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Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898

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Chapter & Verse

Correspondence on not-so-famous lost words

January-February 2014

Lorna Hallal seeks the title and author of a work that describes children queuing for the gas chamber while a palm reader tells their fortunes. The refrain is “the wrong parents, the wrong parents.”

John Gordon writes, “I remember reading somewhere that after the 1746 Battle of Culloden, a British officer was informed that a mother and her children were outside his quarters looking for a place to spend the night, to which he responded, irritably, ‘Oh, hang ’em!’ The next morning he was startled to find that they had all been, literally, hanged. I would appreciate a source on this.”

Pete Hawkins wonders whether anyone can provide a definitive citation for a quotation widely attributed to Friedrich Nietzsche: “To forget one’s purpose is the commonest form of stupidity.”

“no moral right to decide” (November-December 2013). Charles Hagen found “We have no right morally to decide as a matter of opinion that which can be determined as a matter of fact” in Industrial Leadership (chapter 4, “Results of Task Work,” pages 88-89), the published version of management consultant H.L. Gantt’s Page Lecture series delivered at Yale in 1915.

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