It was discovered that all Peter did at night in bed with Catherine was play with wooden soldiers, miniature cannons and toy fortresses. Peter would make little cannon-firing noises with his mouth and shout orders to the inanimate armies on the bed, beg Catherine to join him, and hurriedly stash the playthings under the sheets whenever members of the court happened by to check on the odd assortment of noises emanating from behind their chamber door. “Often I laughed,” Catherine wrote, “but more often still I was exasperated and even made uncomfortable. The whole bed being covered and filled with dolls and toys, some of them quite heavy.” The Great Duke took his toy soldiering very seriously. Later in their marriage, Peter executed a large rat in their bedroom for devouring two toy soldiers made of starch. Peter claimed that the rat was clearly guilty according to military law, and that, after one of his dogs broke its back, he had hanged it in public view “for three days, as an example.” Catherine, thinking he was joking, burst into hysterics. Peter’s face darkened. He was twenty-five
Jacques-Louis David was an artist who lived an extraordinary life. (Then again most artists did.)
David was not only a strapping fellow, but he was a stubborn kid who starved himself because his teacher wouldn’t give him a scholarship.
He went on to create the most famous paintings from the neoclassical era. He painted various scenes from ancient history, the French Revolution, and a whole bunch of Napoleon. (He was quite the Bonapartist~)
He was certainly admirable. And besides, who can turn down a perfectly sane artist. They are rare, you know.
Telling the bees is an ancient folk tradition of northern Europe, in which the family would keep a hive of bees at the home. It was a necessity that the bees be kept in the know of any news that befell the family. Good or bad, trivial or grand, it was crucial that someone told the bees.
“It was also said that bees had to be told of a death in the family or the bees would become bad and they would die too.” -Traditional Witchcraft, Bee.
Is this where mind your own beeswax comes from
Europe what are you even doing.
“hey bees, if there were two guys on the moon and one killed the other one with a rock would that be fucked up or what”
There is an animal called the beaver, which is extremely gentle; its testicles are are highly suitable for medicine. Physiologus says of it that, when it knows that a hunter is pursuing it, it bites off its testicles and throws them in the hunter’s face and, taking flight, escapes. But if, once again, another hunter is in pursuit, the beaver rears up and displays its sexual organs. When the hunter sees that it lacks testicles, he leaves it alone.
Anon., The Aberdeen Bestiary. Aberdeen: University of Aberdeen Library, 1990.
(Image is from Gerald of Wales, Topographia Hibernia. Salisbury, ?1188.)
This 14th century illustration depicts Alexander the Great sitting in a flying machine pulled along by griffins who are chasing a piece of meat held on a pole in front of them, presciently forecasting The Flintstones by around five centuries.
Lorraine Daston and Katherine Park, Wonders and the Order of Nature 1150-1750 (New York: Zone Books, 1998), 97.