[Ads-l] Quote: To that quarter of an hour I owe every thing in life

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Tue Feb 28 23:39:36 EST 2017


Way back in December 2011 a quotation attributed to the British naval
hero Horatio Nelson was discussed on this list. Now I've posted an
entry on the Quote Investigator website:

I Owe All My Success in Life to Having Been Always a Quarter of an
Hour Before My Time
http://quoteinvestigator.com/2017/02/28/quarter/

[Begin acknowledgement]
Great thanks to Joel S. Berson whose inquiry led QI to formulate this
question and perform this exploration. Thanks also to discussant Dan
Goncharoff. In addition, thanks to Nigel Rees and Fred R. Shapiro for
previous research.
[End acknowledgement]

Feedback welcome,
Garson


On Sun, Dec 18, 2011 at 10:09 PM, Garson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Garson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: "success in life .. a quarter hour before my time"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Here is a version of the tale with Lord Nelson and the tradesman in 1819.
>
> http://books.google.com/books?id=wTYLAQAAIAAJ&q=stammered#v=snippet&
>
> [Being excerpt]
> "Right," said his Lordship "it is to that quarter before the time that
> I owe all the good I ever did."
> [End excerpt]
>
> Garson
>
> On Sun, Dec 18, 2011 at 9:54 PM, Garson O'Toole
> <adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
>> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>> Poster:       Garson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
>> Subject:      Re: "success in life .. a quarter hour before my time"
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>
>> There is an anecdote about punctuality that features Lord Nelson in
>> the starring role. Here is the end of a version published in 1823.
>> This is from GB. I suspect an earlier match in a newspaper database
>> exists. Maybe when Lord Nelson was alive.
>>
>> http://books.google.com/books?id=9NYEAAAAQAAJ&q=Nelson#v=snippet&
>>
>> [Begin excerpt]
>> PUNCTUALITY
>>>> When Lord Nelson was leaving London, on his last, but glorious,
>> expedition against the enemy …
>>
>> "And you go to the inn, Mr. A., and see them off?"
>> "I shall, my lord; I shall be there punctually at six."
>> "A quarter before six, Mr. A. (returned Lord Nelson) be there a
>> quarter before six. To that quarter of an hour I owe every thing in
>> life."
>> [End excerpt]
>>
>> The quotation Joel found may have been derived from this anecdote
>> which was reprinted for years.
>>
>> Garson

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