The Discovery of Piranesi's Final Project
Stephen Lauf

14 September 1778   Monday

Everyone in the workshop enjoyed looking through the latest instalments of The Works in Architecture. Piranesi, of course, has a number of reservations, and he certainly doesn't like it that his plates are now dated 1778, but there's nothing he can do about it now.

Artifacts of the Bianconi vs Piranesi 'Circus of Caracalla' affair   1772-1789
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47 y.o. Francesco Piranesi 1805
Le Antichità della Magna Grecia   Parte III

Bronze helmet used in Spectacles, found in the excavations of Pompeii.
The bas-reliefs which decorate it represent the capture of Troy following Virgil's story in L.II. from the Aeneid.
Drawn by T. Piroli
Engraved by F. Piranesi in 1805

14 September 1812   Monday

I was called up about 4 this morning by Charles Pitt. His wife in the night (dark) had given their son William, about 15 months old, a teaspoon of Lauda[?] rum instead of Godfrey's Cordial, and the child became so ill that he struck a light, and they discovered the mistake. I sent a bottle of antimonial wine, directing him to give half a teaspoon immediately and as soon as possible give sweet oil in milk and with a further endeavor to excite vomiting. This was effected and about 8 I heard the child was somewhat relieved. Dr. Moore was sent for and came about [blank].
The morning was clear, wind N, temperature about 72°. Clouds arose and passed throughout the day. Temperature rose to 82°. I find in Poulson's paper of [blank] inst. a speculation from Staunton in Virginia on the subject of the salivation produced in horse and cattle by feeding on grass or hay grown after midsummer. The writer attributes it to a small white insect. I have not observed such an insect as he describes, but I have observed many that I never saw before. I have been endeavoring for some time to seek a cause for this disorder. All the inquiries from old people are answered as to its date, that they first perceived it about 1795. In that year I took possession of Ury, and in the following I discovered a salvering[?] in the horses and cattles pasture fed in the autumn: I was disposed after sometime it became general and was the subject of much conversation to attribute it to the effects of plaster of Paris on our grass lands, which had become general after our free trade with France in 1794, etc., but it was discovered afterwards to be equally spread in the western country as far as Kentucky, where no plaster was had ever been used or seen, hence a general case[?] seemed necessary which would extend the ....[?]. My cousin Henry Bowman of Blockley (the husband of Talitha[?] Rowland) informed me that he supposed it to be caused by the web of a spider which covered our fields, etc., in the end of the 6th month. I found this web almost everywhere at and after the time supposed and could have acquiesced with this cause, but I could not ascertain by enquiring that this spider was a new creature of the date of the malady, nor would philosophers[?] allow equivocal generation at the time specified. This objection will go to the animalcular[?] origin proposed from Staunton. The thing is a very serious calamity, for our second crop hay will scarcely keep cows alive during the winter and pasture fed horses are kept so poor during the summer and fall that they are unable to work, nor do the cattle that are not worked thrive as heretofore. The cause is latent. I should not hesitate to suppose it of providential infliction of a date contemporary with our Gallo-mania--1773,4, but it will require time to convince our learned men of this. We are now getting in our second crop, but it is under great discouragement whether it will be worth the cost of making and housing: I have waited till the seeds are fully ripe with hope that they may strengthen the food. A small swarm of bees .......[?] from the cherry hive today, but I suppose their queen did not come out with them, for they seemed bewildered and attempted to settle on the blue hive, the bees of which assaulted and killed some hundreds of them and in the evening swept them into a clean box and placed it near the bee stand.

14 September 2021

14 September 2023   Thursday
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