Monday, 25 September 2023

Rameses II was Ozymandias

I went to Egypt in May 2021 to escape being confined to my flat for a fortnight (I'd gone to Bodrum for a week and stayed for six months but finally and reluctantly returned to Bucharest to get vaccinated). I was a digital nomad but also had great adventures.

Everywhere was empty and the guides at the Great Temple of Luxor disconsolately rested against monuments. Moses I took and he showed me round the sights jumping onto a bus or hailing down the most cranky taxi I ever saw. He took me of course to the Colosseum of Memnon and the Ramesseum early in the morning, before the heat became unbearable by half past 9. 

I only discovered after I returned that Ozymandias is the Greek version of Rameses and that Shelley wrote his poem after the British Museum announced that it had acquired a large fragment of a statue of Rameses from the Italian Belzoni.

Yanis Varoufakis's new book

"Imagine the following scene straight out of the science fiction storybook. You are beamed into a town full of people going about their business, trading in gadgets, clothes, shoes, books, songs, games and movies. At first everything looks normal. Until you begin to notice something odd. It turns out all the shops, indeed every building, belongs to a chap called Jeff. What’s more, everyone walks down different streets, and sees different stores because everything is intermediated by his algorithm… an algorithm that dances to Jeff’s tune.”
Varoufakis says that Jeff Bezos, the owner of Amazon, doesn’t produce capital but charges rent, which isn’t capitalism but feudalism. Here he is interviewed by one of my least favourite writers Carol Cadwalladr, who owed a lot of money after lying about Aaron Banks and who repeats the CIA or MI6 line on Assange.

Sunday, 24 September 2023

Democracy is impossible without a demos

"It seems, then, that the original reasons for favoring democracy don’t last forever. First, it depends on strong popular identification with the nation, which is vanishing." 

Saturday, 23 September 2023

This is how I feel about history

"Philosophy was the mission of my life. I had to philosophize; otherwise, I was not able to live in this world." Edmund Husserl

“I don't want people who WANT to dance. I want people who HAVE to dance.” Choreographer George Balanchine

What is Biden going to do now?

A friend who's a retired academic just sent me an email.
What if the 'sides' in the Ukraine war are peaceful coexistence v. ruinous (except for a few, for whom it's highly lucrative) war?
I agree and have said this in this blog since last year. It's tiresome when I get attacked for being pro Putin and tiresome that there are people who are. They are as annoying as the ones who lose their temper if it's suggested that the Americans made mistakes which provoked Putin. 

Friday, 22 September 2023

I am not interested in Ukraine at the moment - only Nagorno Karabak and Armenia

Dmitry Medvedev, the last Russian President and Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council said this on Telegram on the 29th talked about Nikol Pashinya, Prime Minister of Armenia.
One day, one of my colleagues from a fraternal country told me: “Well, I’m a stranger to you, you won’t accept me.” I answered what I had to: “We will judge not by biography, but by actions.” Then he lost the war, but strangely stayed in place. Then he decided to blame Russia for his mediocre defeat. Then he gave up part of the territory of his country. Then he decided to flirt with NATO, and his wife defiantly went to our enemies with cookies.
Guess what fate awaits him...


"Strive not to be a success but rather of value".
Albert Einstein

Thursday, 21 September 2023

"It will end with everything that is Armenian gone." The fall of Nagorno Karabak makes me even sadder than the invasion of Ukraine

Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyn came to power in "a colourless colour revolution" in 2018. The previous government which had been friendly to Armenia's protector, Russia. He has brought irremediable catastrophe on Nagorno Karabak by cosying up to America when Armenia depends on the protection of Russia.

In an interview with DW, Armenian analyst Styopa Safaryan accused Russia of trying to "punish Armenia for the so-called disloyalty, and it's doing with Azerbaijan's hands. This absolutely resembles the attack, the aggression of Russia in Ukraine. It's absolutely the same situation." The second sentence, I am sure is not true. Azerbaijan has agency and has chosen her moment carefully. The parallel with Ukraine is a close one, however - both Armenia and Ukraine relied on America and thumbed their noses at Moscow, with what results we see.

Researcher Ruben Enkopolov from the Barcelona Institute of Political Economy and Governance told DW:
"The only scenario [for Nagorno-Karabakh]is the full transfer under Azerbaijani control. It will end with everything that is Armenian gone."

