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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.

January 26

Jack, Subdued

Quite a long conversation with Jack evening last, and greatly surprised at the attention - nay, interest - he seemed to have in my draft of a proposed Code of Ethicks for Society members on expedition (exempli gratia: "make every reasonable attempt to observe a specimen in its natural environment before shooting and collecting it"). He is not one to wax philosophic. He seemed, even, near melancholy, a rare, quiet response in deed from the man; historically, even the death of a dear loved one has received from him the very same intense and pugnacious bile as a misplaced jam jar or a delay in shipment. Perhaps his new passion for golf is to blame; I will observe him discreetly.

One lone, dark month since the solstice, and already I look forward to the warmth of the new year.

January 24

A Guest Post by EJT: Why I "Enjoy" This Blog

Before going on, I feel I must emphasize that I am not posting on this sinful blog by my own choice. Indeed, I will admit that before attempting to compose this entry I prayed for many hours that I might be spared the ignominy of having to contribute to a blasphemous publication that extols the earthly "rewards" which may be obtained by devoting oneself to the sinful activities (including whoring, gambling, and "science") pursued by my brother Patrick and his hateful friends with such little concern for the state of their eternal souls. But the truth of the matter is that I lost a game of golf this morning—against all odds—to Jack (who quite clearly had the devil on his side, otherwise he would never have sunk that last putt), and, certain as I was that the Lord was smiling upon my endeavour and that speculating upon the likelihood of my victory was not therefore a genuine "wager" under any but the most technical definition, I acquiesced in a bet which stipulated that, should I lose the game, I would post a list of my "three favourite things" about this nasty, odious blog—on the very pages which I abhor. Having received no Heavenly reprieve from this woeful task, I am now of a mind that there must be some Holy value to be gained from my actions that is beyond my own base reckoning. And so, now, I grit my teeth and post, for your benefit, the three things that I enjoy most about Peep This Diary (bearing in mind that it is an abomination and a plague upon all things that are Holy and Good).

1. Although its terrible influence upon impressionable souls ought not even to be reckoned lest the righteous be temporarily disheartened, Peep This Diary, in the hands of an enlightened man, might be seen as providing useful guidelines regarding what not to do in order to achieve Salvation. If, for instance, a reader makes it a habit to repeat a psalm every time Jack describes an alcoholic adventure; to say a prayer whenever Patrick advances a preposterous "scientific" theory; and to lash himself repeatedly any time Sean so much as posts a paragraph, a claim might be advanced that Peep This Diary contains some small educational benefit for its readers.

2. While it might legitimately be asserted that Peep This Diary is contributing in no small part to the downfall of Christendom, it must also be admitted that the blog has fewer grammatical errors than other similar publications.

3. Sean's stories are quite amusing, especially when he makes a fool out of himself in front of women.

There. It is done. I have no more to say on the topic, except that if I win next week's game of golf (and it is a certainty that I will), Jack will be posting a discussion of the most important lessons that he has learned from me, along with a list of his five most sinful habits, on my blog for your edification and amusement. So all is not lost.


January 14

New Year's Resolutions: An Elegy

We are fourteen days into 1678, and, as of yesterday morning, I have irrevocably broken all five of my New Year's resolutions. Nonetheless, though I am a man who looks to the future, I recognize the importance of burying my dead—so I shall take a brief moment to commemorate the short, sad lives of my good intentions for this year before I move on with my own life. Here, then, are my five resolutions for 1678 (in no particular order), and the tragic tales of their demise:

1. Give up drinking.
Born: First of January, 1678 at 9 o'clock a.m., amidst overwhelming nausea and a splitting headache.
Died: First of January, 1678 at five minutes past 9 o'clock a.m., following the discovery of a half finished bottle of ale by my bedside.

2. Be more tolerant of Sean.
Born: Thirty-first of December, 1677 at half past 11 o'clock p.m. (after the pair of us had more or less cleaned out my wine cellar) and immediately forgotten until three days later when Sean boasted of it in front of guests at a luncheon, claiming that he might eat my slice of plum pudding without fear of recrimination.
Died: Third of January 1678 at 1 o'clock p.m., during a luncheon in which Sean received a slice of plum pudding—traveling at high velocity—upon his new linen shirt.

3. Allow Patrick to finish his sentences before interrupting (or leaving the premises).
Born: First of January, 1678 at 10 o'clock a.m., when Patrick asked me to listen to his latest groundbreaking discovery about auto-regenerative healing capabilities within the phylum Nematoda.
Died: First of January, 1678 at 10 o'clock a.m., when Patrick continued speaking on this subject.

4. Read more academic literature.
Born: First of January, 1678 at five past 10 o'clock a.m., when Patrick accused me of being "an ill-informed, uneducated dunce who wouldn't know a brilliant idea from a swift smack across your pompous face."
Died: Eighth of January, 1678 at 7 o'clock p.m., after a brief encounter with Isaac Newton's Method of Fluxions, which Patrick had lent me and which, I must admit, is almost exactly as entertaining as a sharp blow to the head.

5. Attend church services on Sundays with my mother-in-law.
Born: Thirty-first of December, 1677 at 3 o'clock p.m., when Sean reminded me that, however much I may dislike the woman, I am all that she has in this world (which could translate into a sizeable inheritance for me if I play my cards right). I actually made good on this resolution last Sunday—accompanying her to three services and inviting her home to dine with me that evening.
Died: Thirteenth of January, 1678 at 5 o'clock a.m., when, struck by a recollection of the torments I had endured the previous Sunday, I sent my manservant George over to the woman's home to inform her that I had left the country forever in order to teach the Gospel to savages in the Far East.