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The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations

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Dance then wherever you may be, I am the Lord of the Dance, said he,

And I’ll lead you all, wherever you may be And I’ll lead you all in the dance, said he.

‘Lord of the Dance’ (1967)

3.44 John Cartwright 1740-1824

One man shall have one vote.

‘The People’s Barrier Against Undue Influence’ (1780) ch. 1 ‘Principles, maxims, and primary rules of politics’ no. 68

3.45 Lucius Cassius Longinus Ravilla late 2nd cent. B.C.

Cui bono?

To whose profit?

In Cicero ‘Pro Roscio Amerino’ ch. 84 and ‘Pro Milone’ ch. 12, sect. 32

3.46 Ted Castle (Baron Castle of Islington) 1907-79

In place of strife.

Title of Labour Government’s White Paper, 17 January 1969, suggested by Castle to his wife, Barbara Castle, then Secretary of State for Employment. Barbara Castle ‘Diaries’ (1984) 15 January 1969

3.47 Harry Castling and C. W. Murphy

Let’s all go down the Strand! Let’s all go down the Strand!

I’ll be leader, you can march behind Come with me, and see what we can find Let’s all go down the Strand!

‘Let’s All Go Down the Strand!’ (1909 song)

3.48 Fidel Castro 1926—

La historia me absolvèra.

History will absolve me.

Title of pamphlet (1953)

3.49 Revd Edward Caswall 1814-78

Jesu, the very thought of Thee With sweetness fills the breast.

‘Jesu, The Very Thought of Thee’ (1849 hymn) translation of ‘Jesu dulcis memoria, dans vera cordis gaudia’; often attributed to St Bernard (1090-1153), though of uncertain origin

My God, I love Thee; not because I hope for heaven thereby.

‘My God, I Love Thee’ (1849 hymn) translation of ‘O deus ego amo te, nec amo te ut salves me’; often attributed to St Francis Xavier (1506-52), though of uncertain origin

3.50 Willa Cather 1873-1947

The history of every country begins in the heart of a man or a woman.

‘O Pioneers!’ (1913) pt. 1, ch. 5

I like trees because they seem more resigned to the way they have to live than other things do.

‘O Pioneers!’ (1913) pt. 2, ch. 8

3.51 Empress Catherine the Great 1729-96

Moi, je serai autocrate: c’est mon mètier. Et le bon Dieu me pardonnera: c’est son mètier.

I shall be an autocrat: that’s my trade. And the good Lord will forgive me: that’s his.


3.52 Cato The Elder or the Censor, (Marcus Porcius Cabo) 234-149 B.C.

Delenda est Carthago.

Carthage must be destroyed.

In Pliny the Elder ‘Naturalis Historia’ bk. 15, ch. 74

Rem tene; verba sequentur.

Grasp the subject, the words will follow.

In Caius Julius Victor ‘Ars Rhetorica’ 1

3.53 Catullus (Gaius Valerius Catullus) c.84-c.54 B.C.

Cui dono lepidum novum libellum Arido modo pumice expolitum?

Here’s my small book out, nice and new,

Fresh-bound—whom shall I give it to?

‘Carmina’ no. 1 (translated by Sir William Marris)

Namque tu solebas

Meas esse aliquid putare nugas.

For you used to think my trifles were worth something.

‘Carmina’ no. 1

Plus uno maneat perenne saeclo.

May it live and last for more than a century.

‘Carmina’ no. 1

Lugete, O Veneres Cupidinesque,

Et quantum est hominum venustiorum. Passer mortuus est meae puellae, Passer, deliciae meae puellae.

Mourn, you powers of Charm and Desire, and all you who are endowed with charm. My lady’s sparrow is dead,

the sparrow which was my lady’s darling.

‘Carmina’ no. 3

Qui nunc it per iter tenebricosum Illuc, unde negant redire quemquam.

Now he goes along the darksome road, thither whence they say no one returns.

