[Ads-l] "This Too Shall Pass"

Shapiro, Fred fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Mon Mar 27 11:39:47 EDT 2017

In the Yale Book of Quotations, my first evidence for the saying "this too shall pass" or "this too shall pass away" or "this also shall pass" or "this also shall pass away" is by Edward Fitzgerald in 1852.  Subsequently, Ralph Keyes in his book The Quote Verifier found an 1839 newspaper occurrence.

Now I have found the following in Southern Churchman, Apr. 13, 1838 (America's Historical Newspapers):  "An oriental sultan consulted Solomon on the proper inscription for a signet ring, requiring that the maxim which it contained should be at once proper for moderating the presumption of prosperity, and tempering the pressure of adversity.  The apothegm supplied by the Jewish sage was admirably adapted for both purposes, being comprehended in the words, 'And this also shall pass away.'. -- _Walter Scott_."

I assume "Walter Scott" refers to the famous Scottish writer.  Can anyone help me determine whether Sir Walter Scott (or some other Walter Scott) authored the passage above, and, if so, where it was published?

Fred Shapiro

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list