Tuesday, 28 September 2010

28th October, 1761 - Claptrap!

Cockfoster's Rub has done the trick, and I am bursting at the gates to get out of here.

Despite the drizzle I ventured to the Market Place in search of some entertainment. Had me a nice plate of oysters. Afterwards, listened to the City Waits playing from upon the Guildhall roof (I think several of their number were drunk), and then had a brief argument with that rogue, Irish Jim. Seeing her at a distance, I avoided Mrs Briggs; hiding in a doorway until she had passed. I decided then, to join the queue for a viewing of the Pig-Faced boy from Framlingham. It was worth a penny - extraordinary! By this time I was working up a prodigious thirst which I was eager to slake.

Taking my place at the window of the Angel Tavern, I was soon joined by Mr Dan Tangle. He was in a very jolly mood, and laughed mightily upon recollection of various japes and adventures we have shared. After some little while, our conversation took a more serious turn when we fell upon discussing our encounter with young Mr Acorn the night before. Whispering, we agreed that this Norman nonsense must be nipped in the bud. We live in an age of Reason, and will not see our pond muddied by such palpable claptrap.
'Gadzooks, Mr Hump! Before you know it some fool will be telling us that men are descended from apes!'

We laughed heartily at the thought.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Rolling Hills and the Buddery Stare...

On this ground once stood Cornelius Hump, Esq

June 15th, 1761...
Woke with the crowing of the cock and, obligingly, mayde was on hand to help me rise. I breakfasted on a collop of bacon and resolved to take an early morning constitutional up to Mousehold heath. Walking beyond Magdalen gate, some way on I found a poor distressed soul; a fellow Antiquarian, standing quite still and staring fixedly. I instantly recognised him as that young upstart, Phileas Acorne. 

At the Society meeting the night before I had observed him engaged in a heated exchange with Mr. Buddery, the noted wall fancier. Although their words were hard to discern, it seemed to me that Acorne was arguing that divination of historical details through the tasting of mortar was, "akin to magic". Aghast at such presumption, Buddery's anger was palpable. Being mindful of the wall fanciers malevolent powers I feared for poor Phileas and offered to accompany him to the Angel for a diversionary pot of nog. Alack! The young fool declined... I can only surmise that, he had been lured to this wild place and then subjected to the Buddery stare! Egad though, I had determined to perambulate the heath, and was forced to leave him frozen where he stood...

Stood on St James' Hill and looked out across the city for a long while, catching earwards, here a dog's bark, there a snatch of some distant conversation - wind-blown sounds caught up by the mischievous breeze. Distantly, Rooks flew in circles above the castle prison and...

... I can only imagine that, in the midst of my reverie, I must have overbalanced and toppled down the hill. I have no clear recollection of events. I only know that my periwig was lost in the descent and that, having passed at great velocity through thicket and thorn I revived sometime later in a state of utter dishevelment. Indeed, even Mr. Tangle himself would never allow himself to be seen in such a condition!

© Tangle & Hump, Peddlers of the Past

Sunday, 4 July 2010

The Last Word...

February 25th 1761
Despite Mr. Tangle's distracting screams I have made considerable progress on the epitaph for the stone which will mark my final resting place. I could not resist the temptation of writing this in my own blood...

Cornelius Hump, Gent.
Born 1715, deceased ...
The pie is eaten
The crust remains
No more trifles
No more pains
Every Spring the frog
Will jump
But still I lie,
Cornelius Hump

© Tangle & Hump, Peddlers of the Past

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Scrotal Bells and Screams in Croyland Abbey

February 24th 1761, Norwiche

Still recovering from the coach journey to Croyland Abbey with Dan Tangle and Jimothy Ditheridge. I shudder to think on it, but I must record here a most perplexing incident which took place as we stepped into the main abbey church.

Hearing my medieval crotal bell ringing in my pocket, Ditheridge enquired,
"Cornelius, is that your crotal bell I can hear ringing?"
"Scrotal bell!" exclaimed Dan immediately.
"No Dan, crotal", replied I.
"SCROTAL you say!" cries he, in his harsh loud tones.
I gestured to him to place his ear-trumpet to his ear, and as he did so I repeated myself...
"It's my crotal bell Dan."
"Scrotal bell Cornelius! Well I'll be damned, didn't take you for one of those tinkle-tailed dandiprats..."

It was then that I noticed a gathered of well-dressed ladies glowering accusingly from the chancel end in our direction, clearly shocked by our exchange. Despite my years I felt myself colouring up and smiled meekly as I removed Mr. Tangle's hat from atop his head.

For as long as I may be granted the gift of life I will never forget the sound of their screams as I reached into my pocket to reveal my bell to them.

© Tangle & Hump, Peddlers of the Past

Wednesday, 9 June 2010


February 23rd 1763...
My latest paper for submission to 'The Learned Society of Antiquarians' was completed over five weeks ago. I had yet another meeting with Jimothy Ditheridge on Monday last and he reassures me that he has the illustrations I have requested, "in hand". I suggested that if he try moving the aforementioned hand,  whilst gripping a pencil, then I might have the completed paper, "in hand" by now!

© Tangle & Hump, Peddlers of the Past

Monday, 17 May 2010

Dandiprat & Twangling Jack!

February 21st 1761
"You Sir are a dandiprat and a twangling Jack!"
"Potbelly! Cudden! Fustilliarian!"
Mr. Tangle was screaming by this point...
"Goat-licker! Fopdoodle..."

Having imbibed a few too many measures of aqua vitae at the Angel we were what might be termed, 'potvaliant' as we staggered and swayed on our way homewards. 

With his tattered green frockcoat, flapping shoe-buckle and lurching wig, one might readily mistake him for a lowly drazel . To think that this same creature authored such ground-breaking papers as, "Notable Norfolke Knockers", "In Defence of Conquest Denial" and "Antiquarian Articles and Pernickerty Disputations"!  

We are over-cloyed indeed!

© Tangle & Hump, Peddlers of the Past

Saturday, 8 May 2010

A Persistent Stain!

February 25th 1761
Despite Maide's best efforts the stain persists, and I am in the most damnable blue  funk as a result! I may have to take the precious tome to Pauper McKnowall's for restoration ...

One really would expect a chap to maintain his eyes more responsibly than Mr. Tangle - the fopdoodle!

Meanwhile, the aforementioned fopdoodle continues to slumber deeply, as if unconscious, as he hath many days previously...
© Tangle & Hump, Peddlers of the Past