Quote: never before heard of a man's signing his name and forgetting to write the letter

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sun Jul 21 18:19:19 UTC 2013

Fred and list members: Here is a match from a preliminary search for
the entertaining anecdote about Henry Ward Beecher. Earlier instances
probably exist. I am sharing this because the use of "April Fool" in
the signature changes the coloration of the anecdote I think.

Title: A Manual of Composition and Rhetoric
Author: John Seely Hart
Year: 1871
Publisher: J. L. Hammett
Quote Page: 204


[Begin excerpt]
Henry Ward Beecher once, on the 1st of April, received a letter
containing simply the words "April Fool." He enclosed it to Bonner,
with a note, saying, "I have often heard of people's writing letters
and forgetting to sign their name, but I never before heard of a man's
signing his name and forgetting to write the letter."
[End excerpt]


On Sun, Jul 21, 2013 at 1:37 PM, Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at yale.edu> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Shapiro, Fred" <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Five Quotation Questions
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Below are five quotations for which I am seeking the earliest findable occurrence.  I would welcome any citations or suggestions regarding early usages of any of them.  I have not done any research myself on these, so some of them may be easily traceable and I apologize for not researching those myself.
> Fred Shapiro
> Neither am I.
> Peter Cook ... on being told that the person sitting next to him at a dinner party was "writing a book"
> I have known many an instance of a man writing a letter and forgetting to sign his name, but this is the only instance I have ever known of a man signing his name and forgetting to write the letter.
> Henry Ward Beecher, said upon receiving a note containing the single word "Fool"
> Life itself is a quotation  [original Spanish would be best]
> Borges
> Shakespeare, I come!
> Theodore Dreiser, intended last words
> Tell them I said something!
> Pancho Villa, "last words"
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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