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I am looking for an expression to use in an argument to indicate a lack of regard for the qualifications of an opponent. (This would be used in the context of wishing to be judged solely on the merits of my argument, but this is not required in the expression I am searching for.)

I seem to recall something in a poem (or perhaps even a piece of prose drama) — something like “…care/fear not for prince or (?)…”. It would probably be 19th century or earlier. However googling for it is hopeless because of prince, and it may be gentleman or something else, anyway.

Ring a bell with anyone?

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is literature- not language-related. – Edwin Ashworth Dec 28 '16 at 23:37
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    @EdwinAshworth — I have modified the question so that it is a request for an expression rather than a poetic quotation. Could you and the other princes and potentates please reconsider so I can give credit to Upper_Case for his answer. – David Dec 29 '16 at 14:29
  • Upper_Case's answer is very good literature-wise, but the 4 or fewer Google hits for "care not for prince or for peer" don't convince me that this is not merely a response to a request for a quote. – Edwin Ashworth Dec 29 '16 at 16:09
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    @EdwinAshworth — Perhaps he could edit it to suit. (Or perhaps he doesn't care.) Anyway, I think discussion of expressions like this is more in the spirit of this SE than the huge volume of stuff that should be in English Language Learners or rejected out of hand. I'm OK — I've got the expression I was after, but the point of SE is to have an archive that is generally useful, rather than useful to one individual. – David Dec 29 '16 at 16:17
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EDIT: Alright, if it's not the Lay of Wise Oleg, then how about a section from Notes Taken in 60 Years by Richard Smith Elliot, published 1883?

... always in its soiled work-a-day clothes, as if it did not care for prince or potentate...


If the quoted line in full is:

O, enchanters they care not for prince or for peer,

then it is probably from The Lay of the Wise Oleg.

  • Many thanks, but I don't think this was the one. Had more of a early socialist or American revolutionary feel to it. But my memory may be deceiving me, as it is pretty near to my fragment. – David Dec 28 '16 at 23:32
  • "Prince and potentate" is the phrase I was after, so I'll accept your answer to my modified question, although the particular quotation is not what I had in mind. I have discovered that the expression is old, and in this context John Locke's 1690 Second Treatise of Civil Government is most pertinent: "…that for any prince or potentate of what kind soever upon earth, to exercise the same of himself, and not by express commission immediately and personally received from God… it is no better than mere tyranny." – David Dec 29 '16 at 14:34
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See teifidancer. The poem is titled The Red, White and Green, and is by Harri Webb (1920 t0 1994). In Wales, he was called The People's Poet. This poem is called a poem for St. David's Day. David is the patron saint of Wales, and died in 489 CE. As far as I can tell, Gwerin means the authentic Welsh people.

The last stanza is:

Here's to the sons of the Gwerin,

Who care not for prince or for queen,

Who'll haul down the red, white and blue boys,

AND HOIST UP THE RED WHITE AND GREEN

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