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December 31, 1677

Ten Momentous Things, Changes, and Events of 1676

A recent long night of revelry and remembrance gave Jack, Sean, and myself cause to consider the many events history will most likely remember fondly from this past twelve months.  Excited by the conversation, I took a few moments to put together a list of those things that I found most worthwhile from the year and, encouraged by Jack's rare enthusiasm for it upon my recitation, I decided to post it for all to read.  Thus:

10) Anton van Leeuwenhoek's Paper on Organisms Discovered through Microscopic Observation.  The notion that organisms wriggle around below the scale of our sight is preposterous; nevertheless, any work that stokes the Society into such confusion has done some good in the world.

9) Tea. Our city still loves coffee, but tea has gained standing among Learned Londoners. I promote its consumption in place of coffee whenever possible, as it does not excite the yellow bile nearly so forcefully as coffee.  For those already choleric -- Jack is a prime example -- this substitution will likely add a decade to their life. 

8) Thomas Betterton's as Dorimant in The Man of Mode.  Simply hysterical. Just observe his quizzical-innocent visage:

And, quoth he:

"Why, first, I could never keep a secret in my life, and then there is no charm so infallibly makes me fall in love with a woman as my knowing a friend loves her. I deal honestly with you."

Fathers, well would you do to keep your daughters close by your side!

7) Bacon's Rebellion. I usually take up arms alongside those who take matters into their own hands, especially when they do so against those damned Toads of Tidewater.  Poor Nathaniel Bacon's rule of Virginia was a great, inspired pleasure, if short and ignomiously ended.

6) Wren complete's the Royal Greenwich Observatory:


The Observatory's contributions to astronomy (not to mention architecture) cannot be underestimated.  I eagerly await its findings.

5) The Close of the Tenth Year since the Great Fire.  London has since acquitted itself well in its reconstruction, though a more rigorous program to expel Catholics would be preferred. 

4) The Ruffle ReturnsI had always insisted that the cravat was a mere passing fancy, and that a proper, respectable collar with full ruffles, of the sort you see me wearing to such great effect atop this post, would again be the Fashion of Choice for respectable men; this despite Jack's views to the contrary.   Near oblivion just a few years ago, in 1676 the collar has made such inroads against that ridiculous napkin calling itself a "cravat" that I forsee the latter being madeCompleat1 extinct by the end of the decade.

3) The Compleat Angler, Fifth Edition.  No book has brought me more pleasure on an idle afternoon than Izaak Walton's literary stroll through his favorite pass-time; when reading it I almost wish to spend time outdoors.  I worried that any further revision would destroy the book's charm, but this edition's seven new chapters are the rare successful instance of making still better something that needed no fixing in the first place.

2) The Crimson Unicorn.  For the first time since returning to London, a new Public House has surpassed the Griffin in my esteem. I base my assessment on the superior quality of their port; the exceedingly pleasant form of their whores, and their smart tongues; and the House's willingness to extend Jack credit beyond all reasonable limits. Special recognition is due here to Sean, who first took us to the place, and to Odyllia, who introduced me to all of its aforementioned virtues.

1) Peep This Diary, and you. Thank you, gentle reader, for giving me good cause to post each and every week.  I look forward to the same, and more, in the coming of the Good Year 1677.



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