Did Victorians talk to themselves?

On Thursday evening I was alone in my car heading home from work.  At a bus stop, I saw a man deep in conversation.  His lips were moving.  His hands were gesturing.  His brow was furrowed.  He was pacing back and forth.  He was completely alone talking…out loud…to himself…on the side of a very busy street.  Now there is a difference between someone who is talking to himself and the guy who is talking to himself but thinks he is talking to someone else.  Once, in my bus taking days, I was walking to my bus stop downtown.  I was crossing the street and from the other side, a skinny bearded man was also crossing and coming my way.  This man got to about 10 paces from meeting up with me.  He stopped in the middle of the street, turned to the empty space to his left and shouted “I told you to stop following me!”  I hedged my bets with the traffic and moved out of the crossing area into the traffic.

Anyway, back to Thursday and the guy talking to himself on the side of the road.  I began to ponder if this is a modern phenomena.  Have we become so isolated in our crowds and technology that we have forgotten that the hundreds of cars speeding past us have windows?  And since I was doing this pondering in my car, OUT LOUD, had I forgotten that afore-mentioned cars have windows and people can look IN and see me talking to myself.  I took solace in the idea that no one could hear my ramblings (unless I forgot to shut the window) and everyone would believe I was merely singing along to the radio  (unless I forgot to shut the window).  Everyone knows, singing to the radio when you are alone is not as unbalanced as talking to yourself.

Then I got to wondering (out loud) did Victorians do this.  Did they sit in their parlour and practice lecturing that uppity housekeeper who didn’t know her place.  Did they ride their stallions alone in the park and dazzle that upstart dandy with their witty repartee?  Did they sit alone in their carriage and use their silver tonge to convince all the virgins in town to let him steal a kiss? Really, I want to know this.  I’d be willing to bet there was some rule of etiquette about this.  Hold on a sec and I’ll Google it….Nope, couldn’t find it.  There are lots of items about talking to much ABOUT yourself but not about TO yourself.  Anyone out there have some facts…?


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