Days Like These

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The Independent Culture
23 March 1835


historian and sage, writes

to his brother:

"[John Stewart] Mill had borrowed the first volume of my French Revolution that he might write observations on it, which I might print as notes. I was busy meanwhile with Volume Second. I had not felt so clear and independent, sure of myself and of my task for many long years. Well, one night about three weeks ago, we sat at tea, and Mill's short rap was heard at the door; Jane rose to welcome him; but he stood there unresponsive, pale, the very picture of despair. After some considerable gasping, I learned from Mill this fact: that my poor Manuscript, all except some four tattered leaves, was annihilated! He had left it out (too carelessly); it had been taken for waste-paper; and so five months of as tough labour as I could remember of, were as good as vanished, gone like a whiff of smoke."

24 March 1791

REV GILBERT WHITE, naturalist, observes in his journal:

"My nephew John White of Salisbury sent me a fine pike, or jack; it was in high season, full of soft roe & weighed five pounds and six ounces. The length from eye to fork two feet. It was baked & much admired when it came to the table."

25 March 1977


(pictured), then President of the European Commission, records in his diary an

official EC dinner in Rome:

"The dining arrangements were rather like those of a feudal court. Dinner, although of the same quality, I think, was provided for everybody, but in a series of rooms of declining hierarchical order. The nine heads of government and I dined in the inner one, then the Foreign Ministers and Ortoli, then the various officials present in a series of about three subsequent rooms. I sat at dinner between Andreotti and Cosgrave, the Irish Prime Minister. Cosgrave distinguished himself by eating more than almost any man I have ever seen, although his figure shows less sign than mine of this being his habit. The main course was piece de boeuf roti, over which I hesitated between taking one or two pieces, and took one, without a second helping. He took four for a first helping, and three for a second, and followed this by two enormous helpings of ice-cream gateau and then went to sleep for most of the rest of the evening!"