I was talking a month or two ago about my attempts to reconcile myself with my Englishness – about how it's something I am extra-able to do having spent my last few years in Scotland. And part of doing that is being able to hear both praise and criticism:
The English are not very spiritual people; they invented
cricket to give them some idea of eternity.
George Bernard Shaw
The English may not like music, but they absolutely love the
noise it makes.
I like the English. They have the most rigid code of immorality
in the world.
An Englishman, even if he is alone, forms an orderly queue of
In England there are sixty different religions, and only one
England is a nation of shopkeepers.
The reason why Englishmen are the best husbands in the world
is because they want to be faithful. A Frenchman or an Italian
will wake up in the morning and wonder what girl he will meet.
An Englishman wakes up and wonders what the cricket score is.
Our nation is unique in this respect: they are the only
people who like to be told how bad things are, who like to be
told the worst.
The English contribution to world cuisine – chips.
The English do not expect happiness. I had the impression, all
the time that I lived there, that they do not want to be happy;
they want to be right.
On the Continent people have good food; in England people have
good table manners.
What a pity it is that we have no amusements in England but
vice and religion!
You know what the Englishman's idea of compromise is? He says, "Some people say there is a God. Some people say there is no
God. The truth probably lies somewhere between these two statements."
William Butler Yeats
The English have an umbilical cord which has never been cut
and through which tea flows constantly. It is curious to watch
them in times of sudden horror, tragedy or disaster. The pulse
stops apparently, and nothing can be done, and no move made,
until 'a nice cup of tea' is quickly made. There is
no question that it brings solace and does steady the mind.
What a pity all countries are not so tea-conscious. World peace
conferences would run more smoothly if 'a nice cup of tea' were available at the proper time.
We do not regard the English as foreigners. We look on them
only as rather mad Norwegians.
London – a place you go to get bronchitis.
An Englishman is a person who does things because they have
been done before. An American is a person who does things because
they haven't been done before.
The English have an extraordinary ability for flying into a
An Englishman is a man who lives on an island in the North Sea
governed by Scotsmen.