English Quotes

The most beautiful words in the English language aren't "I love you" but "it's benign."

Woody Allen

In most poetic expressions of patriotism, it is impossible to distinguish what is one of the greatest human virtues from the worst human vice, collective egotism. The virtue of patriotism has been extolled most loudly and publicly by nations that are in the process of conquering others, by the Roman, for example, in the first century B.C., the French in the 1790s, the English in the nineteenth century, and the Germans in the first half of the twentieth. To such people, love of one's country involves denying the right of others, of the Gauls, the Italians, the Indians, the Poles, to love theirs.

Wystan Hugh Auden

His Comoedies will remaine witt as long as the English tongue is understood, for that he handles mores hominum [the ways of mankind]. Now our present writers reflect so much on particular persons and coxcombeities that twenty yeares hence they will not be understood.

John Aubrey

The one good thing to be said about announcing yourself as a writer in the colonial Canadian fifties is that nobody told me I couldn't do it because I was a girl. They simply found the entire proposition ridiculous. Writers were dead and English, or else extremely elderly and American; they were not sixteen years old and Canadian. It would have been worse if I'd been a boy, though. Never mind the fact that all the really stirring poems I'd read at that time had been about slaughter, mayhem, sex and death poetry was thought of as existing in the pastel female realm, along with embroidery and flower arranging. If I'd been male I would probably have had to roll around in the mud, in some boring skirmish over whether or not I was a sissy.

Margaret Eleanor Atwood

The categories within which the colonists thought about the social foundations of politics were inheritances from classical antiquity, reshaped by seventeenth century English thought.

Bernard Bailyn

Personally I wish the police had truncheoned the English fans to death, but I cant really say that on the record.

Tony Banks

You know what they say - the sweetest word in the English language is revenge.

Peter Hill Beard

In spite of their hats being very ugly, Goddam! I love the English.

Pierre-Jean de Branger

Hear it, O Thyrsis, still our tree is there! Ah, vain! These English fields, this upland dim, These brambles pale with mist engarlanded, That lone, sky-pointing tree, are not for him; To a boon southern country he is fled, And now in happier air, Wandering with the great Mothers train divine (And purer or more subtle soul than thee, I trow, the mighty Mother doth not see) Within a folding of the Apennine.

Matthew Arnold

There is the world of ideas and there is the world of practice; the French are often for suppressing the one and the English the other; but neither is to be suppressed.

Matthew Arnold

English civilization the humanizing, the bringing into one harmonious and truly humane life, of the whole body of English society that is what interests me.

Matthew Arnold

How few of our young English impressionists knew the difference between a palette and a picture! However, I believe that Walter Sickert did sly dog!

Aubrey Vincent Beardsley

Drawing on my fine command of the English language, I said nothing.

Robert Charles Benchley

The English language may hold a more disagreeable combination of words than "The doctor will see you now." I am willing to concede something to the phrase "Have you anything to say before the current is turned on?" That may be worse for the moment, but it doesn't last so long. For continued, unmitigating depression, I know nothing to equal "The doctor will see you now." But I'm not narrow-minded about it. I'm willing to consider other possibilities.

Robert Charles Benchley

However, living in Tel Aviv, he was spared the fate of equivalent figures in English culture, an endless round of arts programmes where those who have known the famous are publicly debriefed of their memories, knowing as their own dusk falls that they will be remembered only for remembering someone else.

Alan Bennett

I lack what the English call character, by which they mean the power to refrain.

Alan Bennett

That the king can do no wrong, is a necessary and fundamental principle of the English constitution.

Sir William Blackstone

"Equestrian," by the by, is the gayest word in the English language. In fact, I thought Brokeback Mountain should have been called "Two Equestrians."

Lewis Niles Black

My mother bore me in the southern wild, And I am black, but O! my soul is white; White as an angel is the English child, But I am black as if bereaved of light.

William Blake

Sovereignty rests with me as an English MP and that's the way it will stay.

Anthony Charles Lynton Blair

Because you could not translate the word apartheid into the more universal language of English, the wrong connotation was given to it.

Pieter Willem Botha

The security and happiness of all minority groups in South Africa depend on the Afrikaner. Whether they are English- or German- or Portuguese- or Italian-speaking, or even Jewish-speaking, makes no difference.

Pieter Willem Botha

If that's foreign strength or that's English strength, it doesn't matter to me.

Phil Brown

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