The King of London's Vermin
I made two very solemn promises to myself a little over a year ago.
1) I would never set foot upon a boat again.
2) I would avoid the gaol.
Unfortunately, I was only able to hold to one of these promises.
As with most events that lay beyond my power of influence, the blame lies solely with Jack. Resolute in his attempt to break the first of my vows, Jack took me to the Griffin shortly before our departure. Despite deep protestations that it would not do to appear drunk and dissolute the next morning, Jack proceeded in pouring a liberal amount of ale down his gullet and proceeded to make two statements.
1) That the sailors aboard our ship could use a bit of that “papish organization” by which I understood him to be calling the Holy Father a stern and cruel taskmaster.
2) That we might set ourselves up as Kings of India, as the savages had not ever seen an individual of Jack’s brilliance and breeding.
The problem with these two statements is that Jack mentioned the “Pope” and quickly followed by breathing the word “King.” Some fellows next to us immediately made the drunken connection of one word to the other and by the next morning I found myself sleeping amongst the largest and most resolute of London’s rats.