Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Definition of Understatement

Lately I've been reading a biography of the 19th century botanist David Douglas. The chapter I just finished had him landed in various dire circumstances while searching for specimens of the Sugar Pine. From Douglas' own journal comes this catalogue of unpleasantnesses which one (especially one traveling by horseback) might encounter in an Oregon November:

All hungry and no means of cooking a little of our stock; traveled thirty three miles, drenched and bleached with rain or sleet, chilled with a piercing north wind; and then to finish the day experienced the cooling, comfortless consolation for lying down wet without supper or fire. On such occasions I am very liable to become fretful.

1 comment:

Elizabeth in Alaska said...

LOL, understatement indeed. I think most of us would be pitching a fit by that point...