Queen Elizabeth I

(1533-1603 / England)

Quotations

  • ''My mortal foe can no ways wish me a greater harm than England's hate; neither should death be less welcome unto me than such a mishap betide me.''
    Elizabeth I (1533-1603), British monarch, Queen of England (1558-1603). As quoted in The Sayings of Queen Elizabeth, ch. 2, by Frederick Chamberlin (1923).
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  • ''When I received this [coronation] ring I solemnly bound myself in marriage to the realm; and it will be quite sufficient for the memorial of my name and for my glory, if, when I die, an inscription be engraved on a marble tomb, saying, "Here lieth Elizabeth, which reigned a virgin, and died a virgin."''
    Elizabeth I (1533-1603), British monarch, Queen of England (1558-1603). As quoted in The Sayings of Queen Elizabeth, ch. 7, by Frederick Chamberlin (1923). Said "to the Speaker, Knights, and Burgesses of the Lower House who [in 1559, the second year of her reign] laid an address before her in the great gallery of Whitehall Palace urging her to marry." For years thereafter, Elizabeth would vacillate about her marital intentions, sometimes declaring that to marry would be "necessary." However, despite many aggressive overtures from European nobility and imperative urging from within England, she never did, thus ruling alone and leaving behind no heir.
  • ''Princes have big ears which hear far and near.''
    Elizabeth I (1533-1603), British monarch, Queen of England (1558-1603). As quoted in The Sayings of Queen Elizabeth, ch. 13, by Frederick Chamberlin (1923). To Fenelon, the French Ambassador.
  • ''A fool too late bewares when all the peril is past.''
    Elizabeth I (1533-1603), Queen of England (1558-1603). As quoted in The Sayings of Queen Elizabeth, ch. 11, by Frederick Chamberlin (1923). To Sir Henry Sidney, governor of Ireland.
  • ''A clear and innocent conscience fears nothing.''
    Elizabeth I (1533-1603), British monarch, Queen of England (1558-1603). As quoted in The Sayings of Queen Elizabeth, ch. 11, by Frederick Chamberlin (1923). To the Spanish Ambassador.
  • ''There is nothing in the world I hold in greater horror than to see a body moving against its head: and I shall be very careful not to ally myself with such a monster.''
    Elizabeth I (1533-1603), Queen of England (1558-1603). As quoted in The Sayings of Queen Elizabeth, ch. 16, by Frederick Chamberlin (1923). To the French Ambassador.
  • ''Fear not, we are of the nature of the lion, and cannot descend to the destruction of mice and such small beasts.''
    Elizabeth I (1533-1603), British monarch, Queen of England (1558-1603). As quoted in The Sayings of Queen Elizabeth, ch. 22, by Frederick Chamberlin (1923). Said soon after she became queen to a member of the household staff of Queen Mary I, who had been Elizabeth's half-sister and predecessor. The household staff member had treated Elizabeth cruelly during Mary's reign and now sought her mercy.
  • ''That milkmaid's lot is better than mine, and her life merrier.''
    Elizabeth I (1533-1603), Queen of England (1558-1603). As quoted in The Sayings of Queen Elizabeth, ch. 1, by Frederick Chamberlin (1923). Said to one of her attendants in 1554, when she was still Princess Elizabeth, during her imprisonment for treason; she had heard a milkmaid singing at her work.
  • ''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.''
    Elizabeth I (1533-1603), British monarch, Queen of England (1558-1603). As quoted in The Sayings of Queen Elizabeth, ch. 24, by Frederick Chamberlin (1923).
  • ''... what a family is without a steward, a ship without a pilot, a flock without a shepherd, a body without a head, the same, I think, is a kingdom without the health and safety of a good monarch.''
    Elizabeth I (1533-1603), Queen of England (1558-1603). As quoted in The Sayings of Queen Elizabeth, ch. 1, by Frederick Chamberlin (1923). Written c. 1550 to her half-brother, the "boy king" Edward VI (1537-1553).

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Oh, Fortune!

Oh, Fortune! how thy restlesse wavering state
Hath fraught with cares my troubled witt!
Witnes this present prisonn, whither fate
Could beare me, and the joys I quitt.
Thou causedest the guiltie to be losed
From bandes, wherein are innocents inclosed:
Causing the guiltles to be straite reserved,
And freeing those that death had well deserved.
But by her envie can be nothing wroughte,

[Hata Bildir]