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"No lie can live forever." Thomas Carlyle

An Analysis of Literary Similarity

      In the May-June 2007 issue of AToday there was an article by T. Joe Willey that reported on a presentation by Frederick Hoyt "The Specter of Plagiarism Haunting Adventism." On page 18 he claims that a quote of Ellen White's in the book Education (p. 57) was ""derived" without source credit from the newspaper, Louisville Commercial."1

      In his footnote for this claim Willey notes that it was found twice in issues of the Review and Herald (hereafter, R & H). It is interesting that at least here in the footnote Willey refers to the "framework for this quote" thereby indicating that he is aware of differences between the quote as given in the R & H and in Education. It what follows, we will show both the similarities and the differences.

      I have tried to find the source of this quote, and so far, I have been able to trace it back to the Southern Home Journal dated March 1869. I have been unable to confirm that the quote came from the Lousiville Commercial which as Willey notes is credited for the quote in the August 30, 1881 issue of R & H.2 But, with no date or further info, we will probably never know where it can be found in that newspaper.

      In searching for the original quote I have found it ascribed to a Senator Frank Carlson from Kansas. But, at the Federal level they had no such Senator by that name.3  I have found it ascribed to a W. W. Breese dating to 1883.4  Similary, I can find a similar quote entitled "The Notre Dame Man" ascribed to one Athol Murray, but with no date.5  I can trace the phrase "the heavens totter" back to a magazine story from 1853.6  A very similar quote can be found in the 1876 book The Royal Path of Life.7  I have also found it attributed to (although he has it in quote marks) Orison Sweet Marden; in 1894 he copyrighted a book entitled Pushing to the Front or, Success under Difficulties.8 

Color Key

Material in Ellen G. White and the R & H that is an exact, word-for-word match to a possible source.   In this case, for comparison purposes,we will assume that the Southern Home Journal was the source.

Material in Ellen G. White and the R & H that is similar to the alleged source.

Material in R & H that is an apparent addition to the quote as found in the Southern Home Journal.

Material that was dropped from the end of the alleged source when Willey gave the quote in AToday--including the above material. One sentence was dropped from the quote by R & H--it is in red in the Southern Home Journal.

      Typical author's caveat: all errors are, of course, mine. If you find any errors please let me know and I'll fix them.

Southern Home Journal
(March 1869)9
Review and Herald
(Jan. 24, 1871): 4710
Review and Herald
(Aug. 30, 1881): 14911
Ellen G. White
Signs of the Times
(May 4, 1882);
paragraph 16
Ellen G. White
Education.
(1903): 57

      The great want of this age is men. Men who are not for sale. Men who are honest, sound from center to circumference, true to the heart's core. Men who will condemn wrong in friend or foe, in themselves as well as others. Men whose consciences are as steady as the needle to the pole. Men who will stand for the right if the heavens totter and the earth reels. Men who can tell the truth and look the world and the devil right12 in the eye. Men that13 neither brag nor run. Men that13 neither flag nor flinch. Men who can14 have courage without shouting to it. Men in whom the courage15 of everlasting life runs still,16 deep, and strong. Men too large for sectarian bonds.17 Men who do not cry nor cause their voices to be heard on the streets, but who will not fail nor18 be discouraged till judgment be set in the earth. Men who know their message and tell it. Men who know their places and fill them. Men who mind19 their own business. Men who will not lie. Men who are not too lazy to work, nor too proud to be poor. Men who are willing to eat what they have earned, and wear what they have paid for.

      The great want of this age is men. Men who are not for sale. Men who are honest, sound* from center to circumference, true to the heart's core--men who will condemn wrong in a friend or foe, in themselves as well as others. Men whose consciences are as steady as the needle to the pole. Men who will stand for the right if the heavens totter and the earth reels. Men who can tell the truth, and look the world and the devil right12 in the eye. Men that13 neither brag nor run. Men that13 neither flag nor flinch. Men who 14 have courage without shouting to it. Men in whom the current15 of everlasting life runs still,16 deep, and strong. [Note that an entire sentence has been dropped.] Men who do not cry, nor cause their voices to be heard on the streets, but who will not fail or17 be discouraged till judgment be set in the earth. Men who know their message, and tell it. Men who know their places, and fill them. Men who know19 their own business. Men who will not lie. Men who are not too lazy to work, nor too proud to be poor. Men who are willing to eat what they have earned, and wear what they have paid for. These are the men wanted to help carry on the work of the church of God everywhere.

