Toasts are rituals in which a drink is taken as an expression of honor or goodwill. The term may be applied to the person or thing so honored, the drink taken, or the verbal expression accompanying the drink. Thus, a person could be "the toast of the evening," for whom someone "proposes a toast" to congratulate and for whom a third person "toasts" in agreement. The toast as described here is rooted in Western culture, but certain cultures outside that sphere have their own traditions in which consuming a drink is connected with ideas of celebration and honor. While the physical and verbal ritual of the toast may be elaborate and formal, merely raising one's glass towards someone or something and then drinking is essentially a toast as well, the message being one of goodwill towards the person or thing indicated.
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 801-03.
- Lift, lift the full goblet—away with all sorrow—
The circle of friendship what freedom would sever?
To-day is our own, and a fig for to-morrow—
Here's to the Fourth and our country forever.
- Franklin P. Adams, Impromptu Lines on July Fourth.
- Waes-hael! for Lord and Dame!
O! merry be their Dole;
Drink-hael! in Jesu's name,
And fill the tawny bowl.
- King Arthur's Waes-Hael.
- The wind that blows, the ship that goes
And the lass that loves a sailor.
- Popular Toast in England about 1820.
- Here's a health to poverty; it sticks by us when all friends forsake us.
- Toast given in the Boston Bee.
- Some hae meat, and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit.
- Robert Burns, The Selkirk Grace. As attributed to him.
- Some have meat but cannot eat;
Some could eat but have no meat;
We have meat and can all eat;
Blest, therefore, be God for our meat.
- The Selkirk Grace, in the MSS. of Dr. Plume, of Maldon, Essex, in a handwriting of about 1650.
- I am from Massachusetts,
The land of the sacred cod,
Where the Adamses snub the Abbotts
And the Cabots walk with God.
- Samuel C. Bushnell, toast at the Harvard Alumni dinner at Waterbury.
- I come from good old Boston,
The home of the bean and the cod,
Where Cabots speak only to Lowells,
And the Lowells speak only to God.
- Samuel C. Bushnell; another rendering of his Toast. For answer to same see Jones.
- My boat is on the shore,
And my bark is on the sea:
But, before I go, Tom Moore,
Here's a double health to thee!
- Lord Byron, To Thomas Moore.
- Were't the last drop in the well,
As I gasp'd upon the brink,
Ere my fainting spirit fell,
'Tis to thee that I would drink.
- Lord Byron, To Thomas Moore.
- Drink to her that each loves best,
And if you nurse a flame
That's told but to her mutual breast,
We will not ask her name.
- Thomas Campbell, A Toast.
- Here's to the red of it,
There's not a thread of it,
No, not a shred of it,
In all the spread of it,
From foot to head,
But heroes bled for it,
Faced steel and lead for it,
Precious blood shed for it,
Bathing in red.
- John Daly, A Toast to the Flag.
- But the standing toast that pleased me most
Was, "The wind that blows; the ship that goes,
And the lass that loves a sailor!"
- Charles Dibdin, The Standing Toast, from the Comic Opera, The Round Robin, produced June 21, 1811.
- Ho! stand to your glasses steady!
'Tis all we have left to prize.
A cup to the dead already,—
Hurrah for the next that dies.
- Bartholomew Dowling, Revelry in India. Different version of same given in Doran's Table Traits. Said to have been written during first Burmese War.
- And he that will this health deny,
Down among the dead men let him lie.
- John Dyer, From a Toast published during the reign of Queen Anne.
- Here's to Great Britain, the sun that gives light to all nations of the earth.
- An Englishman's Toast at a banquet in England.
- Here's to France, the moon whose magic rays move the tides of the world.
- A Frenchman's Toast at the same.
- Here's to our beloved George Washington, the Joshua of America, who commanded the sun and the moon to stand still—and they obeyed.
- Franklin's Toast. At the Close.
- L'Abbé de Ville proposed a toast,
His master, as the rising Sun:
Reisbach then gave the Empress Queen,
As the bright Moon and much praise won.
- The Earl of Stair, whose turn next came,
Gave for his toast his own King Will,
As Joshua the son of Nun,
Who made both Sun and Moon stand still.
- A metrical version of the Toast of Lord Stair. From the Anecdote Library, 1822. The Empress Maria Theresa was the "Empress Queen." Also given as a toast at a banquet during the war between England, France, and Holland. Louis XIV was alluded to as the rising sun, England as the moon, Holland which had broken its dikes and forced the other army to retreat, was compared to Joshua.
- Here's to old Adam's crystal ale,
Clear sparkling and divine,
Fair H2O, long may you flow,
We drink your health (in wine).
- Oliver Herford, Toast, Adam's Crystal Ale.
