"How to seeme to cut ones nose halfe off. For the effecting of this feate, you must have a knife for the nonce, made with a gap in the midst of the blade, as it is demonstrated in the following figure noted with the letter A. You must conceale the notch with your finger, and then wring it over the fleshie part of your nose, and your nose will seeme as it were halfe cut off with the knife. Note that in such feats as this, it were necessarie to have a piece of spunge with some sheepes bloud in it to be retained privately."Ah, the old knife-in-the-nose stunt: a favorite of That Guy since the seventeenth century.
Hocus Pocus Junior
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Good news, book lovers: Ask the Past is now a book! With lots of all-new (well, actually quite old) advice and charmingly curious illustrations from rare books, Ask the Past will finally reveal how to win a legal case, make a love potion, and get rid of mosquitoes.
Even better news: you can pre-order it now.
Advance Praise (Really Far in Advance) for Ask the Past:
(OK, technically these authors thought they were discussing other books, but it seems clear in hindsight that they were talking about Ask the Past.)
Benjamin Franklin, 1771:
“I bought it, read it over and over, and was much delighted with it.”
“I opened the compact little volume, small indeed in size, but of infinite charm, with the intention of reading whatever came to hand, for I could happen upon nothing that would be otherwise than edifying.”
Michel de Montaigne, 1580:
“The knowledge I seek is there treated in disconnected pieces that do not demand the bondage of prolonged labour, of which I am incapable.”
Henry David Thoreau, 1857:
“I am disappointed in not finding it a more out-of-door book.”
William Caxton, 1485:
“And for to passe the tyme thys book shal be plesaunte to rede in, but for to gyue fayth and byleue that al is trewe that is conteyned herin, ye be at your lyberte.”
Jane Austen, 1814:
“I read it immediately–& with great pleasure.”
at 8:48 AM
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
|Getty MS 1, f. 29v (c. 1360-70)|
Francesco da Barberino, Reggimento e costumi di donna
It's important to keep a rigorous baby maintenance schedule: two or three baths a day at the least, and remember to grease the joints so they don't squeak.
Friday, March 20, 2015
|John Bulwer, Anthropometamorphosis|
"The eyebrowes that be very heary declare folyshnes of maners and mischiefe... The eyebrowes whyche descende downe warde on the syde of the nose, and raysed vpward on the syde of the temples, and hangyng downeward on bothe sydes declare the man to be wythout shame enuious, folyshe insatiable, and lyke vnto hogges. The eyebrowes which descend crooked on the side of the nose declare the man to be witty in naughty thinges, and whan they be crooked on the out side of the eye, they signifie the man to be recreatife & merry... When the eyebrowes comme togyther, they shewe the man to be verye pensyfe and not very wyse."
Richard Roussat, ArcandamNeed a fresh look? A few minutes of strategic brow grooming will make you a whole new person. I hear "like unto hogs" is in for spring.
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
|L. Boilly, Les Mangeurs de Glaces (1825)|
"Artichoke ice cream. Take three or four artichokes, of which you will use only the bottoms; boil them until they are soft; crush them with a quarter-pound of blanched pistachios, a quarter of a candied orange, and a bit of cream; strain this mixture through a sieve; thin it with a chopine [2 cups] of cream, cooked in the manner of the first one which I instructed; add some sugar to taste; strain it all through a sieve, and put it in a sarbotière [ice cream maker]."
Joseph Gilliers, Le Cannaméliste françaisSomething tells me the kids will see through your efforts to sneak artichokes into their dessert.
Thursday, March 12, 2015
|H. O'Neill & Co., Fall and Winter 1890-1|
"Besides one nicer suit of dress, white English nainsook and flannel skirts, it is well to have four day dresses of French nainsook; six slips of cambric, dimity or checked nainsook that answer for night-gowns, as well as the first day dresses; four cashmere shirts, four flannel bands, three barrow coats or pinning blankets, four dozen napkins, three flannel skirts, three cambric skirts, two wrappers, one flannel shawl, two crocheted sacques, four pairs of socks, a bath blanket, six bibs and a well-furnished basket….
Pure white is used for all babies – blue for girls and pink for boys, when a color is wished."
The Ladies' Home JournalTimeless fashion rules: blue is for girls, pink is for boys, and cashmere is for everyone.
Friday, March 6, 2015
"Take half a dozen of eggs, break them each severally upon a Trencher, and after that beat them all together in a dish, and adde some beaten salt to them, and some few drops of water, or of milk; cause some butter to be mested in a Skillet, and when it is brown fryed pour your beaten eggs into it, and let them fry more or less according to your pleasure, and according as you will have your Omelet to be limber or stiff; instead of butter you may use oyl, if you love it, or any kind of other sweet suet as well in the making of these as all other several sorts and kinds of Omelets. Now in case you desire to have your Omelet to bee a green one, you shall only need to mingle some Green-sauce with your Eggs as you beat them; or in case you make not your Omelet of a green colour, you may as then serve up your Green-sauce joyntly with it, but the usual custom is to eat your Omelet with a little vinegar, and some powder sugar."
M. Marnette, The Perfect CookDo you like them cooked in suet?
This will teach you how to do it.