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The Irish scholar and author gives "words of wisdom" for the two young sons of a correspondent Autograph letter signed: "Walter Starkie" on page 4, 4p, 7x9½, front and verso. Glendon House, Apt. 301, Los Angeles, California, 1973 July 11. To "Dear Mr Allen".

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The Irish scholar and author gives "words of wisdom" for the two young sons of a correspondent
Autograph letter signed: "Walter Starkie" on page 4, 4p, 7x9½, front and verso. Glendon House, Apt. 301, Los Angeles, California, 1973 July 11. To "Dear Mr Allen". In full: "I have just received your letter of June 28, 1973 on my return to Los Angeles, in which you inform me that your two sons, John Christopher and Robert Menitt were born on March 15, 1971 and February 11, 1972 respectively. I shall give you a few thoughts which you may pass on to your two sons Christopher and Robert: I A Gaelic one which was given to me by an Irish Tinker in Galway when I was a Wee toddler: it is a very old Gaelic toast: 'May the roads rise with you, And the wind be always at your back: And may the Lord hold you in the hollow of his hand' II A great thought which I discovered in Don Quixote by Shakespeare's Spanish Contemporary, Cervantes. It was one he coined in captivity, when he was a prisoner of the Moors in Algiers in 1575-1580: Paciencia y Barojar - 'Patience and shuffle the cards'). No phrase expresses more succinctly his patience and cheerful stoicism as a captive in the years 1575-1580. III. My third thought comes from the good British Jesuit, Father Martin Sarcy's latest book, 'Facing the People'. Dimension Books, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 1972. 'Is there then no place for laughter in the gospels and in the Kingdom of God now and hereafter when we are once more embodied? God forbid! 'Dost then think, because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?' We have in Sir Thomas More a saint who could joke and laugh even on the scaffold: and there is the enchanting story of the Syrian monk, who, though dead, sat up laughing on his bier three times before burial because God so loved him and his fellowmen. In heaven's perpetual springtime, laughter will mingle with the recollections and renewals at the heavenly love feast.' IV My fourth thought is in a more frivolous vein. I saw in 1935 in the Gypsy quarter of Seville, the Macarena district, on the wall of a tavern in large letters a neat piece of land-lordly wisdom: IV. 'Si doy pierdo la gamancia de hoy; Si fia carezeo de lo que es mío; Si presto, al pagar poena mal gesto Y Para evitar todo esta Ni doy ni fío ni presto. ('If I give scot-free I lose the day's earning; If I give credit I lose the use of what is mine, If I lend, they are annoyed when they have to pay: And so to avoid all this, I neither give no credit nor lend.') V And as a last thought I shall quote what an old sardonic friend once said of me: 'You came into the world with a moon demon; a tinker taught you the fiddle and put a curse on you, and the Gypsies put the 'come hither' on you, and when you came to Spain you discovered your duende or demon; and even today when you're getting old and should know better, he steals into your room when there's a full moon and whisks you over the hills and far away.' I hope you and your wife will tell these thoughts to your sons when the reach the age when fairies and elves haunt their dreams, and you must read out to them the tales of Grimm, Hans Andersen, illustrated by my uncle Arthur Rackham who, incidentally, did the frontispieces for my three books: Raggle-Taggle, Spanish Raggle-Taggle, Don Gypsy - all of them published by John Murray of London. And you should also include the Irish Fairy Tales by James Stephrus the Irish poet, which also is illustrated by Arthur Rockham. I wish you all the luck or bacht in the world, as the Gypsies say, and myself and my wife send our best wishes to the two boys: May the Lord hold them in the hollow of His hand.; Yours truly". Irish scholar, author and translator Walter Fitzwilliam Starke (1894-1976) is best known for his translations of Spanish literature. He was also the Director of the Irish National Theatre from 1927-1942. Starkie later gained fame for his travels, which included working with several different universities in the U.S. in the 1950s and 1960s and time at U.C.L.A. in the 1970s. Called a modern day gypsy by "Time" magazine, Starkie detailed his travels in his book, Raggle-Taggle Gypsy, which he mentions in this letter. Lightly creased with folds, light vertical fold at the "Wa" of Walter. Minor show through of ink. Diagonally trimmed at upper left margins, lower left blank corner of first page torn away. Correction fluid at lower right blank margin and tape stain at mid-right margin of first page. Correction fluid at upper left corner of page 2 lightly shows through, correction fluid at two lines of third page (all writing legible). Otherwise, fine condition.

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