Before the rise of Blackadder, the playwright William Shakespeare, the Bard of Avon, England's National Poet or Billy Waggledagger, was the prime source of quotes to liven up a military presentation. However in no way is
- We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
- For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
- Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
- This day shall gentle his condition:
- And gentlemen in England now a-bed
- Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
- And hold their manhood cheap whiles any speaks
- That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.
a better motivational quote for todays squaddie than
- ... resulting in 'three quarters of a million Germans leaving the Russian Front and coming here, with the express purpose of using your nipples for target practice!'.
More about the chap himself here.
Wrote among others, the plays: