Monday, March 10, 2008

On stick'ng one's nose into ye building of St Paul's Cathdedral where it is not want'd

On stick'ng one's nose into ye building of St Paul's Cathdedral where it is not want'd

I thought - until just two days ago - that I and my alter ego Kim Jong-Il held the monopoly on sending demented letters to those in authority demanding 300 foot statues of female celebrities. Until this turned up in newly-discovered documents on the life of famous London diarist Samuel Pepys, as published in the December 7th 1666 edition of London Lite:

December 3rd 1666: Our city stands on the edge of a great ungodly precipice, and it may topple ov'r into a pit of sin and debauch'ry at any minute. Why? I have seen with myne own eyes the newly-publish'd plans for Christopher Wren's Cathedral, which will replace St Paul's church, sadly lost in ye Great Fyre which was certainly not caus'd by my friend Newton sett'ng fire to his owne farts.

I have, with great speed, writt'n my friend Wren a letter explain'ng my misgiv'ngs, which my servant Harper is carry'ng to his lodg'ngs as we speak. I have, for the sake of this diary, not'd the contents of this letter, lest THE LORD strikes us all down for fail'ng in this most important of projects, viz the driv'ng out of wickedness and Catholicks from London.

My dear Wren!

I note with great interest on this cold'st of winter evenings, your noble desire to re-build this noble city after the unfortunate fires of early September, which I must stress were certainly not caus'd by myselfe and my good friend Newton in drunk'n attempts to set fire to our own gas as part of an ill-advis'd investigation into this new-found 'science'.

While your plans for the sadly consum'd St Paul's Cathedral are indeed laudable in the extreme, would you, as a fellow member of the Royal Society, allow me to suggest a few improvements which I fear you may have neglected?

- Many of my colleagues at the Navy Office agree that your project'd dome for the Cathedral is a fine idea. However, we all speak as one in ask'ng where - perchance - is the second? Sirrah! You are going to build the world's biggest titty in the myddle of London! Do you not know they come in pairs? Rectify this shortcoming immediately, and ensure they are paint'd pink.

- Don't forget the Oliver Cromwell Death Slide - you appear to have omitt'd this from your drawings

- More importantly, my Naval colleagues request that the open space you suggest in front of this noble building be reserved for a 300-foot statue of our lady Damaris 'Bury me in a Y-shaped coffin' Page, the slattern who has done more for our nation's proud seamen than the dread'd scurvy

Give me the name of one proud Englishman who would not be proud - as he walks into your new church of churches in his Sunday finery - to look up ye flappinge mynge of our capital's finest sixpenny whore, before giv'ng thanks for THE LORD'S preservation from ye dread'd clappe in the pews while giv'ng the widow'd Lady Johnson the eye in the hope of a quick bunk-up before Evensong.

Your goodly friend, Pepys
I have instruct'd Harper to wait for a reply. He has been gone for some hours, and he has promis'd to bring me a thrupenny slattern on his return. His idleness displeases me, for my loins await impatiently.

December 4th 1666: Harper did not return until late this morning, hav'ng been forc'd to wait at Wren's apartments and havn'g lost my sixpence. I thrash'd the boy greatly for his tardiness, and the fact that I was forc'd to pleasure myself of the night, Mrs Pepys being on ye ragge again. He did, however, bring a letter from the great architect Wren, which went some way to alleviating my fears:

My dear friend Pepys,

I thank you for your kind letter regard'ng my Great Church.

Alas! The Dean of St Paul's is a parsimonious old farte who lives in a shack in the ruins of the old cathedral and will not allow a second dome to be built. As much as London would like to see a pair of Ye Devil's Pillows on this fin'st of landmarks as a daily reminder of The Sinnes of Ye Fleshe which should be excis'd by daily scrubb'ng of Ye Private Partes, the silly old fool Wm Sancroft is hav'ng none of it.

A single tit it shall be, and that, sadly is the end of it. In fact, his actual words were thus: "I woulde rather shitte on my wigge and wear it round town all day like a hat than have Satan's Udders on myne church!" so I thinke his mind is made up.

Fortunately, both Dean Sancroft and myself have argu'd long and hard for yr propos'd statue of the slattern Damaris Page, as both of us have fond memories of her bucket-like mynge and extraordinary thatched lady-garden. Sadly, King Charles, whom we both serve, is of a different mind on this issue, and Miss Page's contribution to this fine city will go unmark'd.

Instead, he has commissioned a 300 foot statue of The Catholick Whore Queen Mary being violat'd by stoats, which I have on my draw'ng board this very morrow. It is a fine, fine likeness, and His Highness has already remark'd that he gets considerable wood just glanc'ng at my preliminary sketches. It being a fine alternative to Miss Page, I have already squandr'd much seed over my draw'ngs.

I trust this message soothes your conscience, my friend. I enclose a surplus sketch of The Whore Mary tak'ng it up the wrong'un for your inspection under a wax seal. I have already thrash'd your servant, just in case he is tempt'd to look for himself.

Your pal, Wren
Well, that's that well and truly sort'd out then. And so to bed, tak'ng my sketch of The Whore Mary with me, for educational purposes.

Lordy! Loads more Pepys diaries (Editor: S. Duck, Esq) HERE.

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