Tuesday, 27 December 2011

On Slights and Grudges, With a Complimentary Side-Dish of Bosoms

Bear with me.
Look at the bosoms whilst I attempt to sort my discrepant thoughts.
I found this picture a while ago, whilst trying, I think, to identify a painter of something else entirely. I kinda snagged it into a "stuff to think about later" folder. I'm very bad, however at archiving sources, so I've no idea where I found it. 
Here we have a group of prosperous aristocratic ladies behaving in a scandalously unladylike manner, going at each other with sharp pointy swords in a forest clearing. And topless to boot.  The Pall Mall Gazette, of August 23rd 1892 carried the story:

The duel was widely reported, mainly because the story got out that the ladies were bare-breasted. Having had a quarrel, these high-born ladies, whose families comprised a large part of the ruling elite of both Germany and the Austro-Hungarian empire, decided to settle the matter beyond doubt.
The bared bosoms were due to the requirements laid down by Baroness Lubinska, who had treated many battlefield wounds, and had observed that fragments of clothing carried into a wound, by either musket ball or sword, were often the seat of mortal infection, whereas a clean sword cut was usually survivable
Women's duels were not as rare as you might think. One fought in Hyde Park, London, became known as "The Petticoat Duel", first they shot at each other with pistols, then fell-to with swords because of a heinous insult. -One had dared to question the veracity of the stated age of the other.
Another duel, fought between a frenchwoman and an american was over the respective merits of european vs american doctors. (France won, and the American was treated by a european doctor, subsequently writing a letter of apology).
Women fought over suitors, insults, over wearing similar dresses, almost anything. A duel was fought in Georgia by two women both enamoured of the same young man. He saw one of his sweethearts die, run through the heart, and in accordance with the young women's wishes, married the victor that very same  day.

 Mademoiselle Maupin, Operatic Diva,  Mistress of Emperor Maximilian of Belgium,
Duellist, Serial Seducer of both Ladies and Gentlemen.

"The ball was given either by King Louis XIV, or his brother the duc d'Orléans. La Maupin attended in a cavalier's dress and played that role to the hilt, but without concealing her own identity or sex, it would seem. She centered her attentions on one beautiful young lady, whose time she monopolized. They had several dances together, and when the guests' conversation buzzed with speculation about them, La Maupin suggested a more private tryst and sealed the proposal with a passionate kiss out in the middle of the dance floor.
This was too much for three young gallants, themselves suitors of the young lady. They surrounded the couple on the dance floor, protesting La Maupin's disgraceful behavior.
"At your service, gentlemen." she answered them in the standard formula of the duel, and all four withdrew to the dark gardens without to settle the affair. La Maupin defeated all three at once, though whether she killed or merely disarmed and injured them, I cannot say.
In any event, she returned alone victorious to the ball, only to be confronted by the King. "You are the jade La Maupin?" ask Louis "I have heard of your handiwork! Need I remind you of my decree against duels in Paris?" She denied nothing, for how could she? She was well known and had clearly been the center of everyone's attention. It would seem however that she did present herself to Monsieur who interceded for her.
The next day she awaited word of her fate, but instead of being arrested, she received word that the King, who it seems was again amused by her panache, was speculating that his law governed only men, and that she was free to duel at will. His hesitation gave her time to flee to Brussels until the crisis had passed."

Why am I musing on this stuff?  Well, recent events, really.
Not duelling events, but women and spurious grudges.  We men are too thick-skinned to have any idea of why a woman might seethe with resentment. Truly, we have no idea. And a short while ago, a female blogger, who I will not name nor provide any specific clues toward, seems to have become angry with me and feels that I had insulted her or harmed her in some way. I had then, and still have now, no idea what I was supposed to have done.
Another female blogger went to have a look to see if she could figure out what I was supposed to have done. First blogger seemed to think that this constituted stalking. It wasn't, and all I can infer from all this is that first blogger is somewhat needlessly paranoid.
The lady who visited her blog was all ready to draw her rapier in order to avenge the slight to my good name. I have persuaded her that it is not necessary. 
If a duel was to occur......

Sorry. I'm not a real grown-up yet.

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  1. Women take the huff at things that do not exist! One has fallen out with me but I know not why. These days I do not ask, let them stew or explain, no explain, no fuss from me.

  2. Ah, Adullamite, shall we form a club?
    We shall gather at the "Sanctuary for the Bewildered Male", drink beer, and exchange stories of the "Aeternally Divided Sisterhood of the Mysteriously Wronged".

    Cheers, old bean!

  3. Oh. And wear armour.... armour's good in these circumstances.

  4. "When the moon is in the seventh house, and Jupiter aligns with Mars..." (known as the planet of war)

    The Fifth Dimension had it all wrong, peace and love will NOT guide the planets and stars; instead, females around the universe experience altered states. Evil twin personae leap out and begin wrecking havoc in the lives of what seemed to be nice, ordinary, intelligent women.

    We begin seeing signs as we drive along the roads, shop in the grocery stores, travel through the blogging world... With our heightened sense of unreality we begin reading double meanings in the most benign of blog posts, comments, crossword puzzles, even the Sunday newspaper!!

    How do I know this?? Yes, I must confess, I have experienced this most bewildering of altered states a time or two in my life.

    Bewildered Men everywhere should just batten down their hatches and wait until peaceful Venus banishes Mars to the far reaches of the solar system. Then your loving, ordinary, intelligent ladies will re-appear, shame-facedly, and hope all can carry on as before this planetary warp occurred.

    I do carry a small rapier by my side each day. However, I find that a well-sharpened red crayon is quite sufficient at proving my point whilst I scribble on the offending wall.

    If it becomes necessary to pull out my blade, be assured that I will follow the Baroness Lubinska's prudent advice and bare my bosoms to defend the honor of those I love.

    eternally yours,

  5. The Red Crayon Scribbler strikes again!

  6. What the devil is all this crap about?

  7. Lovin' the Ladies27 December 2011 at 18:15

    Bosoms! Bosoms!
    Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm Bosoms!
    I love ladies' bosoms!

  8. haha, step one when starting a dule: strip off your top!

  9. This is great and I am putting it in my Fully clothed women" album on Facebook.
    Merry Christmas souby!

  10. Angry? Simmer down. Or reveal your identity, bear your bosom, and raise your sword.

  11. Gary: Or persuade your lady opponent to strip off, decline the swordfight, and insist on wrestling!

  12. Bulletholes: Fully clothed women? You have a "Fully Clothed Women" album? Oh you feelthy pervert!
    Hey. That's such a fetish, women with all their clothes on.... !!!!

  13. Red Dirt Girl... It's all your fault I've been humming that damn hippy anthem all day... "this is the age of aquarius, age of aquarius...."
    harmony and understanding, sympathy and grace abounding....

    You know hippies would insist you blunt that red crayon, for fear of it being a weapon?

  14. "If your going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair."


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