Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Granny Misbehaves

Paul Morand, Journal inutile, Vol. 2 (Paris: Gallimard, 2001), p. 343 (7 octobre 1974; my translation):
Curious, this belligerence of very old sick people: Raymond tells me, in this regard, that his old grandmother, in the hospital, saved up her feces, which she hid under her blankets, so she could throw them at nurses (female and male), when they entered her room.

Curieuse cette agressivité des malades très âgés: Raymond me raconte, à ce propos, que sa vieille grand-mère, à l'hôpital, faisait provision de ses excréments, qu'elle cachait sous ses draps, pour pouvoir les jeter à la figure des infirmières ou infirmiers, quand ils entraient dans sa chambre.
Hat tip: A friend.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Death and Farting

A Collection of Epigrams, 2nd ed. (London: J. Walthoe, 1735), No. CCCIII:
Death made easy.

If death must come, as oft as breath departs,
    Then he must often die, who often farts;
And if to die, be but to lose one's breath,
    Then death's a fart; and so a fart for death.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Shifting Blame

A Collection of Epigrams, 2nd ed. (London: J. Walthoe, 1735), No. XCV:
Upon a Lady, who finding her Pocket wet, pretended she had broke her Hartshorn Bottle in it.

Ye sons of verse, transmit to fame,
    How blest the life of miss is;
When she breaks wind, Shock bears the blame;
    And hartshorn, when she pisses.
Hartshorn (the aqueous solution of ammonia) was used in smelling salts. Oxford English Dictionary, s.v. shock, n.4: "A dog having long shaggy hair, spec. a poodle."

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Schoolboy Fun

David Garnett is thanking Sylvia Townsend Warner (letter of 1st November, 1971) for the gift of a copy of her latest book of short stories, The Innocent and the Guilty (Chatto & Windus, 1971) and commenting on them:
'Bruno' is very moving but perhaps a shade too much of a moral tale. As for 'Oxenhope', I keep going back there myself — although I never lit the marsh gas. T.S. Eliot or Frank Morley told me he had been at school with a boy who could set light to his farts — I was with them both and can't remember which one told the story.
Sylvia and David: the Townsend Warner/Garnett Letters, selected and edited by Richard Garnett (London: Sinclair-Stevenson, 1994), pp. 161-162.

Hat tip: A friend.

Friday, February 1, 2013

This Is Martha's Dining Room

David Noy, Jewish Inscriptions of Western Europe, Vol. 1: Italy (excluding the City of Rome), Spain and Gaul (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993; rpt. 2005), p. 296, no. 218 (Corpus Inscriptionum Judicarum i 566; Pompeii, 1st century):
Marthae hoc trichilinium | est. nam in trichilinio | cacat.

This is Martha's dining room. For she shits in the dining room.