Sunday, 29 March 2009

Filthy people

I don’t know if poor personal hygiene counts as bad behaviour, but it ought to. The effects are certainly unpleasant for those of us having to sit next to people who shun soap and water, and toothpaste. In the Norton Anthology it said King James I was notorious for fiddling with his codpiece and not washing his hands. Well, his predecessor Elizabeth I prided herself of bathing once a month.
It was a toss-upto decide who was dirtier, Samuel Johnson or his biographer James Boswell. When Boswell toured Europe in the 1760s, he found someone dirtier than himself,the Marquis d’Argens. This aristocratic gentleman had not taken off his flannel under-waistcoat for four years. When the King of Prussia insisted he remove it, the Marquis obeyed, and pieces of his skin came away with it.

No comments: