"Even a dog...."

Fred Shapiro fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Wed Dec 27 18:24:02 UTC 2000

On Wed, 27 Dec 2000, Elizabeth Phillips wrote:

> During the December 11 oral arguments on the Florida recount, Justice
> Kennedy said:  "Even a dog knows the difference in being stumbled over and
> being kicked." Has anyone heard this expression before? If so, any clues as
> to its origin?

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. wrote in his book _The Common Law_:

"Vengeance imports a feeling of blame, and an opinion, however distorted
by passion, that a wrong has been done.  It can hardly go very far beyond
the case of a harm intentionally inflicted: even a dog distinguishes
between being stumbled over and being kicked."

Fred Shapiro

Fred R. Shapiro                             Editor
Associate Librarian for Public Services     YALE DICTIONARY OF QUOTATIONS
  and Lecturer in Legal Research            Yale University Press,
Yale Law School                             forthcoming
e-mail: fred.shapiro at yale.edu               http://quotationdictionary.com

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