Patrick is still a huge mountebank
That, pray tell, is all.
That, pray tell, is all.
Aliases/Nicknames: Swing Em’ High Shaftesbury, Beezlebub, Coop
Weight: 12 Stones
Eye Color: Red
Hair Color: Black wig, bald underneath
Known Associations: Patron of hack writer John Locke, the Cabal, the Duke of Monmouth
Crimes: Malfeasance, Decrepitude, Sniggering, Being Generally Hateful
If seen, do not approach the Earl of Shaftesbury but instead toss rotten fruit in his vicinity. A good cudgeling might also do him some good.
Titus Oates and his mob rule have gripped the city, as such, no Catholic is allowed within ten miles of London. My belief was that when Oates accused the Queen of attempteing to poison Charles (in league with the Court Physician) – that he had gone a step too far. Instead, we have seen the passing of the Second Test Act, which restricts Catholics from holding office, as well as the burning of effigies of the Pope on Guy Fawkes Day, instead of Fawkes himself.
Where does this leave me? Well, in a bit of a rum situation. The only reason I remain in London is on the sufferance of Jack, who now views my fortune as his own. He has taken and sold all my fine clothes, on the premise that I should remain inconspicuous. The good news is that Rebecca has publicly denounced me. So I have that in my favor, which is a boon.
Months have passed and dust has begun to collect on this blog. I happy to inform my dedicated readers that my absence can be explained quite happily, I was not in gaol, but have instead found new employment as a gravedigger. Now, while I have no need for a job, considering that I am still despicably wealthy, the position does offer me several opportunities:
1. I get to get out of the house and away from Rebecca.
2. Anything I can remove from the bodies without family members noticing is considered mine to keep.
3. I get to carry a shovel.
Patrick is particularly excited about my job as it offers him the faint possibility of regaining the positions we mistakenly buried. My hope is that he joins me on the job, so there will be at least one other person to keep the crows at bay when they circle overhead.
London burns anew with the fires of accusation. Titus Oates has accused scores. Many a Catholic, who, excepting their vile, idolatrous sect, are otherwise good men, fear for their very lives.
Jack has rallied to Oates' cause, and he has asked me to record any "papist utterances" Sean might make.
I am less sure. On the one side, a friend at the Society recalls booting Oates from St. Johns College, and a colleague from my navy contract shocked me with rumors of Oates' conduct as a ship's chaplain.
On t'other, I give a fair mark to anyone who accuses that belcher Samuel Pepys of anything.
Regardless, I find it remarkable how quickly the public imagination digests such events. I post here the "King of Hearts" from a deck I bought on the street yesterday, mere weeks from the start of this mess.
I hope we may keep our heads about us.
Many a time have I said that the only thing I dislike more than a bigot is a Catholic, and it has oft given me grave moral concerns that I consort daily with a man who embodies the less flattering of these troubling qualities.
Anyone who has been following events in Parliament lately will know that, thanks to the noble, patriotic work of a gentleman named Titus Oates, a vast Papist conspiracy has been uncovered that threatens the very fabric of English society. And readers of Peep This Diary will doubtless be asking themselves the very same question that I have been pondering this day: Is Sean a terrorist? Perhaps more importantly, could my close association with this man reflect badly upon me if public sentiment against Catholics grows as more information about this Popish plot surfaces?
I have ever considered my duty to King and country a sacred one, while loyalty to my friends (as truly important as it is to me) is in comparison, but a convenience. And so it is with no regrets at all that I have decided to begin keeping a very close watch on Sean's daily activities—that I might discover evidence of his malfeasance (if such exists) to protect me in the event that I am questioned about our connexion.
Patrick's brother Edward has generously committed to engage some gentlemen who will follow Sean during the day this week, and I will report back should any damning information come to light. For now, though, Sean and I have plans to spend the evening drinking together. It is the duty of the law to judge him innocent or guilty—for my part, I can only be so magnanimous as to judge him on his merits as a friend. And I am immensely proud to call him one. For the time being.
