Cavalier scatology between two stools
Rochester, Mennes, Pepys, Urquhart and the sense of dis-ordure
in Between two stools
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Cavalier scatology is infused with a political specificity which is less pronounced in that of the earlier period. Commonly in Rochester, the anus and the vagina are blurred together in the act of sodomy. On 25 September 1662, Samuel Pepys records how Sir John Mennes 'told us, among many other things, how in Portugal they scorn to make a seat for a house of office'. R. J. Craik describes the gleeful delight of Sir Thomas Urquhart's prose which makes it antithetical in spirit to Rochester's acrid poetry. 'Urquhart's translation is a gloriously unembarrassed sweep which suggests exuberant spontaneity throughout, and his uncertainties, such as they are, are concealed by his enthusiasm'. Between the farcical scatology of Musarum Deliciae and the bleak anality of Rochester's Poems occurred an irrevocable shift in sensibility.

Between two stools

Scatology and its representations in English literature, Chaucer to Swift


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