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text 2018-08-16 19:43
Reading progress update: I've read 106 out of 190 pages.
The Solitary Summer - Elizabeth von Arnim

Hooray -- and once more, Elizabeth is decades ahead of her time, in not (at least not at heart) joining the local clergyman's and the city population's uproar over the rural custom of "prefacing" a marriage by its consummation ... and the inevitable consequences!

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text 2018-08-16 19:40
Reading progress update: I've read 95 out of 190 pages.
The Solitary Summer - Elizabeth von Arnim

Ugh.  Those four-families-to-one-building cottages, with a single room per family, shared kitchens and looking out on a pig sty if you're unlucky ... I'd say humanity has advanced just a bit since Elizabeth's day.

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text 2018-08-16 19:36
Reading progress update: I've read 93 out of 190 pages.
The Solitary Summer - Elizabeth von Arnim

More baby talk about the hereafter, occasioned by the "June baby"'s insistence that she doesn't want to go to paradies because there's nothing there for her to play with, which prompts this response by her sisters and her mother:

"'Why, she can play at ball there with all the Sternleins if she likes!'

The idea of the June baby striding across the firmament and hurling the stars about as carelessly as though they wre tennis-balls was so magnificent that it sent shivers of awe through me as I read."

The stars' tennis balls, out of the mouths of babes -- what say you now, Messrs. Shakespeare and Frey?

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text 2018-08-16 19:26
Reading progress update: I've read 89 out of 190 pages.
The Solitary Summer - Elizabeth von Arnim

"The Man of Wrath says all women love churchyards.  He is fond of sweeping assertions, and is sometimes curiously feminine in his tendency to infer a general principle from a particular instance."

Hah!

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text 2018-08-16 19:19
Reading progress update: I've read 87 out of 190 pages.
The Solitary Summer - Elizabeth von Arnim

After one of her daughter's had fallen into a neighbor's slimy green pond:

"It was no use sending for the doctor because there is no doctor within reach; a fact which simplifies life amazingly when you ave children.  During the time we lived in town the doctor was never out of the house.  Hardly a day passed but one or other of the Three had a spot, or, as the expressive German has it, a Pickel,* and what parent could resist sending for a doctor when one lived round the corner?  But doctors are like bad habits -- once you have shaken them off you discover how much better you are without them; and as for the babies, since theiy inhabit a garden, prompt bed and the above-mentioned simple remedy** have been all that is necessary to keep them robust."

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* which I'd actually rather translate as "pimple", myself ...

 

** That remedy being castor oil, poor lambs!!

 

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And then we get to the point where it becomes clear once and for all why Elizabeth loved Austen:

"I had heard of a little boy who had drunk seltzer water and thereupon been seized with typhoid fever and had died, and if, I asked myself with a power fo reasoning unusual in a woman, you die after seltzer water, what will you not do after frog-pond?"

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