January 27

In Love

I have fallen in love. There is simply no other way to put it. I don’t believe I have experienced anything like this sweet, giddying sensation before in my life, but I feel that even if I were to die of it, I would never give it up. Not for anything in the world. This whole day I have been walking on tiptoes, with such a brightness and airiness about my person as I have never felt before, and I fear that at any moment I might float up into the aether and disappear into a thousand tiny pieces of light and joy … or turn, of a sudden, into a songbird—that I might fly away to spend the rest of my days singing my love to the trees and to the Earth below. 

But you will want to know details. This morning, I took a different way home from church than my normal route, since the sermon had focused upon the importance of taking time to “stop and smell the roses” (and since I was hoping to avoid a certain person whom I had cheated out of a considerable amount of money the night before), when I turned a corner into Fleet Street and my life changed forever. For there she was: The brand-new 1678-model Gala Coupé Carriage, with the reinforced splinter bar and the very latest spindle technology on the rear axletree. Just sitting there for all to see, as if she were not too good for this world.

My eyes feasted on that wonderful sight for what seemed like an eternity, though it can hardly have been more than a few seconds, as the driver urged on his horses and disappeared into the London streets with such grace and speed that two beggars were knocked sprawling into a fruit stand. And though on any other day this interruption would have sent me into a fit of rage, my longing eyes never once wavered from the object of their adoration as it sped towards the horizon and vanished like a mirage.

I must have her for my own.

February 14

Love Is in the Air

I'm sorry to raise such an unpleasant subject, but love has been much on my mind today, though I could not tell you why the notion should have entered into my head. It may be that I am coming down with a bad cold, or some sort of infection—such illnesses are quite common in the middle of February. I have often found that writing helps me calm myself when my brain is agitated in this way, so I took the liberty this afternoon of composing a list of the advantages and the disadvantages that I have discovered in having an attachment with a woman, a task whose ameliorative effects I felt immediately, and whose results I shall post now for your interest and edification, beginning with the disadvantages.

The Disadvantages of Love

1. The prospect of having a woman share one's bed is much more pleasant than the actual result. Though 'tis true that after a time one remembers only the caresses and the sweet whispers, the prevailing experience is one of legs and arms everywhere, and farts beneath the blankets.

2. Three times in my life have I thought myself to be in love. The first turned out to be a case of kidney stones, the second (though a pleasant enough experience) ended very sadly indeed, and the third cost me nearly half my fortune. Thus, love is expensive, painful, and bad for the health.

3. Unlike ill humor, disappointment, or remorse, love is only made worse by a jug of ale. 

4. A woman who truly loves you will look beyond the façade that you present to the world and come to see you for the person that you really are. This is not a pleasant experience for either party.

5. Being in love is not unlike being drunk, though in the latter case, the nauseating effects of overindulgence do not usually last a lifetime.

The Advantages of Love

1. When I had a wife, I often found it a useful way of extricating myself from awkward social engagements by claiming that she had a case of the vapors.

Those were all that I could come up with—though I think it is not a bad list, and it did me good to write it. I believe I would have been cured entirely had there been any available ladies at the Crimson Unicorn tonight, but when I arrived they were all occupied, and I found Patrick sitting desultorily at a table with a bottle of wine. I sat with him for a while, until Sean joined us, and they both seemed quite interested to hear my disquisition on the merits and drawbacks of the married life. I suppose I have had less pleasant evenings.

Tante Dolore Quante Amore

I am no friend to Love tonight.

A Highly Regarded Physician gave a lecture at the Society this afternoon entitled Tante Amore Quante Sanguine, in which he proposed to delve into the physiological causes of affections between the sexes. Having reflected on this topic before myself, and how it has on occasion propelled me to perform preposterous acts against all reason and Good Sense, and given the unusually high numbers of sweethearts I had seen this morning, flitting about hand-in-hand, I decided to attend. 

I am a clinically responsible man: I never allow my emotions to impinge upon the focus of my academic  pursuits.  And yet midway through the lecture, with our speaker pointing at a spot just below the right breast of a naked and unnecessarily voluptious specimen (by rumor, the wife of his Manservant), I decided this affection was worth discussing rather less than it was worth pursuing and headed out to the Crimson Unicorn in search of Odyllia.

To my great misfortune, today is apparently their busiest day of the year -- I had no warning of this -- and Odyllia was at the Opera, on the arm of a wealthy young man keen to make jealous an heiress he was wooing.  In fact, I was told moments later by Jack as he descended from somewhere above and joined me at my table, every girl in the place was booked the entire night. Shortly thereafter, as I recounted the course of my day to Jack, Sean bounded in, only to be disappointed just as quickly. Our conversation gradually waned, and we drank in somber silence until near ten o'clock, at which time I made my excuses to my companions and departed.  They did not look up to see me go.   

Love's Labours (Found)

It has not started out as the most illustrious of days. Normally, the totality of my ambition involves raiding Jack’s larder and possibly sneaking off with Beth to the linen closet. Today I woke up and not only was the cupboard bare, but Beth was nowhere to be found.

Now I am not a man who puts much stock in the theory that a woman is needed to refine a man’s baser nature. Jack has had two wives and he is still a miserable old sot who is better fit to spend his days counting his coppers than wooing a maiden.

But I found myself with this strange pain in my stomach whenever I thought of Beth, and rather than ascribe it to any sort of affection, I decided it must come from lack of bacon.

I set out to the Griffin for my midday meal only to be shocked by a truly appalling sight. It seems that everyone in the entire town of London had decided to couple, and I could nary walk five feet without bouncing into a giggling couple or some young gentleman clearing the path of beggars for his lady. I caught a right cudgel in the head from one of these louts.  The pain in my stomach got worse.

The obvious solution was not bacon, but a trip to the Crimson Unicorn. Upon arriving I was not shocked to find both Patrick and Jack deep in conversation over a presentation by one of Patrick’s witch doctor friends. It appeared that not only were all the women of the Crimson Unicorn formally occupied, but that I would have to spend my night drinking in a brothel with two of the greatest cynics in all London.

I confess the pain has become unbearable.