Thursday, October 23, 2008


I love autumn for so many reasons - cider-making, all those colorful maple trees amongst the evergreens here, pumpkins and Indian corn, kettles of soup and cornbread, and crackling fires.

I'm sorry for the shorter days though. I remember what one old pioneer said about spending cold months in an old cabin. He said his backside was always freezing while the front of him was burning up. I used to think I'd been born 200 years too late. But when you consider bed bugs, lice, bathing a few times a year, and living in constant danger from disease and Indian attack I'm glad to hold onto my 21st-century comforts.

Here are a few gems I'm putting in The Scrivener's Daughter, taken from some old rules of civility and decent behavior:

1. Shew nothing to your Friend that may affright him.
2. Shift not yourself in the Sight of others nor Gnaw your nails.
3. Kill no Vermin as Fleas, lice, ticks in the Sight of Others, if you See any filth or thick Spittle put your foot Dexteriously upon it.
4. Make no Shew of taking great Delight in yur Victuals, Feed not with Greediness, nor cut Bread with your Knife Greasy.
5. Put not another bit into your Mouth til the former be Swallowed let not your Morsels be too big for the Gowls.
6. Labour to keep alive in your Breast that Little Spark of Celestial fire Called Conscience.

Common courtesy should never change. I especially like #6.
Happy Thursday.

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