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[ Also see Authority Ceremony Courtiers Crowns Dictatorship Favors Government History Kings Loyalty Nobility Politics Power Service Statesmanship Titles Treachery Treason Tyranny War ]

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.
      - William Shakespeare,
        King Henry the Fourth, Part II
         (King Henry at III, i)

And fearless minds climb soonest unto crowns.
      - William Shakespeare,
        King Henry the Sixth, Part III
         (Richard, Duke of Gloucester at IV, vii)

Ay, every inch a king.
      - William Shakespeare, King Lear
         (King Lear at IV, vi)

The king-becoming graces,
  As justice, verity, temp'rance, stableness,
    Bounty, perseverance, mercy, lowliness,
      Devotion, patience, courage, fortitude,
        I have no relish of them, but abound
          In the division of each several crime,
            Acting in many ways.
      - William Shakespeare, Macbeth
         (Malcolm at IV, iii)

O, how wretched
  Is that poor man that hangs on princes' favors!
    There is betwixt that smile we would aspire to,
      That sweet aspect of princes, and their ruin,
        More pangs and fears than wars or women have;
          And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer,
            Never to hope again.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Life of King Henry the Eighth
         (Wolsey at III, ii)

At length her grace rose and with modest paces
  Came to the altar, where she kneeled, and saint-like
    Cast her fair eyes to heaven and prayed devoutly;
      Then rose again and bowed her to the people;
        When by the Archbishop of Canterbury
          She had all the royal makings of a queen,
            As holy oil, Edward Confessor's crown,
              The rod, and bird of peace, and all such emblems
                Laid nobly on her; which performed, the choir
                  With all the choicest music of the kingdom
                    Together sung 'Te Deum.' So she parted
                      And with the same full state packed back again
                        To York Place, where the feast is held.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Life of King Henry the Eighth
         (Third Gentleman at IV, i)

Every subject's duty is the king's, but every subject's soul is his own.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Life of King Henry the Fifth
         (King Henry at IV, i)

A substitute shines brightly as a king
  Until a king be by, and then his state
    Empties itself, as dot an inland brook
      Into the main of waters.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Merchant of Venice (Portia at V, i)   BUY VARYING HARE USED BOOK  

We will ourself in person to this war;
  And, for our coffers, with too great a court
    And liberal largess, are grown somewhat light,
      We are enforced to farm our royal realm,
        The revenue whereof shall furnish us
          For our affairs in hand.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Tragedy of King Richard the Second
         (King Richard at I, iv)

For God's sake let us sit upon the ground
  And tell sad stories of the death of kings!
    How some have been deposed, some slain in war,
      Some haunted by the ghosts they have deposed,
        Some poisoned by their wives, some sleeping killed--
          All murdered; for within the hollow crown
            That rounds the mortal temples of a king
              Keeps Death his court; and there the antic sits,
                Scoffing his state and grinning at his pomp;
                  Allowing him a breath, a little scene,
                    To monarchize, be feared, and kill with looks;
                      Infusing him with self and vain conceit,
                        As if this flesh which walls about our life
                          Were brass impregnable; and humored thus,
                            Comes at the last, and with a little pin
                              Bores through his castle wall, and farewell king!
                                Cover your heads, and mock not flesh and blood
                                  With solemn reverence, Throw away respect,
                                    Tradition, form, and ceremonious duty;
                                      For you have but mistook me all this while.
                                        I live with bread like you, feel want, taste grief,
                                          Need friends. Subjected thus,
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Tragedy of King Richard the Second
         (King Richard at III, ii)

Yet looks he like a king. Behold, his eye,
  As bright as is the eagle's lightens forth
    Controlling majesty.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Tragedy of King Richard the Second
         (York at III, iii)

I give this heavy weight from off my head
  And this unwieldy sceptre from my hand,
    The pride of kingly sway from out my heart.
      With mine own tears I wash away my balm,
        With mine own hands I give away my crown,
          With mine own tongue deny my sacred state,
            With mine own breath release all duty's rites.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Tragedy of King Richard the Second
         (King Richard at IV, i)

Why, our battalia trebles that account:
  Besides, the king's name is a tower of strength,
    Which they upon the adverse faction want.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Tragedy of King Richard the Third
         (King Richard at V, iii)

Kings are like stars--they rise and set, they have
  The worship of the world, but no repose.
      - Percy Bysshe Shelley,
        Hellas--Mahmud to Hassan (l. 195)

Hail, glorious edifice, stupendous work!
  God bless the Regent, and the Duke of York.
      - Horace Smith and James Smith,
        Rejected Addresses--Loyal Effusion
         (l. 1)

The only emperor is the emperor of ice cream.
      - Wallace Stevens

O wretched state of kings! doleful fate!
  Greatness misnamed, in misery only great!
    Could men but know the endless woe it brings
      The wise would die before they would be kings.
        Think what a king must do! It tasks the best
          To rule the little world within his breast,
            Yet must he rule it, and the world beside,
              Or king is none, undone by power and pride
                Think what a king must be! What burdens bear
                  From birth to death! His life is one long care.
                    It wears away in tasks that never end.
                      He has ten thousand foes, but not one friend.
      - Richard Henry Stoddard

A prince, the moment he is crown'd,
  Inherits every virtue sound,
    As emblems of the sovereign power,
      Like other baubles in the Tower:
        Is generous, valiant, just, and wise,
          And so continues till he dies.
      - Jonathan Swift, On Poetry (l. 191)

Hener was the hero-king,
  Heaven-born, dear to us,
    Showing his shield
      A shelter for peace.
      - Esaias Tegner, Fridthjof's Saga
         (canto XXI, st. 7)

In that fierce light which beats upon a throne.
      - Lord Alfred Tennyson,
        Idylls of the King--Dedication (l. 26)

Broad-based upon her people's will,
  And compassed by the inviolate sea.
      - Lord Alfred Tennyson, To the Queen (st. 9)

Titles are abolished; and the American Republic swarms with men claiming and bearing them.
      - William Makepeace Thackeray,
        Roundabout Papers--On Ribbons

The king reigns but does not govern.
  [Fr., Le roi regne, il ne gouverne pas.]
      - Louis Adolphe Thiers,
        in a number of earlier editions of the "National", before dissolution of the monarchy

All kings is mostly rapscallions.
      - Mark Twain (pseudonym of Samuel Langhorne Clemens),
        The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
         (ch. 23)

The first king was a successful soldier;
  He who serves well his country has no need of ancestors.
    [Fr., Le premier qui fut roi, fut un soldat heureux;
      Qui sert bien son pays, n'a pas besoin d'aleux.]
      - Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire),
        Merope (I, 3)

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