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S.A. Bent, comp. Familiar Short Sayings of Great Men. 1887.

Lord North

  • [Frederick North, second Earl of Guildford, an English statesman; born 1733; lord of the treasury, 1763; chancellor of the exchequer, and leader of the House of Commons, 1769; prime minister, 1770, and during the war of American independence; secretary of state in the Coalition from March to December, 1783; died 1792.]
  • Sir, his Majesty has thought proper to order a new commission of the treasury to be made out, in which I do not see your name.

  • In a note dismissing Fox from the commission of the treasury, 1773.
  • When taunted by an opposition member with his habit of sleeping in the House, “Even now, in the midst of these perils, the noble lord is asleep,”—“I wish to God I were,” interrupted the secretary. Burke once observed him asleep, and remarked, “The government, if not defunct, nods: brother Lazarus is not dead, only sleepeth.” Col. Barré was once making a tedious speech in the House on the navy, and had only reached the battle of La Hogue, fought between the combined English and Dutch fleets against the French in 1692, when some one waked North, who exclaimed, “O my dear friend, you have waked me a century too soon!”
  • North called the barking of a dog while he was speaking, “the interruption of a new member.” The dog was put out, but returned, and began barking again; at which North only observed, “Spoke once.”—JENNINGS: Anecdotal History of Parliament.
  • A member named Martin proposed to have a starling placed near the speaker’s chair, and taught to say, “Infamous Coalition.” Lord North, the leader of the Coalition, submitted that “this House is in possession of a Martin, who will serve the purpose as well.”—RUSSELL: Life of Fox.
  • During the American war Lord North, having at a City dinner announced the receipt of news of a victory over the “rebels,” and being taken to task by Fox and Barré for applying such language to “fellow-subjects in America,” replied, “Well, then, to please you, I will call them the gentlemen in opposition on the other side of the water.”
  • When the Dutch say “We maritime powers,” it reminds one, said Lord North, “of the cobbler who lived next door to the lord mayor, and used to say ‘My neighbor and I.’”