Starry Night, by Takahashi Shotei, c. 1926.

Starry Night, by Takahashi Shotei, c. 1926. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, gift of Chuck Bowdlear, PhD, and John Borozan, MA.

Night

Volume XII, Number 1 | winter 2019

Miscellany

Into the early modern period, the word bug referred to a phantom in the dark; a 1535 translation of the Bible made for Henry VIII came to be known as the Bug Bible for its rendering of Psalm 91:5 as “Thou shalt not nede to be afrayed of eny bugges by night.” The word was changed to terrors in later editions, but the original sense still colors the common bedtime warning against letting bedbugs bite.

The law is not the same at morning and at night.

—George Herbert, c. 1633