A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from March 27, 2015
“Diplomacy without force is like an orchestra without instruments”

"Diplomacy without force is like an orchestra without instruments” is a saying that has been credited to several people, such as Napoléon Bonaparte (1769-1821), Frederick II (1712-1786) and Earl Grey (a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom).

“‘Negotiations without weapons,’ said Napoleon, ‘are like music without instruments’” was cited in 1897.

“Negotiations without arms are music without instruments” was cited in the book Frederick the Great and the Rise of Prussia (1904).

“I recall that Earl Grey, who had similar experience, said, ‘Diplomacy without force is like an orchestra without instruments’” was cited in 1941.


Wikiquote: Frederick II of Prussia
Frederick II of Prussia (January 24, 1712 – August 17, 1786) was king of Prussia from 1740 to 1786. He was also known as Friedrich der Große (Frederick the Great)
(...)
Unsourced
Diplomacy without arms is like music without instruments.

Wikiquote: Talk:Frederick II of Prussia
Unsourced
Diplomacy without power is like an orchestra without instruments.

Google Books
March 1897, The Journal of the Royal United Service Institution, pg. 325:
“Negotiations without weapons,” said Napoleon, “are like music without instruments.”

Google Books
Frederick the Great and the Rise of Prussia
By William Fiddian Reddaway
New York, NY: G. P. Putnam & Sons
1904
Pg. 132:
But experience has only added to his trust in himself, to his belief that “negotiations without arms are music without instruments,” that war determines disputes, and that bravery and leadership determine war.

Google Books
A Nine Day’s Wonder
By Bithia Mary Croker
Leipzig: Tauchnitz
1906
Pg. 134:
“Diplomacy may do much, but, as Napoleon said, diplomacy without an armed force behind it, is like music without instruments!”

Google Books
“Scare-mongerings," from the Daily Mail, 1896-1914;
The Paper that Foretold the War

BY Twells Brex
London: Daily Mail
1914
Pg. 34:
We may trust much to a watchful and conciliatory diplomacy to secure our safety. But, after all, as Napoleon said, diplomacy without armed force behind it is like music without instruments.

Google Books
Treitschke’s History of Germany in the Nineteenth Century, Volume I
By Heinrich von Treitschke
Translated by Eden & Cedar Paul
New York, NY: McBride, Nast & Company
1915
Pg. 57:
“Negotiations without weapons are like music without instruments,” he (Frederick II—ed.) says frankly.

Google Books
Victory:
An Island Tale

By Joseph Conrad
Garden City, NY: Doubleday, Page & Company
1915
Pg. 318:
Yet, when one thinks of it, diplomacy without force in the background is but a rotten reed to lean upon.

Google Books
Bismarck
By Sir Charles Grant Robertson
New York, NY: Henry Holt and Company
1919
Pg. 103:
‘Diplomacy without arms,’ pronounced Frederick the Great, ‘is music, without instruments,’ and Bismarck concurred without reservation in the judgment.

Google Books
Parliamentary Debates: Official Report, Volume 371
Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons
London: H.M. Stationery Office
1941
Pg. CLXXX:
I recall that Earl Grey, who had similar experience, said, “Diplomacy without force is like an orchestra without instruments.”

Google Books
The American Mercury
Volume 77
1953
Pg. 62:
Since diplomacy without arms is an orchestra without instruments, Germany was treated by everyone with neglect and contempt.

Google Books
Defence by Committee:
The British Committee of Imperial Defence, 1885-1959

By Franklyn Arthur Johnson
Oxford: Oxford University Press
1960
Pg. 272:
The populace had embraced economy and pacificism, their sons had subscribed to the Oxford motion of refusal to bear arms for King and country, their leaders had forgotten Lord Grey’s admonition that ‘Diplomacy without force is like an orchestra without instruments.’

Google Books
Arms, Aims and Aspects
By Joyanto Nath Chaudhuri
Bombay, Manaktalas
1966
Pg. 172:
Frederick the Great once said, “Diplomacy without weapons is like an orchestra without instruments” and certainly much of the present-day diplomacy is backed by a rather inharmonious set of instruments.

Google Books
The Influence of Law on Sea Power
By Daniel Patrick O’Connell
Manchester: Manchester University Press
1975
Pg. 4:
What Lord Grey said is perennially true: ‘Diplomacy without force is like an orchestra without instruments’.

Google Books
The U.S. and Us:
Future of an Alliance

By Richard H. Snape
Melbourne: Pacific Security Research Institute
1992
Pg. 37:
Frederick the Great’s well-known axiom, “Diplomacy without arms is an orchestra without instruments,” might have been uttered with Australia in mind.

Google Books
A Primer in Power Politics
By Stanley J. Michalak
Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources Inc.
2001
Pg. 135:
While Frederick the Great was right when he said that a diplomacy without force is like a symphony orchestra without instruments, a diplomacy based on force alone will always be inadequate, especially in the age of nuclear weapons.

The Wall Street Journal
OPINION
The Best Diplomacy Is Armed Diplomacy
President Reagan knew that adversaries take negotiations seriously when the use of force is clearly an option.

By HENRY R. NAU
Sept. 18, 2013 6:22 p.m. ET
(...)
“Diplomacy without arms,” the Prussian King Frederick the Great once said, “is like music without instruments.” He meant that unless the adversary is prevented from achieving his objectives by arms outside negotiations, he has no interest in taking seriously peaceful alternatives being offered inside negotiations.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Friday, March 27, 2015 • Permalink