* note that the word is "sound" not "wound," as Willey reported it

      The great want of this age is men--men who are not for sale; men who are honest, sound from center to circumference, true to the heart's core; men who will condemn wrong in friend or foe, in themselves as well as others; men whose consciences are as steady as the needle to the pole; men who will stand for the right if the heavens totter and the earth reels; men who can tell the truth and look the world and the devil 12 in the eye; men who13 neither brag nor run; men who13 neither flag nor flinch; men who can14 have courage without shouting to it; men in whom the current15 of everlasting life runs 16 deep and strong; men too large for sectarian ponds;17 men who do not cry nor cause their voices to be heard on the street, but who will not fail nor18 be discouraged till judgment be set in the earth; men who know their message and tell it; men who know their places and fill them; men who mind19 their own business; men who are not too lazy to work nor too proud to be poor; men who are willing to eat what they have earned, and wear what they have paid for.

      The great want of this age is the want of men,--men who will not be bought or sold; men who are true and honest in their inmost souls; men who will not fear to call sin by its right name, and to condemn it, in themselves or in others; men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole; men who will stand for the right, though the heavens fall.

      The great want of the world is the want of men,--men who will not be bought or sold; men who in their inmost souls are true and honest; men who do not fear to call sin by its right name; men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole; men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.





The bolded words are to call attention to the change in the word. The underlined words are to call attention to the re-arrangement of the wording.



NOTES

      1 This assumes that the Review and Herald was EGW's only possible source for the "framework" of this quote.

      2 In the Jan. 25, 1871 issue of R & H the credit is simply given as "Sel." (Selected). Given the spacing of the column this could be simply because that was all the room they had left. They could also have used this because they didn't know where it came from. Someone could have sent in a clipping with the source clipped off.

      See http://www.senate.gov/pagelayout/senators/one_item_and_teasers/kansas.htm

      4 Found online at http://www.tn-biblecollege.edu/oracles/2006/may.pdf. The quote is given as:

The greatest want of this age is men. Men who are not for sale. Men who are honest, sound from centre to circumference, true to the heartís core. Men who will condemn wrong in friend or foe, in themselves as well as others. Men whose consciences are steady as the needle to the pole. Men who will stand for the right if the heavens totter and the earth reels. Men who can tell the truth and look the devil right in the eye. Men that never brag nor run. Men that neither swagger nor flinch. Men who can have courage without whistling for it, and joy without shouting to bring it. Men in whom the current of everlasting life runs still, and deep and strong. Men careful of Godís honor and careless of menís applause. Men who know their duty and do it. Men who know their places and fill them. Men who will not lie. Men who are not too lazy to work, nor too proud to be poor. Men who are willing to eat what they have earned, and wear what they have paid for. Men whose feet are on the everlasting rock. Men who are strong with divine strength, wise with the wisdom that cometh from above, and loving with the love of Christ. Men of God. ĖĖW. W. Breese, 1883

      The words in bold are unique to this version of the quote.

      5 The quote is given as "The Notre Dame Man:"

The world today is looking for men and women,
Who are not for sale
Who are honest, sound from centre to circumference, true to the heartís core
With consciences as steady as the needle to the pole
Who will stand for the right if the heavens totter and the earth reels
Who can tell the truth and look the world right in the eye
Who neither brag nor run
Who neither flag or flinch
Who can have courage without shouting it
In whom the courage of everlasting life runs still, deep and strong
Who know their message and tell it
Who know their place and fill it
Who know their business and attend to it
Who will not lie, shirk or dodge
Who are not too lazy to work, nor too proud to be poor
Who are willing to eat what they have earned and wear what they have paid for
Who are not ashamed to say ďNoĒ with emphasis
God is looking for them.
He wants those who can unite together around a common faith
Who can join hands in a common task - and who have come to the kingdom for such a time as this.
God give us such as them.
Not only will they be better prepared to fulfil their duties as a citizen, they should make a better friend, a better husband, a better father, a better wife, because free people do.
They will, in short, be better prepared to live, and when their hour Comes, they will know better how to die because free people do.

