Harvard Magazine
Main Menu · Search ·Current Issue ·Contact ·Archives ·Centennial ·Letters to the Editor ·FAQs

The Browser

In this issue's Browser section:
Books: Affirmative Admissions - Open Book: Fragments of a Family Saga - Open Book: Tyranny on Campus - Music: Looking at Lenny - Off the Shelf - Chapter & Verse

A correspondence corner for not-so-famous lost words

Harry Odell hopes to find the full text of "The Fox's Prophecy," which begins, "All nature seemed rejoicing/That glorious day to see/All seemed to breathe a fresher life,/Beast, insect, bird, and bee."

John Maher asks who originally added the phrase "and two cars in every garage" to the famous pledge attributed to Henry IV: "a chicken in every pot."

Eugene Underwood would like help in recalling a mnemonic for the names of the presidents of the United States that begins, "When a jolly man meets a...."

Edward Babcox Jr. hopes readers can supply two identifications. Who said, "We have committed the golden rule to memory. Why not to life?" And who wrote "All things dull and ugly,/All creatures short and squat,/All things rude and nasty,/The Lord God made the lot."

Carolyn Moir is looking for the source of the statement "That's the trouble with the inevitable; it always happens."

Olivia Mitchell inquires after the proper citation for a comment she has heard attributed to Oscar Wilde: "It is better to have a regular income than to be fascinating."

Farrington Daniels Jr. seeks the name of the person, possibly a British scientist in the 1960s, who advised young researchers to "find a subject on which everyone is agreed; study it, and you will find yourself in virgin territory."

Mark Weinstein requests the source of the following lines, quoted by Sir Walter Scott: "O call it fair, not pale/wild as grey goss-hawk/the gentle joined to the rude."

Elizabeth Hoffman is looking for a song that includes the lyrics "Save them bones for Henry Jones, 'cause Henry don't eat no meat."

Evelyn Benson inquires what nineteenth-century American poet penned the lines "Shall a maid's capricious frown/Sink my noble spirits down?"

"a science which hesitates" (September-October). Robert K. Merton supplied the correct version ("forget"--not "overturn"--"its founders") of Alfred North Whitehead's comment, which appears in chapter 6 of The Organisation of Thought, on page 115 of the original 1917 edition.

"heaven of the Jews" (September-October). Russell Murphy noted that this slightly misremembered phrase ("elusive" should be "obscure") opens the seventh stanza of Hart Crane's "Proem: to Brooklyn Bridge," published in Crane's The Bridge.

"dissolute and damned" (September-October). Len Ragozin was the first to identify this quotation from a parody by Wolcott Gibbs of William Saroyan entitled "Shakespeare, Here's Your Hat," published in A Subtreasury of American Humor (1941), edited by E.B. and Katherine White.

"drumstick lipstick" (July-August). W. W. Rhodes suggests a possible derivation of this encomium, from Cole Porter's song "You're the Top." "In the 1940s the 'drumstick' was a well-known frozen confection: a rolled sugar cone filled with vanilla ice cream under a chocolate topping covered with minced peanuts. Its appearance thus resembled a chicken drumstick. Lipstick, when Anything Goes appeared, tasted mostly of the coal tar derivatives which provided the color. If the wearer of such lipstick ate a 'drumstick' and shortly afterward enjoyed a kiss, imagine how surprisingly sweet that 'drumstick lipstick' kiss would have been to the boyfriend concerned. Thus 'drumstick lipstick,' like the Eiffel Tower, the cocktail hour, and Mickey Mouse, is an example of the best in its class."

Send inquiries and answers to "Chapter and Verse," Harvard Magazine, 7 Ware Street, Cambridge 02138. Readers seeking texts of poems or passages identified for others are asked to include a stamped, self-addressed, legal-sized envelope with their requests.

Main Menu · Search ·Current Issue ·Contact ·Archives ·Centennial ·Letters to the Editor ·FAQs
Harvard Magazine