So, one thing led to another, and people kept asking me when I was going to do more Samuel Pepys. It's been the best part of three years since I last spoke to the cur, it is high time we caught up with how the great diarist is doing. This extract from his newly-discovered diaries starts on July 2nd 1660, exactly where we left off at the end of Samuel Pepys: Lust For Glory, available from Amazon for surprisingly little money.
Given a following wind, another six months of Pepys will be available from good bookstores sometime around the crack of doomsday.
Thursday July 2nd 1660: Up betimes to be shock'd by a hideous visage at myne bedroom window. "Begone, Hampton, you foule cur!" I shout'd, think'ng it to be my newly-appoint'd man-servant going about his duties with far too muche enthusiasm. However, it transpir'd that Hampton is in Shoreditch on the orders of my wyfe, settl'ng debts to an auction house which I drunkenly stumbl'd upon yesterday with myne good fryend Newton, and bought a camel-leopard* for the sole reasons that I a) was very drunk and b) wanted a camel-leopard. The beast is currently outside, lick'ng the wondows of my chamber, and Mrs Pepys is fuck'ng steam'ng with rage because it has already eaten her fin'st French under-garments from the wash'ng line.
It is as I break my fast that I realise the true extent of my profligacy whilst very much in my cups. Quite apart from the camel-leopard, I also purchas'd 36 cases of wigs found to be infect'd with the rabies, a carrot in the shape of the hat'd Lord Protector Cronwell, and two gross of oversiz'd clockwork cucumbers. Newton, I am told, bought an item call'd a 'flux capacitor' for half a groat, and has left a message tell'ng me that I shall next see him 'a weeke last Thursday', whatever that means.
Friday July 3rd 1660: Office day, mak'ng enquiries about the city and its environs to see if I can finde a buyer for the rabid wigs and the clockwork cucumbers to set aside my debts, which, as usual, are many. Alas, my efforts were thwart'd by a summons from the Royal Palace, where HIS MAJESTY THE KING has me confus'd for somebody else and has appoint'd me the Inspector of the Palace Drains (Unpaid). The messenger tells me to make my way 'without a minute to lose' because 'HIS MAJESTY has done an Oliver** that won't go round ye bende".
I arrive as fast as the Thames ferryman can take me, and find that one of the rabid wigs made fast to an oversiz'd clockwork cucumber clear'd the block'ge and earn'd the favour of THE KING. Alas this favour was not as expect'd, for he has give'n me his entire stock of wigs infected with rabies, and forty score outsiz'd clockwork cucumbers seized from flee'ng Parliamentarians and Papists. Flogg'd a pass'ng mendicant on the way home, which somewhat assuag'd my temper.
Saturday July 4th 1660: Stay'd abed until the late evening havn'g consum'd several bottles of Port wine the night before, when I was woken by the sound of explosions by the dockside. Sending Hampton to investigate, it appears to be the work of dozens of sailors, freshly return'd from our American colonies and celebrat'ng their National Blow'ng Thynges Up Day***. Sent a message ask'ng if they had any need for over-siz'd etc and rabid etc etc, but to no avail. America will come to nothing, marke my wordes.
Sunday July 5th 1660 (Lord's Day): Up betimes, and to church where I made a roar'ng trade of the cucumbers to the widows of the parish before the service. Alas, the sermon was a fiery one on 'The Evils of Over-Siz'd Clockwork Cucumbers Which Are Caus'ng Sin And Slatternly Behaviour Among Refin'd Gentle-Women Of Englande Who Will Spend An Eternity In HELL As A Resulte Of Their Foul Self-Abuuse (of which illustrative wood-cuts are available after the service for a groat each)", and I was forc'd to refund all but one, the preacher's wife say'ng she was keeping hers 'as a reminder of SATAN'S EVIL tongue'. Hampton brought dinner, which transpir'd to be the kidney's of a camel-leopard, which goes some way to explain the beast's disappearance.
Monday 6th July 1660: Much excitement around the City as a general appeal is decree'd by THE KING for the re-building of London Bridge after I burn'd it down last week while defeat'ng The Great Zombie Outbreak of London Town**** Enthus'd by HIS MAJESTY'S plea I have donat'd all the clockwork cucumbers to go in the Great Pit that shall form the foundation of Sir Chrs Wren's mighty monument to the defeat of the waters of the Thames. And thank shitt'ry they're gone.
Tuesday 7th July 1660: To my Whitehall office, where My Lord Downing tells me that HIS MAJESTY has ask'd me to work directly with Sir Chrs Wren in giv'ng the new government's support in build'ng the New Bridge. On meeting Wren, I discover that despite his acknowledg'd genius in the artes of build'ng and architecture, he is the most enormous turd, who calls me "My man" and "You there in the wigge". While he takes an afternoon snooze, I replace his wigge for one of the rabid ones I have in my satchel, and may that be a goodly lesson for him. And so to bed.
Wednesday 8th July 1660: Newton***** is return'd, wear'ng strange breaches, long black boots and a black jerkin with a strange cross-symbol in white, black and red on his arm. He babbles on excitedly about 'Going Back To Ye Future', where he has made a new fryend in an Austrian gentleman called Herr Hitler******. I believe he is quite, quite mad, and have a passing watchman knock him cold and taken to the madhouse, and paid some pass'ng loafers to have his strange, silver carriage push'd into my out-build'ng where I have hidden it from the WYTCH-FYNDER.
Thursday 9th July 1660: Summon'd early from by bed by My Lord Downing. The New London Bridge has fallen down due to the instability of its foundations. Also, Sir Chrs Wren is quite, quite mad with head-rabies. I tell My Lord that I know noth'ng of either calamity, and take my leave. Thrash'd a mendicant on my way home, but found no pleasure in doing so, and therefore resolv'd to get very drunk in the privacy of my out-build'ng.
Wednesday 9th July 3000: Fuck. They all live underwater, but your great great great grand-daughter is pretty fyne*******.
NOTES FOR READERS AND ACADEMICS
* A giraffe. There was a brief craze for giraffes around the time of the restoration during the The Great Zombie Outbreak of London Town (See Samuel Pepys: Lust For Glory, Coleman, 2011) after Londoners realised that sitting on the backs of the beasts put them far enough off the ground to escape the undead horde. Unfortunately, the craze ended virtually as soon as it began following The Great Zombie Camel-Leopard Outbreak of London Town.
** Oliver = Oliver Cromwell = Shit. From the Cockney non-rhyming slang 'Oliver Cromwell was a bit of a shit' = Shit. It was not until the 18th century that Cockney residents of east London found that rhyming slang was much easier to remember, and looked good on souvenir tea towels.
*** National Blowing Things Up Day was celebrated in Britain's American colonies until the year 1776, when the date was usurped to mark America's independence from the British Crown. In recent years, it has once again reverted to National Blowing Things Up Day, to celebrate blowing things up.
**** See Pepys: Lust For Glory.
***** No relation.
****** Quite possibly the first occasion in recorded history of evidence of a person travelling FORWARD in time in order to meet Adolf Hitler, rendering this one of the most important historical documents of our age.
******* Once again, we find Pepys fore-shadowing items of modern culture centuries before they occur. In this case, it is clear that he was the original author of the song 'Year 3000' by the popular British beat combo 'Busted', who now have some explaining to do.