What ho, Englishmen!As you know, my wife is a woman of exemplary breeding. She can trace her noble lineage back even farther than I can - to Mary, Queen of Scots, no less. And oh, she is a handsome woman! She has the countenance one finds only in the English upper classes - the gloriously wide mouth, the broad nose (nostrils gently flaring), the meaty, powerful gnashers, and the dogmatic chin of a shire thoroughbred. Yes, Lady Crouchback is what some would pejoratively term "horsey", but I love her all the more for it. Indeed, I distrust any Englishman whose wife is not horsey.
But I am a man of monstrous demands. No woman, no ten women, could possibly satisfy my bodily needs. I am to boffing what the Krauts are to warmongering: it is my reason for being. I use mistresses by the dozen, by the hundred, even by the thousand. I boff for Sussex, for England and for St George. In Kensington alone, I keep one Russian filly, one French filly, one Italian filly, one Arab chap, and a magnificent, voluptuous Nigerian girl.
However, as the nights draw in and the climes become icy, I become less predisposed to run the gauntlet of brigands and highwaymen lurking on the M23. Accordingly, I have a longstanding arrangement with Lady Crouchback that one mistress of my choosing can be housed in the Castle's west wing for my pleasant usage during the months of December, January and February.
But now? Now my good lady wife is acting up. She has decided that such "pagan immorality" is in direct contradiction of the teachings of the Catholic church. She claims that my blood pressure is too high for such regular dalliances. She suggests that she, Lady Crouchback, is growing cold from neglect and deserves a deuced good boffing herself on occasion. She even - outrageously - calls in Father Fitzpatrick to lecture me on my conjugal duties.
I shan't deny that these provocations have tested my temper. "Curb thy tongue, woman!" I say. "Where else should I house my mistress? In the pig sties? Good God, Henrietta, do you wish me to disturb myself by travelling the icy roads to London?"
But she remains unyielding. So I ask whether any of you chaps can offer some advice for a fellow in my situation? I fear it will take the nuclear option - i.e. a quick call to Coutts and a salutary lesson in the power of wonga - to force her back into the realm of sanity.