Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Golden Quotebook: Casanova on Codpieces


Throughout history, many have been the objections of the powerful to the moral habits of their subjects. And many the battles shamefully lost against sex, drugs, rock & roll and eating-with-your-hands. Why? Well, because you never get there with prohibitions and punishment! You gotta be a whole lot more subtle. This is how such things are done:


The chief subject of dispute at that time [in Spain 1767 - ABM] was the fashion of wearing breeches. Those who wore 'braguettes' [codpieces - ABM] were imprisoned, and all tailors making breeches with 'braguettes' were severely punished. Nevertheless, people persisted in wearing them, and the priests and monks preached in vain against the indecency of such a habit. A revolution seemed imminent, but the matter was happily settled without effusion of blood. An edict was published and affixed to the doors of all the churches, in which it was declared that breeches with ‘braguettes’ were only to be worn by the public hangmen. Then the fashion passed away; for no one cared to pass for the public executioner.

[Casanova, Memoires, volume 6: Spain]

Whoever figured that one out, ought to get a statue!

PS Congratulations to the Portuguese for the anniversary of their Carnation Revolution!

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