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Florence Earle Coates

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Mrs. Coates is the very incarnation of contradiction. The action of her life is cast along the lines of conventional routine; but the hidden and real existence of the woman is carried on miles beyond and above all the material concerns, in the pure ether of the poet's realm. She will shut herself up with the "wide-eyed muse" to round a sonnet of majestic reach, or she will merge into the gay world, the laces of a dutchess about her, precious stones at her throat and glowing roses on her breast, there to dazzle all listeners to her conversation, in which bon mot, persiflage, eloquence and philosophy are interwoven. She is a "fine lady," and yet her poetry is never tainted by "fine ladyism." She is a bluestocking, but with none of the unlovely signs of bluestockingism about her. Another woman with Mrs. Coates' voice, mobile face, and evident histrionic instinct would have dashed away from the conventional life and sought vent for the "tempest within" in the mimic world of the stage, but Mrs. Coates is mistress of a perfectly ordered home.
--
Marianna F. McCann, from The Philadelphia Inquirer, 13 May 1894: her first impression upon meeting Mrs. Coates some years earlier at a reception in honor of French author Madamme Henry Gréville.

 
Florence Earle Coates

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I am told [Mrs. Coates] bears me in mind and is of a disposition to look with something of favor on my work—which I might say, quoting one of William's playful quips, 'shows her good sense.' They tell me Mrs. Coates is quite a woman among women—is beautiful, shines with great brightness, and, by those who know her well, is admired and cherished...(93) I don't know Mr. Coates but I know the wife—a beautiful, true woman, I have always believed her. We have had several talks together—or maybe only one talk: I am not clear about that now—but I shall always remember what she said—the effect of her talk, which was mainly about Matthew Arnold, who was her guest in Germantown. Arnold is a man for whom I never seem to be able to get up any stir—with whom I never have had and never could have a thorough-going affinity. But Mrs. Coates gave me the other side of him—the social side, the personal side, the intellectual side—the side of deportment, behavior—the side which I ought perhaps most to hear about and did willingly and gladly hear of from her. For every man has that better thing to be said of him—is entitled to all it may mean, signify, explain...(112) Yes, tell the Coates people—Mrs., Mr. Coates—to come over: I will see them...(156) I saw [Mr. and Mrs. Coates]—was glad to see them: both of them are so good, cordial, sincere—she particularly. It does my old eyes good to look at such a woman...(215) The letter [Mrs. Coates had sent to me] that came with [the poem, "The Promised Land"] was very hospitable, forth-giving: I liked it: indeed, the letter was a better poem than the poem: a real poem, in fact...(396)

 
Florence Earle Coates
 

On the bus going home I heard a most fascinating conversation between an old man and woman. "What a thing, though," the old woman said. "You'd hardly credit it." "She's always made a fuss of the whole family, but never me," the old man said. "Does she have a fire when the young people go to see her?" "Fire?" "She won't get people seeing her without warmth." "I know why she's doing it. Don't think I don't," the old man said. "My sister she said to me, 'I wish I had your easy life.' Now that upset me. I was upset by the way she phrased herself. 'Don't talk to me like that,' I said. 'I've only got to get on the phone and ring a certain number,' I said, 'to have you stopped.'" "Yes," the old woman said, "And you can, can't you?" "Were they always the same?" she said. "When you was a child? Can you throw yourself back? How was they years ago?" "The same," the old man said. "Wicked, isn't it?" the old woman said. "Take care, now" she said, as the old man left her. He didn't say a word but got off the bus looking disgruntled.

 
Joe Orton
 

"My life is like shattered glass." said the visitor. "My soul is tainted with evil. Is there any hope for me?
"Yes," said the Master. "There is something whereby each broken thing is bound again and every stain made clean."
"What?"
"Forgiveness"
"Whom do I forgive?"
"Everyone: Life, God, your neighbor — especially yourself."
"How is that done?"
"By understanding that no one is to blame," said the Master. "NO ONE."

 
Anthony de Mello
 

I told him, "We're all gay, buddy. It's just to what extent are you gay." He says, "That's bullshit, man, I ain't gay at all!" I said, "Yes, you are and I'll prove it." He says, "Fine, prove it." I said to him, "All right- do you like porn?" He says, "Yeah, I love porn, you know that." I said, "Do you only watch two women together?" He said, "Naw, I watch a man and a woman make love." I said, "OK, do you want the guy to have a tiny, half-flaccid penis?" He said, "Naw, man, I like big, hard, throbbing co- (stunned pause) ...I did not know that about myself."

 
Ron White
 

I should like to shake Eric Coates but I won't. When I meet him he says, "I just love every note you have written." and I believe he does--but--as you say--well!

 
Edward German
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