This edition was edited and footnoted by William Bixby in 1903. Bixby’s introduction fills in the events preceding Burr's journal (the duel), taking great pains to explain that this was a different time and dueling was acceptable, and also Burr was pretty awesome and everyone with taste thought so:

Bixby: After a short tour through the South, where he [Burr] was received by the best society, Colonel Burr returned to Washington to resume his duties as Vice President of the United States. He presided over the Senate during the trial of Judge Chase of Maryland " with the dignity and impartiality of an angel and the rigor of a demon," and the day after the trial closed, his term being about to expire, delivered a farewell address to the Senate, which was so full of eloquence and pathos that most of the Senators were in tears when he concluded.

Rachel: I would you to keep this and everything you think you know about Aaron Burr, fictional versions included, as you read the excerpts from his actual diaries. Also, that he was considered to be extremely handsome.

One of my absolute favorite things about this edition is watching Bixby slowly lose his mind in footnotes as his admiration from Burr is swamped by his annoyance at Burr’s illegible handwriting and tendency to use words in languages which he doesn’t speak and can’t spell:

Bixby’s Introduction: Burr used French when referring to his discreditable adventures, ("accidents," he called them), but he used it very frequently for other purposes. He shows, indeed, throughout the entire Journal a singular fondness for using words from languages other than his own. This is childish at times. In Sweden he learned the words brod and mjolk, and then used them almost exclusively for three years thereafter, instead of the English words, bread and milk. He seemed immensely pleased when he could draw upon several languages to form a single sentence. For example, he wrote: "Bro. and cas. for din." Here we have four languages represented in a sentence of five words! Bro. is an abbreviation of the Swedish word brod, bread ; cas. is probably Burr's attempt to write the German word Kdse, cheese, and din. is his abbreviation of the French word diner, dinner.

Rachel: These excerpts are in chronological order, and start very soon after the beginning. He’s staying with or near Jeremy Bentham. This sets a deceptively elevated tone which will rarely be seen again.

The Journal of Aaron Burr

October 1, 1808. Bootmaker — a great liar; boots not done.

4. Rose at 6. Sent porter for trunk and boots. Neither done. Clothes not come from wash. Stage for Gaddesden to start at 12, and nothing ready; bought two shirts. Clothes and trunk came at 11. Packed up tout suite and drove comme diable [Bixby: like the Devil] to stage-house, Oxford street. Discovered that the hour of departure was one and not twelve o'clock.

[Rachel: Burr is living my life.]

9. Breakfast at M'Carthy's at 10, having agreed to ride with him to see the place of the Earl of Bute, said to have the best collection of pictures in England. Nobody was there.

12. Rose at 5. Got in stage at 6, intending to take post-chaise from Hamel Hemstead to St. Albans to visit Lord Grimstone; but no chaise was to be had, so came into town, where arrived at 10 o'clock. To Faleur; not content with his work. Impertinence of his goldsmith, whom I ordered out of the room for obtruding his opinions. F. is to mend his work, and I am to call to-morrow — thence to S. Swartwout. It was fortunate that I came to town, for yesterday he received orders to go on to Liverpool forthwith.

Received letter from D. M. Randolph; very melancholy. Speaks of the death of a most valued friend in America, which must be particularly afflicting to me. Who can he mean? I have heard of no death of the least consequence to anybody.

[Rachel: And here comes the Tale of the Nose. I have cut some stuff that’s incomprehensible, not that interesting, or just for length. But don't worry, I did not miss a single word of nose.]

23. On returning home, called at Turnevelli's, the statuary, and engaged to give him a sitting to-morrow at 11.

24. Rose at 9. Wrote to Sir Mark not to call till 1. Went to Turnevelli's. He would have a mask. I consented, because Bentham, et al had. A very unpleasant ceremony. To Sir Mark's; he was sitting down to breakfast. Walked together. Called at Herries and Farquar's, St. James's street, agents of the late Colonel Charles Williamson, to see for letters from T. [Rachel: Theodosia?] None! none!!

Found a note from Baron Norton, requesting an interview. No doubt some law business. Wrote him to call at 12 tomorrow. Sir Mark had engaged me to call on Signora B. Just as we were going out, casting my eyes in the mirror I observed a great purple mark on my nose. Went up and washed it and rubbed it — all to no purpose. It was indelible. That cursed mask business has occasioned it. I believe the fellow used quicklime instead of plaster of Paris, for I felt a very unpleasant degree of heat during the operation. I sent Sir Mark off, resolved to see no Signora till the proboscis be in order.

