O’NEILL: A LETTER
Editor’s note. When Pat Quinby’s prize-winning speech, printed above, was published in the college newspaper, The Bowdoin Orient (February 28, 1923), its author sent a copy to the playwright with “How near did I come?” written across the front page. O’Neill’s letter of reply, postmarked March 28, 1923, and offering (as its recipient rightly notes) “a fine example of his modesty and Irish wit,” is published here for the first time.
My dear Mr. Quinby:
Thanks very much for sending me the paper. I’ve read your oration with the greatest interest, and I think it’s damn good stuff. As for “coming near”, well, I hope you did. More than that I cannot modestly assert. However, I can say that your deductions are to the point, and your treatment of the whole article is something you may well take confident pride in.
I’m glad you won the prize--and I’m glad the prize was money and not a medal. One can always use the former, but the latter should be confined exclusively to Blue Label Katsup and other winners in the Sauce Show. I feel rather strongly on this subject at present having just been awarded one--my first--for something or other--a gold one, weight and carat not yet divulged. What to do with, I ask?
All best regards to you,
P.S. Yours was delayed in forwarding--hence delay.
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