Lord Sandwich: "Sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox."
John Wilkes: "That depends, my lord, on whether I embrace your lordship's principles or your mistress."
Exchange between Lord Sandwich and John Wilkes.
The reply has also been attributed to Samuel Foote.
John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich (1718-1792) was a British statesman who held various military and political offices, including Postmaster General, First Lord of the Admiralty and Secretary of State for the Northern Department. He remains best known, however, for the invention of the sandwich. Unwilling to leave the gambling tables he so liked, he had his servants bring him meat between two pieces of bread. Others began ordering “the same as Sandwich”, his title.
John Wilkes (1725-1797) was an English radical, journalist and politician. Wilkes supported the American rebels during the War of Independence but became increasingly conservative as he grew older. During his life he had a reputation as a womaniser.
Samuel Foote ((1720-1777) was a British dramatist, actor and theatre manager.