From The Every-day Book; or, Everlasting Calendar of Popular Amusements, etc. 1827, by William Hone
1348. Laura de Noves died. She was born in 1304, and is celebrated for having been beloved by Petrarch, and for having returned his passion by indifference. He fostered his love at Vaucluse, a romantic spot, wherein he had nothing to employ him but recollection of her charms, and imagination of her perfections. These he immortalized in sonnets while she lived; Petrarch survived her six and thirty years.
Francis I., who compared a court without ladies to a spring without flowers, caused Laura's tomb to be opened, and threw verses upon her remains complimentary to her beauty, and the fame she derived from her lover's praises.
1803. Colonel Montgomery and captain Macnamara quarrelled and fought a duel at Primrose-hill, because their dogs quarrelled and fought in Hyde-park. Captain Macnamara received colonel Montgomery's ball in the hip, and colonel Montgomery received captain Macnamara's ball in the heart. This exchange of shots being according to the laws of duelling and projectiles, Colonel Montgomery died on the spot. Captain Macnamara was tried at the Old Bailey, and, as a man of honour, was acquitted by a jury of men of honour. The laws of England and the laws of christianity only bind honourable men; men of honour govern each other by the superior power of sword and pistol. The humble suicide is buried with ignominy in a cross road, and a finger-post marks his grave for public scorn; the proud and daring duellist reposes in a christian grave beneath marble, proud and daring as himself.
Starch Hyacinth. Hyacinthus racemosus.
Dedicated to St. Sixtus I.
Above: Portrait of Petrarch's Laura, in the Laurentian Library, Florence
There’s a big difference in how we use history. But we’re equally nuts about it. To us, the everyday details of life in the past are things to talk about, ponder, make fun of -- much in the way normal people talk about their favorite reality show.
We talk about who’s wearing what and who’s sleeping with whom. We try to sort out rumor or myth from fact. We thought there must be at least three other people out there who think history’s fascinating and fun, too. This blog is for them.