This seems to show beyond doubt that the threat of NATO expansion is the reason why Putin invaded Ukraine

“President Putin declared in the autumn of 2021, and actually sent a draft treaty that they wanted NATO to sign, to promise no more NATO enlargement. That was what he sent us. And [that] was a pre-condition for not invade [sic] Ukraine. Of course we didn't sign that. He went to war to prevent NATO, more NATO, close to his borders. He has got the exact opposite.” 

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said this to committee of the European Parliament on September 7.

And yet many people get angry when this is suggested by people who are not Secretary General of NATO. 

There was never a time when there was less respect for freely exchanging opinions than now, except perhaps in wartime - but only Russia and Ukraine are at war. 

Tsarist Russia, unlike Russia or the rest of Europe today, had free speech, more or less. I thought I'd mention that.

Sunday, 17 September 2023

The decline of the West - I could give this title to half my posts

A German intellectual told Douglas Murray that "the German people were anti-Semitic and prejudiced and deserved to be replaced."

A young Romanian woman friend, who went to Yale on a scholarship, told me that "I hope that in my lifetime the majority of the Italian population will be African, as a punishment for colonialism". (Italy had five African colonies and held the oldest one, Eritrea, for only 65 years. I know from going to Ethiopia that most good things there are thanks to the 5 years of Italian occupation.)

Day in Autumn by Rainer Maria Rilke

After the summer's yield, Lord, it is time
to let your shadow lengthen on the sundials
and in the pastures let the rough winds fly.

Friday, 15 September 2023

Thankful I live in a country that is not modern

I very thankfully live in Bucharest. The horrors of modernity are for me almost entirely confined to what I read on the internet.

The only exceptions that come immediately to mind are altar girls and I have I escaped them by attending the Greek Catholic instead of the Roman Catholic cathedral.

Nowhere in the world is nicer than Bulevardul Unirii in September, with fountains plashing. I can't imagine why I ever leave, but last month I spent a frenetic time in Great Britain.

Sunday, 10 September 2023

American jihad

Lewis Lapham, editor of the American monthly Harper's Magazine, said in 2002, “The makers of America’s foreign policy over the course of the previous fifty years have embraced a dream of power almost as vainglorious as the one that rallied the disciples of Osama bin Laden to the banner of jihad.”

This is true.

America expected to withdraw from Europe at the end of the second world war, remained because Stalin seemed a second Hitler, remained after the end of the cold war and now see themselves as fighting a long cold war against Russia and China.

Saturday, 9 September 2023

Mike Yarwood has died. The papers have to explain who he was.

Such is the nature of fame. 

His 1977 Christmas show had more viewers than any other television programme in British history before or since.

He impersonated famous people on British television in the 1970s and was a household name, but he could not do Margaret Thatcher and better impersonators, who'd been to university, came along. The age of working class comedians, actors and journalists was starting to pass.

The people he impersonated, such as Harold Wilson, Edward Heath and Enoch Powell, great men in their day (all of whom I met after their day, when I was an undergraduate), are also forgotten.

I remember when I was at Cambridge reading a letter Tennyson wrote from Cambridge in which he reflected that everyone would be dead in one hundred years' time. 

Thursday, 7 September 2023

The left has been in power in England since 1997

Allister Heath in the Telegraph today says the British political elite has given up on Britain.
'Sunak has largely refused to diverge from the EU; conversely, Starmer has promised not to rejoin the customs union or single market. The Brexiteers will be betrayed under Labour, but it is not clear by how much more than under the Tories. Legal immigration has surged dramatically; both parties are united in a technocratic belief that the public is best ignored on such matters. On Channel crossings, Labour may ditch Rwanda, but it will end up having to take drastic action, too.

'The Tories’ Left-wards drift continues to shock. Michael Gove is citing the Marxist economist Thomas Piketty and calling for “extracting what we need for public services from those who operate in a rentier fashion”. Jeremy Hunt, whose big idea was to lower the threshold at which the 45p tax rate kicks in, has resumed Sunak’s policy to appoint Left-wing, Remainer economists to top positions, including to the Monetary Policy Committee. Sushil Wadhwani, a member of his advisory council, wants a 100 per cent tax on pay rises above 3 per cent.

Tuesday, 5 September 2023

Ukraine is part of series of mistakes by 'the West' going back to the First World War

Looking back with hindsight, but also at the time, the Anglo-French declaration of war on Germany in 1939 was a mistake. The Americans bear much of the blame, surprisingly enoughaccording to Neville Chamberlain. 

As George Kennan argued, the cold war was also a mistake - it was a response to Stalin taking over Eastern Europe which made him seem another Hitler. Kennan had recommended containment of the Soviet bloc but not an arms race.

