[Ads-l] Die, my dear doctor! That=?UTF-8?Q?=E2=80=99s_?=the last thing I shall do

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Wed May 12 13:08:53 UTC 2021

Back on April 27, 2021 Pete Morris discovered and shared a valuable
citation for the quip in the subject line. I have now updated the
Quote Investigator article (there will be a delay before the update is


[Begin acknowledgement update]
Special thanks to Pete Morris who located the important citation in
“Colburn’s United Service Magazine”.)
[End acknowledgement update]

Pete located a crucial passage in a December 1866 issue of the London
journal “Colburn’s United Service Magazine”:

[Begin excerpt]
. . . the latest mot was added the other day by Lord Palmerston, who
during his late attack of gout exclaimed, playfully, ‘Die, my dear
doctor! That’s the last thing I think of doing.’
[End excerpt]

The above passage appeared in a review of John Cordy Jeaffreson's
forthcoming work "A Book About Lawyers". The reviewer was reprinting
the Palmerston quotation from the book. Jeaffreson's book was
officially published in 1867. So the review appeared before the
official publication date of the book (a common occurrence).

I found newspaper accounts indicating that Lord Palmerston suffered
from gout repeatedly during the 1860s, and I added a few of these
citations to the QI article.


On Wed, Apr 28, 2021 at 12:50 PM ADSGarson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> Wonderful! Thanks for searching and locating this valuable citation,
> Peter. I will try to update the QI article soon. There will be a delay
> before the changes are visible on the website.
> Garson
> On Tue, Apr 27, 2021 at 11:54 AM Pete Morris
> <mr_peter_morris at outlook.com> wrote:
> >
> > antedating the 1883 May 17 version to December 1866
> >
> > https://tinyurl.com/4vzp9whs
> > "Die! - why should he die? What would he get by that?" interposed Lord
> > Elenborough adding to the pile of jests by which men have endevouured
> > to keep a grim , unpleasant subject out of sight - a pile to which the
> > latest mot was added the other day by Lord Palmerston , who during his
> > late attack of gout exclaimed , playfully , · Die , my dear doctor ?
> > That's the last thing I think of doing.
> > Some interesting points here:  It attributes a quote he said "the other
> > day" more than a year after his death. And it was said during his "late
> > attack of gout", rather than during his final illness, or on his
> > deathbed. Wiki's account of his death doesn't indicate that he was
> > suffering from gout at the time. I have to wonder if the article was
> > written a few years earlier, while he was still alive.
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.
> > https://www.avast.com/antivirus
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list