Where wert thou, Crillon? Crillon, surnamed the Brace, in his old age went to church, and listened intently to the story of the Crucifixion. In the middle of the narrative he grew excited, and, unable to contain himself, cried out, “Ou étais—tu, Crillon? ” (What were you about, Crillon, to allow of such things as these?).
N.B. Louis de Berton des Balbes de Crillon was one of the greatest captains of the sixteenth century. Born in Provence 1541, died 1615.
Henri IV., after the battle of Argives (1589), wrote to Crillon the following letter: “Prend-toi, brave Crillon, nous avons vaincu á Arques, et tu n'y etais pas.” ' The first and last part of this letter have become proverbial.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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