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


Ay, every inch a king.


  • Ah! vainest of all things
  • Is the gratitude of kings.
  • Longfellow.

    The trappings of a monarchy would set up an ordinary commonwealth.

    Samuel Johnson.

    Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.


    In that fierce light which beats upon a throne.


    For monarchs seldom sigh in vain.


    Every citizen is king under a citizen king.


    The state!—it is I!

    Attributed to Louis XIV. of France.

    The king reigns but does not govern.


    Every subject’s duty is the king’s; but every subject’s soul is his own.


  • As yourselves your empires fall,
  • And every kingdom hath a grave.
  • William Habington.

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

    Every noble crown is, and on earth will forever be, a crown of thorns.


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

  • There’s such divinity doth hedge a king,
  • That treason can but peep to what it would.
  • Shakespeare.

    Clemency is the surest proof of a true monarch.


    Every monarch is subject to a mightier one.


    They (Americans) equally detest the pageantry of a king and the supercilious hypocrisy of a bishop.


  • The rule
  • Of the many is not well. One must be chief
  • In war and one the king.
  • Homer.

  • A man’s a man,
  • But when you see a king, you see the work
  • Of many thousand men.
  • George Eliot.

    They say princes learn no art truly, but the art of horsemanship. The reason is, the brave beast is no flatterer. He will throw a prince as soon as his groom.

    Ben Jonson.

  • God save our gracious king!
  • Long live our noble king!
  • God save the king!
  • Henry Carey.

  • Yet looks he like a king; behold, his eye,
  • As bright as is the eagle’s, lightens forth
  • Controlling majesty.
  • Shakespeare.

  • The first king was a successful soldier;
  • He who serves well his country has no need of ancestors.
  • Voltaire.

  • A substitute shines brightly as a king
  • Until a king be by, and then his state
  • Empties itself, as doth an inland brook
  • Into the main of waters.
  • 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.

  • Here lies our sovereign lord, the king,
  • Whose word no man relies on,
  • Who never said a foolish thing,
  • And never did a wise one.
  • Said by a courtier of Charles II.

  • Princes have but their titles for their glories,
  • An outward honor for an inward toil;
  • And, for unfelt imaginations,
  • They often feel a world of restless cares.
  • Shakespeare.

  • God gives not kings the stile of gods in vaine,
  • For on his throne his sceptre do they sway;
  • And as their subjects ought them to obey,
  • So kings should feare and serve their God againe.
  • King James.

  • Let us sit upon the ground
  • And tell sad stories of the death of kings:
  • How some have been depos’d, some slain in war,
  • Some haunted by the ghosts they have depos’d,
  • Some poison’d by their wives, some sleeping kill’d,
  • All murder’d.
  • Shakespeare.

  • The king-becoming graces,
  • As justice, verity, temperance, stableness,
  • Bounty, perseverance, mercy, lowliness,
  • Devotion, patience, courage, fortitude,
  • I have no relish of them.
  • Shakespeare.

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

  • Princes that would their people should do well
  • Must at themselves begin, as at the head;
  • For men, by their example, pattern out
  • Their imitations, and regard of laws:
  • A virtuous court a world to virtue draws.
  • Ben Jonson.

  • O, how wretched
  • Is that poor man that hangs on princes’ favors!
  • There is, betwixt that smile we would aspire to,
  • That sweet aspect of princes, and their ruin,
  • More pangs and fears than wars and women have;
  • And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer,
  • Never to hope again.
  • Shakespeare.

  • O wretched state of kings! doleful fate!
  • Greatness misnamed, in misery only great!
  • Could men but know the endless woe it brings,
  • The wise would die before they would be kings.
  • Think what a king must do! It tasks the best
  • To rule the little world within his breast,
  • Yet must he rule it, and the world beside,
  • Or king is none, undone by power and pride.
  • Think what a king must be! What burdens bear
  • From birth to death! His life is one long care.
  • It wears away in tasks that never end.
  • He has ten thousand foes, but not one friend.
  • R. H. Stoddard.