Elizabeth 1 Quotes


Elizabeth I was the Queen of England and Ireland from 1558 until her death in 1603. She was the daughter of King Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn. Elizabeth came to the throne after the death of her half-sister, Queen Mary I, and her reign is known as the Elizabethan era.

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During her long reign, Elizabeth I established the Church of England as the country’s official religion and oversaw a period of cultural and economic growth. She was known for her intelligence, political savvy, and charisma, and was a skilled diplomat and strategist. Elizabeth I faced numerous challenges during her reign, including threats from foreign powers, religious tensions, and political unrest, but she successfully navigated these challenges and maintained her hold on power.

Elizabeth I was also known for her refusal to marry or have children, which earned her the nickname “The Virgin Queen.” Her personal life has been the subject of much speculation and fascination over the centuries, and her reign continues to be studied and admired for its impact on English history and culture.

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Elizabeth I, as we embark on a journey through her remarkable quotes and profound insights. Her eloquence and depth of thought resonate through the ages, offering us a glimpse into the mind of a visionary ruler.

Famous Elizabeth I Quotes

1. “Grief never ends, but it changes. It is a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness nor a lack of faith: it is the price of love.”

2. “I observe and remain silent.”

3. “A good face is the best letter of recommendation.”

4. “Men fight wars. Women win them.”

5. “God forgive you, but I never can.”

God forgive you, but I never can. - Elizabeth I

6. “A clear and innocent conscience fears nothing.”

7. “This is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes.”

8. “I would not open windows into men’s souls.”

9. “Do not tell secrets to those whose faith and silence you have not already tested.”

10. “If I follow the inclination of my nature, it is this: beggar-woman and single, far rather than queen and married.”

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11. “The past cannot be cured.”

12. “I would rather be a beggar and single than a queen and married.”

13. “All my possessions for a moment of time.”

14. “There is only one Christ, Jesus, one faith. All else is a dispute over trifles.”

15. “One man with a head on his shoulders is worth a dozen without.”

16. “I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too.”

17. “I would rather go to any extreme than suffer anything that is unworthy of my reputation, or of that of my crown.”

18. “I cannot find it in me to fear a man who took ten years a learning of his alphabet.”

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

20. “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.”

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21. “Had I been crested, not cloven, my Lords, you had not treated me thus.”

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

23. “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.”

24. “I have seen many a man turn his gold into smoke, but you are the first who has turned smoke into gold.”

I have seen many a man turn his gold into smoke, but you are the first who has turned smoke into gold. - Elizabeth I

25. “Eyes of youth have sharp sight but commonly not so deep as those of elder age.”

26. “There is an Italian proverb which saith, From my enemy let me defend myself; but from a pretensed friend Lord deliver me.”

27. “There is no marvel in a woman learning to speak, but there would be in teaching her to hold her tongue.”

28. “A fool too late bewares when all the peril is past.”

29. “The stone often recoils on the head of the thrower.”

30. “Ye may have a greater prince, but ye shall never have a more loving prince.”

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31. “Though God hath raised me high, yet this I count the glory of my crown: That I have reigned with your loves.”

32. “For, what is a family 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.”

33. “When we hang on to resentments, we poison ourselves. As compulsive overeaters, we cannot afford resentment, since it exacerbates our disease.”

34. “The daughter of debate That still discord doth sow.”

35. “They best pass over the world who trip over it quickly; for it is but a bog. If we stop, we sink.”

36. “Let tyrants fear, I have always so behaved myself that, under God, I have placed my chiefest strength and safeguard in the loyal hearts and good-will of my subjects.”

37. “Although I may not be a lioness, I am a lion’s cub, and inherit many of his qualities; and as long as the King of France treats me gently he will find me as gentle and tractable as he can desire; but if he be rough, I shall take the trouble to be just as troublesome and offensive to him as I can.”

38. “Brass shines as fair to the ignorant as gold to the goldsmiths.”

39. “Must! Is must a word to be addressed to princes? Little man, little man! Thy father, if he had been alive, durst not have used that word.”

40. “I have the heart of a man, not a woman, and I am not afraid of anything.”

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41. “My care is like my shadow in the sun, Follows me flying, flies when I pursue it, Stands and lies by me, doth what I have done.”

42. “A meal of bread, cheese and beer constitutes the perfect food.”

43. “Young heads take example of the ancient.”

44. “Those who appear the most sanctified are the worst.”

Those who appear the most sanctified are the worst. - Elizabeth I

45. “There is nothing about which I am more anxious than my country, and for its sake I am willing to die ten deaths, if that be possible.”

