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September 30, 1677

A Dinner Party

I awoke this morning feeling very under the weather. Indeed, my hands were shaking so that it required a full 20 minutes for me to put on my breeches, and my head was in such a spin that I had to clasp the banister with all my strength in order to maneuver myself down the stairs. The reception that awaited me once I reached the breakfast chambers was not one to assuage the natural anxiety that is attendant upon having an incomplete memory of the events of the previous night: Sean and Patrick were seated at table in a frosty silence, with pursed lips and folded arms, looking for all the world like a pair of old harridans from a Convent School. They both refused to speak to me—even my manservant, George, gave me a cold look—and I was constrained to reconstruct the events of yesterday's dinner party without their help.

It all started rather innocuously—I remember that. Sean had invited a number of Patrick's acquaintances to celebrate his recovery, and I was in good form, beginning supper with a story about the hilarious two weeks when Patrick insisted on wearing a turban and trying to persuade my maids to feed him grapes, after an infected bite from a Macaque caused him to believe that he was an Indian Rajah.

The evening took something of a downturn after that. I remember standing somewhat shakily on a chair to propose a toast, and embarking on a rather lengthy tale—one of my favorite stories about Patrick—about the time he came home drunk and angry from a meeting of the Royal Society in which they had debunked one of his scientific papers, and entertained me for a full hour with his wonderful impersonations of the Society's illustrious members (his Isaac Newton is absolutely dead on), or, as he called them, "those pompous bloody asexuals who couldn't tell you the difference between a red-blooded woman and a common house plant except that the one is homo sapiens and the other is Geranium sanguineum".

I am now painfully aware that this was not the most opportune moment for such a history, since—as Patrick was quick to point out when he finally consented to speak to me a few minutes ago—our guests consisted, almost exclusively, of his friends and colleagues from the Royal Society.

I do not often admit to remorse, but for my role in this particular event, I am very, very sorry.


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