For years American foreign policy aimed at containing Iran.

That's why Hillary Clinton and Boris Johnson wanted to intervene in Syria to overturn Assad, something as illegal and foolish as the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Yet Iran is probably not a threat even to Israel and certainly not to the Nato allies. 

Monday, 4 September 2023

Saturday, 2 September 2023

“The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue"

“The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness.” Richard Horton, editor of The Lancet, The Lancet, April 11 2015

"When did your childhood end?"

Edith Eger, who was a prisoner in Auschwitz and still works as a psychologist at 95, considers this question the most important to ask clients with depression or anxiety.

What I did in my holidays

Wow! From 15° (59°) in Edinburgh to 37° (99°) and the last days of the long hot Romanian summer. I had an amazing holiday, met many great people and saw many beautiful places, but it is always wonderful to return to Bucharest. Deep joy, as Professor Stanley Unwin would say.

In sixteen days in my beloved country I saw these cathedrals: St Alban's, Exeter, Rochester, St Edmundsbury, Ely, Peterborough, Lincoln, Glasgow and two in Edinburgh. I forgot to go into Oxford and only walked past Westminster hurrying for my train. I wasn't trying to see a lot of cathedrals but am delighted I did.

I'd been to them all before, all but Peterborough, Glasgow and Lincoln several times, but I had seen Lincoln in 1997 in semi-darkness.

The best was either Exeter or Ely, probably Ely, but Peterborough and Rochester are absolutely wonderful. Lincoln disappointed except for the west front, visible for the first time since last year after decades of restoration.

They took the crazy golf course away from the nave of Rochester and replaced it with an exhibition on astronomy. One Glasgow church is a café but also a church and an Edinburgh church is a jazz club but is also a church. The sea of faith has ebbed a long way.

Thursday, 31 August 2023

I couldn't have put it better


(Apparently a tweet is now called an X.)

Tuesday, 29 August 2023

Google and Facebook do not want you to see this

Google does not want you to see this, just like it hid eminent epidemiologists who scorned lockdowns and masks. Facebook told me it would appear lower in my feed as it partly contains misinformation. One scientist recently said climate.change denial should become a criminal offence. 

The Justified Sinner is still extraordinary thirty years later

I am rereading the Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner, by James Hogg, which is extraordinarily good. You never read the same book twice because you become a different person. Still this wonderful, extremely modern novel (written in 1821) is probably as good as I remember. In my twenties I thought it the best novel written in English, and it might be, beating even Conrad. 

But can any novelist beat Miss Austen?

It's like a meteor from outer space embedded in the canon of great novels.

Like Brideshead Revisited or The End of the Affair, it might even convert a reader to Catholicism.

Hogg was a shepherd.  I think Sir Walter Scott adopted him informally and had him taught to write, but I might be wrong about this. 

It's the first thriller. Much better than anything by Scott, whose protégé Hogg was, better than Dickens and very exciting. 

It's a psychological thriller and eviscerates Calvinism. 

I said this to a nice woman in Glasgow Cathedral with an English (Edinburgh Morningside) accent and added 'You're not a Calvinist are you? One has to be so careful what one says in Scotland.'

'No I'm not, but one has to be so careful everywhere. Stop the world I want to get off!'

'I have stopped the world and got off. I live in Romania.' 

'Oh you are very lucky!'

Yes, I really am. Romania is an outpost of civilisation in a world ruled by barbarians.

Thursday, 24 August 2023

Paganism takes back the lands it lost

Michael Ramsey, Archbishop of Canterbury from 1961 to 1974, was asked whether he thought the Church of England would survive into the next century and replied, ‘Well, you know, that is not certain, not certain, not certain at all. Not certain. It might easily, easily, it might easily, quite easily, just fall away after twenty years or so. Just fall away.’

I just visited St Mary's Episcopalian (Anglican) Cathedral in Edinburgh, built by Sir Gilbert Scott, who here builds a rather fine cathedral from scratch rather than ruining mediaeval ones. 

A poster invited me to a discussion about Christa. The woman who stood in the nave answering questions answered mine and told me Christa was the feminine form of Christ, which I did not understand, and the discussion would be led 'by someone who is trans'. 

Another poster spoke of the importance of ecology and climate to Christians. 

She told two men in their thirties who were holding hands that the Episcopalian Church was "Very liberal, I'm pleased to say, about gay marriage and women priests". 

