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Free soil, free men, free speech, Frémont.
The Republican Party rallying cry in 1856.
According to Brady (“Clavis Calendaria "), this designation arose
from the fact that in an old romance a prince of the name of Cris-
Marry, because you have drank with the King,
Gentlemen of the French guard, fire first.
Lord C. Hay at the battle of Fontenoy, 1745. To which the Comte
d'Auteroches replied, “Sir, we never fire first ; please to fire yourselves." — FOURNIER : L'Esprit dans l'histoire.
Good as a play.
An exclamation of Charles II. when in Parliament attending the dis.
cussion of Lord Ross's Divorce Bill. The king remained in the House of Peers while his speech was taken
into consideration, - a common practice with him ; for the debates
Sir William Temple.
Greatest happiness of the greatest number.
That action is best which procures the greatest happiness for the great
est numbers. HUTCHESON : Inquiry concerning Moral Good and
Evil, sect. 3. (1720.) Priestley was the first (unless it was Beccaria) who taught my lips to
pronounce this sacred truth, - that the greatest happiness of the greatest number is the foundation of morals and legislation. — Bex.
THAM : Works, vol. x. p. 142. The expression is used by Beccaria in the introduction to his “ Essay
on Criines and Punishments.” (1764.)
Hanging of his cat on Monday
Drunken Barnaby's Four Journeys (edition of 1805, p. 5).
Tobias Hobson (died 1630) was the first man in England that let out
hackney horses. When a man came for a horse he was led into the
Where to elect there is but one,
chap. iv. p. 326.
Intolerable in Almighty God to a black beetle.
Lord Coleridge remarked that Maule told him what he said in the
" black beetle" matter: “Creswell, who had been his pupil, was on the other side in a case where he was counsel, and was very lofty in his manner. Maule appealed to the court : ‘My lords, we are vertebrate animals, we are mammalia! My learned friend's manner would be intolerable in Almighty God to a black beetle.'” (Repeated to a member of the legal profession in the United States.)
It is a far cry to Lochow.
Lochow and the adjacent districts formed the original seat of the
Campbells. The expression of “a far cry to Lochow” was proverbial. (Note to Scott's “Rob Roy," chap. xxix.)
BACON: Henry VII. SIDSEY: On Government, rol. i. chap. ii. sect. 24.
FULLER: A Pisgah Sight of Palestine, book iv, chap. ii. South: Ser-
Nisi suadeat intervallis.
BRACTON : Folio 1243 and folio 420 b. Register Original, 267 a.
Mince the matter.
CERVANTES : Don Quixote, Author's Preface. SHAKESPEARE: Othello,
act ii. sc. 3. William King: Ulysses and Teresias.
Months without an R.
It is unseasonable and unwholesome in all months that have not an
R in their name to eat an oyster. — BUTLER : Dyet's Dry Dinner. (1599.)
Nation of shopkeepers.
From an oration purporting to hare been delivered by Samuel Adams
at the State House in Philadelphia, Aug. 1, 1776. (Philadelphia, printed; London, reprinted for E. Johnson, No. 4 Ludgate Hill, 1876.) W. V. Wells, in his Life of Adams, says : “No such American edition has ever been seen, but at least four copies are known of the London issue. A German translation of this oration was printed in
1778, perhaps at Berne; the place of publication is not given." To found a great empire for the sole purpose of raising up a people of
customers may at tirst sight appear a project fit only for a nation of shopkeepers. Adam Suth: Wealth of Nations, vol. i. book iv.
chap. vii. part 3. (1775.)
TUCKER (Dean of Gloucester) : Tract. (1766.)
TRAND BARÈRE. (June 11, 1794.)
This new page opened in the book of our public expenditures, and this
new departure taken, which leads into the bottomless gulf of civil pensions and family gratuities. — THOMAS H. BENTON : Speech in the United States Senate against a grant to President Harrison's widow, April, 1841.
Nothing succeeds like success.
A French proverb.
