C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


A king should be a king in all things.


There’s such divinity doth hedge a king.


Every monarch is subject to a mightier one.


The right divine of kings to govern wrong!


The king’s name is a tower of strength.


A good king is a public servant.

Ben Jonson.

  • What is a king? a man condemn’d to bear
  • The public burthen of the nation’s care.
  • Prior.

  • The king that yields to popular commotions,
  • Is more the slave than sovereign of his people.
  • Philips.

    The king that faithfully judgeth the poor, his throne shall be established forever.


  • Luxurious kings are to their people lost,
  • They live like drones, upon the public cost.
  • Dryden.

  • The presence of a king engenders love
  • Amongst his subjects, and his royal friends.
  • Shakespeare.

  • What have kings
  • That privates have not too, save ceremony?
  • Shakespeare.

  • Oh, happy kings,
  • Whose thrones are raised in their subjects’ hearts.
  • John Ford.

    He on whom heaven confers a sceptre knows not the weight till he bears it.


    Implements of war and subjugation are the last arguments to which kings resort.

    Patrick Henry.

    Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.


    Whoever is king, is also the father of his country.


    Empire! thou poor and despicable thing, when such as these make or unmake a king!


    A man’s a man; but when you see a king, you see the work of many thousand men.

    George Eliot.

    Kings will be tyrants from policy, when subjects are rebels from principle.

    Ed. Burke.

  • Kings are like stars—they rise and set—they have
  • The worship of the world, but no repose.
  • Shelley.

    A king is the first servant and first magistrate of the state.

    Frederick the Great.

    Kings are for nations in their swaddling-clothes: France has attained her majority.

    Victor Hugo.

    The king is but a man, as I am, the violet smells to him as it does to me.


    O, unhappy state of kings! it is well the robe of majesty is gay, or who would put it on?

    Hannah More.

  • Not all the water in the rough rude sea
  • Can wash the balm from an anointed king:
  • The breath of worldly men cannot depose
  • The deputy elected by the Lord.
  • Shakespeare.

    A crown! what is it? It is to bear the miseries of a people,—to hear their murmurs, feel their discontents, and sink beneath a load of splendid care.

    Hannah More.

    Within the hollow crown that rounds the mortal temples of a king, keeps Death his court; and there the antic sits, scoffing his state.


    The example alone of a vicious prince will corrupt an age; but that of a good one will not reform it.


    The people are fashioned according to the example of their king, and edicts are of less power than the model which his life exhibits.


    When a king sets himself to bandy against the highest court and residence of all regal powers, he then, in the single person of a man, fights against his own majesty and kingship.


    A king may be a tool, a thing of straw; but if he serves to frighten our enemies, and secure our property, it is well enough; a scarecrow is a thing of straw, but it protects the corn.


  • A crown
  • Golden in show, is but a wreath of thorns;
  • Brings danger, troubles, cares, and sleepless nights
  • To him who wears a regal diadem.
  • Milton.

  • He is ours,
  • T’ administer, to guard, t’ adorn the state,
  • But not to warp or change it. We are his,
  • To serve him nobly in the common cause,
  • True to the death, but not to be his slaves.
  • Cowper.

  • And while they live, we see their glorious actions
  • Oft wrested to the worst; and all their life
  • Is but a stage of endless toil and strife,
  • Of torments, uproars, mutinies, and factions;
  • They rise with fear, and lie with danger down;
  • Huge are the cares that wait upon the crown.
  • Earl of Sterling.

  • He’s a king,
  • A right true king, that dares do aught save wrong:
  • Fears nothing mortal, but to be unjust;
  • Who is not blown up with the flatt’ring puffs
  • Of spongy sycophants; who stands unmov’d
  • Despite the jostling of opinion.
  • Marston.

  • The king-becoming graces,
  • As justice, verity, temperance, stableness,
  • Bounty, perseverance, mercy, lowliness,
  • Devotion, patience, courage, fortitude,
  • I have no relish of them; but abound
  • In the division of each several crime,
  • Acting in many ways.
  • Shakespeare.

    One of the strongest natural proofs of the folly of hereditary right in kings is, that Nature disapproves it; otherwise she would not so frequently turn it into ridicule by giving mankind an ass in place of a lion.

    Thomas Paine.