Quotes Uncovered: Violence and Enemies
Each week, I’ve been inviting readers to submit quotations for which they want me to try to trace the origin, using The Yale Book of Quotations and my own research. Here is the latest round.
Perhaps you could help out famous Science Fiction author William Gibson, who recently tried to trace down the origin of the following sentence, often attributed to George Orwell: “People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”
The Yale Book of Quotations has the following item:
“He [Kipling] sees clearly that men can only be highly civilized while other men, inevitably less civilized, are there to guard and feed them.” George Orwell, “Rudyard Kipling” (1942).
This is the closest passage in Orwell’s writings that has been found to the following quotation popularly attributed to him: “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” (Or sometimes, “We sleep safely at night because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would harm us.”)
Does anyone know where this quote come from: “It is not enough that I should win — my enemy must also lose.”
The YBQ quotes Gore Vidal as follows:
“It is not enough to succeed; others must fail.” Quoted in Newport Daily News, Nov. 3, 1978.
Phyllis Otto asked:
Wondering what is the exact quotation of this and from whence does it originate: “The race is not always to the swift nor the battle to the strong, but that’s the way to bet it.”
The Yale Book of Quotations, which attempts to trace all famous quotations to their earliest findable occurrence, notes that this is associated with Damon Runyon, who used it in a 1937 book. However, according to the YBQ, the Chicago Tribune, May 10, 1936, printed the following: “‘The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that is the way to bet,’ as Hugh Keough used to say.” Keough was a Chicago journalist.
Do any readers have any other quotations whose origins they would like me to attempt to trace?