“he caught the old goat …”

Diplomatic scandals involving sex were not unusual in the eighteenth century, nor are they now. Sally McKean had a bit of gossip to tell her friend Dolley Madison in Virginia, concerning an enraged husband and a member of the Spanish delegation to the United States.

[Philadelphia] 4th August -97I cannot seal this without giving you a little anecdote of [José Ignacio de] Viar, which I have just heard … he has been making love to the wife of a servant … a remarkable pretty woman, but no great things in point of character, the husband lives at service. He came home a few days ago to see her—it was twelve o’clock at noon—and behold—verily, he caught the old goat, with his wife, and in not the most decent situation—so the fellow very politely took him by the nose and saluted him with kiks till the corner of the next Street. He is going to make him pay a devilish large sum of money, or else he says he will prosecute him, it has made a confounded noise … in fact all the town knows it.

This excerpt is from In the Words of Women, Chapter 7, page 193.

posted May 14th, 2012 by Janet, CATEGORIES: Madison, Dolley, Philadelphia, Scandal


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