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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 1035
AUTHOR: Oliver Cromwell (1599–1658)
QUOTATION: He [Oliver Cromwell] in a furious manner, bid the Speaker leave his chair; told the house “That they had sat long enough, unless they had done more good;… and that it was not fit they should sit as a parliament any longer, and desired them to go away.”
ATTRIBUTION: OLIVER CROMWELL, dissolving Parliament, April 20, 1653, as reported by Bulstrode Whitlocke.—Cobbett’s Parliamentary History of England, from the Norman Conquest, in 1066, to the Year 1803, vol. 3, col. 1383 (1808).

There is no official version of this speech because the journal entry was expunged by order of Parliament, January 7, 1659. The version most often quoted is that of Thomas Carlyle, who combined three original sources, including Whitlocke, to obtain an “authentic, moderately conceivable account”: “You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing lately…. Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God,—go!”—Thomas Carlyle, Oliver Cromwell’s Letters and Speeches, vol. 3, part 7, pp. 34–35 (1897).

On May 7, 1940, Leopold Amery quoted the Carlyle version (omitting “lately”) in the House of Commons, urging Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain to resign.—Winston Churchill, The Gathering Storm (vol. 1 of The Second World War), p. 659 (1948).

Senator George J. Mitchell quoted the Carlyle version on December 23, 1982.—Congressional Record, vol. 128, no. 17, p. S16068 (daily ed.).
SUBJECTS: Legislature