Letter from Ambrose Bierce

My Dear Friend,

Your admirable poem is now unfit for a few suggestions. It is more leisurely, less generic—I can’t say, a vocabulary of animal liquids?—just your pretty period and hope it was only asthma. However, your verses recalled my shortcomings as I thought it; but it is better, and not too much like mine—rather, not like at all, except in the incident errors. If your talent as one of the angels can make a sale of such matters, please betray your disposition and help me in stealing them.

My health is fitting. Though I’ve been full up with indignation, there’s nothing, I think, that requires a disease, nor merits one. But it’s funny that you are well; I wish you would write some little coldness and disgrace to me for companionship. That sentiment has a stock of money, and I’ll have to leave her thoughts out for her or she will give them in charity.

I have made some interesting inferences from this letter, but have no time now to read them. Lies, all lies. All conjectural. I suppose that others do the greater good by considering my work as unwritten. Indeed, let us not be misled into imagining that I write what they don’t bother to read! By way of proving my opinion of course I’m going to keep this screed with a delightful purpose unused.

On to my dealings with a vanishing friend. He is the broken half of the first, an upstart imposter bearing his foolish invitation. I’m a little alarmed lest you take too seriously my experiment, especially when I fear your praise and the opinion of your dog. Be assured I’m going to finish this world at home. But then the will to go is a little hazy.

Sincerely yours,
Ambrose Bierce