Sleep Fictions: A Digital Companion

V.2 Hudson

Mrs. Light declares that the Cavaliere's being asleep on the job is a "punishable offense," suggesting that the Cavaliere's inferior class status requires that he stay alert and attentive to the Signora's needs around the clock. Her comment also draws on the historical significance of sleep as a punishable offense in the military. Per the United States of America Articles of War*: 

"ART. 86. MISBEHAVIOR OF SENTINEL.--Any sentinel who is found drunk or sleeping upon his post, or who leaves it before he is regularly relieved, shall, if the offense be committed in time of war, suffer death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct; and if the offense be committed in time of peace, he shall suffer any punishment, except death, that a court-martial may direct."

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