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Chapter & Verse

 
A correspondence for not-so-famous lost words

Mike Kempson requests a source for the following exchange, possibly from an old poem: “It was just the other day that the Gray Swan sailed away.” “The other day? ’Twas 20 years ago!”

“die a little each day” (May-June). Thomas Finucane suggests as a possible source “a prominent subtext in geriatric medicine,” the following excerpt from Shakespeare’s King Lear: “O, our lives’ sweetness!/That we the pain of death would hourly die/Rather than die at once!” (5.3.184-6).

“heights of joy, depths of sorrow” (May-June). John Hostage and Helmuth Joel both suggested in reply Clara’s song, from the second scene of the third act of Goethe’s play Egmont.



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