Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Strange Habits and Amusements of Famous People, Article in the Chicago Times 1895

Strange Habits and Amusements of Famous People, Article in the Chicago Times 1895

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Charlemagne was fond of hunting.

Tamerlane was an expert chess-player.

Buffon’s only amusement was walking.

Bach’s favorite pastime was gardening.

Poe found his sole amusement in drinking.

Danton was the most noted card-player of his day.

Confucius, it is said, was passionately fond of watermelon seeds.

Vicano could not listen to the sound of a flute with out fainting.

Virgil, during the summer season, filled his house with butterflies.

Samuel Richardson wrote his novels while attired in a full-dress suit.

More’s Utopia was written as an amusement and to divert his friends.

Charlemagne was said to be the best player of checkers of his century.

Dr. Johnson drank immoderate quantities of tea, and kept a pet cat, Hodge.

Aristotle found amusement in walking on the seashore and collecting specimens.

Carreri, a learned Italian, spent his leisure in compiling fictitious books of travels.

Henry IV. of France had the “cat ague,” or trembled whenever a cat was in sight.

Mrs. Radcliffe ate raw pork before going to work on a particularly thrilling chapter.

William the Conqueror was immoderately devoted to dog-fighting and bear-baiting.

Domitian spent his leisure in catching flies and piercing them through with a needle.

Queen Elizabeth was very profane, and when angry would kick and cuff her maids.

Mirabeau loved dogs, and had a famous pet, Chico, to which he was much attached.

Voltaire was afraid to sleep in the dark, and invariably woke if his candle went out.

Queen Anne detested the smell of roses, and became sick when they were in the room.

Descartes had a small garden where he spent all the hours not devoted to mental labor.

Mary Stuart had a lap—dog that followed her to the scaffold, and soon after died of grief.

Matthew Arnold’s dogs, cat, and canary-bird are mentioned dozens of times in his poems.

George III. was passionately fond of music, and during his madness could always be calmed by the sound of an organ.

Cardinal Richelieu hated children and loved cats; when he died his favorite Angora pet refused to eat and soon perished.

Louis XVI. in his early life learned the trade of a locksmith, and during his imprisonment amused himself by making locks.

Scott was fond of riding, and by daylight would be out with his horse and dogs. Most of his work was done before dinner.

Daniel Webster was extremely fond of oxen, and all those on his farm knew him by sight and would follow him like dogs.

According to Macaulay, the favorite amusements of Frederick William were to smoke, sip Swedish beer, and shoot partridges.

Petavius, the author of Dogmata Theologica, when tired of study amused himself by twirling his chair for five or ten minutes.

The brave Marshal d’Abbret could not endure the sight of a pig, and was subject to a fainting fit if he looked steadily at one.

Whenever Whittier had an inspiration, he would go to a corner of his room and kneel down while he reduced his thoughts to words.

George Eliot wrote for eight years with the same pen, and when she lost it she bewailed her misfortune as almost too hard to bear.

Louis Napoleon was fond of mimic warfare, and would often have forts constructed in his garden to illustrate some tactical point.

Spinoza’s favorite amusement was to set spiders to fighting, and he would laugh immoderately at beholding their ferocious struggles.

Henry III. of France was so fond of spaniels that he went about in public with a litter of puppies in a basket suspended from his neck.

Adelina Patti has a weakness for Mexican spaniels, and wherever she goes carries one with her, usually wrapped up in silk shawls.

Richter was fond of pets, and at one time kept a great spider in a paper box, carefully feeding and tending the creature for many months.

Napoleon’s favorite amusement was indulging in intrigues, which, he said, relaxed a man’s mind when tired with serious business.

John Milton loved to play on the organ. He made his second wife sing, and said she had some voice, but not the slightest idea of tone.

Octavius Augustus had a mortal dread of thunder, and whenever a storm came on he retired to an underground vault built for protection.

Philip, the Duke of Burgundy, spent much time in contriving trapdoors in his house and grounds to souse unwary strangers in water beneath.

Seneca, when tired writing his treatises on morals, found amusement in going over his accounts and calculating how much interest was due him.

Next to money Rembrandt loved nothing so well as his monkey. He shed tears when the ape died, and painted a portrait of his pet from memory.

Julius Caesar was ashamed of his bald head, and when it became shiny he constantly wore a laurel wreath in the hope of concealing the deformity.

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