Friday, August 14, 2009

Presumably not with your parents

The Amateur Historian apologizes for the break in regular postings, Gentle Readers and begs your indulgence for this summer slackness. She has been going on vacation, a pastime which many Romantic writers were similarly addicted, when they could a. get the money and b. refrain from spending it all on opium.

One such traveler was Charles Lamb, an essayist who, alas, stuck for cash, was one day forced to tour a graveyard in lieu of Southern Italy. Granted, his parents were buried there, and he writes that he, "prostrated [himself] before the spot... kissed the earth that covered them [and]... contemplated, with gloomy delight, the time [he] should mingle his dust with theirs."

This fit of histrionics over, Lamb looked around at the rest of the graveyard and, since he did not think to bring other reading material with him, began reading the tombstones and epitaphs. After passing some time in engraved twee reminiscences about the dead, Lamb turned to his sister and asked, "Where are all the bad people buried?"