“The naming of cats is a difficult matter.” — T. S. Eliot, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats
Mr. E. has decreed that henceforward he will be known to his friends as Ernest.
We welcome Ernest’s decision to drop the Mr. We believe it evinces his desire to establish a closer relationship with us. We also like it because Ernest is easier to say.
When Ernest announced the less formal mode of address, we asked whether William might like to be rechristened Julio. William said no.
So now we have William and Ernest. The literary-minded among us remember those who share the names: William Shakespeare, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, Ernest Gaines.
We also remember poet William Ernest Henley, whose “Invictus” our entire freshman class had to memorize and recite, one by one, to qualify for a passing grade. The final stanza of the poem follows:
We can think of no verse that better expresses William and Ernest’s philosophy of life. Whether lungeing at the crystal vase atop the piano or switching the laptop from Windows to DOS, they are the masters of their fates. They are the captains of their souls.