An aphorism is nothing else but the slightest
form of writing raised to the highest level of expressive communication. Carl William Brown





How happy is the sailor's life, from coast to coast to roam; in every port he finds a wife, in every land a home.


Isaac Bickerstaffe


Admiral. That part of a warship which does the talking while the figurehead does the thinking.


Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914, American author, editor, journalist, "The Devil's Dictionary")


Valor, glory, firmness, skill, generosity, steadiness in battle and ability to rule -- these constitute the duty of a soldier. They flow from his own nature.


Bhagavad Gita (c. BC 400-, Sanskrit poem incorporated into the Mahabharata)


The Royal Navy of England hath ever been its greatest defense and ornament; it is its ancient and natural strength; the floating bulwark of the island.


Sir William Blackstone (1723-1780, British jurist)


If I should die, think only this of me: that there's some corner of a foreign field that is forever England.


Rupert Brooke (1887-1915, British poet)


In the weakness of one kind of authority, and in the fluctuation of all, the officers of an army will remain for some time mutinous and full of faction, until some popular general, who understands the art of conciliating the soldiery, and who possesses the true spirit of command, shall draw the eyes of all men upon himself. Armies will obey him on his personal account. There is no other way of securing military obedience in this state of things.


Edmund Burke (1729-1797, British political writer, statesman)


What makes a regiment of soldiers a more noble object of view than the same mass of mob? Their arms, their dresses, their banners, and the art and artificial symmetry of their position and movements.


Lord Byron (1788-1824, British poet)


There is nothing more enticing, disenchanting, and enslaving than the life at sea.


Joseph Conrad (1857-1924, Polish-born British novelist)


Soldiers have many faults, but they have one redeeming merit; they are never worshippers of force. Soldiers more than any other men are taught severely and systematically that might is not right. The fact is obvious. The might is in the hundred men who obey. The right (or what is held to be right) is in the one man who commands them.


Gilbert K. Chesterton (1874-1936, British author)


Don't talk to me about naval tradition. It's nothing but rum, sodomy and the lash.


Winston Churchill (1874-1965, British statesman, Prime Minister)


War is too important a matter to be left to the military.


Georges Clemenceau (1841-1929, French statesman)


The nation which forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten.


Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933, American President (30th))


I had rather have a plain, russet-coated captain that knows what he fights for and loves what he knows than that which you call a Gentleman and is nothing else.


Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658, British Parliamentarian General)


Come on, you sons of bitches! Do you want to live forever?


Daniel Daly


I must have the gentleman to haul and draw with the mariner, and the mariner with the gentleman. I would know him, that would refuse to set his hand to a rope, but I know there is not any such here.


Sir Francis Drake (c.1540-1596, Elizabethan seaman, born in Crowndale, Devon)


Drinking is the soldier's pleasure.


John Dryden (1631-1700, British poet, dramatist, critic)


The most advanced nations are always those who navigate the most.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)


The wonder is always new that any sane man can be a sailor.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)


Rogues, would you live forever?


(Frederick II) Frederick The Great (1712-1786, Born in Berlin, King of Prussia (1740-1786),)


We are as near to heaven by sea as by land.


Sir Humphrey Gilbert (1539-1583, British navigator)


Every man thinks meanly of himself for not having been a soldier, or not having been at sea.


Samuel Johnson (1709-1784, British author)


Conscription may have been good for the country, but it damn near killed the army.


Sir Richard Hull


No man will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself into a jail; for being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned. A man in a jail has more room, better food and commonly better company.


Samuel Johnson (1709-1784, British author)


Now, you mummy's darlings, get a rift on them boots. Definitely shine em, my little curly-headed lambs, for in our mob, war or no war, you die with clean boots on.


Gerald Kersh


When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, and the women come out to cut up what remains, jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains and go to your gawd like a soldier.


Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936, British author of Prose, Verse)


Children play soldier. That makes sense. But why do soldiers play children?


Karl Kraus (1874-1936, Austrian satirist)


There were gentlemen and there were seamen in the navy of Charles the Second. But the seamen were not gentlemen; and the gentlemen were not seamen.


Thomas B. Macaulay (1800-1859, American essayist and historian)


An army without culture is a dull-witted army, and a dull-witted army cannot defeat the enemy.


Zedong Mao (1893-1976, Founder of the People's Republic of China)


Do you know what a soldier is, young man? He's the chap who makes it possible for civilized folk to despise war.


Allan Massie


No profession or occupation is more pleasing than the military; a profession or exercise both noble in execution (for the strongest, most generous and proudest of all virtues is true valor) and noble in its cause. No utility either more just or universal than the protection of the repose or defense of the greatness of one's country. The company and daily conversation of so many noble, young and active men cannot but be well pleasing to you.


Michel Eyquem De Montaigne (1533-1592, French philosopher, essayist)


The army is the true nobility of our country.


Napoleon III (1808-1873, French president, third son of Louis Bonaparte,)


The military mind is indeed a menace. Old-fashioned futurity that sees only men fighting and dying in smoke and fire; hears nothing more civilized than a cannonade; scents nothing but the stink of battle-wounds and blood.


Sean O'Casey (1884-1964, Irish dramatist)


There is something about going to sea. A little bit of discipline, self-discipline and humility are required.


Prince Andrew (1960-, British Prince)


An army of sheep led by a lion would defeat an army of lions led by a sheep.


Arabian Proverb (Sayings of Arabian origin)


'Tis the soldier's life to have their balmy slumbers waked with strife.


William Shakespeare (1564-1616, British poet, playwright, actor)


We few, we happy few, we band of brothers. For he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother; be never so vile. This day shall gentle his condition. And gentlemen in England now abed shall think themselves accursed they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks that fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.


William Shakespeare (1564-1616, British poet, playwright, actor)


History shows that there are no invincible armies.


Joseph Stalin (1879-1953, Georgian-born Soviet leader)


There are few men more superstitious than soldiers. They are, after all, the men who live closest to death.


Mary W. Stewart


If our soldiers are not overburdened with money, it is not because they have a distaste for riches; if their lives are not unduly long, it is not because they are disinclined to longevity.


Sun Tzu (c 400-430 BC, Chinese military strategist, author of "Art of War")


Visit the Navy-Yard, and behold a marine, such a man as an American government can make, or such as it can make a man with its black arts -- a mere shadow and reminiscence of humanity, a man laid out alive and standing, and already, as one may say, buried under arms with funeral accompaniments.


Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862, American essayist, poet, naturalist)


That's what an army is -- a mob; they don't fight with courage that's born in them, but with courage that's borrowed from their mass, and from their officers.


Mark Twain (1835-1910, American humorist, writer)


In this country it's a good thing to kill an admiral now and then to encourage the others.


Francois-Marie Arouet de Voltaire (1694-1778, French historian, writer)


The feeling about a soldier is, when all is said and done, he wasn't really going to do very much with his life anyway. The example usually is: "he wasn't going to compose Beethoven's Fifth."


Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (1922-, American novelist)


When we assumed the Soldier, we did not lay aside the Citizen.


George Washington (1732-1799, American President (1st))


I don't know what effect these men will have upon the enemy, but, by God, they terrify me.


Arthur (Duke of Wellington) Wellesley (1769-1852, British statesman, military leader)


We have in the service the scum of the earth as common soldiers.


Arthur (Duke of Wellington) Wellesley (1769-1852, British statesman, military leader)


O the joy of the strong-brawn'd fighter, towering in the arena in perfect condition, conscious of power, thirsting to meet his opponent.


Walt Whitman (1819-1892, American poet)


Making the world safe for hypocrisy.


Thomas Wolfe (1931-, American author, journalist)


Standing armies can never consist of resolute robust men; they may be well-disciplined machines, but they will seldom contain men under the influence of strong passions, or with very vigorous faculties.


Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797, British feminist writer)


Those that I fight I do not hate, those that I guard I do not love.


William Butler Yeats (1865-1939, Irish poet, playwright.)


 Back to Daimon Library English Quotes Search Page


website tracking