Hunting ground

Up and with Sir J. Minnes in his coach to White Hall, to the Duke’s; but found him gone out a-hunting. Thence to my Lord Sandwich, from whom I receive every day more and more signs of his confidence and esteem of me. Here I met with Pierce the chyrurgeon, who tells me that my Lady Castlemaine is with child; but though it be the King’s, yet her Lord being still in town, and sometimes seeing of her, though never to eat or lie together, it will be laid to him. He tells me also how the Duke of York is smitten in love with my Lady Chesterfield (a virtuous lady, daughter to my Lord of Ormond); and so much, that the duchess of York hath complained to the King and her father about it, and my Lady Chesterfield is gone into the country for it. At all which I am sorry; but it is the effect of idleness, and having nothing else to employ their great spirits upon. Thence with Mr. Creede and Mr. Moore (who is got upon his legs and come to see my Lord) to Wilkinson’s, and there I did give them and Mr. Howe their dinner of roast beef, cost me 5s., and after dinner carried Mr. Moore as far as Paul’s in a coach, giving him direction about my law business, and there set him down, and I home and among my workmen, who happened of all sorts to meet to their making an end of a great many jobbs, so that after to-morrow I shall have but a little plastering and all the painting almost to do, which was good content to me. At night to my office, and did business; and there came to me Mr. Wade and Evett, who have been again with their prime intelligencer, a woman, I perceive: and though we have missed twice, yet they bring such an account of the probability of the truth of the thing, though we are not certain of the place, that we shall set upon it once more; and I am willing and hopefull in it. So we resolved to set upon it again on Wednesday morning; and the woman herself will be there in a disguise, and confirm us in the place. So they took leave for the night, and I to my business, and then home to my wife and to supper and bed, my pain being going away. So by God’s great blessing my mind is in good condition of quiet.

I go out hunting
from an urge to see

though never to lie in a field
in idleness is almost

to miss the truth of the place
in the guise of quiet


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 3 November 1662.

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