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FRANCE
[ Also see Countries English Channel Europe Paris Rhone River Scheld River ]

France famed in all great arts, in none supreme.
      - Matthew Arnold

In France everything is a matter for jest. People make quips about the scaffold, about Napoleon's defeat on the banks of The Beresina, and about the barricades of our revolutions. So, at the assizes of the Last Judgment, there will always be a Frenchmen to crack a joke.
      - Honore de Balzac

Nowhere but in France are people so strictly observant of great matters and so disdainfully indulgent about small ones.
      - Honore de Balzac

Decayed in thy glory and sunk in thy worth.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron)

France was long a despotism tempered by epigrams.
      - Thomas Carlyle

A monarchy tempered by songs.
      - Sebastien-Roch-Nicolas de Chamfort

France is an absolute monarchy, tempered by ballads.
  [Fr., La France est une monarchie absolue, temperee par des chansons.]
      - quoted by Sebastien-Roch-Nicolas de Chamfort

The Frenchman, easy, debonair, and brisk,
  Give him his lass, his fiddle, and his frisk,
    Is always happy, reign whoever may,
      And laughs the sense of mis'ry far away.
      - William Cowper, Table Talk (l. 237)

I hate the French because they are all slaves and wear wooden shoes.
      - Oliver Goldsmith, Essays (24 (1765 ed.)),
        appeared in the "British Magazine", June, 1760

Gay, sprightly, land of mirth and social ease
  Pleased with thyself, whom all the world can please.
      - Oliver Goldsmith, The Traveller (l. 241),
        said of France

It may be the only country in the world where the rich are sometimes brilliant.
      - Lillian Hellman

Studious to please, and ready to submit; the supple Gaul was born a parasite.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

I would have loved it--without the French.
      - David Herbert Lawrence, concerning France

Yet, who can help loving the land that has taught us
  Six hundred and eighty-five ways to dress eggs?
      - Thomas Moore, Fudge Family (8)

Have the French for friends, but not for neighbors.
      - Nicephorus,
        said while treating with ambassadors of Charlemagne

It is the fortune of France.
  [Fr., C'est la fortune de France.]
      - Philip, the Fortunate

Adieu, delightful land of France! O my country so dear, which nourished my infancy!
  [Fr., Adieu, plaisant pays de France!
    O, ma patrie
      La plus cherie,
        Qui a nourrie ma jeune enfance!
          Adieu, France--adieu, mes beaux jours.]
      - Anne Gabriel M. de Querlon,
        a forgery sometimes attributed to Mary, Queen of Scots

One knows in France 685 different ways of preparing eggs.
  [Fr., On connoit en France 685 manieres differentes d'accommoder les oeufs.]
      - Alexander Bathasar Laurent Grimod de La Reyniere

Ye sons of France, awake to glory!
  Hark! Hark! what myriads bid you rise!
    Your children, wives, and grandsires hoary,
      Behold their tears and hear their cries!
      - Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle,
        The Marseilles Hymn

France is a dog-hole, and it no more merits the tread of a man's foot.
      - William Shakespeare

'Tis better using France than trusting France;
  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.
      - William Shakespeare

It is impossible to think of France except in terms of individuals.
      - Andre Siegfried

A nation of monkeys with the throat of parrots.
  [Fr., Une natione de singes a larynx de parroquets.]
      - Count Emmanuel Joseph Sieyes,
        Note to Mirabeau, said of France

The faithless vain disturber of mankind, Insulting Gaul.
      - James Thomson (1), The Seasons--Autumn

France is a place where the money falls apart in your hands but you can't tear the toilet paper.
      - Billy Wilder


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