Chapter & Verse

Correspondence on not-so-famous lost words

Richard van Frank asks who wrote: “Though children may darken your hours/With their shoutings and their fights,/They also brighten up the house—/ They never turn out the lights.”


“telescope of mind” (January-February). Dan Rosenberg was the first to identify this stanza, which begins the prologue to John Howard Payne’s 1818 play Brutus; or The Fall of Tarquin. The author of the prologue may have been one of Payne’s friends, the Reverend George Croly. 


“ambassador’s nose” (January-February). Graeme Wood identified this variant of an incident between a footman and child in Gogol’s Dead Souls, chapter two.

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