It is hard to think with violence raining down, near and far. I am far from it in Providence, at least for now. My heart goes out to Nice. In a strange way its beauty struck me as I read this passage, having picked up The Commodore, the 17th of Patrick O’Brian’s 20-volume sea novel set in the Napoleonic era. Here, Dr. Maturin is conversing with Captain Aubrey over a shipboard dinner of aiguillettes – I ate duck this evening at Chez Pascal – and Stephen asks:
“Will I tell you another of Plato’s observations”
“Pray do,” said Jack, his smile briefly returning.
“It should please you, since you have a very pretty hand. Hinksey quoted it when I dined with him in London and we were discussing the bill of fare: ‘Calligraphy,’ said Plato, ‘is the physical manifestation of an architecture of the soul.’ That being so, mine must be a turf-and-wattle kind of soul, since my handwriting would be disowned by a backward cat; whereas yours, particularly on your charts, has a most elegant flow and clarity, the outward form of a soul that might have conceived the Parthenon.”
Jack made a civil bow, and pudding came in: spotted dog. He silently offered a slice to Stephen, who shook his head and ate mechanically for a while, before pushing his plate away.
Can’t see how Plato, duck, calligraphy and Nice might be related. But I have written my post for today and may go back to reading my book. More than four score in Nice cannot say that, or anything else, this evening.