[Rachel: I think this might be my favorite line of the entire nose story.]

Wrote Ons. [Bixby: Madame Onslow], with whom I had engaged to pass the evening, apologizing. […] I have been applying a dozen different applications to the nose, which have only inflamed it. How many curses have I heaped on that Italian! Read to B. review of Leckie's work, which took till 9. K. came in, and we finished Thierry. I shall go early to bed (say 12), in hopes to sleep off my nasology.

25. Did not get to bed till 1. Rose at 9. Nose the same.

[Rachel: Is this reminding anyone else of The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Age 13 ¾? Also, I so understand the "shall go early to bed/oops, stayed up reading LJ till 3:00 AM issue."]

At 11, went to Turnevelli's to sit. Relieved myself by cursing him for the nose disaster. He bore it like one conscious, and endeavored to console me by stating that the same thing happened to Lord Melville and to several others, and that the appearance passed off in a few days.

[Rachel: I can’t imagine that statement was in the least consoling!]

Took a hack, not liking to walk and exhibit my nose. Stayed two hours with Turnevelli. He will make a most hideous, frightful thing, but much like the original. After leaving Tur., being unfit for any reasonable thing, rode to Madame O.'s to apprise her that if she were disengaged I would call after dinner and play chess. It was agreed. Rode to F's to give him a written mem. pointing out the defects and containing precise directions. […] Chez moi [Bixby: my home] where I do nothing but muse for two hours.

[Rachel: I assume on his proboscis.]

26. Rose at 9. Went to Turnevelli's at 11; nose a little improved. Sat one hour. The thing grows more hideous at every touch. […] Roved about two or three hours hunting a chess table, or stand with chess board inlaid; did not find one to please me. Home at 3 to dress for dinner, being engaged to General Picton at the Tower Coffee-house. Went there, the nose notwithstanding, at 2.

26. I am out of all patience at being detained in town, and am in danger of wearying out my great and good friend Bentham. From Reeves's walked on to visit the Donna; but,
recollecting my nose, walked home.

[Rachel: That is the closest he comes to referring to the duel – the reason he’s detained is that he’s wanted for murder. But what’s he actually worried about? Well...]

28. Rose at 9. Nose a little improved.

Sent Tom to Graves for the laws of New York, and to Miller, bootmaker. It is now five weeks since I put into Miller's hands some of Bellamy's leather for a pair of boots. One pair which I could not get on, were sent and were returned. Since that I have had daily promises, but no boots. The shoes, which cost 17 shillings, I could not wear, and have given them away. Thus it is with every mechanic I have employed in London except my tailor, Beck, who lies a little, but far less than any other.

Waited till 1 for Tom's return, and then went to Turnevelli's. Sat one hour. Worse and worse! This was meant to please you; but if I had suspected that I had become so infernally ugly, I would sooner have.

[Rachel: I think the "you" is his daughter Theodosia, to whom he meant to send his journals. Bixby was so horrified by the thought of a lady reading about her father's sexual exploits and general TMI that he had a highly unconvincing note in the introduction saying that Burr undoubtedly meant to censor the hell out of them first. I doubt that very much.]

Roved about for two hours, ruminating on this sort of non-existence and on you. E.A., too, often accompanies me. Got home safe at 4. Mr. Elkton Hammond, merchant, to dine with us. A very intelligent young man; admiring the works of B. Has two sisters; one studies legislation, the other chymistry. The chymist said to be pretty. I am to dine there with B. on Thursday, when you shall hear more of them.

29. Rose at 9. I don't recollect to have told you that on my return from Weybridge, I had determined to set off immediately for Scotland. Six weeks have elapsed, and I am apparently (what hellish scrawls [1]; I must try to do better, or this precious mem. will be lost to you and to the world), apparently no nearer departure than on the day of my return.

[1. Bixby: The description is perfect!]

30. Wrote Madame Prevost and am now going to bed. The nose improves apace; hope it will be exhibitable to-morrow, and be fit for inspection of the legislatrix and the chymistress. Bon soir!

London, December 1, 1808. To Turnevelli's ; abroad. Glad of it, for I would give 5 guineas that the thing were demolished!

24. Sent trunks to get better locks. So much plague as I had to get trunks, and the locks are naught. To Turnevelli's, who had been to hunt me. Sat only twenty minutes. He is determined to go through with it ; tries to encourage me; finds it wonderfully like Voltaire; but all won't do. It is a horrid piece of deformity.

