on this one, so let’s
see what hoi polloi (i.e. Corner readers) can come up with. Here’s the
original query, as sent to AVQ.
“I attach an e-mail exchange I recently had. Perhaps readers of AVQ might
be able to help.
“[A reader in Texas]–Mr Derbyshire, do you know who said something like:
’Whenever I see a friend succeed, a little part of me dies’? It’s either
Oscar Wilde or Samuel Pepys, unless it’s someone else. I thought you might
know. I couldn’t find it on Google. Thank you very much.
“[My reply]–Sounds Wildean, but he’s one of those people who get ’stuck’
with all sorts of clever remarks, like Mark Twain & Churchill. It’s often
very hard to track these things down. Anyway, it’s not in either of my
dicts of quots. And it’s a bit ‘off’ for Wilde — he was very conscious of,
& very pleased with, his own success. My guess _in vacuo_ would have been
Max Beerbohm. I do however know who said: ‘I have never for many years
heard of a friend’s death without envying him.’ That was Goethe.”