Request translation from Italian of Lord Palmerston quote about Schleswig-Holstein question
adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Thu Dec 13 02:34:34 UTC 2012
A funny quotation spoken by Lord Palmerston about a political
conundrum called the Schleswig-Holstein question is included in some
key quotation references, i.e., the Yale Books of Quotations, the
Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations, and Cassell's Humorous
Quotations. A citation in 1937 is given in these references.
I was asked to trace the quotation, and the earliest strong match I
could find is in Italian in 1873. Would someone be willing to provide
a translation or point me to someone willing to provide a translation?
(Your name will be listed on the QI website as translator.) (This is a
bit off-topic. Sorry. But the quotation was probably spoken in English
originally and Americans enjoy it.)
[ref] 1873, "Un Po' Più Di Luce Sugli Eventi Politici E Militari Dell'
Anno 1866", by Alfonso La Marmora, Second Edition, [Italian], Quote
Page 30 and 31, Firenze, G. Barbe`ra. (Google Books full view) link
La questione danese, o per meglio dire dello Schleswig-Holstein era
talmente complicata e oscura che Lord Palmerston non essendo riuscito
diplomaticamente a impedire quella guerra, soleva spiritosamente
raccontare, che tre soli individui conoscevano a fondo quella
imbrogliata controversia. Uno era il principe Alberto, che
disgraziatamente era morto; il secondo un uomo di Stato danese, che
era impazzito; il terzo lui, Lord Palmerston, che l'aveva dimenticata.
[Google translation: This is the text I would like to improve]
The Danish question, or rather the Schleswig-Holstein was so
complicated and obscure that Lord Palmerston having failed
diplomatically to prevent the war, he used to jokingly tell, that only
three people knew thoroughly the tangled dispute. One was the Prince
Alberto, who unfortunately had died, and the second a man of the
Danish government, he was crazy, and the third he Lord Palmerston, who
Here are some more citations starting with a partial match in 1864.
[ref] 1864 February 4, Hansard, United Kingdom Parliament, Commons
Sitting, Address to Her Majesty on the Lords Commissioners' Speech,
Speaking: Mr. Peacocke, HC Deb, volume 173, cc74-159. (Accessed
hansard.millbanksystems.com on December 11, 2012) link [/ref]
The popular theory as regards the Schleswig-Holstein question was that
that question had been mastered only by one man, a certain German
professor, who went mad in consequence; ...
[ref]1864 February 27, The Saturday Review: Politics, Literature,
Science and Art, Volume 17, Professors, Quote Page 249, Column 2,
Published at the Office of The Saturday Review, London. (Google Books
full view) link[/ref]
THE Schleswig-Holstein question has raised a good many cries against a
great variety of people, and one of the cries it has raised has been
against Professors. It has been said facetiously that only one person
ever got to the bottom of the question, and he was a German Professor,
who immediately went mad.
[ref] 1908, Extracts from Journals: 1872-1881 by Viscount Reginald
Baliol Brett Esher, Printed for private Circulation, [Entry dated
September 29, 1875], Quote Page 118 and 119, Bowes & Bowes, Cambridge.
(Google Books full view) link [/ref]
Lord Palmerston used to say of the Schleswig-Holstein question, that
only three persons knew the truth about this complicated affair.
One was Prince Albert, who unfortunately was dead; the second a Danish
statesman, who had gone mad; and the third, he himself, who had
forgotten all about it.
[ref] 1891, The Founding of the German Empire by William I: Based
Chiefly Upon Prussian State Documents, Volume 3, Translated by
Marshall Livingston Perrin, Assisted by Gamaliel Bradford, Jr., Quote
Page 144, Thomas Y. Crowell & Co., New York. (Google Books full view)
He had, indeed, before declared that the Schleswig-Holstein affair was
so complicated that only three men had ever understood it: the first
was Prince Albert, who was dead; the second a Danish Statesman, who
had gone mad; the third Lord Palmerston himself, and he had forgotten
all about it.
[ref] 1905 November, The American Monthly Review of Reviews, Volume
32, Number 5, Section: The Progress of the World, Quote Page 535, The
Review of Reviews Co., New York. (Google Books full view) link [/ref]
It was Lord Palmerston, if we remember correctly, who once declared
that the Schleswig Holstein question had been mastered by only one
person,--an erudite German professor, who died shortly afterward in a
lunatic asylum. The Austro-Hungarian question is even worse than this.
No one has ever yet been known to master it.
[ref] 1907, "The History of England During the Reign of Victoria
(1837-1901)" by Sidney Low and Lloyd C. Sanders, Volume 12 of 12,
[Part of Series: The Political History of England in Twelve Volumes,
Edited by William Hunt and Reginald L. Poole], Quote Page 187,
Longmans, Green, and Co., London. (Google Books full view) link [/ref]
The leading interest of the year 1863 was what was known as the
Schleswig-Holstein question; of which Lord Palmerston is reported to
have said that there were only three men in Europe who had ever
understood it, of whom one (the prince consort) was dead, another (a
Danish statesman) was mad, and the third (he himself) had forgotten
[ref] 1922, Queen Victoria: A Play in Seven Episodes by David Carb and
Walter Prichard Eaton, Quote Page 32, E. P. Dutton & Company, New
York. (Google Books full view) link [/ref]
PALMERSTON: The Irish question will always be with us. Only three
people have ever really understood i--Castelreagh who is dead, a
German professor who has gone mad, and I who have forgotten.
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
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