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November 16, 1677

Man of Mode

I am just returned from a play, which I went to see with Patrick at the Dorset Garden theatre. George Etherege's Man of Mode. It is likely that I would have enjoyed the production, which was not lacking in wit, had it not been for Patrick's insistence on jabbing me with his elbow and grinning at me like an ape with every half-joke or pun that escaped the actors' lips. I had forgotten the solemn vow I took last year, after A Midsummer Night's Dream, that if I intended to watch a play with Patrick again, I would take pains to select a tragedy. 

Nonetheless, the last laugh was my own, as, on our way out of the theatre, we were accosted by a harlot from the Crimson Unicorn – one of the new ones, I think – who called Patrick by name and asked when he would be coming back to see her again. I have never in my life seen a man's face turn such a shade of red, and Patrick, who is prone to stuttering in any case, diverted us both greatly with his attempts to form a sentence, before giving up and walking briskly in the opposite direction.

Patrick has asked me on numerous occasions to make an effort to call the Irishman by his proper name, and for the sake of our friendship, I am inclined to do so, though for the moment I have forgotten precisely what it is – I believe it is either Seamus or Sheridan, though I cannot be certain. As a show of good faith, I had intended to invite him to drinks with us, but the unfortunate fellow was run down by a cart horse on his way back from The Griffin this afternoon and nearly killed! I am certain that I have never before met a man with such bad luck as our Sheridan.

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