21 June 2009

If you want an excuse…

"These underwritten be the perilous days, for to take any sickness in, or be hurt in, or to be wedded on, or to take any journey upon, or to begin any work on, that he would well speed. The number of these days be in the year 32; they be these:
In January be seven: 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 10, 15
In February be three: 6, 7, 18
In March be three: 1, 6, 8
In April be two: 6, 11
In May be three: 5, 6, 7
In June be two: 7, 15
In July be two: 5, 19
In August be two: 15, 19
In September be two: 6, 7
In October be one: 6
In November be two: 15, 16
In December be three: 15, 16, 17"

This is from my commonplace book, and no source is recorded. As I started writing in it in April 1974, and my reading at that point was still pretty eclectic, heaven knows where I found it, and I certainly can’t remember. It sounds like Thomas Tusser, but I suspect it’s actually that prolific author A Non.

I have to say that I've never paid it the slightest attention, beyond being pleased my birthday isn't included!


Jilly said...

I once developed a mild obsession - if an obsession can ever be described as mild - about the 6th of any month - because unpleasant things always seemed to happen on a 6th. I'm interested to see that 6th features in half the months. Could it be connected with the ides, nones and calends of the Roman calendar? Not that I can remember how that works. I suspect it goes further back than that. Why has October only one date I wonder?

NAM said...

Yes, I noticed October (but then I would, being October-centric, as it were).

Like you, I wondered if it was based on something like ancient calendars, or phases of the moon, or something of the sort, but I've ni idea really. One of those things to look up when the mood takes one, clearly.