Part 1, Chapter 1
• Robert Merivel remembers performing an autopsy on a bird as a young boy, then meeting his friend, Pearce, at medical school in Cambridge.
• Merivel recalls first meeting King Charles II after his father becomes the royal glove maker, and his father and mother dying in a fire, leading to Merivel's desirable appointment as the doctor to the King's dogs.
• The King orders Merivel to marry the King's youngest mistress, Celia.
Part 1, Chapter 2
• The King wants Celia married so that his other mistress will stop being jealous, and during Merivel's courtship with Celia, she spends all her time with the King.
• On the wedding night, the King comes in and begins having sex with the bride, and Merivel goes off to the village to have sex with someone else.
Part 1, Chapter 3
• Merivel lives alone in his expensive mansion and takes up painting, which he is bad at...
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