Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Ye World Cuppe of Pepys

Ye World Cuppe of Pepys

It comes to something when you are accosted in the corridors at work and asked pointedly "When your you going to do another Samuel Pepys?" and "You should do a whole book of Pepys, it'll sell loads". Flattered as I am, it's hard enough to think in Olde Englishe at the best of times, especially when the auto-correct tries to drag poor old Samuel back into the 21st Century. So, you know who you are - this is for you. If you've missed an episode: The Completely True Diaries of Samuel Pepys, FRS, MP (1633-1703), and if you really want more of the same, you can do no worse than Squire Haggard's Journal.

16th September 1666: Disgust'd by the poor quality of slattern in this city, Newton and I didst travel to the fair village of Hanwelle, where I dyd espie in a local taverne a comely younge wench availynge herself of an unusual pastime, viz balancynge ducks a-top one another in a manner that is pleasynge to the eye. At her suggestion, buyinge into her confidence with a flagon of wine, I tried this sport for myself, but tis fair difficult to keepe ye foule birds still for long enoughe to balance more than three. Newton suggest'd that we should be using 'mock duck' made out of carv'd wood, or gutta-percha. "Mock duck?" I cried. "Mock duck? You take me for a cheat and a guttersnype?" and I roundly damned his eyes, and his breeches too. As the birds tumbl'd to the floor once agayne, I suggest'd to our fair companion that she too might like to join Newton and I for a tumble in some rooms I had acquir'd nearby; but, alas, at this invitation, she stoved my wig in with a rough-hewn plank of wood she carri'd on her person and took her mallards I know not where.

17th September 1666: Alas and woe! News of myne rough duck balancing misfortunes has reached the City, after the comely wenche in question - who is a local character of some repute - commission'd a number of wood-cuttes of my downfall and has had them post'd throughout this fine capital. It appears that ducks may only be balanced by licenc'd practitioners, and, i'truth, I do not hold a permit. Damn those eyes and pert body! Newton and I are, as they say, in deep shyte, notte least with Mrs Newton who is a dreadfulle flat-chest'd shrew with a fryghtenynge right hook. We are, alas, forc'd to flee the country untille ye heat is offe.

20th September 1666: Tis our rare gd fortune that the Wordle Cup of the rough fielde sporte of "Footballe" is taking place in the states of Bohemia, Brandenburg ande Saxony. Newton had acquir'd tickets to all the beste fights, and promises 'muche wenchynge and debaucherye'. I'truth his promise has come to naught, when I finde that the slatterne he has obtain'd for me is built lyke ye Tower of Londone, and I fear I shall never walk agayne. Still, Englande triumph'd in today's fight against foulest Savoy, young Master Rooneye stuffynge ye pig's bladder where ye sunne doesn't shyne. Newton found himself in ye town lock-up followinge a nighte on ye pysse in which he confront'd ye local ruffians and hoolig'ns with drunk'n shoutes of "Come & have a go if ye thinke ye be harde enuffe!" Alas, they were, and I can hear poor Newton's moanes as I wryte these wordes. His bottom wille be like a wizarde's sleeve come ye morninge.

23rd September 1666: This sojourn into the pits of central Europe is goinge from foul to worse. Newton has verily pyssed all our money away on wine and fat birds and I am forc'd, as ye prettye one in our partye, to stande around Hamburg Docks with a sign round my neck sayinge "Get it Here" in ye traditional manner. Alas, business is slow, we have barely a groat to our name, and ye last sailor has, I fear, split me asund'r, for I know not ye Germanne word for "lubrication". Englande beate Ye Papal States and ye Crouch boy stunn'd ye crowd with his dance of ye mechanical manne. Ye great lanky ponce.

27th September 1666: Our fortunes seem to have improv'd greatly, and we no longer will be sleeping in ye gutter. I'truth was rare gd luck to finde young masters Beckhamme, Rooneye &c and the Lord Erikson in the foulest pits of onanistic debauchery. "Please don't tell ye Wagges!" they pleaded, and knowing not what ye fuckerye they were talking about, I settl'd our price at five hundred poundes, and they seem'd well pleas'd. Newton and I feast'd well in the company of ye finest Dutch slattern this eve, and ye Portuguese pretty boys having triump'd over our exhaust'd team, we set sail for London.

29th September 1666: Up betimes and to my home straight from ye Mail Coach, where I find, to my greate delighte that Mrs Pepys has rather forgotten ye busty wench of Hanwelle, after being well car'd for by my domestic staffe in my absence. Indeede, my gift of a fine German horsewurst was greet'd with a scream of joy and the exclamation to Deedes, my cook, that "It's nearly as bigge as yours!", and begg'd him for a spitroast to sate her roarynge appetite. I had no idea that Horsewurst was available in our fine city!

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