Anthropocene

At home and the office all the morning, and at noon comes Luellin to me, and he and I to the tavern and after that to Bartholomew fair, and there upon his motion to a pitiful alehouse, where we had a dirty slut or two come up that were whores, but my very heart went against them, so that I took no pleasure but a great deal of trouble in being there and getting from thence for fear of being seen. From hence he and I walked towards Ludgate and parted. I back again to the fair all alone, and there met with my Ladies Jemimah and Paulina, with Mr. Pickering and Madamoiselle, at seeing the monkeys dance, which was much to see, when they could be brought to do so, but it troubled me to sit among such nasty company. After that with them into Christ’s Hospitall, and there Mr. Pickering bought them some fairings, and I did give every one of them a bauble, which was the little globes of glass with things hanging in them, which pleased the ladies very well.
After that home with them in their coach, and there was called up to my Lady, and she would have me stay to talk with her, which I did I think a full hour. And the poor lady did with so much innocency tell me how Mrs. Crispe had told her that she did intend, by means of a lady that lies at her house, to get the King to be godfather to the young lady that she is in childbed now of; but to see in what a manner my Lady told it me, protesting that she sweat in the very telling of it, was the greatest pleasure to me in the world to see the simplicity and harmlessness of a lady.
Then down to supper with the ladies, and so home, Mr. Moore (as he and I cannot easily part) leading me as far as Fenchurch Street to the Mitre, where we drank a glass of wine and so parted, and I home and to bed.
Thus ends the month. My maid Jane newly gone, and Pall left now to do all the work till another maid comes, which shall not be till she goes away into the country with my mother. Myself and wife in good health. My Lord Sandwich in the Straits and newly recovered of a great sickness at Alicante. My father gone to settle at Brampton, and myself under much business and trouble for to settle things in the estate to our content. But what is worst, I find myself lately too much given to seeing of plays, and expense, and pleasure, which makes me forget my business, which I must labour to amend.
No money comes in, so that I have been forced to borrow a great deal for my own expenses, and to furnish my father, to leave things in order. I have some trouble about my brother Tom, who is now left to keep my father’s trade, in which I have great fears that he will miscarry for want of brains and care.
At Court things are in very ill condition, there being so much emulacion, poverty, and the vices of drinking, swearing, and loose amours, that I know not what will be the end of it, but confusion. And the Clergy so high, that all people that I meet with do protest against their practice. In short, I see no content or satisfaction any where, in any one sort of people.
The Benevolence proves so little, and an occasion of so much discontent every where; that it had better it had never been set up. I think to subscribe 20l.. We are at our Office quiet, only for lack of money all things go to rack. Our very bills offered to be sold upon the Exchange at 10 per cent. loss. We are upon getting Sir R. Ford’s house added to our Office. But I see so many difficulties will follow in pleasing of one another in the dividing of it, and in becoming bound personally to pay the rent of 200l. per annum, that I do believe it will yet scarce come to pass.
The season very sickly every where of strange and fatal fevers.

We monkeys dance
with little globes of glass,
get and forget, our getting
a fatal fever.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 31 August 1661.

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