The slut, and the whore.

Friday, 11 October, Year 11 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

Let's set the stage with some choice Samuel Pepys quotes.

Firstly :

Thence by coach to Mrs. Pierce's, where my wife and Deb. is; and there they fell to discourse of the last night's work at Court, where the ladies and Duke of Monmouth and others acted "The Indian Emperour;" wherein they told me these things most remark able: that not any woman but the Duchesse of Monmouth and Mrs. Cornwallis did any thing but like fools and stocks, but that these two did do most extraordinary well: that not any man did any thing well but Captain O'Bryan, who spoke and did well, but, above all things, did dance most incomparably. That she did sit near the players of the Duke's house; among the rest, Mis Davis, who is the most impertinent slut, she says, in the world; and the more, now the King do show her countenance; and is reckoned his mistress, even to the scorne of the whole world; the King gazing on her, and my Lady Castlemayne being melancholy and out of humour, all the play, not smiling once. The King, it seems, hath given her a ring of L700, which she shews to every body, and owns that the King did give it her; and he hath furnished a house for her in Suffolke Street most richly, which is a most infinite shame. It seems she is a bastard of Colonell Howard, my Lord Berkshire, and that he do pimp to her for the King, and hath got her for him; but Pierce says that she is a most homely jade as ever she saw, though she dances beyond any thing in the world. She tells me that the Duchesse of Richmond do not yet come to the Court, nor hath seen the King, nor will not, nor do he own his desire of seeing her; but hath used means to get her to Court, but they do not take. Thence home, and there I to my chamber, having a great many books brought me home from my bookbinder's, and so I to the new setting of my books against the next year, which costs me more trouble than I expected, and at it till two o'clock in the morning, and then to bed, the business not being yet done to my mind.

And then,

17th. Up, and by coach to White Hall to attend the Council there, and here I met first by Mr. Castle the shipwright, whom I met there, and then from the whole house the discourse of the duell yesterday between the Duke of Buckingham, Holmes, and one Jenkins, on one side, and my Lord of Shrewsbury, Sir John Talbot, and one Bernard Howard, on the other side: and all about my Lady Shrewsbury, who is a whore, and is at this time, and hath for a great while been, a whore to the Duke of Buckingham. And so her husband challenged him, and they met yesterday in a close near Barne-Elmes, and there fought: and my Lord Shrewsbury is run through the body, from the right breast through the shoulder: and Sir John Talbot all along up one of his armes; and Jenkins killed upon the place, and the rest all, in a little measure, wounded. This will make the world think that the King hath good councillors about him, when the Duke of Buckingham, the greatest man about him, is a fellow of no more sobriety than to fight about a whore. And this may prove a very bad accident to the Duke of Buckingham, but that my Lady Castlemayne do rule all at this time as much as ever she did, and she will, it is believed, keep all matters well with the Duke of Buckingham: though this is a time that the King will be very backward, I suppose, to appear in such a business. And it is pretty to hear how the King had some notice of this challenge a week or two ago, and did give it to my Lord Generall to confine the Duke, or take security that he should not do any such thing as fight: and the Generall trusted to the King that he, sending for him, would do it, and the King trusted to the Generall; and so, between both, as everything else of the greatest moment do, do fall between two stools. The whole House full of nothing but the talk of this business; and it is said that my Lord Shrewsbury's case is to be feared, that he may die too; and that may make it much the worse for the Duke of Buckingham: and I shall not be much sorry for it, that we may have some sober man come in his room to assist in the Government.

Thus equipped, let's proceed to a little... well, what shall we call the activity we're about to engage in here ?

Lo and behold, we can't proceed to doing for lack of knowing what to call it first, and then they want to blame the man for the failure of the means to meaning, and ontology over gnoseology's structural inadequacy! I didn't do it, myself! It was broken to begin with, and surely way the fuck before I got here!

