'In 1960, having read a formula for a witch's 'flying' potion in Magiae Naturalis (1560), by Johannes Baptista Porta, Dr Erich-Will Peuckert of the University of Göttingen, together with a colleague risked what could have proved a terminal experiment. Onto their foreheads and armpits they rubbed an unguent of deadly nightshade, thornapple, henbane, wild celery and parsley mixed in a base of hog’s lard, everything measured in the proportions specified.
"Both passed into a trancelike sleep for 20 hours during which each had nearly identical dreams of flying through the air to a mountain top and participating in erotic orgies with monsters and demons…"’
1914 advert by William Burrough Hill
i spent half a day putting up my flatpack bookshelves.
"I suggest he has just come from a city banquet, with a series of grand courses and a round of wines, and is wondering whether he will keep it down. He has started writing to his doctor but now it seems too late. And yet he keeps a certain assurance: ‘I’ll be all right if I’m not joggled’, he may be saying to some anxious lady"
big noisy burst of laughter on plane from me at this bit in Empson’s Essays on Renaissance Literature:
"At least, the attempt to capture the memorial bust of Shakespeare goes too far. She says that ‘the fixed gaze, the trance-like expression, the half-open mouth’ showed him as one who never blotted a line because he wrote when entranced (p. 162). Surely the air of surprised rueful uneasiness, as of one awaiting the next spasm deep within, should also be considered."