Quips of a Questionable Quality by an unnamed Lady of Substantial Assets

by Winnie Khaw

With a smattering of physic and some learning, I in consummate assurance take part in this enlightened company of ominously silent authors and ostentatious readers. This gloriously loathsome enterprise I undertake with gusto, sure that here is my opportunity to enter the best of London society, the gentlemen and ladies, vociferous critics, and intellectual dead-weights. Here amongst ourselves we chatter on how a monarchy with a perennially empty throne is positively the best form of government.

A lord detested one of his fellow nobles for emerging the victor in a contest of love regarding a courtesan. That the winning man soon became affectionately acquainted with syphilis after intimate interactions with the prize, mattered nothing. The man had won fairly and without subterfuge, and by God, he would suffer for it! Thinking to gain the lord's favor, an enterprising stableman brandished his manure shovel and rallied servants about him, to put an end to the rival, the wretched fellow. The band was soundly beaten back, and the lord in annoyance berated those involved, first for initiating the attack without his knowledge, and then, for failing to carry it through.

if the Devil were a clerk and writing down all your sins, the voluminous dossier, blackening your character, which results would fill up Hell and everyone in it would have to move to Heaven, complaining the entire way about the lack of hotel and travel accommodations on the road. Then England as a imperialist power would feel compelled to ensure the security and well-being of her people, and then colonize both places

I have been considered an effective doctor, or a quack of great sagacity in exiting regions from which I performed miracles; the reason being, directly after my cleverly planned departure, the patients relapse to a worse condition than formerly.

Lady Milton jilted Lord Albany at the alter, and the good man in moral outrage died within the month, and she and her prelate went off to bed. The latter had a reputation in granting absolution, wherever he received the authority, from adultery or gluttony to homicide. Then the people chased him out for his offensive usage of 11,000 squirrel skins in the making of a coat. The lady soon married honorably and well.

The laudable and virtuous occupations of my employers afford me constant amusement. The impressive categorization of chronic catarrh is applied to the common cold, and a slight stirring of the stomach-called by some compassion for the poorer folk-is declared the floating kidney. Let us say the man takes seriously ill, turns irritable, querulous, bad-tempered, and worst of all, himself becomes impervious to wifely grumbling and the children's incessant nagging. The wife wishes he would die, but then does not, for then his salary would cease to fill her plate with chocolate delicacies and refrain from adorning her steadily widening figure with more laces, more velvets, and above all, more hats!

Attending a tea party with a large grease stain upon one's waistcoats tends to be less than conducive to congenial relations, indeed may have deprived me of the entirety of my dignity. Or perhaps that occurred when I threw a loaded butter knife at a lord for so nastily calling me on it, the noisy bastard, and yes, I, stung to the quick, driven to the pitch of righteous indignation, was responsible for the remarkable depression in that blockhead's nose ever after. My monument to fame. After all, how could I, a gentleman of sensibility provoked to an uncommon degree, endure his boorish taunts?

Civilian travel on Sunday in 18th century Europe ought to have been strongly discouraged on religious grounds in that otherwise highwaymen had no day of the week on which to rest.

Pardon me for momentarily indulging in the virtue of modesty, for I shall soon return to basking in the vice of pride.

In this last letter to my progeny, write the following: your father was promiscuous in amorous professions but discriminating in habitual practice—or so he thought.

Scions of the nobility claimed a university education as their natural right but often proved quite unequal to bear the intellectual duties expected in the fulfilling of this claim relative to the sons of the rising bourgeois class, who could not arrogate entitlement of this instructive privilege. Consequently, the foremost families in the nation produced dunce after profligate after bungler, and to these were entrusted the misgovernment of a country.

His honorable father saw no harm in him engaging in the popular practice of keeping mistresses before marriage and in fact urged the young man to immerse himself forthwith. The doting sire merely advised on the type of woman a man ought to procure for this position; that is, she ought to be of refined and delicate manners to soothe his own rough uncouthness, with a comely face and figure to offset the inevitable disappointment caused by the woman he was in fact to marry, and possessing some small intelligence so as to not to belittle his own meager cerebral acquisitions, et cetera. The father paternally went on to recommend a particular female who would not be adverse to attentions of this sort and who conformed admirably to the requirements mentioned above.