[Ads-l] Quote: The face of Venus, the figure of Juno, the brains of Minerva, the memory of Macaulay=?UTF-8?Q?=E2=80=A6_?=the hide of a rhinoceros

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Wed Aug 30 13:24:29 EDT 2017


Excellent. Thanks, Bill. You found another great precursor. Here is an
instance of the same quotation a few months earlier in "The Saturday
Evening Post". I will update the entry and acknowledge you.

[ref] 1919 August 30, The Saturday Evening Post, Volume 192, Number
9,The Beginner on the Stage by David Belasco, Start Page 29, Quote
Page 29, Column 1, The Curtis Publishing Company, Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania. (Google Books Full View) link [/ref]

https://books.google.com/books?id=r3s4AQAAMAAJ&q=rhinoceros#v=snippet&

[Begin excerpt]
Of all the questions about the stage which are put to me—and if I had
a dollar for each of them I could, all by myself, found and endow a
national theater—those by far the most frequently asked are: "What is
most necessary in order to become an actress?" and "How shall I
begin?"

"To the first of those questions I am sometimes tempted to answer,
after the manner of a great English player: "To possess the face and
figure of a Greek goddess, the voice of an angel, the temper of a
dove, the disposition of a saint, the energy of a dynamo, the
digestion of an ostrich, the strength of an elephant and the hide of a
rhinoceros!"
[End excerpt]

Garson


On Wed, Aug 30, 2017 at 11:08 AM, MULLINS, WILLIAM D (Bill) CIV USARMY
RDECOM AMRDEC (US) <william.d.mullins18.civ at mail.mil> wrote:
> _New York Clipper_ 12/24/1919, p. 55 col 1.
>
> "A  great English player, asked what was most necessary in order to become an actress, answered that it was "to possess the  face and figure of a Greek goddess, the voice of an angel, the temper of a dove, the disposition of a saint, the energy of a dynamo, the digestion of an ostrich, the strength of an elephant and the hide of a rhinoceros!"
>
>>
>> ----
>>
>> The items listed in the subject line are the requirements for a successful theater actress. The Concise Columbia Dictionary of Quotations
>> (1989), The Filmgoer's Book of Quotes (1974), The New York Public Library Book of Twentieth-Century American Quotations (1992) and
>> other references attribute the remark to Ethel Barrymore. But Nigel Rees's reference The Best Guide to Humorous Quotations (2011) cites a
>> 1933 autobiography by Dame Madge Kendal.
>>
>> The Quote Investigator website now has an entry that agrees with Rees.
>> https://quoteinvestigator.com/2017/08/29/rhino/
>>
>> In 1933 Kendal published her autobiography "Dame Madge Kendal, By Herself". I have not yet seen the autobiography directly, but the key
>> passage was reprinted in a review in "The Leeds Mercury" in England:
>>
>> [ref] 1933 October 31, The Leeds Mercury, Dame Madge Kendal: How She Chose Her Epitaph, Quote Page 6, Column 4, County: West
>> Yorkshire, England. (British Newspaper Archive)[/ref]
>>
>> [Begin excerpt]
>> She sums up the qualifications of a young woman for a successful career on the stage as "The face of Venus, the figure of Juno, the brains
>> of Minerva, the memory of Macaulay, the chastity of Diana, the grace of Terpsichore, but, above and beyond all, the hide of a rhinoceros."
>> [End excerpt]
>>
>> The QI entry lists various precursors.
>> Feedback welcome, Garson
>>
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - Caution-http://www.americandialect.org
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

------------------------------------------------------------
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org


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