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Re: If I have seen farther...

Posted by ESC on February 01, 2001

In Reply to: If I have seen farther than others, it is because I am surrounded by dwarves posted by Mike on February 01, 2001

: Has anyone ever heard of this variation of the famous quote by Lucan: A dwarf standing on the shoulders of a giant may see farther than the giant himself. I am not sure if it is supposed to be a humorous variation and I can not find it anywhere. Thanks

No, I haven't heard it. But it's a keeper. The "original" versions From John Barlett's "Familiar Quotations":

"Pigmies placed on the shoulders of giants see more than the giants themselves." Lucan (A.D. 39-65) from The Civil War, Ib. II, 10 (Didacus Stella).

"I say with Didacus Stella, a dwarf standing on the shoulders of a giant may see farther than a giant himself." Robert Burton (1577-1640)from "The Anatomy of Melancholy" (1621-51).

"If I have seen further (than you and Descartes) it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants." Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) from Letter to Robert Hooke, Feb. 5, 1675/76.

"The dwarf sees farther than the giant, when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on -- Coleridge, 'The Friend' .