Friday, July 27, 2007

Things That Make You Go "Hmmmm"....

I've seen a bunch of recommendations recently for the book Climbing Parnassus: A New Apologia for Greek and Latin by Tracy Lee Simmons on Classical homeschooling websites & email lists. So I decided to borrow it from the library today.

As I turned to the table of contents, I was very excited to see that chapter 1 is entitled "Bent Twigs and Trees Inclined"! Imagine my surprise when on page 34, Mr. Simmons attributes the quote not to Virgil but to Alexander Pope:
"'Tis education forms the common mind. Just as the twig is bent, the tree's inclined."
Alexander Pope lived roughly 17 centuries after Virgil. So either Pope ripped off Virgil or the quote was falsely attributed to Virgil. I was able to find the Bartlett's Quotations citation of Pope's quote: Moral Essays, Epistle I, line 149. By contrast, Bartlett's does not list the quote in their selection of Virgil's quotes. It's all over the 'net as being attributed to him, but none of them contain a full citation of where it supposedly came from.

I still like the quote no matter who originally said it, but perhaps a revision of my header is in order!

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