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It's Beginning To Look Alot Like Christmas


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Three gentlemen sat around a table of oak. Bottles of liquor reflected the light from the nearby fireplace. The dancing flames were not reflected well in the nearby window due to the evening frost that decorated the panes of glass.


"Come come Charlie," came the sonorous voice of the Earl of Rochester. Johnnie was already deep in his cups. "It is almost Christmastide. It is a time for cheer."


"I have a murderous headache," replied Charles Sackville, Earl of Dorset. "The cold must not agree with me."


"Frankly, no one agrees with you," Rochester tittered.


"Well, aren't you the one with pluck?

If I were you I'd not test my luck.

If you think to cheer

There's words to hear.

I do not give a fuck," came the limerick from ill-amused Dorset.


"Dorset Theater has come along nicely," came encouragement from Charles Sedley. "Surely you are happy with that. There is to be an opera performed there by Buckingham's toadies. The Spaniard's wife is going to be singing. I think she has very nice ... lungs," he joked.


"Yes, I know," Sackville admitted. "I could use a bit of cheer on Christmas Eve. So what other news my merry fellows? Is the Queen pregnant?"


"She's no more pregnant than I," Rochester quipped with a laugh. The other two gave him little credence. "Your wife delivered a child," Rochester continued, referring to Heather O'Roarke.


"I owe you for that Johnny. It took me nearly six months to annul that marriage and I shall exact my revenge upon you in the most wicked way possible I assure you," Dorset threatened with a murderous look.


"You should marry my daughter," Sedley suggested with more seriousness than his voice hinted. "I'd damn well burn down Killigrew's theater proper if you made her an honest woman."


"It will take more than Dorset's betrothal to accomplish that," Rochester quipped more cruelly than intended.


"I do not take York's leftovers," Sackville replied with no animus intended. "At any rate, I hear she prefers soldiers." He turned to Rochester and warned "if you think to use that laced punch again to wed me to Sedley's daughter I shall be on guard this time. Best you marry her Johnny."


"Johnny's no fit husband for any woman alive," Sedley grumbled, omitting mention of his friend's pox. "Are you still thinking of that young Scot girl?"


"Oh her? I've forgotten her already and she is best to do likewise. I prefer no responsibilities or encumbrances. I prefer to drink until I vanish from this existence."


"Like the Earl of Danby then?" Sedley laughed. "Perhaps you shall find him wherever your drink takes you."


"Take the loathsome Earl of Pembrooke with you will you?" Dorset urged. The men hated each other, locked in litigation against each other.


"Shall we talk of happier topics then?" Sedley suggested. "Which of us shall be the Lord of Misrule for Christmastide? I am thinking we need to do something outrageous this year."


Rochester leaned forward. "I have an idea of course."

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