[Rachel: Amazingly, Burr manages to spend quite a long time in Sweden enjoying himself, eating and drinking well, going to the theatre, and having sex with every woman in sight. However, presumably since he’s no longer distracted by lost luggage, dirty sheets, and getting arrested, he now has leisure to enjoy himself with his two favorite things, ladies and languages. I guess since French is the language of love, references to flirting and sex are often in French. Unfortunately for his editor, Bixby, Burr’s French is invariably abbreviated, ungrammatical, and/or misspelled. And then there’s Swedish, which Burr does not know at all, but that doesn’t stop him from using it. The result is that every other line is footnoted, and Bixby begins to slowly lose his mind.]

Burr: 19. Left the ball at 10; mal. a. t. ay ant tro. bu.

[Bixby: For mal a la fete, ayant trap bu. Headache from having drunk too much.]

Burr: Hosack came in at 9; left him there. Home at 2 p. Rhea?

[Bixby: Probably meant for Latin of rhubarb. See Glossary.]

Burr: Coucbe at 1 on the canopie; can't endure the down bed.

[Bixby: For canape. Sofa.]

Burr: 20. Rose at 5. Gueri de mal a T. mais pas bien.

[Bixby: Cured of headache, but not well.]

Burr: A servant recommended by Gahn as speaking English. He asked a dollar banco per day. Sent off. I could not understand a sentence he said in any language.

[Rachel: Neither can Bixby.]

Burr: Great vexation to make myself understood par Madame ou la jolie jungfru

[Bixby: By madame or the pretty maid. From now on Burr talks much of the jungfrus.]

Burr: Professor Arnt came in from Baron Munck to ask me to dine at Haga (sa campagne) on Monday, but was engaged to Gahn. Amus. av. jungf. deux heur.

[Bixby: For m'amusai avec la jungfru deux heures. Tres bien. Had fun with the jungfru (maid) for two hours. Fine!]

[Rachel: I know the “fine” is Bixby’s translation of “tres bien” but I can’t help reading it as his commentary on Burr’s fun with the maid and/or bad French, in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s cornered-rat line reading of “So you sent the dogs after me; that’s fine!”]

Burr: A traverse I'antichambre. U. muse venoit. Ne saur. renvoir.

[Bixby: Probably for a trovers Vantichambre. U muse Venait. Ne saurais [la] renvojer. Across the hall, maid muse came. I couldn't send her back. (The word muse is used throughout the Journal by Burr in describing his amorous adventures. The literal meaning in French is "the beginning of rutting time." He evidently uses a very unusual word for the purpose of veiling his meaning.)]

Burr: 22. Aupre a tres jo. U. Un arran. ft. mais manq ; ne scats par quoi.

[Bixby: For Aupres une tres jolie U. [jungfru?]. Un arrangement fait, mais manqua ; ne sais pourquoi. With a very pretty maid; an arrangement made but failed; I know not why.]

Burr: 24. Pours i un U. ba. eng. 9 c. soi s.

[Bixby: This is a fair sample of the sort of riddles frequently introduced by Burr in the Journal. They are generally in French, in part, at least, and consist largely of abbreviations. This probably stands for Poursuivii une jungfru (or fille) badine (or handle). Engagement pour gee soir. Pursued a sportive (or common-place) lass. Made an engagement with her for 9 o'clock to-night. Ba. may stand for basse, inferior, vile.]

[Rachel: You get the picture. I’ll just reproduce a series of Bixby’s footnotes from the next section:]

[Bixby: Note the spelling and also the queer tautology! One might as well say in English,
coach-coupe!]

[Bixby: Here Burr again turns a French verb into an English verb. This means Hosack went out.]

[Bixby: Burr almost always uses the grave accent for the acute, when it occurs to him to use any accent at all.]

[Rachel: I think at this point Bixby is probably hitting the cream of tartar punch himself.]

[Bixby (translating from French): There is nothing that restores me after too much muse as does the hot bath.

[Bixby: "Do you speak French?" "Not a word," in very perfect French. (But Burr's
French is far from perfect.)]

[Bixby: For soeurs. Sisters. Burr generally misspells this word.]

[Bixby: Notice the umlaut this time, which is an improvement.]

[Bixby: The writer is improving. He is now within one letter of the correct feminine form of the word. It should be vieille.]

Burr: Sent out for sugar, coffee, bread, and a pipe; not one of these articles to be had. Consoled myself with a little skimmed milk and warm water and at 9 went to de Castre's. Supped on philibonka.

[Rachel: This prompts my single favorite footnote in the journal so far:]

[Bixby: Filbunke is a wholesome summer dish in Scandinavia and Northern Europe in general. Sweet milk is left to sour in a dish specially made for the purpose. Cream settles thick on top. Powdered sugar and grated ginger are mixed with it. Then it is eaten with relish. Burr spells filbunke in seven different ways, but always incorrectly.]

[Rachel: From then on out, Bixby makes a point of noting every single misspelling, as if in revenge for having to read them:]

Burr: Fillibonk pr. dine.

[Bixby: The fifth mode of spelling the word.]

Burr: Fillibonk at 4. You can't imagine what an epicure I am with my filbonk.

[Bixby: This, the sixth mode of spelling the word. Note that he spells it in two different ways in two successive sentences.]

[Rachel: I have to wonder if Burr is deliberately teasing either Theodosia or his editor to come. I love that he was still driving people round the bend seventy years after his death.]

[My personal favorite of the seven wrong spellings: fi Hi bonk a.]
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)

From: [personal profile] melannen


I have been greatly enjoying these and your commentary and Bixby's! A classic of the genre. But what finally moved me to comment was this:

[Bixby: Probably for a trovers Vantichambre. U muse Venait. Ne saurais [la] renvojer. Across the hall, maid muse came. I couldn't send her back. (The word muse is used throughout the Journal by Burr in describing his amorous adventures. The literal meaning in French is "the beginning of rutting time." He evidently uses a very unusual word for the purpose of veiling his meaning.)]

...are you telling me that Burr's journal is full of references to going into heat. "The maid came into the room at the beginning of heat cycle. Couldn't make her leave."

"There is nothing that restores me after a hard heat like a hot bath"

///you know up until now I had avoided reading any Hamilton A/B/O fic BUT NOW I AM ENVISIONING THINGS, thanks Burr.

(on the other hand I can't find any references for the meaning Bixby gives so I wonder if he was just butchering amuser.)

From: [personal profile] helen_keeble


I never realised that I desperately wanted Hamilton/Burr/Bixby A/B/O fic until this moment.
movingfinger: (Default)

From: [personal profile] movingfinger


Founding Fathers totally had pon farr problems.
luzula: a Luzula pilosa, or hairy wood-rush (Default)

From: [personal profile] luzula


*snorts at Burr's atrocious Swedish*

"Jungfru" means "young unmarried woman" (jung = young, fru = German frau). In another sense it means virgin (the Virgin Mary = Jungfru Maria). This is obviously not the sense in which Burr is using it.
luzula: a Luzula pilosa, or hairy wood-rush (Default)

From: [personal profile] luzula


"Filbunke" is right. Don't think I've ever had it, no, but a related product ("fil") is a very common breakfast food in Sweden, though I prefer yoghurt. Fil and yoghurt are similar but have slightly different bactera cultures. Filbunke is originally supposed to be made from unpasteurized milk (not so common anymore) and has more of a pudding consistency.

Hmm, are you sure the H in "fi Hi bonk a" is not an "ll" that Bixby misread? It seems a very odd misspelling otherwise.
vass: A sepia-toned line-drawing of a man in naval uniform dancing a hornpipe, his crotch prominent (Default)

From: [personal profile] vass


I'm enjoying these posts so much. Trio for Burr, Bixby, and Brown. The alliteration alone is delightful.
ironed_orchid: pin up girl reading kant (Default)

From: [personal profile] ironed_orchid


[Bixby: The writer is improving. He is now within one letter of the correct feminine form of the word. It should be vieille.]

HAHAHAHAHA

These footnotes are fantastic.
cadenzamuse: Cross-legged girl literally drawing the world around her into being (Default)

From: [personal profile] cadenzamuse


That was also my favorite! I laughed out loud, to the point where I had to explain to Spouse what was going on. At which point I read the fi Hi bonk a devolution out loud because it was awesome.
skygiants: the aunts from Pushing Daisies reading and sipping wine on a couch (wine and books)

From: [personal profile] skygiants


I think my personal favorite random misspelling of Burr's, after The Filibonk Saga, is 'wackmyster' for 'vakmastare'.
sovay: (Morell: quizzical)

From: [personal profile] sovay


I think my personal favorite random misspelling of Burr's, after The Filibonk Saga, is 'wackmyster' for 'vakmastare'.

I can see how that happened and yet I can also see the terrible '80's epic fantasy movie.
dafna: (Default)

From: [personal profile] dafna


Bixby is awesome. I love sarcastic editors. I reread bits of Fowler's whenever I'm having a bad day.
sovay: (Sydney Carton)

From: [personal profile] sovay


[My personal favorite of the seven wrong spellings: fi Hi bonk a.]

So at this point Burr is just generating OCR errors on the Swedish language.
dhampyresa: (Default)

From: [personal profile] dhampyresa


Burr's French is kind of Uncanny Valley -- it's almost right and yet SO WRONG. No wonder Bixby is losing his mind.

From: [identity profile] movingfinger.livejournal.com


Reading these extracts interspersed with Sam Pepys's diary (as I do in my feed) would give a saint a jaundiced view of men through the centuries.

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com


Oh, I don't know, I'm finding him surprisingly likable. He does drink a lot but I suspect that he's good in bed. The jungfros have to be consenting, because he mentions it when they turn him down, and I'm getting the impression that they're practically lining up.

From: [identity profile] sartorias.livejournal.com


Jungfru actually means young woman unmarried. I suspect "maid" is Victorian-speak for young unmarried female, not a servant.

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com


I figured it had to be something more like the Shakespearean "fair maids," or else none of them would have time to do their jobs, they'd be so busy boinking Burr.

From: [identity profile] sartorias.livejournal.com


Yeah, 'maid' was a neutral term for someone who was not a lady, but was young and unmarried. "Jungfru' is actually a bit more polite than 'maid'.

From: [identity profile] helen-keeble.livejournal.com


FILBONK.

I am starting to have a little crush on Bixby. So long-suffering!

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com


And also, his handwriting is completely illegible! IN SWEDISH. Or rather, "Swedish."
melebeth: (Default)

From: [personal profile] melebeth


Me too. I want to pat him on the head and feed him tea.

From: [identity profile] lady-ganesh.livejournal.com


Knowing what French spelling did to me even when I had a dictionary at hand, I confess I have some sympathy.

From: [identity profile] naomikritzer.livejournal.com


The combination of "profoundly unlucky with travel arrangements" and "almost supernaturally lucky with the ladies" is incredibly hilarious. Makes me wonder how many times Burr got laid because he'd missed his ride.

From: [identity profile] adrian-turtle.livejournal.com


Makes me wonder how many times Burr got laid because he'd missed his ride.

I also wonder about the other way around. He wasn't staying at the famous Chelsea Hotel this trip (but limosines never waited in the street for Burr.)

I love the different spellings of filleboink. It does look like he's teasing somebody...but it also sort of looks like he's trying out different spellings to see what looks right. If he had a word processor, he'd type "fil le bonk," think it looked wrong, backspace, type "fillybonk," think THAT looked wrong, backspace...The fact that he didn't settle on any single wrong spelling suggests that none of them looked right. The entire Swedish language may have looked wrong to him. How long was he there, anyhow? Did he get to "philabonque?"

From: [identity profile] ethelmay.livejournal.com


I am reminded of Tove Jansson's Fillyjonk (apparently Filifjonkan in Swedish). Did the Fillyjonk eat filbunke? Did Aaron Burr bonk the Fillyjonk? Would that make her a fillyjonk de nuit?

From: [identity profile] wordsofastory.livejournal.com


fi Hi bonk a!

Burr almost always uses the grave accent for the acute, when it occurs to him to use any accent at all.
Hahaha! These are the best posts.
.

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