March 16th, 2007

Party Guy

Happy Birthday, tchall!

For your present, here's today's Forgotten English!

Marital infidelity [originally from Robert of Gloucester's Chronicle, 1297].
--Herbert Coleridge's Dictionary of the Oldest Words in the English Language, 1863

Nathaniel Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter
was published on this date in 1850. The story was followed by several others, including The House of Seven Gables and The Blithedale Romance, all of which appeared between 1850 and 1852. But the pressures of writing took their toll, and Hawthorne felt compelled to accept the position of American consul to England in Liverpool between 1853 and 1857 "largely for recuperative purposes." In his book of essays, Dreamthorp (1863), Alexander Smith described Hawthorne as an eccentric New Englander: "Although a Yankee, he partakes of none of the characteristics of a Yankee. His thinking and style have an antique air. His roots strike down through the visible mold of the present and draw sustenance from the generations underground." One of Hawthorne's 1841 journal entries confirms Smith's statement: "I read no newspapers and hardly remember who is president, and feel as if I had no more concern with what other people trouble themselves about than if I dwelt on another planet."

That would be William Henry Harrison, Nate. :) Or possibly John Tyler.

-The Gneech
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