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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index B > Edmund Clerihew Bentley Quotes

Edmund Clerihew Bentley
(10 Jul 1875 - 30 Mar 1956)

Popular English novelist and humorist of the early twentieth century, who invented the clerihew, an irregular form of humorous verse on biographical topics.

Science Quotes by Edmund Clerihew Bentley (5 quotes)

“Corruptio optimi pessima!”
Grinned Sir Henry Bessemer.
“Judicio vulgi demens!”
Snorted Sir William Siemens.
— Edmund Clerihew Bentley
Edmund Clerihew Bentley, Biography for Beginners (1905). Collected in Biography for Beginners, 1905. Collected in Complete Clerihews (2008), 11. The two Latin phrases are only chosen to rhyme with the names. In fact they mean, in order, “The corruption of the best is the worst of all” and “Mad in the judgment of the mob.”
Science quotes on:  |  Sir Henry Bessemer (2)  |  Grin (3)  |  Latin (9)  |  Sir William Siemens (2)

Professor Dewar
Is a better man than you are,
None of you asses
Can condense gases.
— Edmund Clerihew Bentley
E. C. Bentley, Biography for Beginners (1905). Collected in Complete Clerihews (2008), 39.
Science quotes on:  |  Poem (76)

Sir Christopher Wren
Said, 'I am going to dine with some men.
If anyone calls
Say I am designing St. Paul's.'
— Edmund Clerihew Bentley
Biography for Beginners, 1905. Collected in Complete Clerihews (2008), 137.
Science quotes on:  |  Sir Christopher Wren (7)

Sir Humphrey Davy
Abominated gravy.
He lived in the odium
Of having discovered sodium.
Said to have been written as a schoolboy during a chemistry class at St. Paul's School.
— Edmund Clerihew Bentley
'Sir Humphrey [sic] Davy', Edmund Clerihew Bentley, Biography for Beginners (1905). Collected in Biography for Beginners, 1905. An example of a clerihew, an irregular form of biographical humorous verse, devised by the author. Collected in Complete Clerihews (2008), 38. Schoolboy comment as quoted in Alan L. Mackay, A Dictionary of Scientific Quotations (1991), 26. Note the correct spelling for Davy's name is Humphry.
Science quotes on:  |  Biography (199)  |  Sir Humphry Davy (39)  |  Sodium (9)

The only occasion when Comte
Is known to have romped
Was when the multitude roared 'Vive La Philosophie Positive!'
— Edmund Clerihew Bentley
E. C. Bentley, Biography for Beginners (1905). Collected in Complete Clerihews (2008), 32.
Science quotes on:  |  Isidore Auguste Marie Franηois Xavier Comte (9)


Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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