‘Carmina’ no. 3

Sed haec prius fuere.

All this is over now.

‘Carmina’ no. 4

Vivamus, mea Lesbia, atque amemus, Rumoresque senum severiorum Omnes unius aestimemus assis. Soles occidere et redire possunt: Nobis cum semel occidit brevis lux Nox est perpetua una dormienda.

‘Carmina’ no. 5.

Da mi basia mille, deinde centum, Dein mille altera, dein secunda centum,

Deinde usque altera mille, deinde centum.

Give me a thousand kisses, then a hundred, then another thousand, then a second hundred, then

yet another thousand, then a hundred.

‘Carmina’ no. 5

Miser Catulle, desinas ineptire,

Et quod vides perisse perditum ducas.

Poor Catullus, drop your silly fancies, and what you see is lost let it be lost.

‘Carmina’ no. 8

Paene insularum, Sirmio, insularumque Ocelle...

O quid solutis est beatius curis? Cum mens onus reponit, ac peregrino

Labore fessi venimus larem ad nostrum, Desideratoque acquiescimus lecto.

Hoc est quod unum est pro laboribus tantis. Salve O venusta Sirmio atque hero gaude; Gaudete vosque O Lydiae lacus undae; Ridete quidquid est domi cachinnorum.

Sirmio, bright eye of peninsulas and islands...Ah, what is more blessed than to put cares away, when the mind lays by its burden, and tired with labour of far travel we have come to our own home and rest on the couch we have longed for? This it is which alone is worth all these toils. Hail, sweet Sirmio, and make cheer for your master. Rejoice ye too, waters of the Lydian lake,

and laugh out aloud all the laughter you have at your command.

‘Carmina’ no. 31

Nam risu inepto res ineptior nulla est.

For there is nothing sillier than a silly laugh.

‘Carmina’ no. 39.

Iam ver egelidos refert tepores.

Now Spring restores balmy warmth.

‘Carmina’ no. 46

Gratias tibi maximas Catullus Agit pessimus omnium poeta, Tanto pessimus omnium poeta,

Quanto tu optimus omnium’s patronum.

Catullus gives you warmest thanks, And he the worst of poets ranks;

As much the worst of bards confessed,

As you of advocates the best.

‘Carmina’ no. 49 (translated by Sir William Marris)

Ille mi par esse deo videtur, Ille, si fas est, superare divos,

Qui sedens adversus identidem te Spectat et audit

Dulce ridentem, misero quod omnis Eripit sensus mihi.

Like to a god he seems to me, Above the gods, if so may be, Who sitting often close to thee May see and hear

Thy lovely laugh: ah, luckless man!

‘Carmina’ no. 51 (translated by Sir William Marris, being itself a translation of Sappho).

Caeli, Lesbia nostra, Lesbia illa, Illa Lesbia, quam Catullus unam

Plus quam se atque suos amavit omnes, Nunc in quadriviis et angiportis

Glubit magnanimos Remi nepotes.

O Caelius, our Lesbia, that Lesbia whom Catullus once loved uniquely, more than himself and

more than all his own, now at the crossroads and in the alleyways has it off with the high-minded

descendants of Remus.

‘Carmina’ no. 58

Ut flos in saeptis secretus nascitur hortis, Ignotus pecori, nullo contusus aratro,

Quem mulcent aurae, firmat sol, educat imber; Multi illum pueri, multae optavere puellae.

As a flower grows concealed in an enclosed garden, unknown to the cattle, bruised by no plough, which the breezes caress, the sun makes strong, and the rain brings out; many boys and

many girls long for it.

‘Carmina’ no. 62

Sed mulier cupido quod dicit amanti, In vento et rapida scribere oportet aqua.

But what a woman says to her lusting lover it is best to write in wind and swift-flowing water.

‘Carmina’ no. 70

Desine de quoquam quicquam bene velle mereri, Aut aliquem fieri posse putare pium.

