Grocott & Ward, comps. Grocott’s Familiar Quotations, 6th ed. 189-?.


The Gaul, ’tis held of antique story,
Saw Britain linked to his now adverse strand;
No sea between, nor cliff sublime and hoary,
He pass’d with unwet feet through all our land.
Collins.—Ode to Liberty.

[This tradition is mentioned by several of our old historians.]

For of old time, since first the rushing flood,
Urg’d by Almighty Pow’r, this favour’d isle
Turn’d flashing from the continent aside,
Indented shore to shore responsive still,
Its guardian she.
Thomson.—Britain, Liberty; Part IV. Line 460.

This England never did, nor never shall,
Lie at the proud foot of a conqueror,
But when it first did help to wound itself,—
Come the three corners of the world in arms,
And we shall shock them; nought shall make us rue,
If England to itself do rest but true.
Shakespeare.—King John, Act V. Scene 7. (The Bastard.)

Enough—no foreign foe could quell
Thy soul, till from itself it fell;
Yes! self-abasement paved the way
To villain bonds and despot sway.
Byron.—The Giaour, end of the 5th Paragraph.

England is safe, if true within itself.
Shakespeare.—King Henry VI., Part III. Act IV. Scene 1. (Hastings to Montague.)

Let us be back’d with God, and with the seas,
Which he hath given for fence impregnable,
And with their helps only defend ourselves;
In them, and in ourselves, our safety lies.
Shakespeare.—King Henry VI., Part III. Act IV. Scene 1. (Hastings to Clarence.)

Be Britain still to Britain true,
Amang oursels united;
For never but by British hands,
Maun British wrangs be righted.
Burns.—Dumfries Volunteers.

The sword we dread not; of ourselves secure,
Firm were our strength, our peace and freedom sure;
Let all the world confederate all its powers,
“Be they not back’d by those that should be ours,”
High on his rock shall BRITAIN’S GENIUS stand,
Scatter the crowded hosts, and vindicate the land.
Canning.—New Morality.

As round our isle the azure billow roars,
From all the world dividing Britain’s shores,
Within its fence be Britain’s nations join’d,
A world themselves, yet friends of human-kind.
Pye.—Alfred, Book VI. Line 99.

The Ocean is the grand vehicle of trade, and the uniter of distant nations. To us it is peculiarly kind, not only as it wafts into our ports the harvests of every climate, and renders our island the centre of traffic, but also as it secures us from foreign invasions by a sort of impregnable intrenchment.
Harvey.—Reflections on a Flower Garden.

The storehouse of the world.
Dr. Young.—Busiris, Act I. (The King.)

England, of all countries in the world,
Most blind to thine own good.
Randolph.—The Muses’ Looking-glass, Act III. Scene 2.

Hail, land of bowmen! seed of those who scorn’d
To stoop the neck to wide imperial Rome:
O dearest half of Albion sea-walled.
Albania.—Quoted by Scott, Fair Maid of Perth, Chap. XXVI.

It is most meet we arm us ’gainst the foe:
For peace itself should not so dull a kingdom,
But that defenses, musters, preparations,
Should be maintain’d, assembled, and collected,
As were a war in expectation.
Shakespeare.—King Henry V., Act II. Scene 4. (The Dauphin to the French King.)

Poor England! thou art a devoted deer,
Beset with every ill but that of fear.
The nations hunt; all mock thee for a prey;
They swarm around thee, and thou stand’st at bay.
Cowper.—Table Talk, Line 363.

O England! model to thy inward greatness
Like little body with a mighty heart,
What might’st thou do, that honour would thee do,
Were all thy children kind and natural?
Shakespeare.—Chorus to King Henry V., Act II.

May he be suffocate,
That dims the honour of this warlike isle!
Shakespeare.—King Henry VI., Part II. Act I. Scene 1. (York on Suffolk’s conduct in relinquishing Anjou and Maine to Naples.)

The Lord confound you and all your devices that would ruin our nation.
Swift.—Drapier’s Letter to Wm. Wood, signed Hibernicus.

There learned arts do flourish in great honour
And poets’ wits are had in peerless price;
Religion hath lay power, to rest upon her,
Advancing virtue, and suppressing vice.
For end all good, all grace there freely grows,
Had people grace it gratefully to use:
For God his gifts there plenteously bestows,
But graceless men them greatly do abuse.
Spenser.—Colin Clout.

England! with all thy faults, I love thee still—
My country! and while yet a nook is left,
Where English minds and manners may be found,
Shall be constrain’d to love thee.
Cowper.—The Task, Book II.

Be England what she will,
With all her faults she is my country still.
Churchill.—The Farewell.

Where I first drew my vital breath.
Corneille.—See Ramage’s Beautiful Thoughts from French authors.

Without one friend, above all foes,
Britannia gives the world repose.
Cowper.—Miscellaneous Poems. (To Sir Joshua Reynolds.)