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January 7, 1677

Bad news

Current mood: Bilious

Listening to:
'Ayres and dialogues, for one, two, and three voyces' by Henry Lawes

This morning, Patrick and Sean somehow discovered my store of songbooks, and I have had no peace all day. The Irishman has a tolerable voice, it must be admitted, but Patrick's strained tenor is not unlike the mating call (or the death throes) of one of our London starlings.

It was with this cacophony by way of accompaniment that I received the most dreadful news that I have heard since my Liza's unexpected death: My mother-in-law (Liza's erstwhile mother) is coming to visit. I do not yet know how long she intends to stay, but I am quite certain that she intends to chatter endlessly, complain about my way of life, and make unreasonable demands on my time and my purse for as long as she is here. Under normal circumstances, I would plead a sudden onset of gout or dropsy, or plague—such is my desperation—but I can ill afford this luxury at present, as I have my eye on the old woman's sizeable fortune, and must be civil to her or suffer the financial consequences.

Perhaps if I introduce her to Patrick, they will bore each other to death.


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