Give up wanting to deserve any thanks from anyone, or thinking that anybody can be grateful.

‘Carmina’ no. 73

Siqua recordanti benefacta priora voluptas Est homini.

If a man can take any pleasure in recalling the thought of kindnesses done.

‘Carmina’ no. 76

Difficile est longum subito deponere amorem.

It is difficult suddenly to lay aside a long-cherished love.

‘Carmina’ no. 76

Si vitam puriter egi.

If I have led a pure life.

‘Carmina’ no. 76

O di, reddite mi hoc pro pietate mea.

O gods, grant me this in return for my piety.

‘Carmina’ no. 76

Chommoda dicebat, si quando commoda vellet Dicere, et insidias Arrius hinsidias.

Arrius, if he wanted to say ‘amenities’ used to say ‘hamenities’, and for ‘intrigue’ ‘hintrigue’.

‘Carmina’ no. 84

Odi et amo: quare id faciam, fortasse requiris. Nescio, sed fieri sentio et excrucior.

I hate and I love: why I do so you may well ask. I do not know, but I feel it happen and am in


‘Carmina’ no. 85

Multas per gentes et multa per aequora vectus Advenio has miseras, frater, ad inferias,

Ut te postremo donarem munere mortis Et mutam nequiquam alloquerer cinerem.

Quandoquidem fortuna mihi tete abstulit ipsum, Heu miser indigne frater adempte mihi,

Nunc tamen interea haec prisco quae more parentum Tradita sunt tristi munere ad inferias,

Accipe fraterno multum manantia fletu, Atque in perpetuum, frater, ave atque vale.

By many lands and over many a wave

I come, my brother, to your piteous grave, To bring you the last offering in death And o’er dumb dust expend an idle breath; For fate has torn your living self from me,

And snatched you, brother, O, how cruelly! Yet take these gifts, brought as our fathers bade For sorrow’s tribute to the passing shade;

A brother’s tears have wet them o’er and o’er;

And so, my brother, hail, and farewell evermore!

‘Carmina’ no. 101 (translated by Sir William Marris)

At non effugies meos iambos.

But you shall not escape my iambics.

R.A. B. Mynors (ed.) ‘Catulli Carmina’ (1958) ‘Fragment 3’

3.54Charles Causley 1917—

O are you the boy

Who would wait on the quay With the silver penny

And the apricot tree?

‘Nursery Rhyme of Innocence and Experience’ (1951)

Timothy Winters comes to school With eyes as wide as a football-pool, Ears like bombs and teeth like splinters: A blitz of a boy is Timothy Winters.

‘Timothy Winters’ (1957)

3.55 Constantine Cavafy 1863-1933

When you set out for Ithaka ask that your way be long.

‘Ithaka’ (translated by E. Keeley and P. Sherrard)

Have Ithaka always in your mind.

Your arrival there is what you are destined for.

‘Ithaka’ (translated by E. Keeley and P. Sherrard)

Ithaka gave you the splendid jouney. Without her you would not have set out. She hasn’t anything else to give you.

‘Ithaka’ (translated by E. Keeley and P. Sherrard)

What are we all waiting for, gathered together like this on the public square? The Barbarians are coming today.

(Waiting for the Barbarians, 1904)

And now, what will become of us without the barbarians? Those people were a kind of solution.

‘Waiting for the Barbarians’ (translated by E. Keeley and P. Sherrard)

You will find no new places, no other seas, The town will follow you.

(The Town, 1911)

3.56 Edith Cavell 1865-1915

Standing, as I do, in view of God and eternity, I realize that patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone.

Words spoken in prison the night before her execution, in ‘The Times’ 23 October 1915

3.57 Margaret Cavendish (Duchess of Newcastle) c.1624-74

Greek, Latin poets, I could never read, Nor their historians, but our English Speed;

I could not steal their wit, nor plots out take;

All my plays’ plots, my own poor brain did make.

