Leaden Hours

And, especially-because for me it’s the bad time of day, the one I don’t like, when I don’t know what to do with myself, when I feel lazy without feeling relaxed, idle and unsociable; a flat hour {heure plat} (“washed out” {“à plat“}), undynamic: half-past three in the afternoon ( the time of my mother’s death;-as if I’d always known it would happen then-the time of Christ’s death). Michelet (always him): Nuns in the Convent (The Sorceress): “What killed them was not the mortifications they were called upon to endure, so much as sheer ennui and despair. After the first burst of enthusiasm, that dreaded disease of the cloister (describe early as the fifteenth century by Cassien), leaden ennui, the gloomy ennui of afternoons, the tender melancholy ennui which loses itself in vague languors and dreamy reverie, quickly undermined their health.” Michelet knew about a great many things; he knew about things that mattered, he knew that knowing about the leaden hours of the convent matters as much as knowing a out the wool wars of Florence, etc.

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