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


The worse the man, the better the soldier.

Napoleon I.

War mends but few, and spoils multitudes.

Jeremy Taylor.

It is cruelty in war that buyeth conquest.

Sir P. Sidney.

A bright musket, but a ragged soldier.


Against the flying ball no valor avails.


You may relish him more in the soldier than in the scholar.


War,—the trade of barbarians!

Napoleon I.

The victor’s pastime, and the sport of warrior.


Fie, my lord, fie! a soldier and afear’d?


My only ambition is to be first soldier of Italian independence.

Victor Emmanuel II.

We are like cloaks,—one thinks of us only when it rains.

Marshal Saxe.

A soldier seeking the bubble reputation even in the cannon’s mouth.


  • This the soldier’s life,
  • To have their balmy slumbers wak’d with strife.
  • Shakespeare.

    Nothing is more binding than the friendship of companions-in-arms.

    George S. Hillard.

    The stern joy that warriors feel in foemen worthy of their steel.

    Sir Walter Scott.

  • A mere soldier, a mere tool, a kind
  • Of human sword in a friend’s hand.
  • Byron.

    Let the gulled fool the toil of war pursue, where bleed the many to enrich the few.


    The warrior who cultivates his mind polishes his arms.


  • He is a soldier, fit to stand by Cæsar
  • And give direction.
  • Shakespeare.

    Though triumphs were to generals only due, crowns were reserved to grace the soldiers too.


    Soldier, rest! thy warfare o’er, dream of fighting fields no more.

    Sir Walter Scott.

  • That in the captain’s but a choleric word,
  • Which in the soldier is flat blasphemy.
  • Shakespeare.

    Without a home must the soldier go, a changeful wanderer, and can warm himself at no home-lit hearth.


  • Enough of merit has each honored name
  • To shine untarnished on the rolls of fame,
  • And add new lustre to the historic page.
  • David Humphreys.

  • You say, you are a better soldier:
  • Let it appear so; make your vaunting true,
  • And it shall please me well.
  • Shakespeare.

    Soldiers looked at as they ought to be. They are to the world as poppies to corn-fields.

    Douglas Jerrold.

    A soldier ought to consider peace only as a breathing-spell, which gives him leisure to contrive, and furnishes ability to execute, military plans.


  • Such is the country maiden’s fright,
  • When first a red-coat is in sight;
  • Behind the door she hides her face;
  • Next time at distance eyes the lace.
  • Gay.

  • I hate these potent madmen, who keep all
  • Mankind awake, while they by their great deeds
  • Are drumming hard upon this hollow world,
  • Only to make a sound to last for ages.
  • Crowne.

  • The broken soldier, kindly bade to stay,
  • Sat by his fire, and talk’d the night away;
  • Wept o’er his wounds, or, tales of sorrow done,
  • Shoulder’d his crutch, and show’d how fields were won.
  • Goldsmith.

  • Soldiers in arms! Defenders of our soil!
  • Who from destruction save us; who from spoil
  • Protect the sons of peace, who traffic or who toil;
  • Would I could duly praise you, that each deed
  • Your foes might honor, and your friends might read.
  • Crabbe.

  • For it ’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, wait outside,”
  • But it ’s “Special train for Atkins” when the trooper ’s on the tide.
  • Rudyard Kipling.

  • O it ’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, go away,”
  • But it ’s “Thank you, Mister Atkins,” when the band begins to play.
  • Rudyard Kipling.

  • Then it ’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy ’ow’s yer soul?”
  • But it ’s “Thin red lines of ’eroes” when the drums begin to roll.
  • Rudyard Kipling.

    What right has any free, reasonable soul on earth to sell himself for a shilling a day to murder any man, right or wrong, even his own brother or his own father, just because such a whiskered, profligate jackanapes as that officer, without learning, without any good except his own looking-glass and his opera-dancer,—a fellow who, just because he was born a gentleman, is set to command gray-headed men before he can command his own meanest passions. Good heavens! that the lives of free men should be intrusted to such a stuffed cockatoo; and that free men should be such traitors to their own flesh and blood as to sell themselves, for a shilling a day and the smirks of the nursery-maids, to do that fellow’s bidding.

    Charles Kingsley.

  • To swear, to game, to drink, to show at home
  • By lewdness, idleness, and Sabbath-breach,
  • The great proficiency he made abroad,
  • T’ astonish and to grieve his gazing friends,
  • To break some maiden’s and his mother’s heart,
  • To be a pest where he was useful once,
  • Are his sole aim, and all his glory now.
  • Cowper.

    Policy goes beyond strength, and contrivance before action; hence it is that direction is left to the commander, execution to the soldier, who is not to ask why, but to do what he is commanded.