[Ads-l] Quote: What--ah! another d--d big square book--eh? 1807

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Mon Mar 28 20:05:46 UTC 2016

My posts to the list seem to be experiencing 12 hour delays.

The Yale Book of Quotations has an excellent entry about the comical
response to Gibbon's opus. The response evolved over time and became
more ornate.

YBQ 1789 (Published 1861): I suppose you are at the old trade
again—scribble, scribble, scribble.

YBQ 1829: Another damned, thick, square book! Always scribble,
scribble, scribble! Eh! Mr. Gibbon?’’

Below is an intermediate form published in 1807.

Year: 1807
Title: My Pocket Book: Or Hints for "A Ryghte Merrie and Conceitede"
Tour in Quarto; To be Called, "The Stranger in Ireland, in 1805."
Author: A. Knight Errant
Printed for Ezra Sargeant, New York
Section: A Prefatory Postscript
Page 4


[Begin excerpt]
Gibbon originally published the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
in quarto, and as the volumes appeared, singly, he used to take them
to his Grace the Duke of Northumberland. Conveying the third to him
one day, elated with pride at the delightful office, and imagining, as
he went, what handsome things the duke would say to him, how great was
the mortification of the historian, to have his labour received by his
Grace with this exclamation:  "What--ah! another d--d big square
[End excerpt]


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