--Athol Murray (Wikipedia says that he was a Monsignor who was born in 1892 and died in 1975.).

      6 "Lady Lee's Widowhood,--Part V," Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine (1853): 521. Found online at http://books.google.com/books?id=3O92vc-b1tcC&pg=PA521&lpg=PA521&dq=%22heavens+totter%22&source=web&ots=8DY9lVk2Ml&sig=Vc_yTpcSwhoyz8h_y2IUufLitoA

      7 Found online at http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php/weblog/comments/raverty-those-threats/; the quote is given as:

"The world is always asking for men who are not for sale; men who are honest, sound from centre to circumference, true to the heartís core; men who will condemn wrong in friend or foe, in themselves as well as others; men whose consciences are as steady as the needle to the pole; men who will stand for the right if the heavens totter and the earth reels; men who can tell the truth, and look the world and the devil right in the eye; men that neither brag or run; men that neither flag nor flinch; men who have courage of everlasting life runs still, deep and strong; *men who will not fail, not be discouraged; men who know their message and tell it; men who know their own business; men who will not lie."

      The bolded material is unique. Note that the last portion of the quote has been clipped and that there is one change to the quote at the point marked with the asterisk.

      According to http://www.answers.com/topic/the-royal-path-of-life the authors of the book could be T. L. Haines and L. W. Yaggy (both have Master's degrees) and as this web site notes the revised edition of the book came out in 1882. It appears that the first publication of the book was 1876 (http://www.godfire.net/LarryHodges.html & http://www.theindependent.com/Archive/011898/stories/011898/edtpet18.html).

      8 Found online at http://arfalpha.com/PushToTheFront/PushingToTheFrontVolume1.pdf; search for "totter." It is on page 266 (285 out of 443 at the bottom of the display). The stand alone line above the quote with the beginning quote mark is a line from Shakespeare's play "Julius Caesar"--also used in a poem by Edgar Lee Masters entitled "Cassius Hueffer" at http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/cassius-hueffer/.  Note that in his quote (and the one's above) they use the word "centre"--either they picked it up (hypothetically) from the original English source, or it went over there and they brought it back.

      9 Found online at http://titus2ministry.com/Titus2/husband/husbandart/men_wanted/index.html. Hereafter, the title of the journal is abbreviated as SHJ.

      10 Note the frequent differences in punctuation between what the R & H has in its the two "versions" of the quote.  Usually the changes are in the form of ". M" to "; m".

      This can be found online at http://www.adventistarchives.org/doc_info.asp?DocID=10258.  This is from volume 37, issue number 6. Willey is using the quote from this issue of R & H.

      11 This can be found online at http://www.adventistarchives.org/doc_info.asp?DocID=10266; the quote is from volume 58, number 10.

      12 Note that this word is not in the quote in R & H from 1881, but is in the quote from 1871.

      13 Note that the wording is changed from "Men that" in the SHJ quote to "Men who" in the 1881 R & H.

      14 Note that here the 1871 quote from R & H drops the word "can" and that they put it back in in 1881.

      15 Note that here the R & H drops the word "courage" and changes it to "current" as does Breese in Note #4.

      16 Note that here the 1881 R & H version of the quote drops the word "still."

      17 Note that here the 1871 R & H version of the quote drops the sentence and that the 1881 version puts it back in and changes the word "bonds" to "ponds."

      18 Note that here the 1871 R & H version of the quote changes the word "nor" to "or" and the 1881 version changes it back again.

      19 Note that here the 1871 R & H version of the quote changes the word "mind" to "know" and the 1881 version changes it back again.

      Could they have been using different versions of the same quote?

      My grateful appreciation to Rich Higby for his helpful suggestions.

© David J. Conklin (June 8-10, 2007)

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Note: What we see here is Ellen White taking a famous quote, that was known and appreciated by her readers, and making it truly poetic. UU