Towards the end of the summer of 1906 I received a letter from Mr. F. A. Mumby, of the Daily Graphic, asking me if I knew if Joseph Fletcher, the "Posh" of the "FitzGerald" letters, was still alive. All about me were veterans of eighty, ay, and ninety! hale and garrulous as any longshoreman needs be. But it had never occurred to me before that possibly the man who was Edward FitzGerald's "Image of the Mould that Man was originally cast in," the east coast fisherman for whom the great translator considered no praise to be too high, might be within easy reach.
ugh they were school classics. Every new discovery of FitzGerald's life seems to create new wonder, new admiration for him; and there are, I hope, few who will read without some emotion not far from tears the sentence in his sermon to Posh.
"Do not let a poor, old, solitary, and sad Man (as I really am, in spite of my Jokes), do not, I say, let me waste my Anxiety in vain. I thought I had done with new Likings: and I had a more easy Life perhaps on that account: now I shall often think of you with uneasiness, for the very reason that I had so much Liking and Interest for you."
The biography of a hero written by his valet would be interesting, and, according to proverbial wisdom, unbiased by the heroic repute of its subject. But it would be artificial for all that. Even though the hero be no hero to his valet, the valet is fully aware of his master's fame; indeed, the man will be so inconsisten