2 months ago
A great deal of the comfort and satisfaction of a good dinner depends upon the carving. Awkward carving is enough to spoil the appetite of a refined and sensitive person. No matter how well the meats may be cooked, if they are mutilated, torn and hacked to pieces, or even cut awkwardly, one half of their relish is destroyed by the carver. Formerly in England there were regular teachers of the art of carving and Lady Mary Wortley Montague confesses that she once took lessons of such a professor three times a week. Besides the annoyance and mortification of bad carving it is a very extravagant piece of ignorance, as it causes a great waste of meats. In the seventeenth century carving was a science that carried with it as much pedantry as the business of school-teaching does in the present day; and fr a person to use wrong terms in relation to carving was an unpardonable affront to etiquette. Carving all kinds of small birds was called, to thy them; a quail, to wing it; a pheasant, to allay it; a duck, to rembrace it; a hen, to spoil her; a goose, to tare her, and a list of similar technicalities too long and too ridiculous to repeat.OR IS THE LIST JUST LONG AND RIDICULOUS ENOUGH?????
For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him.
With all this Injustice, he is never in good Case but like those among Men who live by Sharping & Robbing he is generally poor and often very lousy. Besides he is a rank Coward: The little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the District. He is therefore by no means a proper Emblem for the brave and honest Cincinnati of America who have driven all the King birds from our Country...Other symbols Franklin suggested for his fledgling country: the rattlesnake, Moses and Pharaoh
I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America... He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.
What sort of diary should I like mine to be? Something loose-knit and yet not slovenly, so elastic that it will embrace anything, solemn, slight or beautiful, that comes into my mind. I should like it to resemble some deep old desk or capacious hold-all, in which one flings a mass of odds and ends without looking them through. I should like to come back, after a year or two, and find that the collection had sorted itself and refined itself and coalesced, as such deposits so mysteriously do, into a mould, transparent enough to reflect the light of our life, and yet steady, tranquil compounds with the aloofness of a work of art-Virginia Woolf
In historical Poland it was written by members of the szlachta (Polish nobility) as a diary or memoir for the entire family, recording family traditions, among other matters; they were not intended for a wider audience of printing (although there were a few exceptions); some were also lent to friends of the family, who were allowed to add their comments to them. It was added to by many generations, and contained various information: diary-type entires on current events, memoirs, letters, political speeches, copies of legal documents, gossips, jokes and anecdotes, financial documents, economic information (price of grain, etc.), philosophical musings, poems, genealogical trees, advice (agricultural, medical, moral) for the descendants and others - the wealth of information in silva is staggering, they contain anything that their authors wished to record for future generations)--Once, my rommates and I started a sort of intragenerational silva. It traveled the world with us for about a year before fizzling out. How illuminating it would be to read now. What a perfect time capsule of our brains working together for that year, thinking of each other, trying to provoke each other to laugh or ponder or create.
Once, on meeting Leonard Nimoy and his wife, I was gratified to find out...how literate they are. He advised me on the pronunciation of some words in the expression Alle Kunst ist umsunst Wenn ein Engel auf das Zundloch brunzt (which covers a multitude of sins and means something like: all skill is in vain if an angel pisses down the touch-hole of your musket).--Heather McHugh