01 July 2008

Mad, Mad I Tell You!

In April Paul Collins at Weekend Stubble did the world a great favor by identifying what so far appears to be the earliest recorded use of the phrase "mad, mad I tell you!"

He quotes page 293 of Caroline Hyde Butler Laing's 1855 novel The Old Farm House:

For a moment Mrs. Lorraine made no reply--then she said:

"You call her my daughter's child! I had no daughter, Amy, she was a serpent that stung the breast which nourished her--and he--he! Amy, I shall go mad--mad I tell you, if you don't take that child from my sight!"
Collins even dug up a portrait of this deathless author.

Thanks to Caleb Crain's Steamboats Are Ruining Everything for the pointer.

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