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Chapter & Verse

Correspondence on not-so-famous lost words

September-October 2013

Taylor Chiu seeks a citation for words attributed to Jane Austen: “Teach us that we may feel the importance of every hour, every minute, as it passes.”

Eliot Kieval, intrigued by the famous assertion “I disapprove of [sometimes, disagree with] what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,” frequently attributed to Voltaire, is eager to learn of any similar declarations, in any language, that predate the 1906 publication of The Friends of Voltaire, by “Stephen G. Tallentyre” (the pen name of English writer Evelyn Beatrice Hall). The quotation is reported to be Hall’s paraphrase of Voltaire’s attitude; Fred R. Shapiro, editor of The Yale Book of Quotations, writes in that volume that the quotation “does not appear…in Voltaire’s writings.”

“Together” (July-August). Carmen Munnelly recognized Ludwig Lewisohn’s poem “Together,” which begins, “You and I by this lamp with these/few books shut out the world…” and ends, “And this is marriage, this is love.” Jo Salas cited Grace Paley’s “Hand-Me-Downs,” from Begin Again: Collected Poems, for its similar theme.

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