From the Frontispiece

(although, it's not an illustration, so ... is it a frontispiece?)

Yesterday afternoon, between my appointment for setting up the end of my PLA adventure and the coming Mary Catherine Bateson lecture, I found the library's book sale. I found a pristine copy of The World's Great Letters (1940), and I bought it. Best dollar I ever spent. From the frontispiece,

The post is the consolation of life. Voltaire

The earth has nothing like a she epistle. Byron

As long as there are postmen, life will have zest. William James

In a man's letters, you know, madam, his soul lies naked. Dr. Johnson

The public will always give up its dinner to read love letters. George Jean Nathan

Letters, such as written by wise men, are, of all the words of men, in my judgment, the best. Francis Bacon

I forgot to say that one of the pleasures of reading old letters is the knowledge that they need no answer. Byron

The need of composing letters was the earliest and most constant incentive to terseness, clarity, and exactitude of statement. R. L. Megroz

Let those who may complain that it (the Shaw-Ellen Terry "romantic correspondence") was all on paper remember that only on paper has humanity yet achieved glory, beauty, truth, knowledge, virtue, and abiding love. George Bernard Shaw

No comments: