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Night

Volume XII, Number 1 | winter 2019

Miscellany

Annoyed by a prohibition against nocturnal work in late medieval France—enacted because candles provided insufficient light for quality performance—employers complained to Louis XI that workers occupied themselves from “four or five o’clock until the next day with various games and dissipations, and hardly want to apply themselves to do well.” In the winter of 1467, they received permission to extend working hours to ten pm.

Living is an ailment that is relieved every sixteen hours by sleep. A palliative. Death is the cure.

—Sébastien-Roch Nicolas Chamfort, c. 1790

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