By James William Johnson
Of the glittering, licentious court docket round King Charles II, John Wilmot the second one Earl of Rochester used to be the main infamous. at the same time well-liked and vilified, he personified the rake-hell. Libertine, profane, promiscuous, he stunned his pious contemporaries together with his doubts approximately faith and his blunt verses that handled intercourse or vicious satiric attacks at the excessive and effective of the court docket. This account of Rochester and his instances presents the proof in the back of his mythical acceptance as a rake and his deathbed repentance. even if, it additionally demonstrates that he was once a loving if untrue husband, a faithful father, a devoted buddy, a significant pupil, a social critic, and an aspiring patriot.
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Extra resources for A Profane Wit : The Life of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester
Giffard to attend her son to Oxford, but then she decided it would not be necessary. Giffard accompanied the young Earl to Oxford in January; but soon after, on February 10, he was ordained a deacon at Lincoln. The Countess, however, had no intention of releasing her son from stringent supervision: she entrusted him to Warden Blandford, who turned him over to Phineas Berry (or Bury) as tutor. Berry had his duties spelled out for him in official Latin: his main task was Exercidis & Actibus Scholasticis interesse.
Despite its subterranean terrors, Rochester’s life as a boy was privileged and superficially pleasant. 57 His explanation for the extravagances and passionate outbursts that plagued his life was always that a devil possessed him and destroyed his repose. He seems not to have suspected that his repose may have been destroyed in childhood––first by his parents and next by his tutor. qxd 9/20/04 1:16 PM Page 21 2 A CLASSICAL EDUCATION (1656–1659) Mr. Collins of Magdalen’s tells me (as Mr. Giffard has done) that the mad Earl of Rochester understood little or nothing of Greek.
After a two-day ride, they stayed in Rye until they could get passage across the Channel. After landing at Dieppe, they lodged À la Bastile (“they are all verie civil people”) and shopped for tortoise shell combs and ivory boxes before going on to Rouen. ” They then took the messenger to Paris for 13 or 14 francs each (horse, lodging, and diet included). Once there, they stayed with M. Haes and his family (“very honest people”) in Faubourg St. 8 There was, of course, a great deal to see and do in Paris and its vicinity.