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Universal Levity

Elisabeth Jungmann once commented to Max Beerbohm how much she would like to have met the great scientist Isaac Newton (famed for his formulation of the Universal Law of Gravitation). When Max replied that he would not have understood the man, Elisabeth persevered.

"He would have liked you," she said. "Yes," Max agreed: "I would have taught him the law of levity."

[In June 1997, the British library held a low-key exhibition of the works of Enoch Soames -- the fictional hero of a Beerbohm story. In a pact with the devil in 1897, Soames is allowed to visit the future (1997) and spend five hours in the British Library in search of references to himself. Sadly, he finds just one: he is the subject of a story by Max Beerbohm.]

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