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Re: [dinosaur] nothing controversial here
> The original quote is from a critique written by Arthur Bingham Walkley of
> George Bernard Shaw's play "Widower's Houses". The quote can be found on page
> 737 of the 17 December 1892 issue of "The Speaker". The original quote is:
> "Scratch a middle-class hero and you find a rascal".
Really? If that is close enough for you, we can go straight to "scratch the
Russian and find the Ta(r)tar", more famous in the original French, "grattez le
Russe et trouvez le Tartare". It alludes to the large number of Tatar nobles
who converted to Christianity and married into the Russian nobility from the
16th/17th century onwards.
(That the original is in French does not mean it wasn't first said by a Russian
in Russia, perhaps even by a nobleman of such mixed ancestry about himself: the
whole Russian aristocracy spoke French natively in the 18th century.)