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- Barrymore, Ethel, 1879-1959; Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. Merchant of Venice.
[Poem] Lines quoted from Shakespeare 19s Merchant of Venice, 1935 April 23, [New York] / Ethel Barrymore.
Barrymore has transcribed Portia speech from Act IV, Scene I of Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice and signed it "From, Ethel Barrymore." The lines deal with the quality of mercy which becomes "The throned monarch better than his crown." The lines further read that earthly power most closely resembles divine power "When mercy seasons justice." Born into a theatrical family, Barrymore made her debut in 1894 with a minor role in The Rivals, going on to perform in such productions as J.M. Barrie's Alice Sit-by-the-Fire (1905), Henrik Ibsen's A Doll 19s House (1905) in which she played the role of Nora, and W. Somerset Maugham's Lady Frederick (1908). Transitioning to film work with Metro Pictures, Barrymore appeared in thirteen films between 1914 and 1918. After receiving an Academy Award for her performance in None But the Lonely Heart (1944), starring Cary Grant, Barrymore hosted her own TV series.
- Beattie, James, 1735-1803.
[Letter] 1758 February 20 Fordoun [to] Mr. John Ogilvie, Aberdeen / Jas. Beattie.
Beattie thanks Ogilvie for his kind letter which he would have answered sooner had not the letter carrier crippled himself "so as not as yet [sic] to have recovered the use of his limbs." Beattie encloses a "translation of this piece of antiquity" for Ogilvie to review, asking for his judgment as both friend and critic, and explaining how his efforts are not an expression of arrogance. Beattie held the professorship of moral philosophy and logic at Marischal College from 1760, providing him with material for his Elements of Moral Science (1790-93). In addition, Beattie also composed poetry, songs, and translations of Virgil which he may be referencing here in his letter. Beattie moved in the intellectual circles of his day; his Essay on the Nature and Immutability of Truth, in Opposition to Sophistry and Scepticism (1770) debunks the skepticism expressed by philosopher David Hume, and his poem The Minstrel (1771 and 1774) was admired by Wordsworth.
- Besterman, Theodore, 1904-1976.
[Letter] 1951 January 16, London [to] James Mack, Bethlehem, Pa. / Theodore Besterman.
Besterman expresses his thanks to James Mack, Lehigh librarian, for sending him a photocopy of the Voltaire letter in Lehigh's collection.
- Bierce, Ambrose, 1842-1914?.
[Letter] 1903 April 23, Washington D.C., [to] Robert Mackay, Esqr. / Ambrose Bierce.
Bierce requests the honor of meeting with Mackay while in Washington. He confesses that when in New York he is "bewildered by the number of places at which I am expected, and have recently adopted the plan of sneaking [underlined] into the city virtually in disguise." Bierce further states that while he is on salary with Mr. Hearst, he does not feel himself at liberty to write anything other than stories for other publications; he avers that this is not part of his contract, but that it is policy nonetheless. Bierce fought on the Union side of the Civil War, and was deeply affected by the Battle of Shiloh in 1862; he later published short stories about his wartime experiences. His caustic essays appear in several journals, and he also contributed a regular column to William Randolph Hearst San Francisco Examiner. The strong opinions which he expressed about Hearst's enemy, railway magnate Collis Huntingdon, may have stifled Huntington's Southern Pacific company. Bierce disappeared in Mexico in 1913 and the circumstances of his death are unknown.
- Bryan, William Jennings, 1860-1925.
[Letter] 1908 January 23, Washington D.C., [to] Editor, the Independent, New York / W.J. Bryan.
Bryan reports that as his office in the Senate Annex is next to Senator Davis, he brought the Independent's article on Davis in to the Senator who was pleased with it and sent it to a member of his family. Bryan recommends sending Davis a complimentary copy of the publication. Bryan, a writer and a lecturer himself, served as a Representative from Nebraska (1891-95) and a colonel in the Spanish-American War; after unsuccessful runs for President in 1896, 1900, and 1908 he served as Wilson's Secretary of State (1913-15) and also established the Nebraska newspaper The Commoner (1901).
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