Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
From Boswell’s London Journal 1762-63
FRIDAY 3 JUNE 
…I am always resolving to study propriety of conduct. But I never persist with any steadiness. I hope, however, to attain it. I shall perhaps go abroad a year or two, which may confirm me in proper habits. In the mean time let me strive to do my best.
SATURDAY 4 JUNE 
It was the King’s birthnight, and I resolved to be a blackguard and to see all that was to be seen. I dressed myself in my second-mourning suit, in which I had been powdered many months, dirty buckskin breeches and black stockings, a shirt of Lord Eglinton’s which I had worn two days, and a little round hat with tarnished silver lace belonging to a disbanded officer of the Royal Volunteers. I had in my hand an old oaken stick battered against the pavement. And was I not a complete blackguard? I went to the Park, picked up a low brimstone, called myself a barber and agreed with her for sixpence, went to the bottom of the Park arm in arm and dipped my machine in the Canal and performed most manfully. I then went as far as St. Paul’s Church-yard, roaring along, and then came to Ashley’s Punch-house and drank three threepenny bowls. In the Strand I picked up a little profligate wretch and gave her sixpence. She allowed me entrance. But the miscreant refused me performance. I was much stronger than her, and volens nolens pushed her up against the wall. She however gave a sudden spring from me; and screaming out, a parcel of more whores and soldiers came to her relief. “Brother soldiers,” said I, “should not a half-pay officer r-g-r for sixpence? And here has she used me so and so.” I got them on my side, and I abused her in blackguard style, and then left them. At Whitehall I picked up another girl to whom I called myself a highwayman and told her I had no money and begged she would trust me. But she would not. My vanity was somewhat gratified tonight that, notwithstanding of my dress, I was always taken for a gentleman in disguise. I came home about two o'clock, much fatigued.
 Virago, spit-fire
 Roger, a word of other meaning than it has acquired since the introduction of radio-telephony.
Above left: Street walkers
Below right: The sailors adventure to the streights of Merry-land or, An evening view on Ludgate Hill
Illustrations courtesy Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA
Posted by LorettaChase at 12:15 AM