14 February 2011

History Is a Great Dust Heap

The beautiful Greek undressed when she went to rest for the night, yet her bed wanted the delicate and refined ventilators - sheets. When she arose from her blanket covered plane of repose, to array herself in woollen, she had no stays, nor stockings to add to her comfort, and a buckle only, or a skewer instead of a paper of pins, to make her garments air tight. If this perfumed model of womankind, with her painted cheeks and lips and eyebrows, did not indulge in the luxury of the shift, neither had her lord any shirt, nor drawers, nor hose, nor buttons, nor handkerchief, nor pockets, nor lining to his cloak, nor gloves,-items essential to the perfection of the most common modern portable climate.
- Walter Bernan [Robert Stuart Meikleham], On the History and Art of Warming and Ventilating Rooms and Buildings: By Open Fires, Hypocausts, German, Dutch, Russian, and Swedish Stoves, Steam, Hot Water, Heated Air, Heat of Animals, and Other Methods; with Notices of the Progress of Personal and Fireside Comfort, and of the Management of Fuel, p.38.

7 comments:

  1. You can only admire the depth of imagination at work here; puts all modern novelists completely in the shade. a great find.
    I've just started reading the essay entitled "Chimneys at Venice, Padua, and Bolton Castle"

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  2. Great use of "nor". Next winter I will have to remember to refer to my cold weather garb as my "modern portable climate".

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  3. From what I can tell he drew all the illustrations, too.

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  4. The beautiful Greek undressed...

    Foto please. Or film at 11 perhaps?

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  5. That's Venus, an Italian. You need a picture of Aphrodite.

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