On the road, again

My mind, though out of trouble, yet intent upon my journey home, being desirous to know how all my matters go there, I could hardly sleep, but waked very early; and, when it was time, did call up Will, and we rose, and musique (with a bandore for the base) did give me a levett; and so we got ready; and while breakfast was providing, I went forth (by the way finding Mr. George Mountagu and his Lady, whom I saluted, going to take their coach thus early to proceed on their journey, they having lodged in the chamber just under me all this night) and showed Mr. Cooke King’s College Chapel, Trinity College, and St. John’s College Library; and that being done, to our inn again: where I met Dr. Fairbrother brought thither by my brother Tom, and he did breakfast with us, a very good-natured man he is, and told us how the room we were in was the room where Cromwell and his associated officers did begin to plot and act their mischiefs in these counties.
Having eat well, only our oysters proving bad, we mounted, having a pair of boots that I borrowed and carried with me from Impington, my own to be sent from Cambridge to London, and took leave of all, and begun our journey about nine o’clock. After we had rode about 10 miles we got out of our way into Royston road, which did vex me cruelly, and the worst for that my brother’s horse, which was lame yesterday, grows worse to-day, that he could not keep pace with us. At last with much ado we got into the road again, having misguided also a gentleman’s man who had lost his master and thought us to be going the same way did follow us, but coming into the road again we met with his master, by his coat a divine, but I perceiving Tom’s horse not able to keep with us, I desired Mr. Cooke and him to take their own time, and Will and I we rode before them keeping a good pace, and came to Ware about three o’clock in the afternoon, the ways being every where but bad. Here I fell into acquaintance and eat and drank with the divine, but know not who he is, and after an hour’s bait to myself and horses he, though resolved to have lodged there, yet for company would out again, and so we remounted at four o’clock, and he went with me as far almost as Tibbald’s and there parted with us, taking up there for all night, but finding our horses in good case and the night being pretty light, though by reason of clouds the moon did not shine out, we even made shift from one place to another to reach London, though both of us very weary. And having left our horses at their masters, walked home, found all things well, and with full joy, though very weary, came home and went to bed, there happening nothing since our going to my discontent in the least degree; which do so please me, that I cannot but bless God for my journey, observing a whole course of success from the beginning to the end of it, and I do find it to be the reward of my diligence, which all along in this has been extraordinary, for I have not had the least kind of divertisement imaginable since my going forth, but merely carrying on my business which God has been pleased to bless.
So to bed very hot and feverish by being weary, but early morning the fever was over.

the road grows with us

the road is lost
though going the same way

the road is master to the clock
but not to clouds


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 15 October 1662.

Leave a Reply