June 14

Time for some remarks on national characteristics, mostly offensive.

The British don’t like music very much, but they do like the noise it makes. – Sir Thomas Beecham

The serpent, the origin of all ill, who first beguiled mankind by various frauds and illusions, that he might draw them to perdition, perceiving in these latter days, that the French nation was more capable of wickedness than any other, has poured without measure into their souls the poison of apostacy; and having first instigated them to civil war, and barbarous regicide, has finally plunged them into every species of impiety and ungodliness . – Patriarch Gregory V  of Constantinople on the French Revolution

The English are the people of consummate cant. – Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols

Pakistan has many of the characteristics of mid-Victorian England – few, unfortunately, of the better ones. – John Bushell, British Ambassador to Pakistan

A few years back there was an opinion poll which asked the gentlemen of Italy, France, Germany and so on which country’s women they would most like to sleep with. If I remember rightly, the Italian babes came top, while British women – perhaps on account of their slatternly behaviour, weight problems, screeched obscenities and propensity to vomit – were at the bottom. However, when the question was turned around a little and the men were asked which country’s women they had already slept with, British girls topped the poll by a mile. – Ron Liddle, The Spectator

Canada is all right really, though not for the whole weekend. – Saki (H.H. Munro)

In New York every rainbow has an empty pot of gold at the end with a chalk outline of a dead leprechaun. – Bob Sarlatte

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