My father’s sister had told me that her mother, my grandmother, Martha Smith of Cheltenham, Essex, England, had remembered a favorite exclamation of her mother to her father, which was; “Jimmie, Damn your Eyes!” I had never before heard this expression, until I came across it last night in the writings of G.K. Chesterton in “The Innocence of Father Brown.” I can but assume that my great grandfather, Jimmie Smith, must have been a most perceptive person.
DEAR FATHER BROWN,–Vicisti Galilee. Otherwise, damn your eyes, which are very penetrating ones. Can it be possible that there is something in all that stuff of yours after all?.
“Vicisti, Galilee” translates as “you have won, Galilean” – which was the supposed resignation from the last pagan Emperor of Rome that Christianity had won out as the state religion.