Haldane MacFall's novel The Wooings of Jezebel Pettyfer (1898) has a lead-in quotation that puzzles me. No author is indicated; the quotation is ascribed to a work, 'Nature Nods', but no amount of searching on Google or ABE has brought 'Nature Nods' or its author to light.

The quotation reads in part:

In her dim-lit lumbered rooms, Nature spins and weaves men's souls; spins she always - never resting - spins the threads of diverse colours in her perfect loom .... Yet ... thus she, nodding at her weaving, knots the ends with faltering fingers - faltering - slips - and mars her craft ....

This is purely a 'for interest' question. I have searched as hard as I can but have drawn a blank. Perhaps MacFall used poetic licence and wrote the supposed quotation himself, but I doubt it.

  • Why do you doubt that Macphail or MacFall (you used both spellings and I'm too lazy to look it up) didn't invent the quotation? That would seem the most likely explanation for a quotation you can't find anywhere else, but you must have some reason for rejecting it.
    – user14111
    Oct 24 at 19:24
  • Invented epigraphs are quite common — Walter Scott and George Eliot were fond of them, e.g. Ivanhoe ch.36 or Daniel Deronda. Oct 24 at 19:47
  • MacFall is the spelling in the book. I know less about literature than you do, and accept now that MacFall may well have invented the quotation. I appreciate both comments. An invented comment now seems quite likely. Oct 26 at 8:06

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