‘Plays’ (1662) ‘To the Readers’

Marriage is the grave or tomb of wit.

‘Plays’ (1662) p. 525

If Nature had not befriended us with beauty, and other good graces, to help us to insinuate our selves into men’s affections, we should have been more enslaved than any other of Nature’s creatures she hath made.

‘Sociable Letters’ (1664) p. 27

But for the most part, women are not educated as they should be, I mean those of quality; oft their education is only to dance, sing, and fiddle, to write complimental letters, to read romances,

to speak some languages that is not their native...their parents take more care of their feet than their head, more of their words than their reason.

‘Sociable Letters’ (1664) p. 50

3.58 Count Cavour (Camillo Benso di Cavour) 1810-61

Noi siamo pronti a proclamare nell’ Italia questo gran principio: Libera Chiesa in libero Stato.

We are ready to proclaim throughout Italy this great principle: a free church in a free state.

Speech, 27 March 1861, in William de la Rive ‘Reminiscences of the Life and Character of Count Cavour’ (1862) ch. 13

3.59 William Caxton c.1421-91

The worshipful father and first founder and embellisher of ornate eloquence in our English, I mean Master Geoffrey Chaucer.

Caxton’s edition (c.1478) of Chaucer’s translation of Boethius ‘De Consolacione Philosophie’ epilogue

It is notoriously known through the universal world that there be nine worthy and the best that ever were. That is to wit three paynims, three Jews, and three Christian men. As for the paynims they were...the first Hector of Troy...the second Alexander the Great; and the third Julius Caesar...

As for the three Jews...the first was Duke Joshua...the second David, King of Jerusalem; and the third Judas Maccabaeus...And sith the said Incarnation...was first the noble Arthur...The second was Charlemagne or Charles the Great...and the third and last was Godfrey of Bouillon.

Sir Thomas Malory ‘Le Morte D’Arthur’ (1485) prologue

I, according to my copy, have done set it in imprint, to the intent that noble men may see and learn the noble acts of chivalry, the gentle and virtuous deeds that some knights used in those days.

Sir Thomas Malory ‘Le Morte D’Arthur’ (1485) prologue

3.60 William Cecil (Lord Burghley) 1520-98)

What! all this for a song?

To Queen Elizabeth, on being ordered to make a gratuity of £100 to Spenser in return for some poems, in Edmund Spenser ‘The Faerie Queene’ (1751) ‘The Life of Mr Edmund Spenser’ by Thomas Birch

3.61 Cervantes Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra 1547-1616

El Caballero de la Triste Figura.

The Knight of the Doleful Countenance.

‘Don Quixote’ (1605) pt. 1, ch. 19

La mejor salsa del mundo es el hambre.

Hunger is the best sauce in the world.

‘Don Quixote’ (1605) pt. 2, ch. 5

El pan comido y la compañía deshecha.

With the bread eaten up, up breaks the company.

‘Don Quixote’ (1605) pt. 2, ch. 7

No todos podemos ser frailes y muchos son los caminos por donde lleva Dios a los suyos al cielo. Religión es la caballeria.

We cannot all be friars, and many are the ways by which God leads his own to eternal life.

Religion is knight-errantry.

‘Don Quixote’ (1605) pt. 2, ch. 8 (to Sancho, on his asking whether, to get to heaven, we ought not all to become monks)

Es un untreverado loco, lleno de lùcidos intervalos.

He’s a muddle-headed fool, with frequent lucid intervals.

‘Don Quixote’ (1605) pt. 2, ch. 18 (Don Lorenzo of Don Quixote)

Dos linages sólos hay en el mundo, como decía una abuela mía, que son el tenir y el no tenir.

There are only two families in the world, as a grandmother of mine used to say: the haves and

the have-nots.

‘Don Quixote’ (1605) pt. 2, ch. 20

Digo, paciencia y barajar.

