A Ramble through London

A Conversation between a Sodomitical Baronet, a Bawd, and the Author, on a Bench in St. James’s Park

Tired with the Variety of Objects and Subjects that occurr’d, I sat my self down on one of the Benches near Buckingham-House. I find it is but giving a willing Ear to Scandal, and ther are Tongues enough ready to oblige you in this Place. A Manteau-Maker, whose Tongue ran as fast as a Chancer-Sollicitor’s over a Bottle, was dealing out the Characters of every one in the Mall. . . .

A pale livid looking Baronet, who had sat silent all the time, began now to accost me about the Weather, and the Times, and then proceeded to talk of what Love and Affection, Men ought to bear to one another; he complained grievously of the Lewdness of Women, and of the inconveniences Men frequently brought themselves into, by a too free Conversation with ’em, and inveigh’d bitterly against some harsh Proceedings of the Law, saying, if a speedy Stop was not put to them, there would be an end of Fellowship and Society. He used many kind and soft Expressions, and at last invited me to his Lodgings. An Elderly Gentlewoman in a short Silk Cloak, and a number of Patches on a wither'd Face, that sat on my right Hand, hearing all this fell upon him in a most unmerciful manner, saying it was along of [i.e. because of] such Villains as he, that she was so reduced in the World; that Time had been, when she could have boasted of as compleat a set of Sound, Plump, and Juicy Sluts in her House as any Gentlewoman between New-Bond-Street and Temple-Bar, and had kept two Dozen of as good Feather-Beds a going, as any Brace of Fornicators need desire to regale their Limbs upon; but that now, what with China-Shops, Bagnio’s, Tirewomen’s-Lodgings, and these endorsing [slang term for 'sodomizing'] Sons of B[it]ches together, it was as much as ever she could do to make both Ends Meet, and solemnly declared she scarce foul’ed Linnen enough to find her Family in Tea and Sugar. This she express’d with Tears in her Eyes, and protested that of Eleven pretty sporting Filleys she had at home at Bed and Board, the Devil a Stitch had been set in e’er [i.e. scarcely] a one of them that blessed Day.

SOURCE: A Ramble Through London: Containing Observations on Men and Things [including] A Conversation between a Sodomitical Baronet, a Bawd, and the Author, on a Bench in St. James's Park By a True-Born Englishman. London, 1738, pp. 10, 12-13.

CITATION: If you cite this Web page, please use the following citation:
Rictor Norton (Ed.), "A Ramble through London, 1738", Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook, 22 February 2003 <http://rictornorton.co.uk/eighteen/ramble.htm>.

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