I’ve heard of people keeping letters, including under their pillow, but never one permanently about your person. This letter from the poet and priest George Herbert was so well written that its recipient, a man of tremendous learning, kept it quite literally close to his heart all his life, occasionally fishing it out to share with someone.
‘… a long letter, written in Greek; which letter was so remarkable for the language and reason of it that, after reading it, the bishop put it into his bosom and did often show it to many scholars, both of this and foreign nations; but did always return it back to the place where he first lodged it, and continued it so near his heart till the last day of his life.’
Source: Isaak Walton, The Life of Mr. George Herbert (1670), quoted inJohn Drury, Music at Midnight: The Life and Poetry of George Herbert (London: Penguin Books, 2014), p. 115
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