25 April, in the year of our Lord 2020
Up, and in ill humour, for my maids and boy in the country and my funds sparse. A frugal dinner, but afterwards a knock at the door and a bone setter standing in the lane, admiring of my plasterwork and wond’ring where did I buy paste, since only ‘Clicke & Collecte’ at the Exchange and he without Clicke.
‘You are in luck,’ I said, and shewed him what was left.
‘Seems a lot.’
‘These times are unprecedented.’
‘10 s. 6 d.’
‘I am not bartering. This is not the East Indies!’
Interrupted at that juncture by the Physician, the three of us a triangle of apices six feet apart, he ignoring intirely the bone setter whom he feels his inferior, and addressing me that he would overlook my intemperate Replie for his new Venture; further, there having been a Cooling Off period, that now was the Time, they would hit the ground running and I should grab the Opportunitie with both hands and, talking of hands, how went the itch?
‘The itch is better. How go the tests? A hundred by month end, which is Thursday?’
‘Early days. We are still waiting for scarves.’
‘How many have you carried out?’
‘We are on top of it.’
Then sidled up a peddler with what will come to be known as a sandwich board, and on its front panel, ‘Globe Theatre Live! Watch Plays Remotely From Your Owne Window!’
‘Can I interest you gentl’men in tickets for this?’
I asked what meant ‘remote’.
‘It’s the Globe Theatre, mate. Live.’
‘The Globe Theatre is three miles away on the other bank of the river.’
‘Well, you can’t get much more remote than that, can you?’
‘Maybe you are missing something.’
‘I know exactly what you are thinkin’, my friend, but we ’ave thought of that very thing and can offer you – a spyglass!’ He rummaged and thrust one upon me which I did try, but I startled for the Physician minuscule and very far away, the lane a tunnel and the roofs all pulled in by a drawstring as if in a night dread! He cleared his throat. ‘Other way round.’
I thrust it back. ‘We shall still hear nothing!’
‘You might if the wind’s in the right direction. Every night for a week! You can piece it together! Take a few leaflets an’ think on it.’ And he away.
The leaflets announced, ‘TWELFTHE NIGHTE by Mr. Wm. Shakespeere – a Preposterouslie Amusing, Precociouslie Diverting, Provocativelie Staged Evening’s Entertainment, Professionalie Performed by The Globe Players’, and on the back panel of the sandwich board, ‘Warning: Third Party Content May Contain Adverbs.’
We remaining three did triangulate again and the Physician turned his now less superior attention to the bone setter with, ‘I don’t suppose…?’ But no, and dejected he away.
The bone setter to me: ‘Anyway, these times are not unprecedented. We had a plague five years ago. A guinea.’
By evening in better humour, so after a hearty supper and merry with wine, to bed.