English Quotes

I wish that an English statesman might once have spoken of us as Western Europeans.

Konrad Adenauer

When I recalled how knowledge of Latin had previously decayed throughout England, and yet many could still read things written in English, I then began, amidst the various and multifarious afflictions of this kingdom, to translate into English the book which in Latin is called Pastoralis, in English "Shepherd-book", sometimes word for word, sometimes sense for sense.

Alfred the Great

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

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

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

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
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