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May 1, 1677

An Unpleasant Memory

It has been a week now since I inadvertently walled Patrick up behind a bookcase, but he has still not allowed me to hear the last of it. During this confinement, he evidently discovered a book dedicated to me by the late lamented Mary Carleton, which he will not cease to jibe me about, though it does vex me greatly to speak of her. Mary was a woman of prodigious beauty and a facility with society and conversation that generally made up for her difficulty in grasping certain fundamental aspects of morality. You may remember that her arrest was much publicized some years ago after she was exposed as a bigamist, a thief, and a cheat, and I should note that I was present at her execution myself, though it gave me little pleasure (I arrived rather too late to get a good view of the hanging). 

But all this talk of Mary has put me in a pensive, melancholy frame of mind, for which, in my experience, there is only one certain cure. And having applied that cure rather liberally for some hours now, it is only with great difficulty that I am able to apply myself to the task of posting, and though I must needs be up early tomorrow to meet with the gentleman who will be captaining our ship to the Indies in a few months' time, the desire to while away an hour or so with the ladies at the Crimson Unicorn is becoming more and more difficult to ignore. Indeed, it is my experience that once such a thought has entered my head, there is little use in attempting to push it aside, so you will, I hope, forgive my abruptness in taking my leave of you.

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