I dont know watt

There is a certain charm conveyed in the variant spellings of words in texts written before dictionaries standardized the language. Somehow this charm is doubled when the author is freestyling words from another language. I’ve been reading the journals of John Stedman and quite liked this gem from the French in a passage detailing Stedman’s self-professed prowess with ladies:

I was certainly much beloved amongst the girls, but particularly of a certain sort, not by the best of them… on account of my person which was without vanity allowed to be a lure for most of women species—I had a Je ne say qwoy about me, of the fasquinating kind, which attracted the girls as the eys of the Rattlesnake attrakts Squirls, and unaccountably persuades them to submission. (1786)

Fasquinating indeed.

 

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