The past is a different country

London, May 16, 1751

My Dear Friend,

In about three months from this day, we shall probably meet. I look upon that moment as a young woman does upon her bridal night; I expect the greatest pleasure, and yet cannot help fearing some admixture of pain.….

This is Lord Chesterfield writing to his son. Where are the Freudians when you need them? I am very glad that my own father never wrote anything like this to me.

Lord Chesterfield constantly nagged his bastard about not being shallow, frivolous, and artificial enough. He recommended that he take two mistresses, one of them a high society lady to teach him the airs and graces, and the other a girl of convenience. The bastard was touring Europe, and while he was there Lord Chesterfield continually pimped fine ladies on him — and many of them sent back reports (most of them negative). The son was a serious-minded, scholarly sort and he resisted as best he could, but he didn’t have what it took to make the appropriate response to the letter above:

My dear father,

I look forward eagerly to your return. Rest assured that it is with the ultimate gentleness that I shall unveil your fair charms, and that if during the final consummation the throbbing gristle betwixt your yielding thighs should cause you even the tiniest pain, that harm will be remedied with a thousand passionate kisses.

Your obedient son, &c &c

Published in: on April 9, 2013 at 1:02 am  Leave a Comment  

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