Friday, January 26, 2007


Freezing Friday

Ten below and sharp bitter sunshine this morning. Spring seems aeons away and I want to sleep until then. The chi is at a low ebb. Still, I woke myself up and got to the shop and read through the Ts this morning in The Reader's Encyclopedia, and for the first time couldn't find many entries to transcribe here. Usually they jump off the page at me, and I have to winnow them down. Today, most entries seem to be names of authors, characters, or places, and not so many are the mythic or odd general terms I enjoy so much. More likely they are there and my sluggish brain can't discern them... Still, here are a few, to amuse:

Tempest, Lady Betty. In Goldsmith's Citizen of the World, a lady with beauty, fortune, and family, whose head is turned by plays and romances. Having rejected many offers because the suitors do not come up to her ideal, she is gradually left in the cold until she becomes company only for aunts and cousins, a wallflower in ballrooms, and in society generally "a piece of fashionable lumber." (p.1105)

Thoughtless, Miss Betty. The heroine of a novel of that name by Mrs. Heywood (1697-1758), a virtuous, sensible, and amiable young lady, utterly regardless of the conventionalities of society, and wholly ignorant of etiquette. She is consequently forever involved in petty scrapes most mortifying to her sensitive mind. Even her lover is alarmed at her gaucherie, and deliberates whether such a partner for life is desirable. Mrs. Heywood's novel is said to have suggested the more important Evelina of Fanny Burney. (p.1117)

Some long entries I thoroughly enjoyed were thunder, Tottel's Miscellany and typographical signs. Agenda for the afternoon: clean off my desk, eat lunch, nap?

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