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England Quotes

"The difference between America and England is that Americans think 100 years is a long time, while the English think 100 miles is a long way." --Earle Hitchner

"We have often wished that we could put Great Britain under sail, bring it over to this country and anchor it near us." --William Franklin, 1763

"Oh to be in England now that April's there,
And whoever wakes in England sees, some morning unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England--now!" --Robert Browning

"This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England,
This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings,
Fear'd by their breed and famous by their birth." --Shakespeare, Richard II

"Suddenly, in the space of a moment, I realized what it was that I loved about Britain--which is to say, all of it. Every last bit of it, good and bad--old churches, country lanes, people saying 'Mustn't grumble,' and 'I'm terribly sorry but,' people apologizing to ME when I conk them with a careless elbow, milk in bottles, beans on toast, haymaking in June, seaside piers, Ordnance Survey maps, tea and crumpets, summer showers and foggy winter evenings--every bit of it." --Bill Bryson, Notes from a Small Island

"Not only England, but every Englishman is an island." --Novalis, Fragments (1799)

"They are like their own beer: froth on top, dregs at the bottom, the middle excellent." --Voltaire: referring to the British

"All our past acclaims our future:
Shakespeare's voice and Nelson's hand,
Milton's faith and Wordsworth's trust in this
Our chosen and chainless land,
Bear us witness: come the world against her,
England yet shall stand." --Swinburne

"If I should die, think only this of me:
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is forever England..." --Rupert Brooke

"The Englishman never enjoys himself except for a noble purpose." --A.P. Herbert

"An Englishman's never so natural as when he's holding his tongue." --Henry James

"On the continent people have good food; in England people have good table manners." --George Mikes

"This Englishwoman is so refined
She has no bosom and no behind."
--Stevie Smith

"Who the first inhabitants of Britain were, whether natives or immigrants, remains obscure; one must remember we are dealing with barbarians." --Tacitus (Roman historian)

"How superbly brave is the Englishman in the presence of the awfulest forms of danger and death; and how abject in the presence of any and all forms of hereditary rank." --Mark Twain

"You will never find an Englishman among the underdogs--except in England, of course." --Evelyn Waugh

"He carries his English weather in his heart wherever he goes, and it becomes a cool spot in the desert, and a steady and sane oracle amongst all the delirium of mankind." --George Santayana

"I traveled among unknown men,
In lands beyond the sea;
Nor England! did I know til then
What love I bore to thee." --William Wordsworth

"Oh London Town's a fine town, and
London sights are rare,
And London ale is right ale, and brisk's
the London air." --John Masefield

"There is one thing about Englishmen, they won't fix anything till it's just about totally ruined. You couldn't get the English to fix anything at the start. No! They like to sit and watch it grow worse.

Then, when it just looks like the whole thing has gone up Salt Creek, why, the English jump in and rescue it." --Will Rogers

"When one is tired of London, one is tired of life." --Samuel Johnson

"I do find London exciting. Much as I hate to agree with that tedious old git Samuel Johnson, and despite the pompous imbecility of his famous remark about when a man is tired of London he is tired of life...I can't dispute it." --Bill Bryson, Notes From a Small Island

"Every Englishmen abroad, until it is proved to the contrary, likes to consider himself a traveler and not a tourist." --Evelyn Waugh

"It was one of those perfect English autumnal days which occur more frequently in memory than in life." --P.D. James

"When I stand under the English flag, I am not a stranger, I am not an alien, but at home." --Mark Twain (1907)

"The world is full of aggrieved people whose fury engulfs their land and lives. Places where feuds and retaliation have become the sole motives for existing. But the English aren’t like that. They live and have always lived in a comparatively harmonious and liberal country. There is more give and take and compromise in England than anywhere else you can think of, but I know as certainly as I know anything about this place that this is despite the nature of England, not because of it."--AA Gill (2005)

"Happy England! Land of liberty, of virtue, and of beauty. In thy favored clime none of those arbitrary proceedings, which it has been my fate to experience." --James Holman "The blind traveler" (c1825)

“I love England because it’s like a grown-up America, a fact I’m reminded of as soon as I get on a British Airways flight or hop into a London cab and people stop treating me as though I’d just learned to finger paint.” --Chuck Thompson, Smile When You’re Lying… (2007)

"Against my will, in the course of my travels, the belief that everything worth knowing was known at Cambridge gradually wore off. In this respect my travels were very useful to me." --Bertrand Russell

“I never felt entirely myself till I had put at least the Channel between my native country and me.” --Somerset Maugham

“With its varied habitats, unpredictable wildlife and stunning topography, England spoils us. I love the fact there is always so much life to look at, wherever you are. I love the amazing way that each little bird, cow, small rabbit, each dungheap and tiny worm are all inextricably linked through the landscape; a landscape they have helped to create.” --Charlotte Hollins, Icons of England, 2010

“England has two books; the Bible and Shakespeare. England made Shakespeare, but the Bible made England.” --Victor Hugo

"I can't bear the thoughts of living in America or starving in England." --Stephen Sayre (1736-1818)

"Our civility England determins the style of, inasmuch as England is the strongest of the family of existing nations and as we are an extension of that people." --Ralph Waldo Emerson

London: "That great city is an epitome of the whole world. Nine months spent in it will teach you more by your eyes and ears than life spent in your native country." --Dr. Benjamin Rush (In a letter written to his son, 1810)

There’ll always be an England,
And England shall be free
If England means as much to you
As England means to me.
--Ross Parker

England, My England
What have I done for you,
England, my England?
What is there I would not do,
England, my own?
With you glorious eyes austere,
As the Lord were walking near,
Whispering terrible things and dear
As the Song on you bugles blown,
England—Round the world on your bugles blown!
--W. E. Henley

"This image of Victorian London grew in my mind – heavy fog, a landlord and his wife toasting cheese on the gas ring and a newsboy running down the street shouting 'Dreadful murder in the Marylebone Road'." -–Russell Hoban

Thus from a mixture of all kinds began,
That het’rogeneous thing, an Englishman:
In eager rapes, and furious lust begot,
Betwixt a painted Britain and a Scot.
Whose gend’ring off-spring quickly learn’d to bow,
And yoke their heifers to the Roman plough:
From whence a mongrel half-bred race there came,
With neither name, nor nation, speech nor fame.
In whose hot veins new mixtures quickly ran,
Infus’d betwixt a Saxon and a Dane.
While their rank daughters, to their parents just,
Receiv’d all nations with promiscuous lust.
This nauseous brood directly did contain
The well-extracted blood of Englishmen.

The True Born Englishman
By Daniel Defoe 1660–1731 Daniel Defoe

A dreadful Plague in London was,
In the Year [16] Sixty Five,
Which swept an Hundred Thousand Souls
Away; yet I alive! --Daniel DeFoe, A Journal of the Plague Year