FLY-KU! GLOSSES . . . & ADDITIONS
from the Autobiography of Thomas de Quincey
This eldest brother of mine [who died at 16] was in all respects a remarkable boy. Haughty he was, aspiring, immeasurably active ; fertile in resources as Robinson Crusoe; but also full of quarrel as it is possible to imagine; and, in default of any other opponent, he would have fastened a quarrel upon his own shadow for presuming to run before him when going westwards in the morning, whereas, in all reason, a shadow, like a dutiful child, ought to keep deferentially in rear of that majestic substance which is the author of its existence. Books he detested, one and all, excepting only such as he happened to write himself. And these were not a few. On all subjects known to man, from the Thirty-nine Articles of our English Church, down to pyrotechnics, legerdemain, magic, both black and white, thaumaturgy, and necromancy, he favoured the world (which world was the nursery where I lived amongst my sisters) with his select opinions. On this last subject especially—of necromancy—he was very great; witness his profound work, though but a fragment, and, unfortunately, long since departed to the bosom of Cinderella, entitled, "How to raise a Ghost; and when you've got him down, how to keep him down." To which work he assured us, that some most learned and enormous man, whose name was a foot and a half long, had promised him an appendix; which appendix treated of the Red Sea and Solomon's signet-ring ; with forms of mittimus for ghosts that might be refractory ; and probably a riot act, for any emuete amongst ghosts inclined to raise barricades; since he often thrilled our young hearts by supposing the case (not at all unlikely, he affirmed), that a federation, a solemn league and conspiracy, might take place amongst the infinite generations of ghosts against the single generation of men at any one time composing the garrison of earth. The Roman phrase for expressing that a man had died—viz., "Abiit ad flures" (He has gone over to the majority)—my brother explained to us; and we easily comprehended that any one generation of the living human race, even if combined, and acting in concert, must be in a frightful minority, by comparison with all the incalculable generations that had trod this earth before us. The Parliament of living men, Lords and Commons united, what a miserable array against the Upper and Lower House composing the Parliament of ghosts ! . . . .
For some time he turned his thoughts to philosophy, and read lectures to us every night upon some branch or other of physics. This undertaking arose upon some one of us envying or admiring flies for their power of walking upon the ceiling. " Pooh!" he said, " they are impostors ; they pretend to do it, but they can't do it as it ought to be done. Ah! you should see me standing upright on the ceiling, with my head downwards, for half-an-hour together, meditating profoundly." My sister Mary remarked, that we should all be very glad to see him in that position. "If that's the case," he replied, "it's very well that all is ready, except as to a strap or two." Being an excellent skater, he had first imagined that, if held up until he had started, he might then, by taking a bold sweep ahead, keep himself in position through the continued impetus of skating. But this he found not to answer; because, as he observed, " the friction was too retarding from the plaster of Paris; but the case would be very different if the ceiling were coated with ice." As it was not, he changed his plan. The true secret, he now discovered, was this: he would consider himself in the light of a humming-top; he would make an apparatus (and he made it) for having himself launched, like a top, upon the ceiling, and regularly spun. Then the vertiginous motion of the human top would overpower the force of gravitation. He should, of course, spin upon his own axis—perhaps he might even dream upon it; and he laughed at "those scoundrels, the flies," that never improved in their pretended art, nor made anything of it. The principle was now discovered ; " and, of course," he said, "if a man can keep it up for five minutes, what's to hinder him from doing so for five months?" . " Certainly, nothing that I can think of," was the reply of my sister, whose scepticism, in fact, had not settled upon the five months, but altogether upon the five minutes. The apparatus for spinning him, however, perhaps from its complexity, would not work; a fact evidently owing to the stupidity of the gardener. On reconsidering the subject, he announced, to the disappointment of some amongst us, that, although the physical discovery was now complete, he saw a moral difficulty. It was not a humming-tap that was required, but a peg-top. Now, this, in order to keep up the vertigo at full stretch, without which, to a certainty, gravitation would prove too much for him, needed to be whipped incessantly. But that was precisely what a gentleman ought not to tolerate ; to be scourged unintermittingly on the legs by any grub of a gardener, unless it were Father Adam himself, was a thing he could not bring his mind to face. However, as some compensation, he proposed to improve the art of flying, which was, as everybody must acknowledge, in a condition disgraceful to civilised society. As he had made many a fire balloon, and had succeeded in some attempts at bringing down cats by parachutes, it was not very difficult to fly [float?] downwards from moderate elevations. But, as he was reproached by my sister for never flying back again, which, however, was a far different thing, and not even attempted by the philosopher in " Rasselas" (for
"Revocare gradum, et superas evadere ad auras, Hic labor, hoc opus est"),
he refused, under such poor encouragement, to try his winged parachutes any more, either " aloft or alow," till he had thoroughly studied Bishop Wilkins on the art of translating right reverend gentlemen to the moon . . .
