What's the origin of the phrase "to be young and in love"? I speculate that it's a quote from something influential, but I can't find a source. Anyone know?
I ran a quick search of the Google Books archive to see if I could find a plausible candidate. There were some hits for the phrases:
To be young and in love
To be young and to be in love
in the nineteenth century, but none seemed particularly likely to be influential. There was a review of a Henry Wadsworth Longfellow novel, and a novel call "In Kedar's Tents," and a Rider Haggard novel "Dawn," all of which used such a phrase, but nothing seemed to explicitly refer to an earlier use. Neither phrase appeared before the 1880s.
I broadened the search to:
young and in love
and found an early reference, in a play of 1759 called "The Guardian":
Ay, ay, they are such fops, so taken up with themselves! Zounds, when I was young, and in love--
Again, nothing seemed to explicitly reference this somewhat obscure play.
Based on the scanty evidence, I would suggest that the phrase is an old saying, cliche, or aphorism, originating in the nineteenth century or before, rather than a specific literary reference.