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Chapter and Verse

Correspondence on not-so-famous lost words

September-October 2015

Aron Golberg requests a source for “I don’t mind your thinking you are a poached egg, as long as you don’t make me sit on pieces of hot buttered toast.” He notes that “the first few words may be in error, but the rest is accurate.”

David Rigney hopes someone can provide a source (Gandhi has been suggested) and original wording for the assertion, “Always act in such a way as to not reduce the self-respect of the opponent.”

“…this is supernuts” (May-June). Daniel Rosenberg located an attribution to the mathematician Richard Courant in a June 4, 2000, New York Times article, “There’s One Born Every Minute,” by the same Ed Regis who wrote Who Got Einstein’s Office.

“A generalization is useful” (July-August). Bernard Witlieb identified one potential—but less elegantly phrased— source, tracked down not in a work by Henry James but in his brother William’s lecture series published as The Variety of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature. The relevant text, from “Lecture X: Conversion,” states, “One must know concrete instances first; for, as Professor [Louis] Agassiz used to say, one can see no farther into a generalization than just so far as one’s acquaintance with particulars enables one to take it in”—suggesting Agassiz as the original source.

Send inquiries and answers to “Chapter and Verse,” Harvard Magazine, 7 Ware Street, Cambridge 02138 or via e-mail to chapterandverse@harvardmag.com.

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