To me all these things seemed pagan rather than the thinking of the first century church. 

I quoted before the first century Didache or Teachings of the Apostles, "Do not commit pederasty". It also forbids abortion, enjoins long fasts and says nothing about climate, ecology or women priests.

In a bookshop I dipped into a book on the rise and fall of Christianity in Ireland. I had not remembered how many dreadful things priests and nuns did. 

Catholic Ireland is gone. Anglicanism, as Edward Norman predicted, is falling into the sea.

I saw this today by a new friend I made in Budapest this year.

Kindness can go too far

"It's a little embarrassing to have been concerned with the human problem all one's life and find at the end that one has no more to offer by way of advice than 'Try to be a little kinder.''"

Aldous Huxley, "Moksha: Writings on Psychedelics & the Visionary Experience". 

The British are much kinder than forty years ago, but I start to think they are too kind. That's the problem.

Thursday, 10 August 2023


“Why you fool, it's the educated reader who CAN be gulled. All our difficulty comes with the others. When did you meet a workman who believes the papers? He takes it for granted that they're all propaganda and skips the leading articles. He buys his paper for the football results and the little paragraphs about girls falling out of windows and corpses found in Mayfair flats. He is our problem. We have to recondition him. But the educated public, the people who read the high-brow weeklies, don't need reconditioning. They're all right already. They'll believe anything.”
C.S. Lewis, That Hideous Strength

'People with well-polished shoes generally have something to hide.' Craig Brown, Spectator October 11 2012

There's a memorable line in the film Love at First Bite, when the Communists kick Dracula out of his castle because they want to turn it into "a training camp for our young athletes." As he leaves, he warns them: "Remember this - without me, Transylvania will be as exciting as Bucharest on a Monday night."

'The Kiev putsch of February 2014 is one of the most significant events in European history since the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914. It is time we were honest about it, and time it received proper attention.'

I call it American Cultural Revolution, similar to Mao's Cultural Revolution I survived. It is terrifying, it keeps me up at night. Most scary part is 80% people in this country don't even know it. I have been trying to give my warnings. I am running for Congress to stop it.

Wednesday, 9 August 2023


“Do not disturb yourself by picturing your life as a whole; do not assemble in your mind the many and varied troubles which have come to you in the past and will come again in the future, but ask yourself with regard to every present difficulty: 'What is there in this that is unbearable and beyond endurance?' You would be ashamed to confess it! And then remind yourself that it is not the future or what has passed that afflicts you, but always the present, and the power of this is much diminished if you take it in isolation and call your mind to task if it thinks that it cannot stand up to it when taken on its own.”
Marcus Aurelius

"To be silent the whole day, see no newspaper, hear no radio, listen to no gossip, be thoroughly and completely lazy, thoroughly and completely indifferent to the fate of the world is the finest medicine a man can give himself."
Henry Miller

Monday, 7 August 2023

Saturday, 5 August 2023

'History is indeed little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind' (Gibbon)

As this terrible war drags on it is hard to know what is happening but it is obvious that Ukraine is not doing well, which is hardly surprising given Russia's size and power, and that the war could go on for decades. Also obvious are the mistakes made by American presidents starting with George W. Bush in 2008 at the Bucharest NATO conference and in 2013-14 the involvement of the Americans in trying to overthrow the democratically elected government of Yanukovych, which was backed by 70% of the Ukrainian population in the last opinion poll before he fled. 

So many follies. According to Alistair Crooke, who was often right about the Syrian war, one egregious folly was the American belief that Russia could be defeated by economic sanctions. 

Do they read no history? When did sanctions ever overturn a government? Why are the Americans doing untold harm by sanctions against Syria, for heaven's sake? To hurt Iran but Iran is not a threat. Or sanctions against Iran herself, Cuba absurdly, the Taliban in Afghanistan or Venezuela? Why?

'NATO exists to manage the risks created by its existence'

'In the end, NATO’s existence became justified by the need to manage the security threats provoked by its own enlargement. At the Bucharest NATO Summit in April 2008, Georgia and Ukraine were promised eventual membership, although Membership Action Plans (MAPs) were deferred because of German and French concerns that moving to Russia’s borders and encircling the country could provoke a dangerous reaction... This fateful geopolitical paradox – that NATO exists to manage the risks created by its existence – provoked a number of conflicts. The Russo-Georgian War of August 2008 acted as the forewarning tremor for the major earthquake that engulfed Europe over Ukraine in 2013-14.'

