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

Marshal Saxe

  • [Herman Maurice, Comte de Saxe, a famous general; son of Augustus, Elector of Saxony; born Oct. 28, 1696; entered the French service, 1720; Marshal of France, 1744; gained the victory of Fontenoy, 1745; died 1750.]
  • We are like cloaks,—one thinks of us only when it rains.

  • Saying that after a declaration of peace soldiers were forgotten (Nous sommes comme les manteaux, on ne pense à nous que quand on voit venir la pluie).
  • He replied to the offer of a seat in the French Academy, “It would become me as a ring would a cat: I do not know how to spell,” which will be evident when his exact words are quoted: “Ils veule me fere de la Cademie, cela miret come une bage a un chas” (Ils veulent me faire de l’Académie, cela m’irait comme une bague à un chat). He was told that Marshal Villars was a member, in spite of not knowing how to read, to say nothing of writing.