To me England means great courage, great standards and great wit. I could move to England in a second.
    • Sigourney Weaver (b. 1949), American actress. 'The World According To Sigourney Weaver', an interview in Live magazine, The Mail on Sunday (UK) newspaper, 24th October 2010.
  • I travelled among unknown men, in lands beyond the sea; nor, England! did I know till then, what love I bore to three.
  • An Englishman's home is his castle.
    • Proverb, seventeenth century.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical QuotationsEdit

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 222-25.
  • Let Pitt then boast of his victory to his nation of shopkeepers—(Nation Boutiquiere).
    • Said by Bertrand Barère, 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.
  • Ah! la perfide Angleterre!
    • Ah! the perfidious English!
    • Jacques-Bénigne 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.
  • 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.
  • Men of England! who inherit
    Rights that cost your sires their blood.
  • Britannia needs no bulwarks
    No towers along the steep;
    Her march is o'er the mountain wave,
    Her home is on the deep.
  • Il y a en Angleterre soizante sectes religieuses différentes, et une seule sauce.
  • A certain man has called us, "of all peoples the wisest in action," but he added, "the stupidest in speech."
  • 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.

'Tis a glorious charter, deny it who can,
That's breathed in the words, "I'm 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.
  • Without one friend, above all foes,
    Britannia gives the world repose.
  • We are indeed a nation of shopkeepers.
  • Roused by the lash of his own stubborn tail,
    Our lion now will foreign foes assail.
  • In these troublesome days when the great
    Mother Empire stands splendidly isolated in Europe.
  • 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, Chapter 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.
    • Thomas Fuller, The Holy State and the Profane State (1642), 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.
  • 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.
  • The land of scholars, and the nurse of arms.
  • 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.
  • 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), Volume I, p. 136. (Source referred to Chamberlayne, Anglicæ Notitia (1669). From old Latin saying quoted in Kornmannus, De Linea Amoris, Chapter 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?
  • 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.
  • Old England is our home and Englishmen are we,
    Our tongue is known in every clime, our flag on every sea.
  • The whole [English] nation, beyond all other mortal men is most given to banquetting and feasts.
    • Paulus Jovius, Hist, Book II. Translation by Burton, Anatomy of a Melancholy.
  • Never was isle so little, never was sea so lone,
    But over the scud and the palm-trees an English flag was flown.
  • Winds of the World give answer! They are whimpering to and fro—
    And what should they know of England who only England know?—
  • 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, Volume 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, Volume 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?
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 customers 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, Volume II, Book IV, Chapter VII, Part III.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Alfred Tennyson, Hands all around. In Memoirs of Tennyson by his son, Volume 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).
  • In every war England wins one battle. The last one.
  • 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?

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