Like Patrick referring to the Crimson Unicorn as “the Uni,” this upsets me to no end. I think Jack us purposely riling Edward, a man who on more than one occasion has attempted to put us in the grave. At the moment, Jack employs this tactic frequently on the golf course, but I can suggest more productive outlets which are in tune with both their natures….
Jack: “Quick Ed, my bosom companion, let us sally forth and do harm upon some Catholics.”
Edward: “The Lord doth smile upon this day. Let his Divine Spirit bless our walking sticks with his might.”
Normally, I would not give Titus Oates a second thought. The man is a base rumor monger, and his hate speech has turned the lovely London that I know into a festering cesspool of insinuation and garble. However, since Sir Edmund Godfrey has turned up dead (run through with his own sword!) the sentiment towards Catholics has taken a nasty turn.
Worse, Oates has brought out the worst of Jack’s humors. He quotes Oates’ speeches, remarking on how I too might be “consorting with known Papists,” and that my character should be fully investigated. Never one to hide his anti-Catholic feelings, Jack has taken to leaving me little notes around the house to remind me of my possible fate. Such notes include:
“Oates 1678 – For a REAL Englande”
“Hang Here, Hang Now – Titus Oates”
It is enough to drive a man mad.
I enjoy High Passions. As my days are spent mostly drinking and avoiding my wife, any change to my routine is both welcomed and applauded. Jack and Patrick detest them, believing that an emotive demonstration reveals a weakness of character unfit for men of stature.
Since Capt. Araoz has moved in nary a month ago, High Passions have reigned within the household. Not a day has passed without a threat of a duel, a dropped glove, or a questioning of honor. I cannot so much as pass the sugar at breakfast without it becoming an issue of respect and deference. Despite our best efforts, Capt. Araoz’s temper will not be reigned in as he will not “compromise his Latin Blood.”
Things are a bit dicey when the subject matter is Love. Saucy wenches who refuse his advances are met with tears and a “curse upon their house and their pig whore of a mother.” He has twice threatened to defenestrate himself in vexation with claims that “his heart can take no more.” While I do not doubt his sincerity, it scares the clientele at the Crimson Unicorn and can be extremely damaging to one’s effort to write a post when one's roommates is constantly threatening self immolation. Thankfully, I have some peace this afternoon as the good Captain has decided that his latest adventure deserves to be inscribed in ink, and has gone off to have his sailor friends tattoo an anchor or some such object upon his arm. I do hope it is done in good taste.
There are few things worse then waking up on a beautiful autumnal day and realize that the company you keep consists of one slightly soused maniac, and one pedant whose head is lodges so firmly up his own arse that he would need a candle and sextant to find his way out.
Let me expound upon one case in point. I have recently returned to Jack’s house after escaping the less than affectionate ministrations of my wife. I secured my position not through an act of Christian charity on Jack’s part, but through the more direct route of blackmail. In my possession I currently hold several letters of “dubious” character, in which Jack expresses thoughts best left unwritten. One missive begins “My rosy buttocked Clara,” and then continues in a manner so laughably odious that I am inclined to think that Jack was beyond his normal state of inebriation and had instead journeyed into lands uncharted in his drunken pursuit of romantic prose. Another first prize choice is where he compares young Clara’s undergarments to the fog upon the Thames, both thick and unassailable. I feel naught but shame for young Clara, for the first comparison I would make about my own person would not reference a foul, bilious body of water.
To come back to my original point, one would think that with such ammunition in my possession that Jack’s manner would be more conciliatory. Further, one would think he would forgive my episodes of high spirits where I make lewd gestures at his maids and threaten to beat George about the head with a cudgel. Such is not the case, as he has repeatedly made good on his threats to “set the dogs loose’ upon me. I fear that the London Gazette will have a new headline this week, one in the phrase “forsooth, my love doth froth in my loins like a fizzy cider,” will become publick currency.