Orthodoxy is my doxy; Heterodoxy is another man's
doxy. “I have heard frequent use," said the late Lord Sandwich, in a debate
on the Test Laws, “ of the words 'orthodoxy' and 'heterodoxy;' but I confess myself at a loss to know precisely what they mean." “ Orthodoxy, my Lord,'' said Bishop Warburton, in a whisper,
orthodoxy is my doxy; heterodoxy is another man's doxy.". PRIESTLEY: Memoirs, vol. 1. p. 572.
Paradise of fools; Fool's paradise.
The earliest instance of this expression is found in William Bullein's
“Dialogue," p. 28 (1573). It is used by Shakespeare, Middleton, Milton, Pope, Fielding, Crabbe, and others.
Paying through the nose.
Grimm says that Odin had a poll-tax which was called in Sweden a
nose-tax; it was a penny per nose, or poll. - Deutsche Rechts Alter. thümer.
It is not fit the public trusts should be lodged in the hands of any till
they are first proved, and found fit for the business they are to be
intrusted with. - MATHEW HENRY: Commentaries, Timothy iii. To execute laws is a royal office; to execute orders is not to be a king.
However, a political executive magistracy, though merely such, is a great trust.
BURKE : On the French Revolution. When a man assumes a public trust, he should consider himself as public property.
Thomas JEFFERSON (“Winter in Washington, 1807 "), in a conversation with Baron Humboldt. See Rayner's
“Life of Jefferson," p. 356 (Boston, 1834). The very essence of a free government consists in considering offices
as public trusts, bestowed for the good of the country, and not for the benefit of an individual or a party. - John C. Calhoun: Speech,
July 13, 1835. The phrase, “public office is a public trust,” has of late become com
mon property. — CHARLES SUMNER (May 31, 1872). The appointing power of the pope is treated as a public trust. — W. W.
CRAPO (1881). The public offices are a public trust. – DORMAN B. Eaton (1881). Public office is a public trust. - ABRAM S. HEWITT (1883). He who regards office as a public trust. - DANIEL S. LAMONT (1884).
Rather your room as your company.
Marriage of Wit and Wisdom (circa 1570).
Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.
From an inscription on the cannon near which the ashes of President
John Bradshaw were lodged, on the top of a high hill near Martha
and in his handwriting. It was supposed to be one of Dr. Franklin's spirit-stirring inspirations. — RANDALL: Life of Jefferson, vol. iii. p. 585.
Rest and be thankful.
An inscription on a stone seat on the top of one of the Highlands in
Scotland. It is also the title of one of Wordsworth's poems.
Rowland for an Oliver.
These were two of the most famous in the list of Charlemagne's twelve
peers ; and their exploits are rendered so ridiculously and equally extravagant by the old romancers, that from thence arose that saying amongst our plain and sensible ancestors of giving one a “Rowland for his Oliver," to signify the matching one incredible lie with another. – THOMAS WARBURTON,
The island of Sardinia, consisting chiefly of marshes and mountains,
has from the earliest period to the present been cursed with a noxious
History of England, rol. i. p. 287.
is to be sure the traditional one, and was believed in by the late
show the teeth ;'! “grin like a dog;" hence that the “sardonic
“grim laugh." - M. H. MORGAN. Sister Anne, do you see any one coming ?
The anxious question of one of the wives of Bluebeard. Stone-wall Jackson.
This saying took its rise from the battle of Bull Run, July 21, 1861.
Said General Bernard E. Bee, “See, there is Jackson, standing like
The King is dead! Long live the King !
The death of Louis XIV. was announced by the captain of the body
guard from a window of the state apartment. Raising his truncheon
« Vive le Roi !” - PARDOE : Life of Louis XIV., rol. iii. p. 457. The woods are full of them !
Alexander Wilson, in the Preface to his "American Ornithology"
(1808), quotes these words, and relates the story of a boy who had
Thin red line.
The Russians dashed on towards that thin red-line streak tipped with
a line of steel. — Russel: The British Espedition to the Crimea
(revised edition), p. 187. Soon the men of the column began to see that though the scarlet line
was slender, it was very rigid and exact. – KINGLAKE : Invasion of
the Crimea, vol. iii. p. 455. The spruce beauty of the slender red line. — Ibid. (sixth edition), vol.
iii. p. 248.