24 January, in the year of our Lord 2022
Waked and up, and, it being a bright sunshine, purposed afresh to draw plans for a new coach, and so set out by my coach to the coachmakers, where I did take mine for a repair two weeks ago, waiting upon their investigacion of a noyse from beneath its body, which I did hear especially on rough streets, but after some hours unable to find the source of it, though they heard it as plain as day, they reassured me it was of no consequence, but only some little annoyance, and the coach safe to be driven, though I think now it is even worse and more expense will come with it, if I keep it.
There took for a ride a new coach that they had, and rode a mighty fine ride in it, only that in the years since my last coach, all is changed inside, with so many little things that emprove it, such as glass in the windows. But to drive it — Lord! how everything is controll’d with little devices, the like of which I never saw, and so I must ask in a witless sort of way the manner of their working.
‘Everything hath changed since last you bought a coach,’ says the coachmaker, as we sit together on the raised seats at the front. ‘All is now digital.’
‘Digital?’ say I.
‘Digital means anything done by a magick screen with little pictures, or in a box with tiny lights,’ says he.
‘Ah, yes,’ say I, wishing to demonstrate evidence of catching on. ‘I have seen those tiny lights on my new musical box. The sound does not work unless they are twinkling.’
‘Those are Ellie Dees. Now, this device here — ’ (he demonstrates a little magick window by where lie the reins, fixed at knee height by a sturdy metal rod) ‘ — is the centre of Reason for the whole affair.’
I look where he points and see on the screen a collection of arcane symbols in many colours.
‘Are they Masonic?’ ask I in awe.
‘They are Ikons, there to provide warnings of sundry natures. I shall take you through them one by one. This — ‘ (he points at a little yellow one) ‘ — will inform you how far you may travel before refilling the horses nosebags. And with this — ’ (he prods a little orange one) ‘ — you may set the trot speed: six miles an hour, say, or seven if you dare.’
‘And this little brown one?’
‘Emissions, so you may stop and your servant get out with a shovel.’
We move on.
‘This selection here is where we control the sound system.’
‘I see! How marvellous! This orange one here?’
‘That warns that you are about to hear Any Answers, which might otherwise ruin a Sunday afternoon in the park.’
‘And this red one?’
‘That is the Dissembling icon. You can toggle it to Johnson On — ’ (which he does, so we hear, ‘Mr. Speaker, I can once again reassure the House that no Lockdown Rules were broken at any point during — ’) ‘ — or Johnson Off.’ (‘Sailing By’ plays.) ‘Off is the default and we have never seen it changed.’
‘And can I play my own music?’
‘There is room at the back for a small lutenist.’
So, swept along by enthusiasm I say I will buy one, its livery to be Attol blue, varnished metallick, with a black velvet enterior, so leave a depositt, 30l 3s.
And so home in boyant spirits, though they did not last, for after a late dinner came correspondence, informing me I must attend the Hospitalle, in one weeks time, and, after supper, read in the gazette that our spies in Mosco fear that the Emperor of Russia thinks to envade the Cossack lands, which I think should freeze all the hearts of Evrope if it come to pass.