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Neither use nor ornament

Posted by Pamela on May 28, 2006

In Reply to: Neither use nor ornament posted by ESC on May 25, 2006

: : : : where does the phrase " Neither use nor ornament" come from?

: : : I'm not sure that this is the source, but Edmund Burke did say 'Stonehendge, neither for disposition nor ornament, has anything admirable', in 1756.

: : It's NOT Shakespeare or KJV. I did find Robert Louis Stevenson uses the exact phrase in his story The Beach of Falesa which I think is from the early 1890's but I bet that's not the source.

: Related phrase: Men should either be decorative or useful. I don't know who said it first. But I like it.

Mary H. Kingsley "Travels in West Africa" also used the exact phrase at much the same time as Stevensen "wading neck deep in a swamp your revolver is neither use nor ornament until you have had time to clean it"