Charles II of England
- Better than a play!
- On the House of Lords' debate on Lord Ross's Divorce Bill (1610), as quoted in King Charles the Second (1931) by Arthur Bryant
- If we are understood, more words are unnecessary; if we are not likely to be understood, they are useless.
- Let not poor Nelly starve.
- Mrs. Lane and I took our journey towards Bristol, resolving to lie at a place called Long Marson, in the vale of Esham.
But we had not gone two hours on our way but the mare I rode on cast a shoe; so we were forced to ride to get another shoe at a scattering village, whose name begins with something like Long—. And as I was holding my horse's foot, I asked the smith what news? He told me that there was no news that he knew of, since the good news of the beating of the rogues the Scots. I asked him whether there was none of the English taken that joined with the Scots? He answered, that he did not hear that that rogue Charles Stewart was taken; but some of the others, he said, were taken, but not Charles Stewart. I told him, that if that rogue were taken he deserved to be hanged, more than all the rest, for bringing in the Scots. Upon which he said, that I spoke like an honest man, and so we parted.
- He had been, he said, an unconscionable time dying; but he hoped that they would excuse it.
- As quoted in A History of England (1849) by Thomas Babington Macaulay, Vol. I, Ch. 4, p. 437
Quotations about Charles II
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- There is no king in the world, who can so experimentally testify of God's providence and goodness; neither is there any who rules so many free people, so many true Christians: which thing renders thy government more honorable, thyself more considerable, than the accession of many nations filled with slavish and superstitious souls.
Thou hast tasted of prosperity and adversity; thou knowest what it is to be banished thy native country, to be overruled as well as to rule and sit upon the throne; and being oppressed, thou hast reason to know how hateful the oppressor is both to God and man. If after all these warnings and advertisements thou dost not turn unto the Lord with all thy heart, but forget him who remembered thee in thy distress and give up thyself to follow lust and vanity, surely great will be thy condemnation.
Against which snare, as well as the temptation of those that may or do feed thee and prompt thee to evil, the most excellent and prevalent remedy will be to apply thyself to that Light of Christ, which shineth in thy conscience, which neither can nor will flatter thee nor suffer thee to be at ease in thy sins, but doth and will deal plainly and faithfully with thee as those that are followers thereof have also done.
God Almighty, who hath so signally hitherto visited thee with his love, so touch and reach thy heart, ere the day of thy visitation be expired, that thou mayest effectually turn to him so as to improve thy place and station for his name.
- Robert Barclay, in a letter to Charles II (25 November 1675), later published in Theologiæ Vere Christianæ Apologia (1676), and An Apology for the True Christian Divinity: Being an Explanation and Vindication of the Principles and Doctrines of the People called Quakers (1678)
- If his Majesty is resolved to have my head, he may make a whistle of my arse if he pleases.
- The Quakers suffered several persecutions under Charles II; not upon a religious account, but for refusing to pay the tithes, for "theeing" and "thouing" the magistrates, and for refusing to take the oaths enacted by the laws.
At length Robert Barclay, a native of Scotland, presented to the king, in 1675, his "Apology for the Quakers"; a work as well drawn up as the subject could possibly admit. The dedication to Charles II., instead of being filled with mean, flattering encomiums, abounds with bold truths and the wisest counsels. "Thou hast tasted," says he to the king, at the close of his "Epistle Dedicatory," "of prosperity and adversity: thou hast been driven out of the country over which thou now reignest, and from the throne on which thou sittest: thou hast groaned beneath the yoke of oppression; therefore hast thou reason to know how hateful the oppressor is both to God and man. If, after all these warnings and advertisements, thou dost not turn unto the Lord, with all thy heart; but forget Him who remembered thee in thy distress, and give thyself up to follow lust and vanity, surely great will be thy guilt, and bitter thy condemnation. Instead of listening to the flatterers about thee, hearken only to the voice that is within thee, which never flatters. I am thy faithful friend and servant, Robert Barclay."
The most surprising circumstance is that this letter, though written by an obscure person, was so happy in its effect as to put a stop to the persecution.
- Voltaire, in "The History of the Quakers" in The Works of Voltaire (1762), Vol 13, as translated by Tobias George Smollett, Thomas Francklin, et al., later published as "The Religion of the Quakers", in The Works of Voltaire: A Contemporary Version with Notes (1901), Vol. 33, as modernized by William F. Fleming
- We have a pretty witty king,
Whose word no man relies on;
He never said a foolish thing,
Nor ever did a wise one.
- John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester, as quoted in Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine Vol. XLIV (January - June 1857) p. 592; It is said to that this was written on the door of Charles II's bedchamber, and that on seeing it, the king replied, "This is very true: for my words are my own, and my actions are my ministers'...."