Here are more quote authors and origins Shapiro’s tracked down recently.
Quotes Uncovered: Who Worried About Events?
Thirteen weeks ago, I invited readers to submit quotations for which they wanted me to try to trace the origins, using The Yale Book of Quotations and more recent research by me. Hundreds of people have responded via comments or e-mails. I am responding as best I can, a few per week.
This may be too vague, but this quote essentially conveys: events that occur, not “issues” or a platform, define the term of a prime minister (or other leader). I think it’s Benjamin Disraeli, but if it rings a bell, I would love to know the real quote.
The Yale Book of Quotations has the following quote, which may be the one you have in mind:
[When asked what worried him most:] “Events, dear boy, events.” Harold Macmillan, quoted in Sunday Times (London), Nov. 15, 1992.
Luck is the residue of desire. Branch Rickey is often quoted as saying “Luck is the residue of design,” but the version above is the one I have always remembered. Which one is correct, or was Rickey paraphrasing someone else?
It’s “design.” The YBQ, which attempts to trace all famous quotations to their earliest known occurrence, has:
“Luck is the residue of design.” Branch Rickey, quoted in Sporting News, Feb. 21, 1946.
If there’s any chance you could find the origin of the phrase “The more things change the more they stay the same,” I’d be very pleased. Thanks.
Again, The YBQ has the answer:
“Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.” Alphonse Karr, Les Guêpes, Jan. 1849.
After saying “Water finds its own mark” to someone the other day, the person told me that Anton LaVey, the renowned Satanist, had coined the phrase in the 1960’s. But my aunts and uncles seem sure that my grandfather used the term well before the 1960’s. So where did it originate?
This is an old proverb, usually phrased as “Water seeks its own level.” According to the Dictionary of American Proverbs, it dates at least as far back as colonial statesman Gouverneur Morris in 1778.
Do any readers have any other quotations whose origins they would like me to attempt to trace?