Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"Sundry Miseries"

This is a brief article from the April 3, 1824 edition of The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, which was sort of the Reader's Digest of the day, containing a variety of articles often reprinted from other journals as well as original material. It made me giggle, and reminded me again that some things never change...

Sundry Miseries
  • Residing between a stone-cutter's shop and an undertaker's.

  • Haggling with a surly hackney-coachman for sixpence, and a quarter-hour after he has driven off, recollecting that you have left a new umbrella in his coach.

  • Drying a long letter by the fire, holding it negligently in one hand behind you whilst you are conversing with a friend in the room, turning around and perceiving it to be in flames.

  • In sharply turning a corner, coming suddenly in contact with a chimney sweeper, who impresses your white waistcoat and light-colored breeches with very visible memorials of the encounter.

  • Passing through a narrow passage and realizing it has just been freshly painted.

  • Wishing to wake early to be in time for a morning coach, waking, and upon looking at your watch, discovering that you had not wound it up the night before.

  • Making several memorandum knots in your handkerchief, and forgetting the important cause of every one of them.

  • Dreaming that you have wings, and waking with a fit of the gout.

  • Endeavoring to flirt outrageously under the table and pressing the wrong foot.

  • Toasting a bit of cheese, and when it is more than half done, letting it fall into the ashes.

  • In a hurry to send off a letter, dipping your finger into the ink instead of into the wafer stand.


Liviania said...

Wishing to wake early to be in time for a morning coach, waking, and upon looking at your watch, discovering that you had not wound it up the night before.

I like this one best because it's so equivalent to setting a different time on your alarm and forgetting to actually turn it on. That or setting it for the PM instead of the AM.

Amy DeTrempe said...

Great post. I enjoyed reading those and it is so easy to see how each one can relate to today.

Michaela MacColl said...

It's hysterical -- not just that lousy stuff ruined their day -- but like their modern times counterparts -- they made lists of all the bad things!

(query? What is the wafer? I've never seen that term)

QNPoohBear said...

Those made me giggle. I think almost all of them can be applied to modern life, especially forgetting to wind your watch/set your alarm clock and leaving things in taxis. Guess some things never change!

Marissa Doyle said...

A wafer was basically a disc of paste used to seal a letter, either with or instead of sealing wax. Later they were made of paper and a glue added to the back, like modern stickers. When first introduced they were disliked by some, who objected to having other peoples' spit mailed to them :P but they were gradually accepted because they were quicker and easier to use than sealing wax.

Dara said...

That's great! It definitely shows you that despite over 180 years, humanity still has their daily goofs and "miseries." :P

ChaChaneen said...

ha ha So true, so true - especially about wearing WHITE and then POOF, you've got a stain or something! Great post, thanks for sharing.