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

Queen Christina

  • [Daughter of Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden; born Dec. 8, 1626; received a careful and masculine education; proclaimed queen, 1632, with a regency under Oxenstiern; assumed the direction of affairs, 1644; abdicated after the exhibition of much eccentricity, 1654; abjured the Protestant religion, and became a resident of Rome, where she promoted art; died 1689.]
  • I might bring forth a Nero as easily as an Augustus (Il pourrait aussi facilement naître de moi un Neron qu’un Auguste).

  • When urged by her subjects to marry. Thinking that one of her suitors was attracted by her crown rather than by herself, she derisively remarked, “A crown is indeed a pretty girl!” (Une couronne est une jolie fille!) Her purpose to remain unmarried was declared on one of her numerous medals struck at Rome: “I was born, have lived, and will die free” (Libero io nacqui, e vissi, e morrò sciolto).
  • Tell the Holy Father that I am not the less the daughter of the great Gustavus!

  • When her request that two friends be allowed to visit the Castle of St. Angelo was refused.
  • A painter suggested that she hold a fan in her hand while her portrait was being painted: “A lion is fitter for the queen of Sweden,” was her reply.
  • The queen was admiring a statue of Truth, which she was told was a virtue all princes could not tolerate; “I can believe it,” she said: “all truths are not made of marble” (Je le crois bien, toutes les vérités ne sont pas de marbre).
  • She thanked the gentlemen who arranged a comedy to be played at Innspruck, on the day when she had been admitted into the Catholic Church there: “It is just that you should give me a comedy after I have given you a farce.”
  • He has cut off his left arm with his right (Il s’est coupé le bras gauche avec le bras droit).

  • Of the revocation of the Edict of Nantes by Louis XIV., that he had exterminated heresy at the expense of industrious subjects, who found a home elsewhere. This mot, Fournier says, can be referred to a time as remote as the reign of the Emperor Valentinian, of whom it was said after his treacherous murder of Ætius, the general who commanded his forces at the defeat of Attila, near Chalons in Gaul, A.D. 451.
  • I love men, not because they are men, but because they are not women.

  • A similar remark is attributed to another masculine character, Mme. de Staël: “I am glad I am not a man, as I should be obliged to marry a woman.” When the court ladies embraced Queen Christina on her arrival at Fontainebleau in a travelling suit which disguised her sex, she exclaimed, “I believe that they take me for a man.”
  • Of Mme. de la Suze, who became a Catholic, because her husband, from whom she had separated, was a Huguenot, Queen Christina remarked, “She has separated herself from her husband that she may see him neither in this world nor in the next.”