In A Human Moment

Miscellany from the 19th century

Miss April Advises:

Originally posted on Museum of Love and Mortality:

Dear Miss April,

My problem is manifold. I have terrible gas & I cant find anyone to frack me.
Who should i look to for relief?

Yours {or maybe not}

Frequent Fornicator

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Dear Frequent Fornicator

Have we not met before? Have I not been graced by your gaumless wit in years gone by? Did I not advise you well by wuthering you off to a life of fornicator’s delight? Wellaway, did this not unfold as you expected? My mirth should not be interpreted as hideous vice, lets just accept merriment is in the air.

Flatulence is no laughing matter and can cause significant distress when trying to locate suitable fracking partners. Well, we are all just searching for love aren’t we FF? Herein I toss my mirth aside and offer you my genuine counsel. For a high pressure lad such as yourself, ready to burst out onto the scene like…

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Lady Percy

In the month of May, 1794, died in the King’s Bench prison, this one celebrated female, who was daughter to that famous statesman the Earl of Bute, and first wife to the late Duke of Northumberland.

Ashamed of a title that held her up to public scorn, she had, for a considerable period of time, assumed the name of Mrs. Hall, under which she contracted several debts and for which she was arrested about eleven months before her demise.

During the period of her imprisonment she never left her room, nor spoke a work to anyone except her female servant. For the first five or six months she was melancholy, even to madness.

She retained her beauty to the very last. She bequeathed to her maid-servant three hundred pounds and to a person in the prison all her furniture, &c. &c.

La Belle Assemblée; or, Bell’s Court and Fashionable Magazine (London, England), [Friday], [January 01, 1819]; pg. 25; Issue [119].

Epitaph Tuesday


The following Epitaph is on a tombstone in Hereford Churchyard:-

Grieve not for me, my husband dear:
I am not dead but sleepeth here;
With patience wait, prepare to die,
And you will quickly come to I.

I am not griev’d my dearest life;
Sleep on, I have got another wife;
Therefore, I cannot come to thee,
For I must go to bed to she.

Cleave’s Penny Gazette of Variety (London, England), Saturday, June 09, 1838; pg. 4; Issue 35
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Dementia Praecox






Dementia praecox (a “premature dementia” or “precocious madness”) refers to a chronic, deteriorating psychotic disorder characterized by rapid cognitive disintegration, usually beginning in the late teens or early adulthood. It is a term first used in 1891 in this Latin form by Arnold Pick (1851–1924), a professor of psychiatry at the German branch of Charles University in Prague. His brief clinical report described the case of a person with a psychotic disorder resembling hebephrenia. It was popularized by German psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin (1856–1926) in 1893, 1896 and 1899 in his first detailed textbook descriptions of a condition that would eventually be reframed into a substantially different disease concept and relabeled as schizophrenia.

“…Noll refers to dementia praecox ‘as a diagnosis of hopelessness from its creation.” The public along with alienists and other medical authorities viewed dementia praecox as “the terminal cancer of mental diseases.'”

“Beginning in 1896, as one American asylum after another slowly introduced dementia praecox as a diagnostic box, it became the most frequently diagnosed condition, labeling a quarter to a half of all patients in each institution. How American psychiatrists were making this diagnosis is anyone’s guess—they were probably just snap decisions based on whether someone was suffering from a “good prognosis madness” (such as manic depression) or a “bad prognosis madness” (dementia praecox). What we do know is that being young and male made it more likely someone would receive this diagnosis.” Noll

Further Reading
Further Reading
Further Reading

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The Divine Sarah at a Séance: 1892

Originally posted on Mrs Daffodil Digresses:

sarah bernhardt in coffin


Not Being Able to Understand How Spirits Are Materialized She Denounces Members of Her Company as Confederates


Darmont, Her Leading Man, Locked the Medium in the Cabinet, but the Actress Said He Had Been Duped.


Scientific Frenchmen Engineered the “Circle,” Which Broke up in Something Very Much Resembling a Row.

Mme. Sarah Bernhardt began by being an ordinary spectator at a spiritualistic séance on Thursday night, but before the close she was the “star performer,” and every one else, including the medium, the members of her company, the French scientific men present and perhaps the spirits, sank into insignificance when she stalked up and down the room in tragic rage.

Those who had the pleasure of witnessing her outbursts declare that they excelled anything she had done the previous evening in “Leah the Forsaken.” She was not…

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Cunnilingus in the Middle Ages and the Problem of Understanding Past Sex Lives

Originally posted on NOTCHES:

By  Tom O’Donnell

In order to conjure up the sexual practices of our forebears we have to bridge gaps. Gaps in language, time and ways of thinking. In order to write a history of medieval sexuality we need to know what that sexuality consisted of. It is hard enough to mentally recreate the sex lives of our friends from idle gossip when we know the euphemisms, the forms of reference, what is on the sexual menu and what is thought permissible. But for medieval sex lives we have to work creatively with our sources to understand what people were doing with one another. And there is a constant challenge with the written sources.

Mouth of Hell, Meester van Katharina van Kleef, c. 1440

Mouth of Hell, Meester van Katharina van Kleef, c. 1440 ( Wikimedia Commons )

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The Prayer of Siddartha



Atalanta (London, England), [Sunday], [July 01, 1888]; pg. 587; Issue 10
Gale Document Number: DX1902038533

Flower Fairies by Philip Bourke Marston

flower1 flower2

Atalanta (London, England), [Saturday], [October 01, 1887]; pg. 18; Issue 1.
Gale Document Number: DX1902038333

The Man For A Seance



Punch (London, England), Saturday, March 25, 1865; pg. 118
Gale Document Number: DX1901570612



A ‘s an American – FORSTER by name;
B stands for Bryanstone-street, whither he came;
C ‘s the Credulity that gives him his fling;
D is the Diamond he wears in a ring;
E ‘s the Effrontery, of which he’s possessed;
F ‘s the Fashion and Folly, by which he’s caressed;
G is the Guniea you pay to be cheated;
H is the Humbug to which you are treated;
I ‘s the Imposter no sane man deceiving;
J ‘s the Jackass, who joys in beliving;
K is the Kicking we’d give to him gaily;
L is the Lie, that the rouge’s living daily;
M is the Money he filches from fools;
N are the Ninnies he uses for tools;
O is Orthography – that he’s not versed in;
P is the Pick-Pocket Place he was nursed in;
Q stands for Quack – which for him the right term is;
R ‘s the Red name on his arm’s epidermis;
S is the Scratching by which it’s effected;
T is the Trick that will soon be detected;
U is the Urgent demand of his pocket;
V are the Victims, whose duping must stock it;
W ‘s for Whipping, he’s earned by his fraud;
X for Ten Years’ Penal Service abroad;
Y ‘s Yellow, which all Norfolk Island men wear;
Z is the Zest with which we’d send him there!

Fun (London, England), Saturday, April 19, 1862; pg. 44
Gale Document Number: DX1901459221
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