Saturday, 20 June 2015

Things change


I presume I shall be better understood if I day that the month was October and the day October thirteenth; the exact hour I cannot tell you — it’s easier to get philosophers to agree than timepieces — but it was between noon and one o’clock.
Seneca - Apocolocyntosis (divi) Claudii (around 55AD)

A terrific day when the doctor, with face tanned like a chauffeur’s, returned to Clerkenwell and resumed his work, calm, prim, impassible as ever!
Arnold Bennett - Elsie and the Child (1924)

Childhood nutrition
He listens; ay, his lips moving perhaps, and a smile on his old face like a child asking for a slice of bread and sugar.
Walter de la Mare - Music (1955)

As a child I remember bread and butter with sugar sprinkled on it. Slightly crunchy and not particularly pleasant

“How long does it take to go to Westcombe across this way?” she asked of him while they were bringing up the carriage.
“About two hours,” he said.
“Two hours — so long as that, does it? How far is it away?”
“Eight miles.”
“Two hours to drive eight miles — who ever heard of such a thing!” “I thought you meant walking”
“Ah, yes; but one hardly means walking without expressly stating it.”
“Well, it seems just the other way to me — that walking is meant unless you say driving.”
Thomas Hardy - An Indiscretion in the Life of an Heiress (1935)

Monday mornings
Monday morning is a strenuous but somehow a glad morning in respectable households of regular habits. The clean linen is brought out in lovely white piles from the linen cupboard and distributed over the house, and the dirty linen is collected and shamefully hurried away and catalogued in a place without honour and thrown pell-mell in baskets and despatched, and then everybody has a sweet sense of relief.
Arnold Bennett - Elsie and the Child (1924)

I have just returned from a ride in my litter; and I am as weary as if I had walked the distance, instead of being seated. Even to be carried for any length of time is hard work, perhaps all the more so because it is an unnatural exercise; for Nature gave us legs with which to do our own walking, and eyes with which to do our own seeing. Our luxuries have condemned us to weakness; we have ceased to be able to do that which we have long declined to do.
Seneca - Epistulae morales ad Lucilium c. 65 AD


Demetrius said...

There was a time when society beauties used white lead as a cosmetic on their faces. The the faces rotted so they used more. They had short lives.

A K Haart said...

Demetrius - kissing them would have been dodgy too.