A Drinking Reed

(Office day). As Sir W. Pen and I were walking in the garden, a messenger came to me from the Duke of York to fetch me to the Lord Chancellor. So (Mrs. Turner with her daughter The. being come to my house to speak with me about a friend of hers to send to sea) I went with her in her coach as far as Worcester House, but my Lord Chancellor being gone to the House of Lords, I went thither, and (there being a law case before them this day) got in, and there staid all the morning, seeing their manner of sitting on woolpacks, &c., which I never did before.
After the House was up, I spoke to my Lord, and had order from him to come to him at night. This morning Mr. Creed did give me the Papers that concern my Lord’s sea commission, which he left in my hands and went to sea this day to look after the gratuity money. This afternoon at the Privy Seal, where reckoning with Mr. Moore, he had got 100l. for me together, which I was glad of, guessing that the profits of this month would come to 100l.
In the evening I went all alone to drink at Mr. Harper’s, where I found Mrs. Crisp’s daughter, with whom and her friends I staid and drank, and so with W. Hewer by coach to Worcester House, where I light, sending him home with the 100l. that I received to-day. Here I staid, and saw my Lord Chancellor come into his Great Hall, where wonderful how much company there was to expect him at a Seal.
Before he would begin any business, he took my papers of the state of the debts of the Fleet, and there viewed them before all the people, and did give me his advice privately how to order things, to get as much money as we can of the Parliament.
That being done, I went home, where I found all my things come home from sea (sent by desire by Mr. Dun), of which I was glad, though many of my things are quite spoilt with mould by reason of lying so long a shipboard, and my cabin being not tight. I spent much time to dispose of them tonight, and so to bed.

I fetch a friend to send to sea
and see a reed reckoning
the profits of drink.
How much to expect of vice?
I found all my desire
quite spoiled by reason.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 20 August 1660.

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