Soldiers. In 1745 a soldier, quartered at Derby, was desired by
the landlord to call on him whenever he passed that way, for added
Boniface, “I consider soldiers the pillars of the state.” When the
rebellion was put down, it so happened that the same regiment was
quartered in Derby, and the soldier called on his old host, but was
very coldly and somewhat uncivilly received. The soldier reminded
Boniface of what he said at parting—“I consider soldiers the pillars
of the state.” “Did I say so?” said mine host, “Well, I meant
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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