Chapter & Verse

A correspondence corner for not-so-famous lost words

Harvey Carnes seeks the author of a poem about Lincoln: "young Abe/of the too-short pants/and too-long legs" who becomes "...Abe/of the sad eyes/...wrapping his strong hands/around a nation,/trying to hold the bleeding halves together/until they healed."

 

Brent Ranelli hopes someone can identify the source ("most likely Plato") of "Every man should play the flute, but no man should play it too well."

 

Gaston Shumate wants to learn the origin of the lament: "Gone are the excessive days of the Twenties: the speakeasies, the lawlessness, the flappers. ...What a shame. I had a wonderful time."

 

Mary Bundy asks who said: "The course that a free nation runs is from virtuous industry to wealth; from wealth to luxury; from luxury to an impatience of discipline and corruption of morals; till by a total degeneracy and loss of virtue, being grown ripe for destruction, it falls at last a prey to some hardy oppressor, and with the loss of liberty loses everything else that is valuable."

 

Buck Henry inquires after the original author of a remark quoted by the character David in Paul Osborn's play Morning's at Seven: "I am eight miles north of water,/three thoughts under love,/ten beats past despair...."

 

"Wagner is the Puccini of music" (May-June 2002). Arsen Charles attributes the comment, from recollection, to Melville Smith, director in the late 1940s of the Longy School of Music in Cambridge.

 

Send inquiries and answers to "Chapter and Verse," Harvard Magazine, 7 Ware Street, Cambridge 02138.        

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