Monday, March 05, 2007

The Many Trials of Samuel Pepys Esq

The Many Trials of Samuel Pepys Esq

January 9th 1660: The gravest of news comes to me in my offices today. Mrs Pepys, in her profligacy has piss'd all my money up the wall on frilly extravagances and servant boys, who depart, exhausted within a week, short of breath, but heavy in gold. I am, alas, forced to write for my living again so to cover her debts and pay off the blackmailers who continue to bother me over certain incriminating woodcuts. It has been a long tyme, but the words, I find, come easily enough:

'Dear Deirdre, I am a happily marri'd woman of some means, and find myself often in the intimate company of our footman who has an unnatural craving for the arts of Greek Love whilst our cook watches & makes erotic drawings (enclos'd). What should one do? Achingly Yours, Lady Agatha J'.

And to think that the readers (Mrs Pepys includ'd) are under the impression that these letters are genuine. My Lord Murdoch paid me thrupence for my missive, which will appear in tomorrow's scandal sheets. And so to bed, hav'ng dined on a fine meal of cat & offal, our debts pay'd & knowynge that my terrible secret remains hidden.


January 10th 1660: As if yesterday wasn't bad enough, the gravest of news comes to me in my offices today. Lord Horace Johnson, husband of Lady Agatha Johnson has read today's scandal sheets and has slaughter'd his cook and his footman in their beddes, castynge his poor wife into the streets like a common slattern, thinkynge that my letter was by her hand.

All of London is agog with talk of this scandal, but the watch show no interest, with Lord Horace being a favourite of the late Protector, and the deadde servants being but servants and food for ye pigs in Spital Fields. The Good Lord help me should he ever fynd the truth of the letter's origyn. My thrupence spent, dined alone on something dead I founde in White Chapel.


January 11th 1660: The gravest of news comes to me in my offices today. Lord H. Johnson beat the truth of my letter out of My Lord Murdoch, and I feare he is on his way here to deal with me in the foull'st manner imaginable.

My friend and colleague Luellin tells me he is ye best swordsman in all London, and it is said that he won the Battle of Sodmore single-hand'd in the Civil War, bitynge the heads of his enemies long after his sword broke and his pistol could fyre no more. Luellin then remember'd an important wig-fittyng appointment, and fled, leaving me and my foul'd breeches to an uncertain fate.

I was so scar'd I was unable to face my usual slattern on the way home, and bowk'd rich brown vomit all over My Lord's eldest daughter Mrs Jem, who is staying in our lodgings. She said it was a greate privilege to be vomit'd upon by such a fine gentleman, which pleas'd me greatly. And to bed, with thoughts of Lord Horace's awful revenge and Mrs Jem's heaving, sick-spatter'd cleavage fillyng my mind.


January 12th 1660: Up betimes, and wearyng a cunnyng disguise took myself to my offices, foregoing even my morning visit to Mr Lambert's bakery at Westminster Hall to catch sight of his lusty young maid and her fyne bunnes.

Alas, behinde me I heard a booming voice cry "Ah-ha!" and I turn'd to find a nine-foot-tall Lord Horace, built like ye proverbial stone shitte-house, bearyng down on me, sword in hand and murder in his heart.

"My Lord! Have mercy upon an innocent man!" I begg'd of him as I made what peace I cld with The Good Lord with the contents of my bladder runnynge down my leg.

"Mercy? For the man who insult'd my wife? A wife who I cast out into the street thynkying her a vile slut and a slattern? A wife who is still scraping the mucke from her flanges as a result of yr foul'st of words? I must, and will have satisfaction, thou lowly worm!"

"At least allow me to face you with a weapon in my hand!" I whin'd most piteously, but he damn'd me with his wordes:

"A weapon? You us'd yr pen as a weapon and what good it did you!"

At this, he rais'd his sword to strike me down, but was, as fate decried, struck down by a runaway offal cart, which kill'd him stone dead in his tracks. Dined on spare offal. And so to bed, where I hid, with nary a slattern of company, until nightfall, and all the fuss had died down.


January 14th 1660: Lord's Day. To Mr Gunning's church at Exeter-house, where I offer'd up thanks for my deliverance from Lord Horace, and found the widow Lady Agatha in a side chapel offering up her thanks fr the same viz: deliverance from her brute of a husband, whereupon she threw herself upon me and thank'd me most profusely for my kindness, pushing her marvellous d├ęcolletage into myne face in a most pleasyng manner and implorynge that we should rendezvous at a much later date, when no person might suspect we are meeting so soon after Lord Horace's death. I heartily agreed, saying it best to wait untille ye heat was offe.

To the Widow Johnson's rooms for dinner, whereupon she didst introduce me to the mysteries of Greek Love, with what she describes as a 'strap-on'. Resulte!

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