"Remember that the most beautiful things in the world
are the most useless;
peacocks and lilies, for example".
So. A few days ago, I sent an e-mail to the Waterman Pen company because the extra-fine nib on my beloved Phileas fountain pen has become terminally clogged, and I need a new one. (Note to fountain pen users: avoid Private Reserve ink. It comes in exquisite colors, but it's the fountain pen's version of anthrax-in-a-bottle. )
I signed the e-mail with my name, my real name. The quotation was several lines down, and set off from the margin in a most artful manner.
Waterman responded promptly, as follows:
Hello Mr. Ruskin,
Yes, you may purchase a new nib for $16.00 plus $5.00 shipping and handling. We take Visa or Master card and our number is 800 237-8736.
I do, indeed, thank John Ruskin because he was one of the founders of the Pre-Raphaelite movement, one of the great artistic loves of my life. However, I don't think he has a Visa or MasterCard.