Who knows whether the best of men be known, or whether there be not more remarkable persons forgot, than any that stand remembered in the known account of time.
—Sir Thomas Browne, "Hydriotaphia: Urne-Burial."
The tranquility of Midwestern life in our departmental ivory tower is often disturbed by notes or letters or reprints from our professor and head. Some of the letters have achieved local fame as "cheerio notes," written when the author of the note is off to tilt at some rigid windmill; they end with "cheerio" and usually mean a little extra work. The reprints are less painful but more stimulating, for minds need to be stretched. The notes vary from recommendations to take a half day off in the summer to admonitions concerning the use of words and observations about papers in journals which we may have missed.
Occasionally we receive a book. A couple of years