Richard Sakwa, Emeritus Professor of Russian and European politics at the University of Kent, in Monism vs. Pluralism, May 21 2015

Caitlin Johnstone recently said the same thing this year and I suspect her of plagiarism, that Romanian vice. Are they both right? I think so, yes.

Thursday, 3 August 2023

Anti-democratic Britain

 "Britain’s deranged war on cars, our looming ban on gas boilers, the debanking scandal, the failure to prosecute crime, the attempted cancellation of women, the sabotage of the Brexit agenda, the scale of migration: welcome to anti-democratic Britain, where the beleaguered majority is increasingly subject to the whims of an entitled, activist elite that often seems to despise the people over which it exercises so much power...." (Allister Heath today in theDailyTelegraph).

The elite has done this since the 1950s when the Conservative governments ignored popular fury about immigration. (The UK  was virtually all white in 1950.) Later the city centres were destroyed and replaced with brutalist architecture. We joined the EEC ('the Common Market') despite the public opposing it. These three changes transformed the country - only one could be undone, after 43 years and after our country had been transformed by European laws and ideas.

'Statistics of Hot Summers'

The excessive heat which prevail. at present (says a Paris paper) gives some interest to the following account of remarkably bot summers :—” In 1132 the earth opened, and the rivers and spring; disappeared in Alsace. The Rhine was dried up. In 1152 the heat was to great that eggs were cooked in the sand. In 1160, at the battle of Bela, a great number of soldiers died from the heat. In 1276 and 1277, in France, there was an absolute failure of the crops of grass and oats. In 1303 and 1304, the Seine, the Loire, the Rhine, and the Danube, were passed over dry-footed. In 1393 and 1394, great numbers of animals fell dead, and the crops were scorched up. In 1440 the heat was excessive. In 1538, 1539, 1540, 1541, the rivers were almost entirely dried up. In 1556 there was a great drought over all Europe. In 1615 and 1616, the heat was overwhelming in France, Italy, and the Netherlands. In 1646 there were fifty-eight consecutive days of excessive heat. In 1678 excessive heat. The same was the case in the first three years of the 18th century. In 1718 it did not rain once from the month of April to the month of October. The crops were burnt up ; the riven were dried up, and the theatres were closed by decree of the Lieutenant of Police. The thermometer marked 36 degrees Reaumur (113 of Fahrenheit). In gardens which were watered, fruit trees flowered twice. In 1723 and 1724, the heat was extreme. In 1746. summer very hot and very dry, which absolutely calcined the crops. During several months no rain fell. In 1748, 1754, 1760, 1767, 1778, and 1749, the heat was excessive. In 1811, the year of the celebrated comet, the summer was very warm and the wine delicious, men at Semmes. In 1818 the theatres contained closed for nearly a month, owing to the heat. The maximum heat was 35 degrees (110.75 Fahrenheit.) In 1830, whilst fighting was fining on on the 27th. 28th, and 29th July, the thermometer marked 36 degrees centigrade (97.75 Fahrenheit). In 1832, in the insurrection of the 5th and 6th of June, the thermometer marked 35 degrees centigrade. In 1695 the Seine was almost dried up. In 1850, in the month of June, on the second appearance of the cholera, the thermometer marked 34 degrees centigrade. The highest temperature which man can support for a certain time varies from 40 to 45 degrees (104 to 113 of Fahrenheit.) Frequent accidents, however, occur at a less elevated temperature.”

18 Jul 1852, 7 – The Observer at

“Hot Weather.—Many a man has mopped his brow during the summer months of 1884, declaring it was the hottest weather the world ever knew, which, of course, would not be true, for the extreme heat in the record of the past has not been approached during the late summer.

In 627, the heat was so great in France and Germany, says the London Standard, that all springs dried up; water became so scarce that many people died of thirst.

In 879, work in the field had to be given up; agricultural laborers persisting in their work were struck down in a few minutes, so powerful was the sun. In 993, the sun’s rays were so fierce that vegetation burned up as under the action of fire. In 1000, rivers ran dry under the protracted heat, the fish were left dry in heaps and putrefied in a few hours. Men and animals venturing in the sun in the summer of 1022 fell down dying.

In 1132, not only did the rivers dry up, but the ground cracked and became baked to the hardness of stone. The Rhine in Alsace nearly dried up. Italy was visited with terrific heat in 1189; vegetation and plants were burned up. During the battle of Bela, in 1200, there were more victims made by the sun than by weapons ; men fell down sunstruck in regular rows. The sun of 1277 was also severe; there was an absolute dearth of forage.

