"the whole party should adjourn to a bagnio for the remainder of the night"
1787 caricature of prostitutes congregating in the doorway of a bagnio (180 * 240)
Public Domain1787 caricature of prostitutes congregating in the doorway of a bagnio - Credit: Library of Congress

A bagnio is a brothel. Due to the increase of sexually transmitted diseases, the growing emphasis on sexuality as part of romantic love and the changing moral climate brought about by the Reformation, prostitution was increasingly frowned upon. Tracts of this time abound in images of prostitutes as degenerate seducers who have violated the terms of female propriety and as pernicious hives of disease. Unsurprisingly, less judgment was levelled at the men who continued to seek their services. Even so, the way the Editor skims over this episode without comment strikes the reader an act of omission.