Wednesday, April 15, 2009

This document is claimed to to have been discovered in 2002, wedged between layers of old wallpaper being removed from a sixteenth century Roman house on the Spanish Steps then undergoing renovation. Scholars are in accord in expressing deep concerns regarding its authenticity. For that reason it was not included in my book "Tales of the Popes: From Eden to El Dorado", but I post it here as a quasi-historical curio.

by Pope Alexander VI

Awaken in the Papal four-poster to an immaculate Vatican day. The weather has been infallible recently, or is it only me? Sweep back a lock of hair from the downy cheek of the angel beside me, only to find that it is not Giulia after all, but Maria, her chambermaid. Notum to self: check rostering.

Morning routine with my personal trainer, Brother Rocco. Assume throne after only three push ups and squats due to the rigours of the night before. Issue Papal Bull to stomach to desist from its unholy territorial expansionism.

Papal robing ceremonial, in attendance Brother Joan (undergarments, hygiene and manicure), Brother Fabio (principal frocker), Brother Boccaccio (slippers, silks and mitres).

Light Brunch of Devilled Valencian Larks’ Tongues and Grilled Cheeks. Cold as ever, but who wants to risk a tummy ache? The lion’s share had been rather too thoroughly tasted by Brother Cantarella. I should probably dispense with him but he is skilled in other areas.

Inspect progress of mural being painted outside my bedchamber of my darling little Giulia clad as the Virgin Mary. Instruct artist to cover up one bosom but make the eyes foxier.

Issue Papal Bull declaring Lucrezia a virgin yet again, and dispatch an epistle to her with God’s blessing for the impending birth. In my post scriptum I tell her that papa really does love her, very very much.

Audience in Throne Room with delegation from the sacked city of Capua, devout and humble friars who are collecting alms for the widowed, the injured and the poor of that stricken city. Express my sincere sorrow for the people of Capua, and take into safe keeping the 2000 ducats in collected donations they have carried with them for the poor, scrupulous to provide full and proper receipting for same. They depart delighted at my Papal blessing.

Working cocktails with Cesare to discuss developments in our Romagna campaign, in the wake of his triumphant sacking of Capua. Notice Cesare keeps his back as tight against the wall as I do. Cesare looks quite well for an advanced syphilitic, although his nose could do with subtle repositioning.

Hear confession from the Conclave of Cardinals. Going rates for penances are: Giving a Papal Bribe, 1000 ducats; Taking a Papal Bribe, 500 ducats; Treachery and Deceit, 5 ducats; Fornication, 200 ducats plus the indulgence of one pontifical night with the fallen woman so that the Holy Spirit may enter her too; Gluttony, 500 larks’ tongues (Valencian); Covetousness, impounding of coveted item(s) from third party Cardinal. Finish up spot on 5.30, all sinners thoroughly absolved.

Pontifical Power Nap.

Dinner with Cardinal Rotunda. After main course he complains of stomach discomfort and dies early.

Beauty sleep with my darling little Giulia, only when I am rolled off her I discover to my surprise that it’s Maria again. Notum to self: priority to sort out rostering.