As if any enemy could be more hurtful than the hatred with which he is incensed against him; or could wound more deeply him whom he persecutes, than he wounds his own soul by his enmity.
The Confessions of St. Augustine
And since I slept on the sleeping porch, which opened on the upstairs hall through glass doors and which, in any case, I shared with my uncle, I no longer dared to pray on my knees before going to sleep, though I am sure everybody would have been pleased and edified. The real reason for this was that I did not have the humility to care nothing about what people thought or said. I was afraid of their remarks, even kind ones, even approving ones. Indeed, it is a kind of quintessence of pride to hate and fear even the kind and legitimate approval of those who love us! I mean, to resent it as a humiliating patronage.
The Seven Storey Mountain
Did you know Kurt Vonnegut offered to volunteer on JFK’s presidential campaign? In this 1960 letter from Vonnegut to JFK, the author modestly states, “On occasion, I write pretty well.” 8/4/60.
-from the JFK Library
(Source: facebook.com, via todaysdocument)
This letter, my very dear Eliza, will not be delivered to you, unless I shall first have terminated my earthly career; to begin, as I humbly hope from redeeming grace and divine mercy, a happy immortality.
If it had been possible for me to have avoided the interview, my love for you and my precious children would have been alone a decisive motive. But it was not possible, without sacrifices which would have rendered me unworthy of your esteem. I need not tell you of the pangs I feel, from the idea of quitting you and exposing you to the anguish which I know you would feel. Nor could I dwell on the topic lest it should unman me.
The consolations of Religion, my beloved, can alone support you; and these you have a right to enjoy. Fly to the bosom of your God and be comforted. With my last idea; I shall cherish the sweet hope of meeting you in a better world.
Adieu best of wives and best of Women. Embrace all my darling Children for me.
July 4. 1804 —
From Alexander Hamilton to Elizabeth Hamilton, [4 July 1804], Founders Online, National Archives
On July 11, 1804 Alexander Hamilton was mortally wounded in duel with Aaron Burr, and would succumb to his wound the following day. This letter to his wife was written in the days prior, during which he noted his other reflections on the upcoming “interview.”