Adieu, Mademoiselles!

And so, my dears, it is time to say good-bye. Marks went to the Registrar over this past weekend and are wending their way through the system, and individual grades are listed on D2L, along with comments for your blogs and presentations. Papers may be picked up in the Hum&Lang office (HH100) during regular office hours (8am—12pm, 1—4pm M-F) though it’s a good idea to phone first as Allison will likely be in and out of the office for various reasons. Or, drop me a line and I will mail you your paper. No trouble at all. Just let me know.

I really enjoyed our class. You were a wonderful group. I will see most of you again one way or another, no doubt; and all the very best to Katherine, who is off to the next adventure. Hope you all have a lovely, book-filled summer.

[Image: The gardens at Stowe House c. 1785 (The Spectator, 6 Aug. 2016)]


A quick plug

For the record, I have no vested interest in this product. But it is proving quite useful: Grammarly. It’s free and it checks grammar and spelling and works really well for blogging or other forms of on-line writing. Highly recommended! Will make your posts smoother and is practically effortless. It seems stuck with U.S. spelling, which is my only complaint, but otherwise, it seems useful.

[Image: 18th century Battledore printed by 18thc printer John Newbery, London.]


Had to share: The Guardian has a “poem of the week” feature in which columnist Carol Rumens shares a poem and as well as her thoughts on it. This week, the poem is Christopher Smart’s “Where’s the Poker?” (1752) which provides a nice comic counter-point to Pamela:

Where’s the Poker? 

The poker lost, poor Susan storm’d, 
And all the rites of rage perform’d; 
As scolding, crying, swearing, sweating, 
Abusing, fidgetting, and fretting. 
“Nothing but villany, and thieving; 
Good heavens! what a world we live in! 
If I don’t find it in the morning, 
I’ll surely give my master warning. 
He’d better far shut up his doors, 
Than keep such good for nothing whores; 
For wheresoe’er their trade they drive, 
We vartuous bodies cannot thrive.” 
Well may poor Susan grunt and groan; 
Misfortunes never come alone, 
But tread each other’s heels in throngs, 
For the next day she lost the tongs; 
The salt box, cullender, and pot 
Soon shar’d the same untimely lot. 
In vain she vails* and wages spent 
On new ones – for the new ones went. 
There’d been (she swore) some dev’l or witch in, 
To rob or plunder all the kitchen. 
One night she to her chamber crept 
(Where for a month she had not slept; 
Her master being, to her seeming, 
A better play fellow than dreaming). 
Curse on the author of these wrongs, 
In her own bed she found the tongs, 
(Hang Thomas for an idle joker!) 
And there (good lack!) she found the poker, 
With the salt box, pepper box, and kettle, 
With all the culinary metal. – 
Be warn’d, ye fair, by Susan’s crosses: 
Keep chaste and guard yourselves from losses; 
For if young girls delight in kissing, 
No wonder, that the poker’s missing.

*vails – perks enjoyed by servants (eg. tips; hand-me-downs)

For interesting commentary, see the Guardian piece.

[Image: Robert Benard, “Patissier, tour a pâte, bassines, mortier &c” (c1760) for Diderot’s Encyclopédie ou dictionnaire raisonne des sciences et des arts.]