On this day in 1966 the English novelist Evelyn Waugh died at the age of sixty-three. Even those commentators who disagreed with Waugh's views and behavior thought him the best stylist of his day -- a writer, said Gore Vidal, of "prose so chaste that at times one longs for a violation of syntax to suggest that its creator is fallible, or at least part American." Many regard Waugh's earlier satires -- Decline and Fall, A Handful of Dust, Put Out More Flags -- as his greatest achievement; some prize the elegiac Brideshead Revisited; many prefer the less-filtered Waugh of the posthumously published letters and diaries. In different measure, all three categories combine the master stylist and the arch-conservative for our amusement and alarm: "Of children as of procreation -- the pleasure momentary, the posture ridiculous, the expense damnable" and "The only human relationships I abide are intimacy, formality and servility." Personally, Decline and Fall is still my favorite of all even though I admire tremendously the beauty and achievement of Brideshead Revisited. My disagreement with the philosophical point of view expressed in that book outweighs the stylistic achievement in my mind. I plan to read the Sword of Honour trilogy and look forward to more pleasure from the pen of this master.