To Falieri; not ready. To Miss Mallet. The most rational being I have seen. Staid a whole hour, and greatly pleased with her. Good breeding and social talents in a degree very rare. Why don't I go there oftener? Because I do nothing that I wish or intend.

[Rachel: Oh, Burr.]

30. To Turnevelli's ; not at home; shall never be done with that fellow, and yet he tries his best; but the strange irregularities and deformities of the face defy all art.

10 To Turnevelli's at 2. I wish I had never begun with him.
sovay: (Cho Hakkai: intelligence)

From: [personal profile] sovay


[Rachel: I think this might be my favorite line of the entire nose story.]

It is very definitely mine.
muccamukk: Steve laughing into his hand. (Avengers: Amused Steve)

From: [personal profile] muccamukk


I keep picturing people who want to write Serious Historical Works about Burr hitting this and then throwing their hands up and walking away.
muccamukk: Keren looking extremely dubious. Text: There was more than one lobster present at the birth of Jesus? (Christain: Lobster Jesus)

From: [personal profile] muccamukk


It in all seriousness reads like v. secret diaries for yore (the one of St Augustine is my favourite). But on the other hand, how could you make this shit up?

Can we expect Hamilton fic from you incorporating this material?

ETA: Speaking of Zuko, have you seen this?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tLFuD2Lwws
Edited Date: 2016-03-06 09:13 pm (UTC)
muccamukk: Misty and Colleen hugging Luke. Text "I'm on Team!Hugs" (Marvel: Team!Hugs)

From: [personal profile] muccamukk


It works for the vid, because it's Zuko/Burr's PoV, but Aang is really not in the Hamilton mould (or what osmosis tells me of it in any case).
recessional: bare-footed person in jeans walks on log (Default)

From: [personal profile] recessional


So many. And total human disasters, emotionally, and not in a sexy-cool-shakespearean way but rather in a "that dude in your friends circle you just cannot figure out how he's even alive" way.

It's to the point where I kind of just assume it rather than the other direction. Secretly everyone was a loser and a mess.
brainwane: My smiling face, including a small gold bindi (Default)

From: [personal profile] brainwane


Why don't I go there oftener? Because I do nothing that I wish or intend.

Oh goodness. That hits home.
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)

From: [personal profile] davidgillon


in hopes to sleep off my nasology.

Love this line.

He will make a most hideous, frightful thing, but much like the original.

I like him much more for this line. He spends so much time coming off as difficult and exasperating, and then every now and then there's a line like this and you see through to the complexity of the man.
gehayi: (zoesmile (dodo31))

From: [personal profile] gehayi


This is AMAZING.

Also, I found this today and thought of you. Someone wrote Aaron Burr porn in 1861. I am not kidding. According to OnWednesdays.net:

...if The Amorous Intrigues and Adventures of Aaron Burr were on AO3, the tags would probably read as follows: polyamory, Burr wtf, cheater cheater pumpkin eater, threesome-ish, RPF, American Hero, he’s just so dashing, first time, dubcon, noncon if you squint, angst, WHY DID I WRITE THIS.

If you've already found this, I apologize. But I could not let a 155-year-old RPF fanfic escape your notice.
adrian_turtle: (Default)

From: [personal profile] adrian_turtle


Burr is reminding me of an inferior Lymond. I suppose any real person would have to be inferior. He can't stop thinking about a nose of even moderate size, and Lymond can stop thinking about an elephant. For PAGES. He isn't nearly as casual about language shifts. (Or Bixby isn't as casual as Dunnett?) I choose to believe Burr is going to Scotland on page 29 in order to consult with Lymond. Though what I mean by that is, of course, his reanimated corpse.

resolved to see no Signora til the proboscis be in order.

This is indeed a magnificent line. But I might actually prefer this one, as I am twelve.

Rose at 9. Nose the same.

So sorry you couldn't leave your nose in bed until noon, Aaron.
metaphortunate: (Default)

From: [personal profile] metaphortunate


Holy hell, he is literally Adrian Mole. This is great stuff.

From: [identity profile] hamsterwoman.livejournal.com


Is this reminding anyone else of The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Age 13 ¾?

Haha, yes, rather! XD

From: [identity profile] wordsofastory.livejournal.com


"till the proboscis be in order"! "sleep off the nasaology"! THIS IS AMAZING.

Thank you for sharing!
.

Most Popular Tags

Powered by Dreamwidth Studios

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags