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Chapter and Verse

Correspondence on not-so-famous lost words

May-June 2011

More queries from the archive: 

“The dawgondist skaw/that a man ever saw/I saw on Vesuvius side/as I wandered one day/in the middle of May.…” (From a poem, possibly by the American artist and writer Peter Newell, describing the 1872 eruption of Mount Vesuvius.)

“What was Karl Marx but Macaulay with his heels in the air?” 

“What the rugged soil denies/The harvest of the mind supplies.” (Attributed to “a sweet New England poet.”)

“Reflecting one night on the pains and toils…encountered by those in search of what this world calls Pleasure…I had resolved to quit my native land forever…and in some remote country…to establish a new character.” (A passage copied into a commonplace book kept by a merchant seaman from 1849 to 1852.)