Date: Thu, 22 Jan 1998 20:10:48 -0500 From: Gregory {Greg} Downing Subject: Re: quote source At 04:12 PM 1/22/98 +0000, you (M_Lynne_Murphy[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] wrote: >"However eloquently a dog may bark, he cannot tell you that his parents >were poor but honest." > >if you know where s/he said it, that'd be nice to know too. and if my >quotation is inaccurate, please let me know. > Don't know if this helps but "poor but honest" has its own subentry in OED2, at poor a., meaning 1e, where citations are given back as early as Smollett's _Roderick Random_ (1748). One cite is from Twain, _Innocents Abroad_, 1869 ed., Chap. 21, p. 211: `He was the son of--' `Poor but honest parents--that is all right--never mind the particulars--go on with the legend.' No dog involved. BUT there are two cites, not under "poor," of the following sentence from the anonymous _Life and Adventures of a Cat_ (1760), Chap. 4: "Tom the Cat is born of poor but honest parents." (See OED2 ca, and tom-cat; OED2 implies that this passage may be a tributary to or source of the eventual collocation "tom[-]cat".) I wonder if Twain, or wherever else the "dog/poor-&-honest parents" quote comes from, thought the idea up because of its status as a later-18C and 19C cliche that had already been applied to a cat???? Greg Downing/NYU, at greg.downing[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] or downingg[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]