Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.

Elizabeth II, born Elizabeth Alexandra May NULL

Queen of England, Constitutional Monarch of 16 sovereign states, known as the Commonwealth realms, and their territories and dependencies, and head of the 54-member Commonwealth of Nations

"Cowards falter, but danger is often overcome by those who nobly dare."

"I learned the way a monkey learns - by watching its parents."

"It has been women who have breathed gentleness and care into the harsh progress of mankind."

"True patriotism doesn’t exclude an understanding of the patriotism of others."

"A fool too late bewares when all the peril is past."

"A strength to harm is perilous in the hand of an ambitious head."

"Although my royal rank causes me to doubt whether my kingdom is not more sought after than myself, yet I understand that you have found other graces in me."

"As the saying is, so many heads, so many wits."

"Be always faithful to me, as I always desire to keep you in peace; and if there have been wiser kings, none has ever loved you more than I have."

"Be of good cheer, for you will never want, for the bullet was meant for me, though it hit you."

"Better beggar woman and single than Queen and married."

"Brass shines as fair to the ignorant as gold to the goldsmiths."

"By your concord in the camp, and your valour in the field, we shall shortly have a famous victory over those enemies of my God, of my kingdom, and of my people."

"Do not tell secrets to those whose faith and silence you have not already tested."

"Dost thou think me so unlike myself and unmindful of my royal majesty that I would prefer my servant whom I myself have raised, before the greatest prince of Christendom...?"

"Fear not, we are of the nature of the lion, and cannot descend to the destruction of mice and such small beasts."

"For me it will be enough that a marble stone should declare that a queen having reigned such a time, lived and died a virgin."

"From mine enemy let me defend myself; from a pretensed friend, good lord deliver me."

"God forgive you, but I never can."

"God has given such brave soldiers to this Crown that, if they do not frighten our neighbours, at least they prevent us from being frightened by them."

"God may forgive you, but I never can."

"Have a care over my people. You have my people—do you that which I ought to do. They are my people... See unto them—see unto them, for they are my charge.... I care not for myself; my life is not dear to me. My care is for my people. I pray God, whoever succeedeth me, be as careful of them as I am."

"He that will forget God, will also forget his benefactors."

"He who placed me in this seat will keep me here."

"Here lands as true a subject, being prisoner, as ever landed at these stairs. Before Thee, O God, I speak it, having none other friend but Thee alone."

"I am more afraid of making a fault in my Latin than of the Kings of Spain, France, Scotland, the whole House of Guise, and all of their confederates."

"I am no lover of pompous title, but only desire that my name may be recorded in a line or two, which shall briefly express my name, my virginity, the years of my reign, the reformation of religion under it, and my preservation of peace."

"I am your anointed Queen. I will never be by violence constrained to do anything. I thank God I am endued with such qualities that if I were turned out of the Realm in my petticoat I were able to live in any place in Christendom."

"I do consider a multitude doth make rather discord and confusion than good counsel."

"I do not choose that my grave should be dug while I am still alive."

"I do not so much rejoice that God hath made me to be a Queen, as to be a Queen over so thankful a people. Therefore I have cause to wish nothing more than to content the subject and that is a duty which I owe. Neither do I desire to live longer days than I may see your prosperity and that is my only desire."

"I do not want a husband who honours me as a queen, if he does not love me as a woman."

"I find that I sent wolves not shepherds to govern Ireland, for they have left me nothing but ashes and carcasses to reign over!"

"I grieve and dare not show my discontent, I love and yet am forced to seem to hate, I do, yet dare not say I ever meant, I seem stark mute but inwardly do prate."

"I have already joined myself in marriage to a husband, namely the kingdom of England."

"I have ever used to set the last Judgment Day before mine eyes, and so to rule as I shall be judged to answer before a higher judge."

"I have had good experience and trial of this world...I know what it is to be a subject, what to be a sovereign, what to have good neighbors, and sometimes meet evil willers. I have found treason in trust, seen great benefits little regarded."

"I have no desire to make windows into men’s souls"

"I have the heart of a man, not a woman, and I am not afraid of anything."

"I know I am but mortal and so therewhilst prepare myself for death, whensoever it shall please God to send it."

"I know I have the body of a weak, feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king—and of a King of England too, and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realm; to which, rather than any dishonour should grow by me, I myself will take up arms—I myself will be your general, judge, and rewarder of every one of your virtues in the field."

"I know the title of a King is a glorious title, but assure yourself that the shining glory of princely authority hath not so dazzled the eyes of our understanding, but that we well know and remember that we also are to yield an account of our actions before the great judge. To be a king and wear a crown is a thing more glorious to them that see it than it is pleasant to them that bear it."

"I pray to God that I shall not live one hour after I have thought of using deception."

"I regret the unhappiness of princes who are slaves to forms and fettered by caution."

"I shall desire you all, my lords, (chiefly you of the nobility, everyone in his degree and power) to be assistant to me that I, with my ruling, and you with your service, may make a good account to Almighty God and leave some comfort to our posterity on earth."

"I shall lend credit to nothing against my people which parents would not believe against their own children."

"I think he and I should get married!"

"I were content to hear matters argued and debated pro and contra as all princes must that will understand what is right, yet I look ever as it were upon a plain tablet wherein is written neither partility or prejudice."

"I will have here but one mistress and no master."

"I will make you shorter by the head."