Classical and foreign quotation -PDF by William King

Classical and foreign quotation

Classical and foreign quotation
Classical and foreign quotation


Classical and foreign quotations, a polyglot manual of historical and literary sayings, noted passages in poetry and prose, phrases, proverbs, and bons mots;

From the introduction:
In preparing a new edition of this Dictionary for the Press, the work of revision has been guided by two main objects: the one, the relieving the book of a multitude of superfluous trivialities; the other, the addition of references to those entries that were still lacking in that most essential portion of their literary outfit. 

As both aims tend to raise directly the value of the work as a standard book of reference in such matters, they will, no doubt, be appreciated by all who read or consult the volume. The original plan included, among other items, the whole of the Mottoes of the British Peerage, and the plan was duly carried out: whether the noble owners of the Mottoes were flattered by this delicate attention, it is impossible to say, but their insertion evoked many protests, and when the late William Lewis Hertslet * complained of the excessive " lordolatry " of the thing, I had nothing to reply. 

The only answer possible, in the circumstances, was the assurance that the cargo should never be shipped again; and, accordingly, the Mottoes, along with a quantity of equally cumbersome top-hamper, have gone by the board. The other principle of reconstruction is of greater importance. No more apposite sentiment could have been chosen as the epigraph of any collection of Quotations than the maxim of Professor fcJkeat, which once more re-appears on the title page. 

Yet, considering the number of passages and sayings that had been admitted without any reference whatever, the Professor's aphorism seemed like nothing so much as a perpetual reflection upon the non-performance of the very principle that is enunciated. 

This reproach has now been removed. With the exception of certain Proverbs, Maxims, and other kindred sayings that are incapable of affiliation, no quotation has been admitted without its proper author, chapter and verse; or, in the more difficult instances, without the authority to which it may be approximately referred. Not, however, to lose altogether for want of exact reference some of the world's current sayings of uncertain paternity, a short appendix is added of Adespota, or "ownerless" quotations, in which certain unverified instances of this kind will be found, and with them a few other passages which I have been unable to trace, and which are submitted to the curious in such matters, in the hope that some of them at least may be restored to their respective authors.

Great as are the difficulties and responsibility attaching to the task, in the way of selection or rejection, of the correctness of the text, translation, and comment, they are slight compared with the labour that the " chapter and verse " principle imposes upon the compiler. It will necessitate not only a long, long haunting of the bookshelves of the British Museum but perhaps a search through the catalogues and contents of other great collections in the kingdom. It may even involve visits to Continental Libraries, in the hope of finding what is not to be found at home; and, after all, much of the time and toil may be thrown away! 

In short, the searcher must be content with moderate success. He is rewarded not so much by putting the finger on some phrase or passage that had evaded all previous investigation, as by discovering the original wording of some commonly misquoted line and reinstating it in the shape in which the author left it on record. As revised and rewritten, the Dictionary contains far fewer quotations than its predecessor, a result which may perhaps be a fresh illustration of the old saying, that " the half is often more than the whole." Yet, in spite of this heavy reduction in quantity, the amount of new matter introduced is very considerable. 

Citations from the French are much more numerous than heretofore, preference being given to instances illustrating the lighter side of that witty nation.

 The German passages have been more than doubled, and there is now no German author of note that is not represented, and in some cases largely represented, in the contents. Additions have also been made to the Greek selections, from all quarters — tragedy, philosophy, history, lyric poetry, ana of many kinds — ^and, for the first time, the Greek Comics contribute an appreciable proportion to the whole.

the book details :
  • Author: William Francis Henry King
  • Publication date: 1904
  • Company: London: J. Whitaker & sons, limited

  • Download 29 MB - PDF ebook

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