From Found

I came across this post on A Spot of Literature which includes an excerpt from French writer Guy de Maupassant. It was so good that I had to share.

A wife writes to her friend about her husband shaving off his mustache.

CHATEAU DE SOLLES,
July 30, 1883.

…You cannot imagine, my dear Lucy, how it changes him [my husband]! I no longer recognize him-by day or at night. If he did not let it grow again I think I should no longer love him; he looks so horrid like this.

In fact, a man without a moustache is no longer a man. I do not care much for a beard; it almost always makes a man look untidy. But a moustache, oh, a moustache is indispensable to a manly face. No, you would never believe how these little hair bristles on the upper lip are a relief to the eye and good in other ways. I have thought over the matter a great deal but hardly dare to write my thoughts. Words look so different on paper and the subject is so difficult, so delicate, so dangerous that it requires infinite skill to tackle it.

Well, when my husband appeared, shaven, I understood at once that I never could fall in love with a strolling actor nor a preacher, even if it were Father Didon, the most charming of all! Later when I was alone with him (my husband) it was worse still. Oh, my dear Lucy, never let yourself be kissed by a man without a moustache; their kisses have no flavor, none whatever! They no longer have the charm, the mellowness and the snap — yes, the snap — of a real kiss. The moustache is the spice.

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I was unintentionally looking through old emails today and found this gem – the finest piece of American Literature since the Declaration of Independence.

I just heard this on NPR and felt compelled to share.

The Battle of Bull Run started 150 years ago today. This letter, from Sullivan Ballou to his wife, was written one week before he fell in battle.

July 14, 1861, Washington, D.C. Dear Sarah, the indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days, perhaps tomorrow. And lest I should not be able to write you again, I feel impelled to write a few lines that may fall under your eye when I am no more.

I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how American civilization now leans upon the triumph of the government and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and suffering of the Revolution. And I am willing, perfectly willing, to lay down all my joys in this life to help maintain this government and to pay that debt.

Sarah, my love for you is deathless. It seems to bind me with mighty cables that nothing but omnipotence could break. And yet my love of country comes over me like a strong wind and bears me irresistibly with all those chains to the battlefield.

The memory of all the blissful moments I have enjoyed with you come crawling over me, and I feel most deeply grateful to God and you that I have enjoyed them for so long. And how hard it is for me to give them up and burn to ashes the hopes of future years when, God willing, we might still have lived and loved together and see our boys grown up to honorable manhood around us. If I do not return, my dear Sarah, never forget how much I loved you, nor that when my last breath escapes me on the battlefield, it will whisper your name. Forgive my many faults and the many pains I have caused you. How thoughtless, how foolish I have sometimes been.

But, oh Sarah, if the dead can come back to this Earth and flit unseen around those they loved, I shall always be with you in the brightest day and the darkest night always, always. And when the soft breeze fans your cheek, it shall be my breath. Or the cool air your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by. Sarah, do not mourn me dead, think I am gone and wait for me for we shall meet again.