- The bubble winked at me, and said,
"You'll miss me brother, when you're dead."
- Oliver Herford, Toast, The Bubble Winked.
- You to the left and I to the right,
For the ways of men must sever—
And it may be for a day and a night,-
And it well may be forever.
But whether we meet or whether we part,
(For our ways are past our knowing)
A pledge from the heart to its fellow heart,
On the ways we all are going!
For we know not where we are going.
- Richard Hovey, At the Crossroads.
- Here's to your good health, and your family's good health, and may you all live long and prosper.
- Washington Irving, Rip Van Winkle. As used by Joseph Jefferson.
- Here's to the town of New Haven,
The home of the truth and the light,
Where God speaks to Jones,
In the very same tones,
That he uses with Hadley and Dwight.
- Dean Jones, Reply to Dr. Bushnell's Toast.
- Drink to me only with thine eyes,
And I will pledge with mine;
Or leave a kiss but in the cup,
And I'll not look for wine.
- Ben Jonson, The Forest, To Celia. See also Philostratus, from whom it was taken.
- The thirst that from the soul doth rise,
Doth ask a drink divine;
But might I of Jove's nectar sup,
I would not change for thine.
- Ben Jonson, The Forest, To Celia.
- To the old, long life and treasure;
To the young, all health and pleasure.
- Ben Jonson, Metamorphosed Gipsies, Third Song.
- May all your labors be in vein.
- Mining Toast in Yorkshire.
- A glass is good, and a lass is good,
And a pipe to smoke in cold weather;
The world is good and the people are good,
And we're all good fellows together.
- John O'Keefe, Sprigs of Laurel, II. 1.
- Here's a health to all those that we love,
Here's a health to all those that love us,
Here's a health to all those that love them that love those
That love them that love those that love us.
- Old Toast.
- Here's a health to you and yours who have done such things for us and ours.
And when we and ours have it in our powers to do for you and yours what you and yours have done for us and ours,
Then we and ours will do for you and yours what you and yours have done for us and ours.
- Old Toast.
- Here's to you, as good as you are,
And here's to me, as bad as I am;
But as good as you are, and as bad as I am,
I am as good as you are, as bad as I am.
- Old Scotch Toast.
- Drink to me with your eyes alone…. And if you will, take the cup to your lips and fill it with kisses, and give it so to me.
- Philostratus, Letters, XXIV.
- I, whenever I see thee, thirst, and holding the cup, apply it to my lips more for thy sake than for drinking.
- Philostratus, Letters, XXV.
- I fill this cup to one made up
Of loveliness alone,
A woman, of her gentle sex
The seeming paragon;
To whom the better elements
And kindly stars have given
A form so fair that, like the air,
'Tis less of earth than heaven.
- Edward C. Pinkney, A Health. To Georgiana McCausland, Pinkney's wife, according to William Leggett. Also said to be written for Peggy O'Neil, a famous beauty.
- May the hinges of friendship never rust, or the wings of luve lose a feather.
- Toast from Dean Ramsey's Reminiscences of Scottish Life.
- I'll drink a cup to Scotland yet,
Wi' a' the honours three.
- Rev. Henry Scott Riddell, Toast to Scotland.
- St. Leon raised his kindling eye,
And lifts the sparkling cup on high;
"I drink to one," he said,
"Whose image never may depart,
Deep graven on this grateful heart,
Till memory be dead."
* * *
St. Leon paused, as if he would
Not breathe her name in careless mood
Thus lightly to another;
Then bent his noble head, as though
To give the word the reverence due,
And gently said, "My mother!"
- Walter Scott, The Knight's Toast.
- The cannons to the heavens, the heavens to earth,
"Now the king drinks to Hamlet."
- Here's to the maiden of bashful fifteen;
Here's to the widow of fifty;
Here's to the flaunting, extravagant quean;
And here's to the housewife that's thrifty.
Chorus: Let the toast pass,—
* Drink to the lass,
I'll warrant she'll prove an excuse for the glass.
- Richard Brinsley Sheridan, The School for Scandal (1777), Act III, scene 3. Song.
- A health to the nut-brown lass,
With the hazel eyes: let it pass.
* * * *
As much to the lively grey
'Tis as good i' th' night as day:
* * * *
She's a savour to the glass,
An excuse to make it pass.
- John Suckling, Goblins, Act III.
- May you live all the days of your life.
- Jonathan Swift, Polite Conversation (c. 1738), Dialogue II.
- First pledge our Queen this solemn night,
Then drink to England, every guest;
That man's the best Cosmopolite
Who loves his native country best.
- Alfred Tennyson, Hands All Round.
- Here's a health to the lass with the merry black eyes!
Here's a health to the lad with the blue ones!
- William Winter, Blue and Black.