[Rachel: But of course, Burr’s luck does not last for long.]

Burr: 21. Quarrel with the blancbisseur [1], who carried off *** and refused to deliver them till I had given some handkerchiefs of another person which I never saw or had; so I must either lose my clothes, enter into a lawsuit or pay for things I never saw.

[Rachel: Or he could challenge them to a duel. No, wait, that didn’t go so well last time.]

[1] Bixby: The launderer; possibly meant for the laundress. If so, it should be blanchisseuse. The text is partially undecipherable. We should be glad to know what the launderer carried off!]

[Rachel: Burr’s clothes, obviously. Bixby’s efforts to understand Burr’s hellish scrawls in phonetic Swedish and bad French are clearly getting to him.

Meanwhile, I am dying of laughter at Burr getting his laundry held hostage until he returns handkerchiefs belonging to someone he never heard of. It could only happen to Aaron Burr. Or me. I once had my apartment manager hold my laundry hostage. When he finally returned it (upon threat of calling the police) I found that he had vengefully cut a scary clown face into one of my undies. Possibly the laundress also did this to Burr and Bixby just couldn’t read the entry that said so. He has several footnotes that just say, “indecipherable.”]

Burr: At 7 walked to Liston Hill (Wennerquiest's) to take supper and a bed in conformity with his several warm invitations. Found no one at home but a servant, who said he could give me nothing to drink but small beer and nothing to eat but the bro bru; so left a note for him on his table and walked home.

[Bixby: Burr, who spelled all Swedish words phonetically, was very uncertain about the word brad. Here in despair he writes two incorrect forms.]

Burr: 21. Rose at 6 for the first time in six months. Dreamed engaged to marry a huge ugly beast; name unknown; reflections; Mary A.; deliberated whether to blow out brains or perform engagement; waked by the striking of 6.

Do remind me to give you a dissertation on locking doors. Every person of every sex and grade comes in without knocking; plump into your bedroom! They do not seem at all embarrassed, nor think of apologizing at finding you in bed or dressing or doing — no matter what — but go right on and tell their story as if it were all right. If the door be locked and the key outside (they use altogether spring locks here), no matter, they unlock the door and in they come. It is vain to desire them to knock; they do not comprehend you and if they do, pay no manner of attention to it. It took me six weeks to teach my old Anna not to come in without knocking and leave and finally it was only by appearing to get into a most violent passion and threatening to blow out her brains, which she had not the least doubt I would do without ceremony. I engage she is the only servant in all Sweden who ever knocks.

[Rachel: I know that Burr actually did kill someone, and yet I seriously doubt that Anna actually believed in his threat. He seems singularly incapable of intimidating anyone. Which possibly explains why Hamilton refused to back down. If so, that is really sad. Anyway, it sounds more like Burr going ballistic on Anna just made her take pity on him and knock as a favor. See below for more support for this theory:]

Burr: Notwithstanding all my caution I have been almost every day disturbed in this way, and once last week was surprised in the most awkward situation imaginable.

[Rachel: Naked? Using the chamber pot? Having sex? Masturbating? Masturbating while murmuring “Alexander”? Goddammit, Burr, you usually have no problem with oversharing, so why be coy now?]
sovay: (Rotwang)

From: [personal profile] sovay


Goddammit, Burr, you usually have no problem with oversharing, so why be coy now?

Oh, God, seriously. In the life of Aaron Burr, when it comes to imaginable awkwardness, the sky's the limit.
zeborah: Two zebras drawing a Victorian carriage (beast of burden)

From: [personal profile] zeborah


When he finally returned it (upon threat of calling the police) I found that he had vengefully cut a scary clown face into one of my undies.

What. That is a) super-creepy, b) impressive dedication to arts-and-craft as revenge, and c) definitely creepier than stealing them in the first place.


Also, my vote for the "doing — no matter what" translation is definitely masturbating.
sovay: (Sydney Carton)

From: [personal profile] sovay


Servant: "Hello, Mr. Burr! I've come to collect the candle stubs. And while I'm at it, do you prefer a blanket or a duvet?"

So are you going to offer the Generally Not That Secret at All, On the Whole More Like Oversharing Diaries of Aaron Burr for Yuletide?
neery: Image of Saturn and a sun, words "Touching the stars" (Default)

From: [personal profile] neery


Oh God, I just laughed till I cried at the mental image of Burr, fuming, one hand on his cock, the other clutching the blanket because you really can't put it past those servants to also steal his blankets while stealing his candlestubs, having to endure some stupid conversation about what tea he wants with breakfast and completely incapable of intimidating the servant into LEAVING HIM THE HELL ALONE.

(And with the combination of " in bed or dressing or doing — no matter what — " and " was surprised in the most awkward situation imaginable" definitely make me think it's either masturbation or something even more embarrassing, like, I don't know, it seems like it'd be just his luck to get caught getting pegged by a prostitute or something.)

Thank you so much for sharing those diary excerpts with us. I now desperately want a 100.000 words fic about Alexander Hamilton, short-tempered workaholic, never sleeps, makes terrible decision when it comes to taking care of himself, charming at first but then turns out to NEVER SHUT UP ABOUT ANYTHING EVER, hanging out with and/or dating Aaron Burr, human desaster, charming at first but then it turns out his life is this HURRICANE OF CHAOS, and the utter destruction that would ensue if those two were forced to hang out for any length of time.
skygiants: Kyoko from Skip Beat! making a mad flaily dive (oh flaily flaily)

From: [personal profile] skygiants


Have you hit the part yet where he falls in love with a countess in one entry and then is fleeing the city in the next entry and NEVER GETS AROUND TO TELLING US WHY?
skygiants: the princes from Into the Woods, singing (agony)

From: [personal profile] skygiants


She might not actually be a countess -- it's the 'beautiful de Reizenstein,' and he follows her around Weimar for a few entries with heart-eyes and then abruptly he's running off with [someone? her?] in potentially hot pursuit, declaiming that she's clearly some kind of sinister sorceress and might have ruined all his plans (which he never talks about!) This of course leads me to believe that the beautiful de Reizenstein was some kind of Mata Hari who was attempting to seduce him for his knowledge of Mexico.

omg, I hate when he does that! BURR. Think of posterity, think of your legacy!
movingfinger: (Default)

From: [personal profile] movingfinger


Was he broke? (therefore pursued by bills/creditors?) Angry husbands?

I'm wondering if there are letters anywhere, even unpublished, that could shed any light at all on some of the more cryptic things in the diary? It does seem more like an aide-memoire for him to go through with his daughter and tell her the funny, good-bits version of his journeys.

I do think an ebook in which you annotate and expand the annotator's annotations could be a surprise hit and would at the very least put all your own commentary conveniently in one place...
ldybastet: Purple nails with purple beads (Purple nails)

From: [personal profile] ldybastet


I love reading these excerpts and your commentary! Thank you! :D

From: [identity profile] tool-of-satan.livejournal.com


Burr, who spelled all Swedish words phonetically, was very uncertain about the word brad. Here in despair he writes two incorrect forms.

I'm beginning to wonder if Burr was maybe not that bad at spelling and was just messing with people... not that I know why he would be doing that. I mean, bröd (Bixby spells it wrong too, amusingly) is a cognate! Vowels are hard but you'd think he could get the "d" at the end correct.

From: [identity profile] tool-of-satan.livejournal.com


Maybe, but probably your theory from last post is correct and he's just amusing himself and/or Theodosia. (I might be willing to let the examples here go but not "fi Hi bonk a.")

I think this is not much before the period when allegedly humorous misspellings of English were popular in America (e.g. the one that gave us "OK"), so that might just have been a thing people did, like adding captioned cat pictures.
ivy: (grey hand-drawn crow)

From: [personal profile] ivy


Right, I was going to say maybe he's just playful with words and this is fun to him. I definitely know people who enjoy trying to write poetry and make puns in languages that they don't speak, to mixed success and quite a bit of howling. So I'd just kind of figured Burr was a cousin of theirs.
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