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QUOTATIONS AND MISQUOTATIONS

Oar Melbourne oorreipondent contributes the following :— lt Is so seldom one finds each a etraightlaoed high-toned literary prodnotion as the " Australasian " tripping, that one may be forgiven it ha oaonot raf rain from drawing attention to> suoh an exceptional occurrence. Bome~ times even Jove nods, and we find tbe> journal m question m dealing with th» political character of Bir Henry Pfcrkosv writing ai follows :— « Public men ought to take pains to be understood. If they have no time to be always, correcting and explaining, then mrely self-interest should suggest to them the expediency of bo acting and speaking that "he who runt may read." Now this is a very popular , misquotation, bat lam a little surprised , that such sn oracle of enlightenment as the "Australasian "was not aware of it. , The expression is generally taken ta meant i that the writing is so legible that he who runs may read it. but assuredly the • Hebrew prophet, from whom the Quotation is taken, neither said nor thought of saying anything of tfca kind. Habakknk 1 *? fo / et « u 'Dg the vengeance which the Obaldeann would inflict upon the i land because of its ungodliness, and writes i 'And the Lord answered me and said, Write ihe vision, and make it plain upon 1 tables, that he may ruti that rtadetMi." Obviously the prophet is to write so plainly that anyone who reads it may understand It, and run away and escape from, the coming vengeance.' It is not that he may rm, and nod, but that he I may read and run, a suggestion to whlsh I should invite the attention of those who take the " Australasian." WhlUt on Jhla subfaot I am reminded of a few more instances, not perhaps so much of mUqnotatlona as of erroneous belief as to the authorship of certain hackneyed expressions. The Bible is sometimes robbed of what belongs to It, but on the other hand It Is sometimes Improperly credited with what does not belong to it. There are several proverbial nyiag* which are very generally but erroneously^supposed to be , taken from the ' Bible. God tempers the wind ta tie shorn lamb and Cleanliness is next to Godliness botn oome under this category. Beth are without doubt very exoellent layings, bat eettainlw notblblloai. The former, we are told by the /compiler of " Familiar Qdotattonsu^ -was first used by Sterne, who pott It ' Into themoutli of Malta m; the "SenU> mantel Joorney." fie adds that It Is aa adaptation of an old French proverb, and that a Tory ttmllat passage oocars la that carious repertoire of old sawi, Herbert'e (< Jaeula Prnduntium "— " " To a efoae shorne sheepe ' God glrei wind by measare." ' The other passage, Cleanliness i$ next to Godliness, Is given with quotation msrks I In one of John Wesley's sermons, hot the origin of it is not known. The compiler, uf "Familiar Qiotatlona" says that a\ Jewish lecturer, reported m the " Jewish World," asserts that thU proverb has beeni for centuries taught by the rabbis In the Talmud, both as a religious principle and « sanitary law. The common sayings,. Pouring oil on the trovibUd waters, sn4 The war hfitu scents the, battle from afar* are also very generally believed to come from the Bible. But the Bible will be. searohed In vata for either of them. On the other hand the expression, by the shin of my teeth, which many regard as vulgat al*. g, is In reality biblical. It is the unhappy Job who exolatmi, m the bitterness of his acgulsh, I am escaped with tht. shnofmyteeih.

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http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18890125.2.18

Bibliographic details

QUOTATIONS AND MISQUOTATIONS, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2046, 25 January 1889

Word Count
598

QUOTATIONS AND MISQUOTATIONS Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2046, 25 January 1889

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