Social Success: Top Ten Victorian Toasts

Well, it’s that time of year, that moment of a party, when many a gentleman feels a chill running down his spine, or perhaps the sweat pooling at his brow.

He has been called upon – merrily, jovially, convivially – to propose a toast.

And his mind has gone blank, save for visions of himself running around, his coat-tails flapping, crying “What can I say? Whatever can I say? Should I be witty? Should I be merry? Should I be grave or wise? Patriotic or wry? Oh whatever can I say?”

However, these gentlemen can now rest at ease, free of any Victorian panic. Behind The Past has stepped into the breach once more, and has saved you from any social embarrassment. With the aid of the highly recommended Routledge’s Manual of Etiquette, we have compiled the following list of potential toasts. Among these, you should find options that will suit a variety of tastes. Simply consider the preferences of the assembled company, propose your toast in a confident and gentlemanly manner, and then stand back and bask in the glow of their praises and admiring looks.

And therefore, without further ado, here are our Top Ten Toasts:

  1. Love without fear, and life without care.
  2. Constancy in love, and sincerity in friendship.
  3. Wine – the parent of friendship, composer of strife, the soother of sorrow, the blessing of life.
  4. May the tax-gatherer be forgiven in another world.
  5. The Queen, and may true Britons never be without her likeness in their pockets.
  6. The man who builds up rather than the man who pulls down.
  7. May the wings of love never lose a feather
  8. May the faults of our neighbours be dim and their virtues glaring.
  9. May Her Majesty’s Ministers ever have the wisdom to plan our institutions, and energy and firmness to support them.

And if you want to show off…

  1. Ad finem esto fidelis. Be faithful to the end.


Routledge, George, Routledge’s Manual of Etiquette, [First published: 1875].

This entry was tagged Etiquette, Social Success, Victorian. Bookmark the permalink.

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