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February 22, 1965

Gilding the Lily

Author Affiliations


Long Beach, Calif

JAMA. 1965;191(8):681. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080080070034

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To the Editor:—  Has Dr. Trimble been caught napping or has he followed the Chinese custom of purposely making an error, so the reader on finding it may feel superior?He perpetuated a common misquote:To the clamoring chorus of lowcholeric complaints about the nonlacquered lily must be added the gentle voice of Dr. Edward Shapiro of Beverly Hills, Calif, who advised me of my miscreancy thusly: "... his lips like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh." It is appropriate to reiterate my reply to Dr. Shapiro:"Your comments concerning my use of the phrase, 'gild the lily,' are greatly appreciated. I was unaware of the original quotations you cited, a deficiency which, thanks to you, now stands corrected. Nevertheless, I am told on good authority (a local florist) that some artificial floral arrangements do include gilded lilies. I presume that facts such as this may explain why the term 'gild the

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