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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: April ::
Re: Private Urination
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0953  Friday, 5 April 2002

From:           W.L. Godshalk <
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Date:           Thursday, 04 Apr 2002 12:23:02 -0500
Subject: 13.0941 Private Urination
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0941 Private Urination

Frank Whigham asks:

>I have somehow lost a reference to an early modern text in which a
>servant documents his noble master's remarkably good manners by noting
>that the lord essentially never used the chamber pot without turning
>aside from the room to do so. Does anyone know where this anecdote
>occurs?

As I recall, George Puttenham (Arte of English Poesie) notes that
Frenchmen do not turn to a wall to urinate, whereas Englishmen do. The
contrast is between immodesty and modesty. Of course, this is not the
anecdote that Frank remembers, but it has a similar point -- maybe. I
can't recall the relationship of urination to English poetry.

Yours, Bill Godshalk

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