[PW] Source of Quotation that begins "Some people mirror our darkness" circa 1990s

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com
Thu Oct 14 13:01:17 PDT 2021

Thanks for your response, Kathy. Excellent discovery.
The phrase in the book by Peter McWilliams is the following:

"grapple to our hearts with hoops of steel."

The phrase was enclosed in quotation marks by McWilliams, but it was
only a partial match to a line within Shakespeare which also uses
"hoops of steel". Shakespeare used "soul" instead of "heart".

Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 3

[Begin excerpt]
Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Grapple them unto thy soul with hoops of steel,
[End excerpt]

As you discovered, Horace Greeley wrote an 1848 essay with the phrase
"grapple to our hearts with hooks of steel". I think that both Greeley
and McWilliams were echoing Shakespeare inexactly. The phrase may have
been garbled via one or more intermediaries.

Date: January 1848
Periodical: The Nineteenth Century: A Quarterly Miscellany
Volume 2
Publisher: G. B. Zieber & Company, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Article: Life—The Ideal and the Actual
Author: Horace Greeley
Quote Page 7


[Begin excerpt]
Of narrow, one-sided persons--mere plowmen, or pedagogues, generals or
kings—the world is full enough; but the True Man is universal—includes
all these and more, and he it is we would have brought palpably before
us—him we would grapple to our hearts with hooks of steel.
[End excerpt]


On Thu, Oct 14, 2021 at 10:17 AM Katherine Harper <kharper4 at gmail.com> wrote:
> The bit in quotation marks should read "hooks" rather than "hoops." It is
> not from Shakespeare, but an 1848 essay by Horace Greeley.
> Kathy
> Katherine Harper, Ph.D.
> Provider of customized editing, writing, indexing, and research services
> <http://www.kharpereditor.com>
> *LinkedIn profile <http://linkedin.com/in/kharper4>*
> On Thu, Oct 14, 2021 at 5:34 AM ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > Below is a pertinent match. Your quotation seems to be a condensed
> > version of the following passage. The quotation marks near the end of
> > the passage signal that the author(s) were probably referencing
> > Shakespeare for the final phrase.
> >
> > [Begin  excerpt]
> > …
> > Some relationships are accurate mirrors of the darkness inside us,
> > others accurately reflect the light. Occasionally, we find one that
> > reflects both. That's the relationship we either flee from, or
> > "grapple to our hearts with hoops of steel."
> > [End excerpt]
> >
> >
> > On Thu, Oct 14, 2021 at 1:25 AM Kathryn Crissman
> > <kathryn_crissman at fastmail.com> wrote:
> > >
> >
> > > I am looking for the origin of the following quotation or poem…
> > > "Some people mirror our darkness. Others adequately reflect our light.
> > > Occasionally, we find one who does both. This is the one we either flee
> > from
> > > or grapple to our hearts with hoops of steel."
> >
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