Posted by ESC on July 25, 2004
In Reply to: Fleeting links and posterity posted by Word Camel on July 25, 2004
: : I had been searching for the answer to the same question posed at http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/32/messages/1052.html for a long time.
: : An answer was posted at http://members2.boardhost.com/hgwt/msg/2995.html.
: : in response to my inquiry that I think covers it.
: Given the fleeting nature of Internet links it might be useful if you could summarise the gist of the orignial question and post it. I'd do it myself, but I'm not sure whether the answer to the questions is Herodotus or Gene Roddenberry since there is some question about the translation of the possible quote sited in Heroditus.
: Thanks for following up.
Some years ago-on a "Paladin" TV program, Paladin, Richard Boone, said "May the gods protect us from the deeds men do in the name of good." (or something to that effect). Then to the best of my recollection he added: "Herodotus, second essay." I have looked for years for this quote. Does anyone know anything about this? Did Herodotus ever write such an essay? Second History, maybe, but I cannot find it.
Brian from Shawnee said:
There are a few websites that quote an Arthur C. Adams saying "We need not fear those who do evil in the name of evil, but Heaven protect us from those who do evil in the name of good." But they don't give a date or say who Arthur C. Adams is or was. Another site or two quotes a line similar to this one, from the Paladin TV show.
Information from the link provided to the Have Gun Will Travel Message Board at http://members2.boardhost.com/hgwt/msg/2995.html:
Posted by Bill on 7/25/2004, 8:16 am, in reply to "Forgotten quote"
Ah, Becky comes through again. Thanks for your expert help. "And in his third essay Herodius (not Herodotus, a mistaken pronunciation, perhaps) said 'We can contend with the evil that men do in the name of evil, but heaven protect us from what they do in the name of good.'" Then, at the very end of the episode he repeats, "Heaven protect us from what they do in the name of good."
The mispronunciation might lead us to believe that Paladin was referring to Herodias, the woman whose second husband (the first was her Uncle, Herod) was the Herod who had imprisoned John the Baptist. At least she never had to worry about shouting the wrong name at a delicate time, all her husbands were related and named Herod. It was her daughter, Salome, who so entranced Herod that he beheaded John the Baptist at Herodias' request, surely an evil act. However, Paladin says "his" third essay, so the mispronunciation is clearly the most viable option. Besides, Herodias never wrote anything that we know of, most of the accounts of her many other adventures, marital and otherwise come exclusively from the Christian bible.
If that leaves Herodotus, we have the problem that the best know of his writings is a travelogue of Egypt and is not arranged in essays, but as Books. A translation of the Third Book can be found here http://classics.mit.edu/Herodotus/history.3.iii.html but the closest I can find to the quote is a plea by Periander's sister as the following, "Why seek to cure evil with evil?" surely not enough even in translation to account for Paladin's quote.
This site has a lot of information and points to the writings of Herodotus, not all of which are, apparently, posted on the web.
As to the episode itself, it was written by Gene Roddenberry and is at least the second time Paladin is beset by a vigilante posse. This one even has a sherrif present who does nothing to stop the hanging. After almost hanging Paladin you'd think they would have been a bit aghast at their behavior, but they go forward and hang their second prisoner even so, producing the repeat of the quote by Paladin. That makes this episode somewhat unique, because I can't think of another where he repeats himself.
P.S. The episode is from October 3, 1959 for those with the collection who want to watch it.