In 1303 and 1304, the Rhine, Loire and Seine ran dry. In 1615, the heat throughout Europe became excessive. Scotland suffered particularly in 1625 ; men and beasts died in scores. Meat could be cooked by merely exposing it to the sun. Not a soul dared to venture out between noon and 4 p.m. In 1718, many shops had to be closed; the theatres were never opened for several months. Not a drop of water fell during six months.

In 1753 the thermometer rose to one hundred and eighteen degrees. In 1779, the heat at Bologna was so great that a large number of people died. In July, 1793, the heat became intolerable. Vegetables were burned up and fruit dried upon the trees. The furniture and woodwork in dwelling-houses cracked and split up; meat became bad in an hour.

In Paris in 1846, the thermometer marked one hundred and twenty-five degrees in the sun. The summers of 1859, 1860, 1869, 1870, 1874, etc., although excessively hot, were not attended by any disaster.”

Gaillard’s Medical Journal – Google Books

“Summer Heat Precedents.
A German writer, dealing with certain prognostications (usually heard at this time of the year) of great summer heat, goes back for precedents. In 637, he says, the springs were dried up and men fainted with the heat. In 879 II was impossible to work in the open fields. In the year 993 the nuts on the trees were roasted, as if in a baker’s oven. In 1000 the rivers in France dried up, and the stench from the dead fish and other matter brought a pestilence into the land. The heat in the year 1014 dried up the rivers and the brooks In Alsace-Lorraine. The Rhine was dried lap in the year 1132. In he year 1152 the heat was eo great that eggs could be cooked in the sand. In 1227 it is re. corded that many men and animals came to their death through the intense heat. In the year 1303 the waters of the Rhine and the Danube were partially dried upend the people passed over on foot. The crops were burned no in the : year 1394, and in 1538 the Seine and Loire were as dry land. In 1536 a great drought swept through Europe. In 1 1014 in France, and even in Switzer-lard, the brooks and the ditches were dried up. Not less hot were the years 1048. 1779 and 1701. In the year 1715 • from the month of March till October not a drop of rain fell, the temperature arose to 38 degrees Reamer and in favored places the fruit trees blossomed a second time. Extraordinarily hot were the year. 1724, 1746, 1756 and 1811. The summer of 1815 was so hot -the thermometer standing at 40 degrees Reaumur -that the places of amusement had to he closed.—London Daily News.

The Day – Google News Archive Search


IN 637 the heat was so great in France and Germany that all springs dried up, and water became so scarce that many people died of thirst.

In 873 work in the field had to be given up ; agricultural labourers persisting in their work were struck down in a few minutes, so powerful was the sun.

In 993 the sun’s rays were so fierce that vegetation burned up as under the action of fire.

In 1000 rivers ran dry under the protracted heat ; the fish were left dry in heaps, and putrified in a few hours. The stench that ensued produced the plague.

Men and animals venturing in the sun in the summer of 1022 fell down dying; the throat parched to a tinder and the blood rushed to the brain.

In 1132 not only did the rivers dry up but the ground cracked on every side, and became baked to the hardness of stone. The Rhine in Alsace nearly dried up.

Italy was visited with terrific heat in 1139; vegetations and plants were burned up.

During the battle of Bela, in 1260, there were more victims made by the sun than by weapons; men fell down sunstruck in regular rows.

In 1303 and 1304 the Rhine, Loire, and Seine ran dry.

Scotland suffered particularly in 1625; men and beasts die in scores.

The heat in several French departments during the summer of 1705 was equal to that in a glass furnace. Meat could be cooked by merely exposing it to the sun. Not a soul dared venture out between noon and 4 p.m.

In 1718 the thermometer rose to 118 deg.

In 1779 the heat at Bologna was so great that a great number of people was stifled. There was not sufficient air for the breath, and people had to take refuge under-ground.

In July, 1793, the heat became intolerable. Vegetables were burned up, and fruit dried upon the trees. The furniture and woodwork in dwelling-houses cracked and split up; meat went bad in an hour.

The rivers ran dry in several provinces during 1811; expedients had to be devised for the grinding of corn.

In 1822 a protracted heat was accompanied by storms and earthquakes; during the drought legions of mice overran Lorraine and Alsace, committing incalculable damage.

In 1832 the heat brought about cholera in France; 20,000 persons fell victims to the visitation in Paris alone.

In 1846 the thermometer marked 125 deg. in the sun.