Disraeli Quote on PQHN

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU
Sun Feb 6 22:33:50 UTC 2005

On Sun, 6 Feb 2005 16:55:41 -0500, Fred Shapiro <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU>

>If I can impose upon the list one more time:  Is anyone willing to check
>ProQuest Historical Newspapers to find an 1893 Chicago Tribune occurrence
>of the Disraeli quote about "my ancestors" (something along the line of my
>ancestors were priests in the temple of Solomon when yours were
>savages...)?  I would need the exact wording and dating.

Chicago Daily Tribune, Jan 22, 1893. p. 38
The people out there in the Kentucky County of Virginia resembled at the
time Disraeli's description of their relative forefathers when they had
called him a Jew: "When my ancestors were worshiping in the temple," he
said, "yours were naked barbarians."

But here are earlier cites:

Washington Post, Mar 28, 1878, p. 2
Jewish Times: Lady Rosebery has blue blood than her husband; her family
tree is much more ancient than his. To quote Disraeli, her ancestors were
princes in the temple when Lord Rosebery's ancestors were savages in the

Atlanta Constitution, Feb 14, 1892, p. 14
It was no idle boast when Disraeli said in the English commons in reply to
the charge that he was a Jew: "Yes, I am a Jew! When the ancestors of the
honorable gentlemen were brutal savages in an unknown island, mine were
priests in the temple!"
[Same wording appears in: Los Angeles Times, Feb 28, 1892, p. 10]

--Ben Zimmer

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