phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Great things are done

Posted by ESC on May 08, 2002

In Reply to: Who said: "Great things can happen whem man and mountain meet" posted by Bruce Kahl on May 08, 2002

: : : Does anybody know who said: 'Great things can happen whem man and mountain meet' + what do you thinks it's means.
: : : thanks

: : Can't say I've ever heard the expression, but it's a great slogan for a mountaineering club.

: I found a few web-based wild-carded references to your quote. The origins range from Richard Nixon to Fidel Castro to Jimmy Hendrix.

: I saw 2 sites that agreed on Thoreau:
: "When man and mountain meet great things happen."
: -Henry David Thoreau

: I then visited some Thoreau search engines and could not verify the source.

: Here are some of my wild-cards if you want to finish on your own:

: "great * can *"

: "* things can * "

: " * man and * "

: "great * mountain * "

: Good luck!!

Familiar Quotations by John Bartlett (15th and 125th anniversary edition, Little, Brown and Co., Boston, 1980):

Great things are done when men and mountain meet;
This is not done by jostling in the street

William Blake (1757-1827) - Poems (written 1807-1809) from Blake's Notebook. Great Things Are Done.

I don't know what it means. Maybe it has to do with:
IF THE MOUNTAIN WILL NOT COME TO MOHAMMED, MOHAMMED WILL GO TO THE MOUNTAIN - "If one cannot get one's own way, one must adjust to the inevitable. The legend goes that when the founder of Islam was asked to give proofs of his teaching, he ordered Mount Safa to come to him. When the mountain did not comply, Mohammed raised his hands toward heaven and said, 'God is merciful. Had it obeyed my words, it would have fallen on us to our destruction. I will therefore go to the mountain and thank God that he has had mercy on a stiff-necked generation.' The saying has been traced back in English to 'Essays,' by English philosopher Frances Bacon (1561-1626). It was included in John Ray's book of English proverbs in 1678. First attested in the United States in 'Jonathan Belcher Papers' . In German, the phrase translates as 'Wenn der Berg nicht zum Propheten kommt, mu?der Prophetzum Berg kommen." From Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996).

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