Image of two men kissingHomosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook compiled by Rictor Norton

The Tipling Philosophers

Lewd BION would Tipple like mad,
          And talk very wickedly too,
Or else he would never have said,
          The Gods were a Bastardly Crew,
And when he got drunk at a Feast,
          To Crown his inebrious Joys,
He then would reel home like a Beast
          And tap the Butt-end of his Boys.

BION was bred an Academick, afterwards turn'd Cynick, and at last became a Follower of [p.8] Theodorus the Atheist. He was much given to Male-Venery with his own Scholars; and was wont, as Laertius mentions in his Epitaph, to call the Gods, Sons of Whores, but dy'd repentingly. [p.9] . . .

Young POLEMO drank and he whor'd,
          Altho' he'd a pretty young Wife,
And pleasur'd his Lusts like a Lord
          Given up to an infamous Life;
But once being drunk as a Rake,
          He reel'd to Xenocrates's School,
Where the Sage took the trouble to make
          A Philosopher of the young Fool.

POLEMO, born at Oeta, an Athenian Village, was very wild and extravagant in his Youth, and tho' he had a very beautiful Wife, was much given to Male-Venery, till happening once, when he was warm'd with Wine, to Stagger, with a Garland upon his Head, into the School of Xenocrates, in order to deride his Precepts, which the old Man bore with the Patience of a Philosopher, and at length charm'd the Spendthrift with such an admirable Discourse of Modesty and Temperance, that he reclaim'd him from his Extravagance, adn won him, at once, to the Study of Philosophy. [p.13]

ARCESILAUS, Noble and Free,
          And Learned and Wise as the rest,
Would merry and frolicksome be,
          And drink, like a Duck, at a Feast.
He valu'd no publick Reproach,
          But still would his Humour enjoy,
And when he was Tipsy would broach
          A Wench, or a Catamite Boy.

ARCESILAUS, a Pytanean of Aeola, was a very debauch'd Philosopher, but very Generous to his Friends. He was not only given to Wine and Women, but also to the use of Boys; from whence Aristo calls him an Eloquent and Audacious Buggerer. [p.14]

SOURCE: Ned Ward, The Tipling Philosophers, A Lyrick Poem, To which is subjoin'd, A short Abstract of their Lives and most memorable Actions, London: Printed and sold by J. Woodward in St. Christopher's Church-Yard, near the Royal-Exchange, 1710.

CITATION: If you cite this Web page, please use the following citation:
Rictor Norton (Ed.), "The Tipling Philosophers, 1710", Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook, 14 May 2010 <>.

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