46. “Chastity is the ermine of woman’s soul.”

47. “The doubt of future foes exiles my present joy.”

48. “It is monstrous that the feet should direct the head.”

49. “Much suspected by me, Nothing proved can be.”

50. “I do not want a husband who honors me as a queen, if he does not love me as a woman.”

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51. “Anger makes dull men witty, but it keeps them poor.”

52. “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.”

53. “The name of a successor is like the tolling of my own death-bell!”

54. “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.”

55. “Words are leaves, the substance consists of deeds, which are the true fruits of a good tree.”

56. “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.”

57. “If there were two princes in Christendom who had good will and courage, it would be very easy to reconcile the religious difficulties; there is only one Jesus Christ and one faith, and all the rest is a dispute over trifles.”

58. “Monarchs ought to put to death the authors and instigators of war, as their sworn enemies and as dangers to their states.”

59. “As for me, I see no such great cause why I should either be fond to live or fear to die. I have had good experience of this world, and I know what it is to be a subject and what to be a sovereign. Good neighbours I have had, and I have met with bad: and in trust I have found treason.”

60. “A strength to harm is perilous in the hand of an ambitious head.”

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61. “I pluck up the good lissome herbs of sentences by pruning, eat them by reading, digest them by musing, and lay them up at length in the high seat of memory.”

62. “The use of sea and air is common to all; neither can a title to the ocean belong to any people or private persons, forasmuch as neither nature nor public use and custom permit any possession therof.”

63. “The end crowneth the work.”

64. “Where minds differ and opinions swerve there is scant a friend in that company.”

65. “I don’t keep a dog and bark myself.”

I don’t keep a dog and bark myself. - Elizabeth I

66. “If thy heart fails thee, climb not at all.”

67. “Princes have big ears which hear far and near.”

68. “There is small disproportion betwixt a fool who useth not wit because he hath it not and him that useth it not when it should avail him.”

69. “I will have but one mistress and no master.”

70. “Although my royal rank causes me to doubt whether my kingdom is not more sought after than myself, yet I understand that you havefound other graces in me.”

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

72. “My seat has been the seat of kings, and I will have no rascal to succeed me.”

73. “O Fortune, how thy restless, wavering state has fraught with cares my troubled wit!”

74. “No football player be used or suffered within the City of London and the liberties thereof upon pain of imprisonment.”

75. “The true sin against the Holy Ghost is ingratitude.”

76. “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.”

77. “Hang Irish harpers wherever found.”

78. “There is one thing higher than Royalty: and that is religion, which causes us to leave the world, and seek God.”

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

80. “If our web be framed with rotten handles, when our loom is well nigh done, our work is new to begin. God send the weaver true prentices again, and let them be denizens.”

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81. “Affection! Affection is false.”

82. “It has been always held for a special principle in friendship that prosperity provideth but adversity proveth friends…”

83. “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.”

84. “If we still advise we shall never do.”

If we still advise we shall never do. - Elizabeth I

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

86. “I will be as good unto ye as ever a Queen was unto her people. No will in me can lack, neither do I trust shall there lack any power. And persuade yourselves that for the safety and quietness of you all I will not spare if need be to spend my blood.”

87. “Proud Prelate, you know what you were before I made you what you are. If you do not immediately comply with my request I will unfrock you by God”!”

88. “Mr. Doctor, that loose gown becomes you so well I wonder your notions should be so narrow.”

89. “Kings were wont to honour philosophers, but if I had such I would honour them as angels that should have such piety in them that they would not seek where they are the second to be the first, and where the third to be the second and so forth.”

90. “He who placed me in this seat will keep me here.”

91. “Prosperity provideth, but adversity proveth friends.”

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92. “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 notto ally myself with such a monster.”

93. “I will never be by violence constrained to do anything.”

94. “The sea, as well as the air, is a free and common thing to all; and a particular nation cannot pretend to have the right to the exclusion of all others, without violating the rights of nature and public usage.”

95. “If I should say the sweetest speech with the eloquentest tongue that ever was in man, I were not able to express that restless care which I have ever bent to govern for the greatest wealth.”

96. “He that will forget God, will also forget his benefactors.”

97. “It is good to jest, but not to make a trade of jesting.”

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

99. “I have never been able to be so allured by the prospect of advantages or so terrified by misfortunes, swayed by honours or fettered by affection, nay not even so smitten by the fear of death, as to enter upon marriage.”

100. “Where might is mixed with wit, there is too good an accord in a government.”

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