Emily Dickinson #465
I heard a Fly buzz-when I died—
The Eyes around—
I willed my Keepsakes—signed away
With Blue— uncertain stumbling Buzz—
Thanks to ann holmes for this check out her poetic book re the characters of a japanese potting community: Shards
virginia wolf, on a winter fly in book with the famous death of a moth essay
. . . He had written a book, and for a moment it is interesting to see people who have written books. Everybody gazed at him. He was bald and not hairy; had a mouth and a chin; in short he was a man like another, although he had written a book. He cleared his throat and the lecture began. Now the human voice is an instrument of varied power; it can enchant and it can soothe; it can rage and it can despair; but when it lectures it almost always bores. What he said was sensible enough; there was learning in it and argument and reason; but as the voice went on attention wandered. The face of the clock seemed abnormally pale; the hands too suffered from some infirmity. Had they the gout? Were they swollen? They moved so slowly. They reminded one of the painful progress of a three-legged fly that has survived the winter. How many flies on an average survive the English winter, and what would be the thoughts of such an insect on waking to find itself being lectured on . . .
i do not have a copy of the next page but it might be fun to try to guess what the lecture was about
William Blake’s The Fly
Am not I
For I dance,
If thought is life
Then am I
from William Blake "Songs of Experience" also thanks to ann holmes: -- check out her book Shards
Nothing is made in vain, but the fly came near it. - More Maxims of Mark, Johnson, 1927
One fly makes a summer. - "The Belated Russian Passport," also "Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar"
I'd rather have ten snakes in the house than one fly. - Letter to Albert B. Paine, March 1910
Mark Twain at Mono Lake: Chapters 38 and 39 of Mark Twain's Roughing It
We had a valuable dog. He had raw places on him. He had more raw places on him than sound ones. He was the rawest dog I almost ever saw. He jumped overboard one day to get away from the flies. But it was bad judgment. In his condition, it would have been just as comfortable to jump into the fire. The alkali water nipped him in all the raw places simultaneously, and he struck out for the shore with considerable interest. He yelped and barked and howled as he went—and by the time he got to the shore there was no bark to him—for he had barked the bark all out of his inside, and the alkali water had cleaned the bark all off his outside, and he probably wished he had never embarked in any such enterprise. He ran round and round in a circle, and pawed the earth and clawed the air, and threw double summersets, sometimes backward and sometimes forward, in the most extraordinary manner
There are no fish in Mono Lake—no frogs, no snakes, no pollywogs—nothing, in fact, that goes to make life desirable. Millions of wild ducks and sea-gulls swim about the surface, but no living thing exists under the surface, except a white feathery sort of worm, one half an inch long, which looks like a bit of white thread frayed out at the sides. If you dip up a gallon of water, you will get about fifteen thousand of these. They give to the water a sort of grayish-white appearance. Then there is a fly, which looks something like our house fly. These settle on the beach to eat the worms that wash ashore—and any time, you can see there a belt of flies an inch deep and six feet wide, and this belt extends clear around the lake—a belt of flies one hundred miles long. If you throw a stone among them, they swarm up so thick that they look dense, like a cloud. You can hold them under water as long as you please—they do not mind it—they are only proud of it. When you let them go, they pop up to the surface as dry as a patent office report, and walk off as unconcernedly as if they had been educated especially with a view to affording instructive entertainment to man in that particular way. Providence leaves nothing to go by chance. All things have their uses and their part and proper place in Nature's economy: the ducks eat the flies—the flies eat the worms—the Indians eat all three—the wild cats eat the Indians—the white folks eat the wild cats—and thus all things are lovely.
PROBABLY WON'T USE FIRST PARAGRAPH
The History of the Fly Swatter, an American Story
As Published in Quilted Northern "100 Anniversary Bathroom Book"
THE FLY SWATTER.
Dr. Samuel J. Crumbine of the Kansas State Board of Health was watching a baseball game in Topeka in 1905. It was teh bottom of the eighth inning , the score was tied, and Topeka had a man on third. Fans were screaming "Sacrifice fly! Sacrifice fly!" to the batter, or "Swat the ball!" Crumbine, who'd spent much of the game mulling over how to reduce the spread of typhoid fever by flies during hot Kansas summers, suddenly got his inspiration: "Swat the fly!"
Crumbine didn't actually invent the fly swatter; he just popularized the idea in a front-page article titled "Swat the Fly", in the next of Fly Bulletin.
A schoolteacher named Frank Rose read the article and made the first fly swatter out of a yardstick and some wire screen.
Rose called his invention a "fly bat." Dr. Crumbine renamed it "fly swatter."
Advertisement for "The King Fly Swatter" from 1901, June, issue of Ladies Home Journal.
The King Fly Killer - Kills Without Crushing - Soils Nothing
The wire being almost invisible the flies and mosquitos are quickly killed, thus clearing your house of them in only a few minutes. A prominent lady has said, "It is the most prized article in my home."
Who is the "Lord of the Flies"? Satan or God?
|An Essay on Women end of pt 2 prob john
wilkes, mp a staunch defender of democratic principles
This is the last part of a great parody of Alexander Pope's masterpiece.
Then say not Man's imperfect, Heaven in fault, Say rather, Man's as perfect as he ought; His Pego measured to the female Case Betwixt a woman's thighs his proper place; And if to fuck in a proportion'd sphere, What matter how it is, or when or where? Fly fuck'd by fly may be completely so As Hussey’s Duchess, or yon well-bull'd cow.