Nevertheless we shall try, for what else is life besides trying to fashion some thing straight out of the crummy Holze of idealia ? And then fail, of course, subtly, in a sense not-so-obvious at the time, but surely, oh so very surely to be discovered later, and woe and sulphur fire and a fie upon us, why not.

So, a dictionary is an alphabetic list of words, giving their definition. How exactly such a thing as a definition can be had in an alphabetic list is anyone's guess -- all acceptable definitions always proceed from proximate genus through specific difference, there's no such thing as constructive definitions, built out of imaginarily atomic small parts of language (for lack of such atomic parts in language, what the fuck would they be, conjunctions ? "word" is ultimately defined "as of in of of at by under of", in that order ?). Even a historical ordering of words (taking after the traditions in teaching philosophy) would make much more sense than an alphabetical listing, actually.

Meanwhile a thesaurus is an attempt (always doomed, by the way) to group words by concepts somehow, such that the user may employ the tool to maybe find the word best adequate to his expressive needs. Obviously enough this only works for relatively advanced users of the language, people who already pretty well know not merely what they mean to say, but sorta-kinda how their saying would most likely look. The equivalent joke to the dictionary's own "how do I spell fuckupitude ?" "look it up in the dictionary" "how can I look it up in the dictionary if I don't know how to spell it ?" finds itself not even expressible at all in this context, but for this impossibility of expression the thing that needs expressin's still right there : how is one to know how to use a thesaurus ? Even leaving aside how no such thing as a thesaurus can ever be made, for lack of a correct V-tree of concepts in the first place, how is anyone to use it ? By "guessing from context" ? Gee.

But be all that as it may, the word we're looking for here doesn't even exist, for we do not aim towards a dictionarization here, but rather a thesauring. That's what I meant to say above, five good paragraphs up : "Thus equipped, let's proceed to a little thesauring". We're going to proceed in the manner of what a thesaurus aims to be yet never manages : learn how to think better by comparing concepts and following the differences, them fabled "whisks of meaning" of ye rare and radiant wonder which was here, which is now hoare an' lies dead forevermore.

Here I stand then, a man aiming to express, looking around, and finding not the tool needed to fashion the expression, let alone the desired expression pre-made, who then sits down, and step by step fashions the tool so he may in turn fashion the form with it ; and in observing me we understand why a thesaurus can never be had : it is a circumcvadrature, an item from the arsenal of hopes and desires of the wizard apprentice, not a thing of this world. Asking for a thesaurus is like asking for money for nothin' an' chicks fo' free, it beggars the end of even the possibility of meaning. It can't be had, for if it could be had, there'd no further be a need for it at all -- what'd you do with "a better car" had at the cost of making movement outright impossible, what does a statis want vehicular performace for ? A thesaurus, as the imaginary "grandfather's glasses which by themselves permit reading", as all other prosthetics for humanity, will exist only inasmuch as the user's propensity to lies and self-delusion, not one inch further.

Now thus equipped, let us look at the matters. Why is Miss Davis the most impertinent slut, or rather, what does the speaker wish to make true ?

And, on the other hand : Anna Maria was born to Robert Brudenell (who, two decades later, would succeedi as the second Earl of Cardigan). As an already well used seventeen year old she was married off to Francis Talbot, the eleventh Earl of Shrewsbury. She was married in January, and was delivered of a son in July nextii. Her duty, "to society" or however you construe it therefore having been paid, in blood, she went to her own life, and by 1662 the first baron Dover and the Earl of Carlisle's younger brother were fighting a duel ; the baron was left for dead.

Then comes the event here discussed, because the quote's from Pepys' journals for 1668 : on the 16th of January of that year, roughly speaking for her 8th marriage anniversary, George Villiers, the second Duke of Buckingham fought a duel with the woman's husband. Presumably the husband had had enough of this business where other men enjoyed his wife's offices and wanted for a change to be the one fighting in the duel, what the fuck. It didn't work out for him -- the pudgy, unimpressively frog-like George drove Francis clear through. The winner later fought a further half-dozen men over this same whore, with similar success -- who knows, maybe theirs was a soulmate match made in heaven ? Isn't that the criteria ? I thought that's what you thought was the criteria.

