There’s a few things I’ve learned in life: Always throw salt over your left shoulder, keep Rosemary by your garden gate, plant Lavender for good luck and fall in love whenever you can.

I feel bad about this one, since somebody made a poster out of it (attributed to Shakespeare) and is selling it on Etsy. Probably more than one, I just happen to have spotted one.

I can see where everybody went wrong.  Google it.

The first hit (which for me is “The Herb Gardener”) lists it like this:

There’s a few things I’ve learned in life: always throw salt over your left shoulder, keep rosemary by your garden gate, plant lavender for good luck, and fall in love whenever you can.
Lavender and Shakespeare
(Winter’s Tale, iv. 4)

Aha, you think when you look quickly – that’s by Shakespeare! The Winter’s Tale!  No, poor googler.  Look closer at the rest of the page:

Lavender and Alice Hoffman
(Practical Magic )
There’s a few things I’ve learned in life: always throw salt over your left shoulder, keep rosemary by your garden gate, plant lavender for good luck, and fall in love whenever you can.
Lavender and Shakespeare
(Winter’s Tale, iv. 4)
Hot lavender, mints, savory, marjoram;
The marigold, that goes to bed wi’ th’ sun,
And with him rises weeping; these are flow’rs
Of middle summer, and I think they are given
To men of middle age.

This particular site is actually providing the source line before the quote.  So, yes, Shakespeare did speak of lavender in The Winter’s Tale – that whole bit about “Hot lavender, mints, savory, etc etc etc…”  The quote above?  That’s apparently from Alice Hoffman.

What’s unfortunate is that all the other hits that attribute this quote to Shakespeare seem to associate it with The Winter’s Tale, so I wonder if they all came from that one I cite above. 

Apparently this was even in the movie Practical Magic with Sandra Bullock?

 

3 thoughts on “There’s a few things I’ve learned in life: Always throw salt over your left shoulder, keep Rosemary by your garden gate, plant Lavender for good luck and fall in love whenever you can.

  1. Just exactly how difficult is it to check for more than one source for a quotation? Especially when the Bard’s text is so readily available? Even when I feel certain is from Shakespeare I double check it.

    1. How do you think I feel? If I end up making a mistake on these I look like a complete tool :).

      Most of these “not by Shakespeares” are, unfortunately, quoted far and wide and attributed incorrectly. Except for the screamingly obvious ones I have to go hunting for a real source, and that only after I’ve satisfied myself that it is not in the works of Shakespeare. It is much easier for the folks who don’t care as much as we do to google it, spot a handful of sources that say Shakespeare, and then say “Ok, yup, I’ll call it Shakespeare too.” I expect that most folks don’t really care all that much, and are probably more offended at being corrected than anything else. But, I’m trying.

  2. Don’t know about the garden gate thing concerning a Rosemary herb plant but I have one by my front door in the drip line facing a sort of west south west direction and it’s grown to a huge bush. I absolutely adore it and the beautiful blue flowers it produces. It has not only thrived but it’s literally taken over a good three to four foot area in the front near my door. Again it’s in the drip line so even when I’m not there in Florida it’s thriving.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *