When I found out that my best friend from high school passed away, I remembered her for many things - a hundred kindnesses, many laughs and - most of all - our shared love of literature, history and languages.
No one else but her ever cajoled me out of a bad mood by quoting Shakespeare - which she did all the time. When we went through hazing , only she would get up on a chair in the cafeteria and begin what was supposed to be the school song by starting with "Friends, Romans, countrymen - lend me your ears - if you dare" making me laugh so hard that I almost fell off my chair, shy as I was. It didn't get us out of having to sing, but we were laughing so hard the seniors found no fun in it and let us go.
It takes guts to toss out Shakespearean quotes in high school classes, but it never stopped her. When our favorite teacher announced he was giving us a surprise quiz, she'd quip "Et tu, Brute?" And when I couldn't find a pen to take a test one day, she watched me going through my bag frantically and predictably started in with "A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!" as she handed me a pen with a grin.
Okay, so it could get on your nerves once in a while. But it usually made me smile. And it makes me wonder what Shakespearean quote she'd fling at me, watching me today. I wouldn't mind a few lines from A Comedy of Errors some days. It would seem appropriate.
Perhaps you'll bear with me as I offer, on her behalf, a line from Julius Caesar - "And this was the noblest Roman of them all." She would have liked that.