Quote: Not to be a republican at twenty is proof of want of heart (Evidence in 1875)

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Mon Feb 24 19:40:23 UTC 2014

Back in July 2013 a thread about a famous quotation positing
ideological evolution via maturation appeared on the ADS list. Now
there is an entry on this topic at the Quote Investigator website:

If You Are Not a Liberal at 25, You Have No Heart. If You Are Not a
Conservative at 35 You Have No Brain

I still wish to add a translation for the French citation in 1905.

Thanks for the constructive responses and help from many people on and
off list(s).

On Thu, Jul 18, 2013 at 2:02 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> The Yale Book of Quotations has an entry for the following quotation
> in French with English translation:
> N'être pas republicain à vingt ans est preuve d'un manque de coeur;
> l'être après trente ans est preuve d'un manque de tête.
> Not to be a republican at twenty is proof of want of heart; to be one
> at thirty is proof of want of head.
> The YBQ has entries for thematically related expressions by Georges
> Clemenceau, George Bernard Shaw, and John Adams. This post
> concentrates on statements that are very similar to the one above.
> Fred notes that the words above were attributed to François Guizot in
> "W. Gurney Benham, A Book of Quotations, new and rev. ed. (1948)."
> Fred also notes "Benham asserts that ''Clemenceau adapted this saying,
> substituting 'socialiste' for 'republicain.'"
> I received a request about this entry from a professor who is
> preparing an article for The Chronicle Review. HathiTrust claims there
> is a match for the saying in the 1936 edition of "Benham's book of
> quotations, proverbs and household words". So I asked a friend to look
> in the 1936 and 1924 editions. Maybe Fred has already done this.
> François Guizot died in 1874, so I also searched for earlier evidence
> matching (somewhat closely) the above saying. Here is a citation in
> 1875 where the words were attributed to "Burke":
> Book Title: Portraits Contemporains
> Author: Jules Claretie
> Year: 1875
> Volume: 1
> Chapter Topic: M. Casimir Périer
> Start Page: 51
> Quote Page: 55
> Publisher: Librairie Illustrée, Paris
> http://books.google.com/books?id=nIuaBX8moLkC&q=%22fait+douter%22#v=snippet&
> [Begin excerpt]
> M. Batbie, dans une lettre trop célèbre, citait un jour, pour
> expliquer ses variations personnelles et bizarres, ce paradoxe de
> Burke : << Celui qui n'est pas républicain à vingt ans fait douter de
> la générosité de son âme; mais celui qui, après trente ans, persévère,
> fait douter de la rectitude de son esprit. >>
> [End excerpt]
> [Begin Poor Google Translation]
> Mr. Batbie in a letter too famous, quoted a day to explain his
> personal and bizarre variations, this paradox of Burke: "He who is not
> republican at twenty casts doubt on the generosity of his soul, but he
> who, after thirty years, persevere, casts doubt on the correctness of
> his mind."
> [End Google Translation]
> Any suggestions for the intended identity of "Burke"? Do you think the
> writer meant Edmund Burke?
> If someone is willing to improve this translation please contact me on
> or off list.
> Thanks, Garson

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