In any case, the woman was taken to the Duke's house, where she lived with his wife, as his mistress, and had his children, who were baptised at Westminster, etcetera.

So tell me now, what makes the whore ? And what makes the slut ? What is the meaning of the words ?

It is this : the slut is the female that disregards the needs of society, however society itself construes them, and fulfills her own needs. That's the sophomore whining about "that slut" : how dares that cunt think of her own cunt before mine ? I wanted that cock inside myself, how can she get it inside herself! Isn't she here supporting cast for the movie I star in ?!?!?!

And this is, too, Pepys' wife's complaint : how dare miss Davis enjoy the ring the king gave her when other people had other expectations ? She'd be a slut for merely enjoying, but for making plain display of her indifference to their mutually agreed upon nonsense, she is also impertinent. She should have refused the king's ring, for Castlemayne's sake, thinks every mula in the land, because not shaking lazy dumb cunts out of their complacency is the first and foremost principle of dumb cunt society -- and everyone else's an impertinent slut!!!

Meanwhile a whore... well, here it is : while Buckingham fought her husband, Anne Marie, dressed as a page, which is to say, slave in period costumeiii, held his horse. She went with her partner rather than with her offspring, is the complaint, and she's a whore rather than a mother, that's the division. A woman will be sacrificed, as part and parcel of what necessarily, exclusively and unavoidably womanhood is. The choice before her is whether she will be sacrificed for the man who stuffs between her legs (and all he stands for), or for the things that crawl back out (and all they stand for). A mother, or a whore ? Her owner's, or her children's ?

I prefer sluts and whores simply because society's fucked and offspring superfluous. Were there society just as fucked but some kind of demand or need for offspring present (in the shape of child production being not merely +EV, but so significantly + it'd dwarf all, or at least most other activities), I'd prefer slutty mothers, and I'd sound just as gay as the Britsh Empire elite in fact did sound, throughout the duration of that arrangement. Were instead society well settled but offspring just as superfluous as now, I'd prefer chaste whores, which is entirely possible, all the Babylonian empire ran on exactly this principle, which is why they had ritual prostitution (and other things). Were society well settled and offspring necessary, I'd prefer chaste mothers, and sound as tediously boring as two centuries' worth of North American immigrants, from Massachussetts to the Great Plains.

No, I very well fucking wouldn't, of course not. But for the sake of argument, you know ? To understand each other.

Sluttery and whorishness are somewhat orthogonal concepts : one discusses whether the woman will do what's right or what she's expected to do ; the other discusses whether the woman will do what's right or merely expect for what she did to become right through the passage of time.

In short, and in lieu of a moral for this story : you can do a lot worse than to spend your life with sluts and whores. You could, for instance, fall in with idiots, as that'll be your perdition.

———
  1. Ever contemplated this, older, rounder and I expect proper meaning of your favourite word ? Success comes from "to succeed", which comes from... efficiently being the successor of someone. Yes ? That what you had in mind at all ? []
  2. This means the next year. Had it been the same year I'd have said so. []
  3. Yes, pages did take it up the ass at the owner's call, of course they did. []
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2 Responses

  1. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    1
    Mircea Popescu 
    Friday, 11 October 2019

    Ps. And this story doesn't end up here. It's not so much that Alexander Pope's retelling of the supposed end of the period's principally important and easily more interesting character's unflattering -- it's that it's entirely fabricated. The last Buckingham was buried with more pomp than the monarch himself ; correctly reflecting his being more than that poltroon ever were.

    But what I mean by the story not ending there : the foregoing's indefeatable grounds not merely for my not liking Pope -- but for Pope not being likable. That's what pantsuitist aesopism gets one.

  1. [...] and vaguely smells unnaturally (which is what all pleasure ever is) ? With her services as a whore, a hookerii and a magic horseiii at the ready (and readily given), the man can finally explore the [...]

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