What I say is, patience, and shuffle the cards.

‘Don Quixote’ (1605) pt. 2, ch. 23

La diligencia es madre de la buena ventura y la pereza, su contrario, jam s llegó al tèrmino que pide un buen deseo.

Diligence is the mother of good fortune, and idleness, its opposite, never led to good

intention’s goal.

‘Don Quixote’ (1605) pt. 2, ch. 43

Bien haya el que inventó el sueño, capa que cubre todos los humanos pensamientos, manjar que quita la hambre, agua que ahuyenta la sed, fuego que calienta el frío, frío que templa el ardor, y, finalmente, moneda general con que todas las cosas se compran, balanza y peso que iguala al pastor con el rey y al simple con el discreto.

Blessings on him who invented sleep, the mantle that covers all human thoughts, the food that satisfies hunger, the drink that slakes thirst, the fire that warms cold, the cold that moderates heat, and, lastly, the common currency that buys all things, the balance and weight that equalises the

shepherd and the king, the simpleton and the sage.

‘Don Quixote’ (1605) pt. 2, ch. 68

Los buenos pintores imitan la naturaleza, pero los malos la vomitan.

Good painters imitate nature, bad ones spew it up.

‘El Licenciado Vidriera’ in ‘Novelas Ejemplares’ (1613)

Puesto ya el pie en el estribo.

With one foot already in the stirrup.

Apprehending his own, imminent death: ‘Los Trabajos de Persiles y Sigismunda’ (1617) preface

3.62 John Chalkhill c.1600-42

Oh, the gallant fisher’s life, It is the best of any

’Tis full of pleasure, void of strife, And ’tis beloved of many.

‘Piscator’s Song’ in Izaac Walton ‘The Compleat Angler’ (1653-76)

3.63 Joseph Chamberlain 1836-1914

In politics, there is no use looking beyond the next fortnight.

In letter from A. J. Balfour to 3rd Marquess of Salisbury, 24 March 1886, in A. J. Balfour ‘Chapters of Autobiography’ (1930) ch. 16

Provided that the City of London remains, as it is at present, the clearing-house of the world, any other nation may be its workshop.

Speech at the Guildhall, 19 January 1904, in ‘The Times’ 20 January 1904

The day of small nations has long passed away. The day of Empires has come.

Speech at Birmingham, 12 May 1904, in ‘The Times’ 13 May 1904

We are not downhearted. The only trouble is we cannot understand what is happening to our neighbours.

Speech at Smethwick, 18 January 1906 (referring to a constituency which had remained unaffected by an electoral landslide) in ‘The Times’ 19 January 1906

3.64 Neville Chamberlain 1869-1940

In war, whichever side may call itself the victor, there are no winners, but all are losers.

Speech at Kettering, 3 July 1938, in ‘The Times’ 4 July 1938

How horrible, fantastic, incredible it is that we should be digging trenches and trying on gasmasks here because of a quarrel in a far away country between people of whom we know nothing.

On Germany’s annexation of the Sudetenland: radio broadcast, 27 September 1938, in ‘The Times’ 28 September 1938

This is the second time in our history that there has come back from Germany to Downing Street peace with honour. I believe it is peace for our time.

Speech from window of 10 Downing Street, 30 September 1938, in ‘The Times’ 1 October 1938.

Whatever may be the reason—whether it was that Hitler thought he might get away with what he had got without fighting for it, or whether it was that after all the preparations were not sufficiently complete—however, one thing is certain—he missed the bus.

Speech at Central Hall, Westminster, 4 April 1940, in ‘The Times’ 5 April 1940

3.65 Haddon Chambers 1860-1921

The long arm of coincidence.

‘Captain Swift’ (1888) act 2

3.66 Nicolas-Sèbastien Chamfort 1741-94

Vivre est une maladie dont le sommeil nous soulage toutes les 16 heures. C’est un palliatif. La

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