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.

Recent entries:
“What’s the best place to buy Cheerios and donuts?"/"Hole Foods.” (4/26)
“Warning! The consumption of alcohol might cause you to think you can sing” (4/26)
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Entry from April 01, 2011
“You can build a throne with bayonets, but it’s difficult to sit on it”

Entry in progress—B.P.

Google Books
The Yale Book of Quotations
Edited by Fred R. Shapiro
New Haven, CT: Yale University Press
2006
Pg. 382:
William Ralph Inge
English prelate and author, 1860-1954
“A man may build himself a throne of bayonets, but he cannot sit on it.”
Philosophy of Plotinus Lecture 22 (1923)
Pg. 744:
Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord
French statesman, 1754-1838
“You can do anything with bayonets except sit on them.”
Quoted in N.Y. Times, 18 Dec. 1898

Wikiquote: Boris Yeltsin
Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin [Бори́с Никола́евич Е́льцин] (1 February 1931 – 23 April 2007) was the first president of post-Soviet Russia.

Sourced
You can build a throne with bayonets, but it’s difficult to sit on it.
. Televised speech (4 October 1993), as quoted in A Democracy of Despots (1995) by Donald Murray. p. 8
.. Variant translations: You can make a throne of bayonets, but you can’t sit on it for long.
.. You can build a throne with bayonets, but you can’t sit on it for long.

Google Books
31 January 1852, Littell’s Living Age:
Pg. 238, col. 1:
From the Morning Chronicle, Dec. 23, 1851.
ENGLAND, FRANCE, AND EUROPE.
Pg. 239, col. 1:
There may be some truth in that humorous Parisian bon mot, in which a queer sort of point has been given by attributing it to Prince Schwartzenberg, that “a man may do anything with bayonets except sit upon them;” but surely five or six millions of assenting voices, however obtained, form a very respectable padded cushion.

Google Books
Autobiography of Rev. Abel C. Thomas:
Including recollections of persons, incidents, and places

By Abel Charles Thomas
Boston, MA: Usher
1852
Pg. 291:
...the battle is not always to the strong; and even when might is victorious in the conflict with right, the remark of an eminent statesman is worth considering, that “you can do anything with bayonets excepting make a seat of them.”

Google Books
June 1852, The (Presbyterian) Casket, pg. 166, col. 1: 
“A man may do anything with bayonets,” said a popish prime minister, “except to make a seat of them;” and as to his spiritual power, we may say with a distinguished writer, that “it is dead at heart, and living at the extremities.”

15 November 1855, Boston (MA) Daily Atlas, pg. 1, col. 8:
“You can do everything with bayonets but sit upon them.”

Google Books
March 1859, Dublin University Magazine, pg. 265, col. 1:
“You may do anything,” it has been said, “with bayonets but sit on them.”

Google Books
England and India:
An essay on the duty of Englishmen towards the Hindoos

By Baptist Wriothesley Noel
London: J. Nisbet
1859
Pg. 228:
“You may do anything with bayonets but sit upon them.’’

Google Books
1 January 1870, American Literary Gazette and Publishers’ Circular, pg. 89: 
It little dreamed (though on the morrow of the 2d December, 1851, Prince von Schwartzenberg, congratulating Prince Louis Napoleon on a success, destined in seven years to be so fatal to Austria, had said: “You can do anything with bayonets but sit upon them"), it little dreamed the Empire, defended by half a million bayonets, entrenched in a city whose streets were laid out upon the strictest principles of military engineering striving for best attack and defence, should one day tumble like a castle of cards at the breath of men with brains—those despised fellows who could make good speeches.

Google Books
4 May 1914, The Independent, pg. 199, col. 1:
YOU CANNOT SIT ON BAYONETS
A famous German general once made this remark: “You can do many things with bayonets, but you cannot sit on them.”

Google Books
Executive Values:
A Christian approach to organizational leadership

By Kurt Martin Senske
Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Books
2003
Pg. 60:
You can build a throne with bayonets, but you can’t sit on it for long.
-- Boris Yeltsin
Pg. 62:
The quote by Boris Yeltsin at the beginning of this chapter speaks volumes, whether applied to leading a nation or a business: “You can build a throne with bayonets, but you can’t sit on it for long.” We could fill an entire book with examples of organiations that try to “build with bayonets.”

Political Affairs
A View from the Third World: A letter in response to Michael Moore’s “America is not broke” speech in Wisconsin
by: Hersh Zakheim
March 30 2011
(...)
But remember that old saying: “You can build an empire with bayonets, but you can’t sleep on them.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Friday, April 01, 2011 • Permalink