On July 1, 1862, The Richmond Times-Despatch was occupied with important matters, like daily life. This paragraph is drawn from a pleasant article published on that day:
I lament the progressive extinction of the merry fat girl. She usually grew up to be a jolly, comfortable matron, with a tribe of sunny children, all as great romes as she had been. Her pickled walnuts were perfection. She was one of those admirable women who always gives you something to eat when you call upon them, and if you are neither hungry nor athirst, insist up on your carrying away a pot of preserves or a slice of bride cake with you. It was in the golden age, and England was merry England indeed, when those fat matrons, who had been fat girls, flourished. They used to entertain you at meat teas bounteous repasts, where there were sausages and pressed beef, soused mackerel and potato cakes.
There’s something to say for the simple pleasures. But General Beauregard is amassing troops up by Manassus junction and the Union troops are gradually tightening the noose on northern Virginia. Much that is merry is at risk.