"I see sham pane, but no glasses"
2007.05.13 11:24

We are safely past the days of the Eis-Heiligen--St. Pancratius, St. Servatius, St. Bonifacius, die kalte Sophie . . . Their commemorations are made respectively at the 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th of May, i.e., at a time when there are frequent cold spells ("last frost") in central Europe. This is why, traditionally, German farmers did not sow before they were "safely past the Eisheiligen," or did not drive their cattle to the pastures. There was a (now extinct) custom to build fires at these days to expel the winter.

12 May
St. Pancras...its church gave its name to the district and so to the railway station.
1812: ...spent the evening at the Agricultural Society where I received a few Cassuba Melon seeds from Smyrna in Asia.
59° - 72°

13 May
St. Servantius...he gave hospitality to St. Athanasius during his banishment.
1812: I walked much, my feet became very sore.
57° - 66°

14 May
St. Bonifacius...his reputed acts, even if they contain a substratum of truth, are obviously embellished with fictitious details.
1812: I spent the afternoon at S. W. Fisher's and in viewing his new house building in Walnut Street. It is large, the lot spacious, and the building is performing in an expressive and masterly manner. Having viewed it the idea passed through my mind that it would constitute a very strong tie between his mind and this world; at any rate I thought such an accommodation would have that effect on me. [Profound!]
56° - 67°

15 May
Sophie of Rome...What do you think made-up saints and misinterpretive history have in common?
1812: ...but the storm was too violent to attempt my return.
54° -52°


As to private business,--I shall get none. There are now building in this city two capital houses by the Fishers, who call themselves my friends. Do they employ me?--John Dorsey has now no less than 15 plans now in progress of execution, because he charges nothing or them. The public affront put upon me as a professional man, in the erection of the Academy of Art from the design of John Dorsey,--by a vote of all the men who pretend to patronize the arts in this city,--would have driven any artist from it...
--Benjamin Henry Latrobe, letter to Hazelhurst, 21 July 1806.




Quondam © 2007.05.20