Chapter & Verse

A correspondence corner for not-so-famous lost words

Nicholas Puner requests leads to lost favorites. In the first, a short story, a man is driven progressively around the bend by a malefactor who gradually shaves down the victim's cane, making it increasingly difficult for him to walk. The others are a series of English detective stories for children involving the Mackie family, "set in coastal precincts" and published no later than the 1940s.


John Keady seeks a poem with the phrase "the runner stumbles" in its title.


Margaret Rusk hopes someone can identify a fictional or nonfictional work, probably pre-1900, that she recalls about a companion animal named "Elegant."


Victoria Henderson would like to learn the full text and author of a poem that begins, "Once there was a proper gent/Who walked to town each day." The poem's story duplicates Edward Arlington Robinson's "Richard Cory."


"Love calls us to the things of this world" (March-April). Sarah Manguso suggested as a source the following passage from Saint Augustine's Confessions, (book x, paragraph 27, translated by R.S. Pine-Coffin): "I have learnt to love you late, Beauty at once so ancient and new! I have learnt to love you late! You were within me, and I was in the world outside myself. I searched for you outside myself and, disfigured as I was, I fell upon the lovely things of your creation. You were with me, but I was not with you. The beautiful things of this world kept me far from you and yet, if they had not been in you, they would have no being at all."


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


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