January 23, 2008

"I'm jealous. I can't do it either. I can't cross my legs sitting in a chair like that."

Here's Rush Limbaugh talking about the way Hillary Clinton was sitting in her chair at the debate. (Subscriber link.) (Yes, I subscribe to the Rush Limbaugh website so I can keep track of these things for you.)
There was also -- I'm not going to say -- never mind, I'm not going to say it because all I'm going to do is make women mad, don't want to do that, making women mad is going to send -- all right, I'm going to say it, but I'm going to stop doing this in the future. After the first part of the debate, standing up there at those podiums and then they took a commercial break, and Blitzer came back and they were all sitting in chairs. I'm going to pay for this. See, this is the kind of thing that you're not supposed to say, that when you say this, all it does is drive people to Hillary, women especially. (sigh) But see, I'm not going to tease you, it's really unfair to say I'm going to say something and then not say it. So I'm going to say it now. She was the only one sitting there who could not cross her legs.
At this point, he takes a break and then comes back doing a voice that the transcript calls his "new castrati impression." That is, he affects an effeminate male voice — and he doesn't mind seeming homophobic or not knowing how the singular and plural are formed in Italian. He doesn't care about the pedantic distinction between a podium and a lectern either, we just saw.

Anyway, in that voice, he's all:
"That's just horrible, Mr. Limbaugh! I can't believe you said that. That's just horrible. Why do you even notice things like that, Mr. Limbaugh? I can't believe you!"
Back to the regular voice:
It's very simple, ladies and gentlemen. I'm a leg man. I'm jealous. I can't do it either. I can't cross my legs sitting in a chair like that. I'm jealous of people who can and I'm jealous of other people who don't, and it makes me feel better about myself, okay? I can't do it, either.
So, Rush is fat, and everyone knows it, and some people say it in the most mocking way. And maybe that makes him think he's got license to call other people fat — especially if they're liberals.

Of course, he's being rude for some evil fun. But he's also ignorant, because there is a whole big thing about women not crossing their legs. It's both a health issue and a point of etiquette:

1. Crossing your legs at the knee is reputed to cause varicose veins and hip problems in women.

2. Women — at least women of a certain age — have been taught as a matter of etiquette to cross their legs at the ankles when they sit, and that is exactly what Hillary Clinton was doing at the debate.

I noticed the leg positions at the debate myself, because each of the 3 candidates were sitting differently:

1. Hillary had her legs exactly the way any good image consultant would advise any woman to sit. (It has nothing to do with chubbiness.)

2. Barack Obama — at the point when I noticed — had his legs crossed with the left ankle on the right knee, a position that would look insane if taken by a woman in any remotely serious situation, even if she is wearing pants. It's very casual. Arguably, it was rude for Obama to have his foot way up there with the sole aimed at Hillary.

3. John Edwards was sitting with his legs apart and feet planted on the floor — what you might call a "wide stance." This too would look awful on a woman, even if she were wearing pants. It too seems casual, and many men look crude in that position, which in some situations — such as on a subway car — is inconsiderate because it hogs extra space.

Bonus: Scholarship! "World Distribution of Certain Postural Habits."

IN THE COMMENTS: People are saying it's not about fat at all. It's about testicles. Why did he say "I'm jealous of people who can" cross their legs then? But it is funnier that way.

ADDED: And here I am, the one with the reputation for being the first one to notice when the subject is genitalia. Anyway, as the Althouse Blog Historian Ruth Anne Adams points out in the comments, the photographic record is clear that females my age were taught to cross our legs at the ankles:

Kindergarten class 1957

I'm the one in the white eyelet lace skirt following all the rules. (Enlarge.)

98 comments:

Simon said...

More likely new than old wisdom - that is, an image consultant rather than deeply-ingrained instinct to received ideas of "ladylike etiquette."

dax said...

"So I'm going to say it now. She was the only one sitting there who could not cross her legs."

Maybe it's because she's the only one with b*lls!

Maxine Weiss said...

http://maxinesplace.blogspot.com/2006/06/correct-posture-and-sitting-etiquette.html

You need to practice how to be perfectly placed in a chair.

Joseph Hovsep said...

Hillary Clinton is overweight? She's no athlete but she seems to me to have a pretty normal/decent figure for a woman her age. Certainly not overweight in the same league as Rush.

dax said...

This is the proper way for a lady to sit on a chair.

http://www.cojeco.cz/attach/photos/
lide/Cruz_46734/Penelope_Cruz_2MAX.
jpg

Balfegor said...

Re: ankle-to-knee

I have to disagree with Maxine's linked post here . . . ankle-to-knee is not appropriate for a man in a formal setting. And if you're too fat to cross your legs properly, don't cross them at all. That's what I was taught when I was growing up.

But then, I bow to my ancestors and I hold my pinky out when I sip tea so perhaps the world has just passed me by. The New Soviet Man has no time for such arcane punctilio.

Still, I think I'm right. And Obama, who went to a posh prep school and a posh university and an ultra-posh law school almost certainly knows better. Or perhaps, then again, the rich are different from you and me. As are the exquisitely posh.

Joan said...

I don't think Rush was saying that Hillary's fat. I think he was pointing out that she couldn't cross her legs casually, because she's a woman, and there's too much baggage associated with women crossing their legs at the knee. In some - many - cases, it's associated with flirting and being sexy, and that would be inappropriate.

I didn't see the debate but if Obama really was sitting as Ann described, I would've found that very rude, as she says -- too casual for the setting.

In the photo Simon posted, Hillary and Nancy Reagan both have their legs crossed at the knee, and the effect is that they're flashing a lot of skin. Rosalynn Carter has her legs crossed at the ankle; Barbara Bush has her feet tucked under slightly in the same way as Rosalynn, but her legs aren't crossed. IMO Rosalynn and Barbara look more respectful of the proceedings they're witnessing.

In all honesty (I grew up in New England), the first place I ever heard about "good manners dictate that women cross their feet at the ankles" was in The Princess Diaries when Julie Andrews was schooling Ann Hathaway. It made sense to me then, and makes sense to me now. If you're wearing anything other than trousers or a full-length skirt, crossing your legs is going to draw attention to your legs, and sometimes that's not what you want to do.

Jennifer said...

What was she wearing? If it was a skirt, it can be difficult to try to cross your legs at the knees while wearing a skirt without pulling a Sharon Stone.

Most of the time, Rush seems like Howard Stern to me - utterly predictable and unable to truly be provocative, settles for trying to shock.

save_the_rustbelt said...

Limbaugh used to be interesting when he considered himself an entertainer, now that he takes himself seriously he is obnoxious.

And like most "conservatives" he has whored himself to George Bush, who is anything but conservative.

hdhouse said...

Ann...i'll give you back the money you paid to subscribe to this schmuck. i'll clean your refrigerator and tidy up your apartment...but please...oh please...STOP going to him for anything.

Pogo said...

Limbaugh loathes himself some Hillary. The specific complaint is beside the point. It's what happens when you dislike someone, anyone, and you begin to despise everything about them: their hair, their walk, the way the click their teeth on a fork, how they always seem to be hovering nearby.
And leg crossing, knee or ankle. Doesn't matter; each way is wrong because they're doing it.

Not that I have any experience with that.
Just speculation.

goesh said...

Obama wagging the sole of his shoe at Hillary could suggest that he is a closet Muslim. There's something about the shoe/foot being an instrument of insult in many Islamic cultures. Am I the only one who remembers the hapless Iraqis pounding Saddam's toppled statue with their shoes? Rush is slipping to have missed the obvious connection here....

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Being about the same age as Hillary...I was taught that the proper/formal way of sitting for a "lady" was to cross the ankles, tuck your feet a bit under the chair and sit slightly ajar (not straight on) in the chair in order to avoid the ability for someone to look right up your skirt. Skirts were much shorter then too. :-) Even when wearing pants, that position was the prefered way to sit in a formal situation.

Maxine Weiss said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
rhhardin said...

Some woman comedian years ago had a line that on a hot day, she didn't know how so and so managed to cross her legs. It made no sense to me. Does it produce yeast infections? Who knows.

Rush isn't fat. I took the line as meaning that Hillary, like him, had balls. But I only had the radio and wasn't listening closely.

The last week of Rush hasn't been great. He's off his self-deprecating larger-than-life persona.

His effeminate voice is supposed to be the modern male brought up to be lady-like ; not in particular a gay voice.

Maxine Weiss said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Maxine Weiss said...

The women who are best able to sit with their legs crossed at the knee, in a perfect straight line, are always the tallest and thinnest.

So, it can't be that unhealthy.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Hillary had her legs exactly the way any good image consultant would advise any woman to sit.

Which meant we were not able to get a Basic Instinct shot.

Trooper York is still inconsolable.

Arguably, it was rude for Obama to have his foot way up there with the sole aimed at Hillary.

Well in Arab culture yes. I don't think Americans give a hoot one way or another.

John Edwards was sitting with his legs apart and feet planted on the floor — what you might call a "wide stance." This too would look awful on a woman, even if she were wearing pants. It too seems casual, and many men look crude in that position,

But his hair was impeccable

Ralph said...

Goesh beat me to the Muslim shoe insult. Perhaps he had "Eat Me!" written on the sole.

At the ballroom dances/classes I was sent to in middle school in the 70's, the girls were instructed to cross their ankles when sitting. I can't remember any hats and white gloves, which might have helped with the cooties.

Maxine Weiss said...

Those classes were taught by Dowagers who were jealous of all the shapely legs, and alluring nature of a woman who crosses at the knee.

At the John Robert Powers Modeling School, women are required to master the art of crossing at the knee---in a perfect line.

You are also taught how to turn---pivot, how to walk, and how to gaze.

George said...

It's not just an Arab thing...I don't think anybody wants to look at the soles of anyone else's shoes....people step in all kinds of stuff.

I couldn't stand the way John Edwards kept grabbing Obama's forearm.

Then Obama starting grabbing Edwards' coat sleeve.

Very playful.

Ralph said...

In Simon's photo, is that Agnew's head behind Bill's? I watched that on CSPAN, and that's close to where he was sitting. Dole is between Hillary & GHWB.

ricpic said...

If Hillary pulled a basic instinct my basic instinct would be to fwowup.

From Inwood said...

More important, perhaps most important: Tom Brady has a high ankle sprain. Inquiring Minds™ want to know: Can he cross his legs, even w/o ankle to knee?

And, what do the Fashionistas have to say about all of this?

Ralph said...

Maxine, the female instructor had great legs, especially for a petite woman, which she showed off with high heeled sandals, miniskirts, and a year-round tan without hose. The Dowagers sat in a corner and smoked.

Joan said...

Am I the only one who is getting a creepy stalker vibe from Maxine?

Regardless, ankle to knee crossing at a bistro is one thing. It's quite another during a nationally televised debate.

AllenS said...

Hot women can do anything that they want with their legs. When Christie Brinkley is with Chuck Norris and they are selling their workout contraption, Christie's legs are this way, and then that way, open, up, down, side-to-side, and all I want to do is give her my wallet. What a political duo they would make.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Given the length of the skirts on the ladies serving on the USS Enterprise, I'm surprised Sulu didn't crash into a meteor everytime Lt. Uhura turned in her chair.

goesh said...

My Granny used to say that any man who would wag his foot at a woman would wag his weenie at her too. She never got into politics so this may be an irrelevant comment.

Alan said...

I heard that yesterday. I figured Rush was, again, trolling for women callers. Letting them know how manly he is that he can't cross his legs. It worked for him in the past with "code name, Jaguar."

SteveR said...

Sulu wasn't interested in Uhuru. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Zeb Quinn said...

Dax nailed it. Ann, in all of her her longish diatribe, totally MISSED IT.

Maybe it's because she's the only one with b*lls!

That's exactly what Limbaugh was saying. It's a recurring theme on Rush's show with respect to Hillary. He was saying that Hillary's testicles are so big that she can't cross her legs. And the deal sealer, the thing that proves it, is when Rush was said, hey, he can't cross his legs either.

If you're going to try to read the stitches on the fastball, Ann, you better learn how first (another Rushism).

rhhardin said...

trolling for women callers

Rush dealing with objections from women to using the word testicles, back at the origin of the testicle lock box, is probably Rush at his best.

``I am this close to banning women callers.''

Lawgiver said...

Men can put their ankles on their knee like Obama did. This says, "I'm a stud, cautiously observant and ready for action."

Men can cross their legs at the knee and lean back. This says, "I am secure in my manhood, relaxed, confident, and don't really care what you think of how I'm sitting."

Men can place their feet flat on the floor with their hands flat on their thighs. This says, "I am being interviewed for a job. I want to appear totally attentive and engaged. I am eager to impress."

Men do not cross their legs at the ankles. This says, "I am a womanly man."

Yes, Christie Brinkley is very hot and can do whatever she wants with her legs or my legs.

Original Mike said...

Give Ann a break, Zeb. It's something she's never personally experienced.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I once dated a girl who always crossed her legs but it always broke my glasses and I found it hard to breathe so it didn't work out.

Bruce Hayden said...

I think though that many here are missing part of the reality here. Apparently, Hillary! had some physical complications or whatever when her daughter was born that resulted in large or bloated legs. That is apparently one reason that she wears pants most of the time, in order to hide this. In her case, it is not a result of being overweight, as it probably is with Rush, but rather a medical condition. There is no reason to believe that this has any health affects for her, but rather it just makes her legs less sightly.

I could be mistaken here, but have heard this multiple times over the last 15 years.

nansealinks said...

Who needs a chair?

SHIT!

From Inwood said...

Hillary has now found her best sitting position as well as her voice!

Anyway, Hillary has said that she doesn't want to "fall back", which could possibly happen if she crossed her legs.

Meade said...

Its easy to see that it takes an entire village of amateur geneticists to determine who is able to produce the protein that differentiates gonadal tissue into testicular tissue and who is not.

garage mahal said...

The guy who's balls are so big he needs fistfulls of Viagra to kiddie sex capitals to find them? I might have to agree with the board on this one. Hillary might him beat on testosterone levels.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I knew this girl from Cleveland who could crack walnuts when she cross her legs.

It was kinda hot but intimidating at the same time.

Meade said...

I will say this: leg-crossing was never an issue when Bill was President. No one ever doubted he had balls and it didn't matter how he sat.

Ball up, America --repeal the twenty-second Amendment.

Middle Class Guy said...

Etiquette and silliness aside, this campaign is degenerating into a bad TV show. It is a cross between World Wrestling and one of those reality shows with a dose of American Idol thrown in.

Earlier today I read somewhere that a large block of voters are waiting to see who guys like Limbaugh, Olbermann, Dobbs etc. are backing before they decide.

It is as intelligent as deciding to vote for someone because an air head movie star backs them. If nothing else, we shall be entertained.

All these pundits- right, left, and moderate are jumpoing into the same swamp.

hdhouse said...

Rush....reading rush...listening to Rush...anything that he says .... and observations he makes...

break. time out.

Zeb Quinn said...

Give Ann a break, Zeb. It's something she's never personally experienced.

It seems fairly transparent. Ann is trolling to get noticed by Limbaugh, hoping to get her and her blog mentioned on his show. Right, Ann?

Cedarford said...

Given the length of the skirts on the ladies serving on the USS Enterprise, I'm surprised Sulu didn't crash into a meteor everytime Lt. Uhura turned in her chair.

Probably why they picked a homosexual, George Takei, to play Sulu.

amba said...

Before commenting, I did a Ctrl+F on "Sharon Stone." Bingo: Jennifer.

Meade said...

Hillary can't cross her legs because of testicular tissue. Fine.
What I want to know is, does she have the balls to step out on Bill the way he had the balls to step out on her.
It's 2008, Hillary -- time for a woman to have it all.

Simon said...

Meade - and she's a looker, so she could. :p

Hoosier Daddy said...

Probably why they picked a homosexual, George Takei, to play Sulu.

Wow, goes to show the sheltered life I lived. Had no clue. Wow. Next thing you'll tell me is that Chekov really wasn't a Russian either.

I'd have to say Uhura was a knockout though, legs up to the clouds although Nurse Chapel could get my blood pressure up there too.

Meade said...

Simon, old boy: I wonder if perhaps you've been cloistered in those Indiana cornfields a bit too long.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Captain James T. Kirk never crossed his legs though. Considering the stud that he was, it simply was too much effort to shift certain ahem...things to effect a proper leg crossing.

Spock on the other hand thought it a logical way to rest one's leg.

madawaskan said...

Limbaugh started as a sportscaster in Sacramento- I think.

Punditocracy-why anyone listens to any of them is beyond me.

They follow the polls-there was actually one on MSNBC saying that MCCain beats in the head to head polls any Democrat.

Well ya-in the "polls".

Nevermind that he has the media behind him now and that it all could change during the general.

Or-that you know possibly the "polls" are crrrrrrrraaaaaaapppppp.

If this election does nothing else but totally discredit talk radio and the polls it'll be worth it.

madawaskan said...

Ain't gonna happen though-is it?

Sir Archy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kirk Parker said...

Hoosier,

Don't you mean, "His hair was perfect"?

Joan,

You are not alone.

AllenS,

That euphemism is a new one to me.

madawaskan said...

Sir Archy-

I was havin' an argument 'bout eunuchs the other day-did they cut 'em by whole or by half?

errrr....

madawaskan said...

Wait-I just followed "Sir Archy's link...I thought he was a gelding...but he's a ghost?

I think we've all lost our nuts....

But then again we'll always have Doyle.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Hoosier,

Don't you mean, "His hair was perfect"?


Well I prefer the term impeccable. I like the sound. It sings a song, tells a story.

Although Edwards didn't cross his legs but rather sat much the same way Stalin did in that famous Yalta photo.

Guess the apple don't fall far from the tree.

rhhardin said...

The troublesomeness of gonads has long been recognized

Leg-crossing is only a minor problem.

Simon said...

Meade - to each their own, I suppose. :)

Freeman Hunt said...

I thought he just meant that she had short legs.

Ruth Anne Adams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ruth Anne Adams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kirk Parker said...

Hoosier,

"It sings a song"

So does my amended version. :-)

Alan said...

"Why did he say "I'm jealous of people who can" cross their legs then?"

You are so naive. You're suppose to pick up on the comparison of his manhood to other men. :)

Meade said...

"I'm the one in the white eyelet lace skirt following all the rules."

...including "crossed ankles, hands together in your laps, girls, and make a perfect "V" for Vortex with your arms."

AJ Lynch said...

Ann:

I did not know Hillary (? 3rd from the left in the front row) was in your class!

jeweejewish said...

You know, what all this reminds me is that there are two things in the world that smell like tuna.

And one of them is tuna.

jeweejewish said...

I'm sorry that was the only thing that sprang to mind after my week long absence, but I figured it would fit in well with the general level of sniggering misogyny around here.

You guys never fail to live down to my expectations....

AJ Lynch said...

Sniggering misogynicists? Yes but we are organized and represented by a union- Local 6 & seven-eighths of the Internalional Union of Sniggering Misogynicists..can we give you an estimate on that hysterectomy you have been putting off?

Pogo said...

You guys never fail to live down to my expectations

This from the "tuna" commenter?
Dipshit.

Eli Blake said...

Go ahead. Sniggering misogynists are exactly what will get Hillary elected President. If I can paraphrase a recent article by Kathleen Parker (who I rarely agree with but occasionally peruse), there is nothing that will get women, who will fight to the death over a man, to rush to the aid of a fellow woman en masse than men behaving badly.

Anne:

You clearly outdressed your kindergarten class. Not only did you have a nicer skirt, but I also noticed that overall you are better dressed. No old tennis shoes for class photo day, not for you!

Now I have a question. Is it an illusion, or was the building constructed with the top higher than the bottom? Some of that old architecture is pretty odd by today's standards. Do you have a picture of the building from the outside?

john said...

Eli,

Where I come from the tops of the buildings are almost always higher than the bottoms.

jeweejewish said...

Pogo said...
This from the "tuna" commenter?
Dipshit.


That's another thing I love about some of the regulars here. Irony is totally beyond them. Plus, they project their own deficiencies onto others.

BTW -- what do you think should be the new official Althouse handle for Huckabee?

I think it's between Radical Cleric Mike Huckabee and Opie-Wan Kenobe, but both of them really get his essence....

rhhardin said...

It's somewhere in Camille Paglia (Sexual Personae), but I believe the fish involved is herring, not tuna, in any case.

She names the acid or whatever responsible for this.

She definitely needs an editor, or a better index.

AJ Lynch said...

JJ:

"Radical Cleric Mike Huckabee" gets my vote.

I think Mike is a nickname for his given name, Muqtada.

Pogo said...

Irony is totally beyond them. Plus, they project their own deficiencies onto others.

Do you have that phrase queued up or do you cut and paste it whenever you post?

Seriously, it's completely meaningless, like saying "How are you" or "take care" , like an astrology reading, or a congressional budget proposal. It looks all smart and stuff, but beneath the gloss is, well, nothing.

jeweejewish said...

Pogo said...

It's completely meaningless, like saying "How are you" or "take care" , like an astrology reading, or a congressional budget proposal. It looks all smart and stuff, but beneath the gloss is, well, nothing.


At last! The perfect description of the typical Althouse blogpost and the subsequent comments of her cultists.

Nice job, my friend!

Palladian said...

rhhardin, amines are the cause, specifically trimethylamine which smells like fish slime. If a person smells like this, it's usually the sign of an infection like BV.

Of course, there's also the strange, extremely rare metabolic disorder Trimethylaminuria which leaves a person unable to metabolize TMA which leaves them stinking like dead fish.

Why are we discussing this again?

Palladian said...

Ah, now I see why we're talking about such things.

Speaking of stinking like dead fish, I though this particularly noxious unmetabolizable amine had been asked not to comment here anymore. What is it with these people?

Maxine Weiss said...

Again, John crossed his legs ankle to knee at the Bistro at Sundance.

And, he's not running for President.

nansealinks said...

whatever happened to Elizabeth Dole?

Oh i looked her up. She is shaking hands with veterans and not running for president. Admirable.

I read in the paper one of four homeless people in America is a veteran. I can understand this. After some of the horrors of strife and life, what we fight over, you find a truth of wondering what pain and what living is about, about owning anything or having possessions. Sorry to get all John Lennon on people. It creeps up on me at inopportune times..

It's not just religion that wars breakout. It's money and food and yes, Helen, even women.

Pogo said...

jeweejewish

At last! The perfect anti-althousian bot-post, both vapid and creepy, provoking the retort why are you still here, the, but which is ultimately pointless as the respondent is, well, let's just say, subtherapeutic.

Nice job, my friend!

ricpic said...

It breaks your heart to look at them,
All shiny hearted at the outset.
Since each has suffered much the same
Pray each a drop of happiness has met.

Ralph said...

My cousins have lived in Shipley Heights outside Wilmington since 1961, but they're a bit younger than you (oldest born 1958). My late uncle was president of the school board during their busing battles.

Revenant said...

there is nothing that will get women, who will fight to the death over a man, to rush to the aid of a fellow woman en masse than men behaving badly.

Women tend to me more judgmental of other women than men are. Hillary will have a hard time playing the "the mean men are picking on me" card without alienating a lot of her base.

Ann Althouse said...

"You are so naive. You're suppose to pick up on the comparison of his manhood to other men. :)"

Sooo... he's jealous of men with smaller testicles? You're right. I don't get it.

Alan said...

He didn't intend for you to take his words literal. He was painting a picture to entice the women in his audience.

chuck b. said...

From the viewer's perspective, you're just right-of-center. But from your perspective, you're left-of-center.

(That [uninteresting] observation has probably been discussed before, huh?)

I just want to say, if you're a man with long legs, it's comfortable when sitting for awhile to cross at the knee now and then. A Google search says Obama is 6'2" (just like me).

PatCA said...

So did the two girls in the front row with IMPROPERLY UNCROSSED LEGS go on to a life of wanton excess and crime? :)

Maxine Weiss said...

Well, if John's practicing to be president, he'd better switch to saxaphone, and get to like sports:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsqE_yKfkhE&NR=1

Maxine Weiss said...

Here's some ladies who have no problem crossing their legs:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOeLpyqDMak

P. Rich said...

Hillary! does remind one of an aging, malevolent chipmunk. Perhaps her most appropriate posture would be squatting on haunches, lips puckered, teeth bared, chubby cheeks (take your pick) all aquiver. You get the picture now, don't you? Sweet dreams.

Sir Archy said...

To the Readers:

I have eras'd the first Communication of the Letter which follows, for the Purpose of correcting several small Mistakes and adding a Line or two; I apologise if any Confusion arises, as this Epistle now appers out of its proper Order.

I should say that I use Mr. Limbaugh with no little Asperity, not because I am an Enemy to his suppos'd Politicks; for he pretends to be a True-Blue Tory, and I, while having practiced a moderate Whiggery in my Day, would deny no Man his Opinions or his Vote.  My low Regard of Mr. Limbaugh stems from his Gluttony, his Debauchery, & his Hypocrisy.  If any Man would preach Political Morality and teach us how to live, let him be worthy.  I recall from my Day, many a Man who would have hid his Vice with his Party. That such things may have been said equally of Whigs as Tories, from my Time down to This, is a melancholy Observation on the persistence, nay, immutability, of Vanity & Folly.

If I may offer one further Thought, which is, that the renew'd Presence of a Lunatick or two among the Groundlings of this Theatre has giv'n me Encouragement that I may soon resume my former Occupation as Critick of Madmen.  My Years trapp'd in Bedlam have well prepar'd me for such an Office; the Efforts of Professor Althouse to ensure Decorum in this Place have meant that, for several Months, my Talents have been but little used.  I now relish the Prospect of placing them again at her Disposal.

Sir Archy

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Here follows the Letter to Professor Althouse:


Madam,

As the Ghost of one who, with your Pardon, would style himself a Gentleman, dead these 250 years and more, I have heard many an Orator upon many a Subject, but none, perhaps, so grotesque as Mr. Limbaugh.  Mr. Limbaugh seems to have said that he wish'd Mrs. Clinton to have cross'd her Legs like a Sailor at his Marlinspike upon the Deck, or a Cavalry Officer taking his ease in an Inn; and further that She were too fat to do it, & that he were by Nature too well-endow'd in his Male Parts to do it.

Mr. Limbaugh thus makes an obscene jest, unworthy of any but a drunk Sailor or Sub-Altern taking Whiskey with his Fellows, and hardly the fit Subject of Speculation by a rational Audience at this otherwise exemplary Theatre of Topicks (as I call it.)

That Mrs. Clinton behav'd with perfect Decorum as befitting her Sex can hardly be denied.  Female Cloathing of the Present Age displays the feminine Form to its greatest Disadvantage, and, moreover, unnecessarily restricts the wholesome Movement of the Limbs.  It has never become members of the fair Sex to cross their Legs in the Manner suggested by Mr. Limbaugh, whether they wore the well-cut, modest, & rational feminine Dress of my Day, or the ridiculous Garb of this confus'd Age.  The One may have hidden the worst of the cross-legg'd Pose, while the Other exposes it to scandalous View; but no Lady of my acquaintance would ever have invited Ridicule by adopting such a Posture, with or without Hoops & Petticoats.

Mr. Limbaugh makes further rhetorical Sallies, consisting of his usual bomphiologick Hyperbole, mix't with an obscene Μετάληψις, making Reference to the barbarick Operation first perform'd upon certain poor Boys of the Pope's Devilish Chapel, and lately used to produce the Capons of the Opera.  Mr. Limbaugh may have exceeded himself here, for 'tis widely known that the likes of Farinelli or Nicolini, while depriv'd of their Manhood, have also been depriv'd of their manly Reason, & are grown uncommonly fat in the Bargain.  The Readers may judge whether or not Mr. Limbaugh has favoured us in this with his own true Mirror.

Adding that it is no Mark of Dishonour, nor Failure of Learning, for a Gentleman to be ignorant of the Italian Language, if only to have spared Himself the Absurdities of Mynheer Handel's operatick Essays in that Tongue & the Screechings of Signor Nicolini,

I remain, Madam,

Your most humble & obt. Servant,

Sir Archy

JackDRipper said...

I'm the one in the white eyelet lace skirt following all the rules.

I hate being wrong. I went against my first guess and picked the girl 3rd from the left.

I saw the 5th girl and thought she was a prissy rule follower who could grow up to be a law professor. Plus look at that melon. The legendary Dome of Althouse.

But the third girl did look kinda disheveled like the type who would go to college and major in art.

But that head. I knew it.

goesh said...

-and a right proper lass you were.