August 15, 1857

15 August 1857


Sissing fry-pans, and collapsed flapjacks, what a hot day! Not a breath of air stirring, and mine almost gone. Fans enough, but no nerve to wield 'em. Food enough, but no strength to chew it. Chairs hot; sofa hotter; bed hotest. Sun on the back stoop; sun on the front stoop; and hot neighbors on both sides. Kittens mewing; red-nosed babies crying, poor little Hot-ten-tots! dogs dragging about with protruding tongues and inquiring tails; cockerels feebly essaying to crow. Everything sticky, and flabby, and limpsy. Can't read; can't sew; can't write; can't talk; can't walk; can't even sleep; hate everybody who passes through the room to make it hotter.

Now, just see that fly. If I have knocked her off my nose once, I have done it forty times; nothing will serve her but the bridge of my nose. I say her, because I am sure it is a female, on account of its extraordinary and spiteful persistence.

"Will I have anything to drink?" No. Wine heats me; lemonade sours me; water perspires me. "Will I have the blinds closed?" No. "Will I have 'em open?" No. "What will I have?" Well—if there's an old maid to be had, for Heaven's sake, walk her through this room to cool it. "What will I have for dinner?" Now, isn't that the last drop in my brimming cup? Dinner, indeed! Soup hot; fish hot; beef hot; mutton hot; chicken hot;—ugh! Hot potatoes; hot squash; hot peas; hot pudding; hot children;—ugh! Tell that butcher to make his will, or get out of my kitchen. "Lady down stairs wishes to see me?" In the name of Adam and Eve, take all my dresses off the pegs, and show her—but don't believe I'd be so mad as to get into them for anybody living.

Source Text:

Fanny Fern, "A Hot Day," The New-York Ledger (15 August 1857): 4

To cite this project:

Fanny Fern, "A Hot Day," Fanny Fern in The New York Ledger, Ed. Kevin McMullen (2023)

Contributors to the digital file:

Jordan Harper and Kevin McMullen