The game is afoot!This may be the most frequently cited of all Sherlock Holmes quotes -- the spurious “Elementary, my dear Watson” doesn’t count. One hears it all the time. Just recently, for example, one of the characters on the wonderful science fiction program “Eureka” said it.
-- Sherlock Holmes, “The Adventure of the Abbey Grange.”
The line is almost synonymous with Holmes, and often used in pastiches and parodies. And yet, the phrase did not originate with Holmes. The detective was quoting William Shakespeare when he said it. The original use is to be found in King Henry IV, Part I: “Before the game is afoot, thou still let’st slip.”
What’s your favorite Sherlock Holmes quote? And did it really start with Holmes?