Saturday, April 15, 2006


Mad!... Mad, I tell you!

My favorite blog post of the week is Caleb Crain's decision -- for no particular reason, which of course is the best reason -- to trace the origin of that oft-quoted and spoofed line worthy of Jon Lovitz's master thespian: "Mad! -- Mad, I tell you!"
...The phrase seems to have come from Within an Inch of His Life, a melodrama by James A. Herne first staged in 1879. I hope it won't disappoint anyone too grievously if I confess that I was able to resist reading the thing through. Here's the money shot:...

Genevieve, Countess de Clairnot.
I was mad---mad---I tell you, with jealousy and anger! I have outraged and destroyed my husband's honor! But to murder him! Bah! You accuse me of what you know to be a lie!

It even includes a "Bah!" What more could you ask for?

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