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  • Quote of the Day

    Posted by Chicago Boyz Archive on March 18th, 2009 (All posts by )

    Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl.

    Frederick the Great


    4 Responses to “Quote of the Day”

    1. Robert Schwartz Says:

      And he inscribed his cannons thusly: “Ultima ratio regis“.

    2. Mace Says:

      Great quote.

    3. sol vason Says:

      The cannon in my museum has only the 2 words “ultima ratio”. This has two translations – “ultimate reason” or “God”. Sly humor.

    4. Lexington Green Says:

      I have seen “ultima ratio regis” translated as “the last resort of kings”.

      Googling I am coming up with “the king’s final argument”.

      The idea is the same. At some point, the conversation ends and the kings speak to each other with cannon balls.

      Recall the scene in Henry V, which I watched again recently, where the Dauphin of France mocks Henry V, by sending him a bunch of tennis balls:

      And tell the pleasant prince this mock of his
      Hath turned his balls to gun-stones, and his soul
      Shall stand sore chargèd for the wasteful vengeance
      That shall fly with them; for many a thousand widows
      Shall this his mock mock out of their dear husbands,
      Mock mothers from their sons, mock castles down,
      And some are yet ungotten and unborn
      That shall have cause to curse the Dauphin’s scorn.

      Henry was early enough that he mostly spoke with cloth-yard shafts, and not so much with his artillery. Henry lived yet in the world of vulgar brawls.

      It would take some time before highly dignified events employing lavish amounts of artillery could happen.

      Frederick, from his balcony seat in Valhalla, must have enjoyed the exquisitely dignified artillery symphonies of the 20th century.