vol II date / index
St. John of the Cross, A. D. 1591. St. Chrysogonus. Sts. Flora and Mary, A. D. 851. St. Cianan, or Kenan, Bp. of Duleek, in Ireland, A. D. 489.
London in November.
In the already cited "Mirror of the Months," there is a feeling account of certain days in the metropolis, at this season, which every one who has sojourned in "that overgrown place" will immediately recognize to be "quite correct."
"Now the atmosphere of London begins to thicken over head, and assume its natural appearance, preparatory to its becoming, about Christmas time, that 'palpable obscure,' which is one of its proudest boasts; and which, among its other merits, may reckon that of engendering those far-famed fogs, of which every body has heard, but to which no one has ever done justice. A London fog, in November, is a thing for which I have a sort of natural affection—to say nothing of an acquired one—the result of a hackney-coach adventure, in which the fair part of the fare threw herself into my arms for protection amidst the pleasing horrors of an overthrow.
"As an affair of mere breath, there is something tangible in a London fog. In the evanescent air of Italy, a man might as well not breathe at all, for any thing he knows of the matter. But in a well-mixed metropolitan fog, there is something substantial and satisfying. You can feel what you breathe, and see it too. It is like breathing water,—as we may suppose the fishes to do. And then the taste of it, when dashed with a due seasoning of seacoal smoke, is far from insipid. It is also meat and drink at the same time: something between egg-flip and omelètte soufflèe, but much more digestible than either. Not that I would recommend it medicinally, especially to persons of queasy stomachs, delicate nerves, and afflicted with bile. But for persons of a good robust habit of body, and not dainty withal, (which such, by the by, never are,) there is nothing better in its way. And it wraps you all round like a cloak, too—a patent water-proof one, which no rain ever penetrated. No—I maintain that a real London fog is a thing not to be sneezed at—if you help it. Mem. As many spurious imitations of the above are abroad,—such as Scotch mists, and the like,—which are no less deleterious than disagreeable,—please to ask for the 'true London particular,'—as manufactured by Thames, Coalgas, Smoke, Steam, & Co. No others are genuine."
Water-proof Boots and Shoes.
Take one pound of drying (boiled linseed) oil, two ounces of yellow wax, two ounces of spirits of turpentine, and one of Burgundy pitch, melted carefully over a slow fire. With this composition new shoes and boots are to be rubbed in the sun, or at a distance from the fire, with a small bit of sponge, as often as they become dry, until they are fully saturated; the leather then is impervious to wet, the shoes and boots last much longer, acquire softness and pliability, and thus prepared, are the most effectual preservatives against cold.
A Notable Woman.
On the 24th of November, 1735, a butcher near Rumford, in Essex, was rode up to by a woman well mounted on a side saddle, who, to his astonishment, presented a pistol, and demanded his money. In amazement he asked her what she meant, and received his answer from a genteel looking man, who coming to him on horseback, said he was a brute to deny the lady's request, and enforced this conviction by telling him that if he did not gratify her desire immediately he would shoot him through the head. The butcher could not resist and invitation to be gallant, when supported by such arguments, and he placed six guineas and his watch in her hands.*
Starry Stapelia. Stapelia radiata.
Dedicated to St. John of the Cross.
Notes [all notes are Hone's unless otherwise indicated]:
1. Gentleman's Magazine. [return]