I started reading some other translation online, then went out and bought the Penguin Classics one. Bad move. I had taken note of some quotes I really liked, and when I went to highlight them in my new copy, they weren't even that good. For instance, I first read this:
"If a picture, which is but a mute representation of an object, can give such pleasure, what cannot letters inspire? They have souls; they can speak; they have in them all that force which expresses the transports of the heart; they have all the fire of our passions, they can raise them as much as if the persons themselves were present; they have all the tenderness and the delicacy of speech, and sometimes even a boldness of expression beyond it."
And in this translation, it comes out as this:
"If pictures of absent friends give us pleasure, renewing our memories and relieving the pain of separation even if they cheat us with empty comfort, how much more welcome is a letter which comes to us in the very handwriting of an absent friend."
I'm very disappointed. Anybody know what edition the first quote is from?