Modern Times

Up betimes and to set my workmen to work, and then a little to the office, and so with Sir J. Minnes, Sir W. Batten, and myself by coach to White Hall, to the Duke, who, after he was ready, did take us into his closett. Thither come my Lord General Monk, and did privately talk with the Duke about having the life-guards pass through the City today only for show and to fright people, for I perceive there are great fears abroad; for all which I am troubled and full of doubt that things will not go well. He being gone, we fell to business of the Navy. Among other things, how to pay off this fleet that is now come from Portugall; the King of Portugall sending them home, he having no more use for them, which we wonder at, that his condition should be so soon altered. And our landmen also are coming back, being almost starved in that poor country.
Having done here I went by my Lord Sandwich’s, who was not at home, and so to Westminster Hall, where full of term, and here met with many about business, among others my cozen Roger Pepys, who is all for a composition with my uncle Thomas, which upon any fair terms I am for also and desire it.
Thence by water, and so by land to my Lord Crew’s, and dined with him and his brother, I know not his name; where very good discourse; among others, of France’s intention to make a patriarch of his own, independent from the Pope, by which he will be able to cope with the Spaniard in all councils, which hitherto he has never done. My Lord Crew told us how he heard my Lord of Holland say that, being Embassador about the match with the Queene-Mother that now is, the King of France insisted upon a dispensation from the Pope, which my Lord Holland making a question of, and that he was commanded to yield to nothing to the prejudice of our religion, says the King of France, “You need not fear that, for if the Pope will not dispense with the match, my Bishopp of Paris shall.”
By and by come in great Mr. Swinfen, the Parliament-man, who, among other discourse of the rise and fall of familys, told us of Bishopp Bridgeman (brother of Sir Orlando) who lately hath bought a seat anciently of the Levers, and then the Ashtons; and so he hath in his great hall window (having repaired and beautified the house) caused four great places to be left for coates of armes. In one, he hath put the Levers, with this motto, “Olim.” In another the Ashtons, with this, “Heri.” In the next his own, with this, “Hodie.” In the fourth nothing but this motto, “Cras nescio cujus.”
Thence towards my brother’s; met with Jack Cole in Fleet Street, and he and I went into his cozen Mary Cole’s (whom I never saw since she was married), and drank a pint of wine and much good discourse. I found him a little conceited, but he had good things in him, and a man may know the temper of the City by him, he being of a general conversation, and can tell how matters go; and upon that score I will encourage his acquaintance.
Thence to my brother’s, and taking my wife up, carried her to Charing Cross, and there showed her the Italian motion, much after the nature of what I showed her a while since in Covent Garden. Their puppets here are somewhat better, but their motions not at all. Thence by coach to my Lady’s, and, hiding my wife with Sarah below, I went up and heard some musique with my Lord, and afterwards discoursed with him alone, and so good night to him and below, having sent for Mr. Creed, had thought to have shown my wife a play before the King, but it is so late that we could not, and so we took coach, and taking up Sarah at my brother’s with their night geare we went home, and I to my office to settle matters, and so home and to bed.
This morning in the Duke’s chamber Sir J. Minnes did break to me his desire about my chamber, which I did put off to another time to discourse of, he speaking to me very kindly to make me the less trouble myself, hoping to save myself and to contrive something or other to pleasure him as well, though I know not well what.
The town, I hear, is full of discontents, and all know of the King’s new bastard by Mrs. Haslerigge, and as far as I can hear will never be contented with Episcopacy, they are so cruelly set for Presbytery, and the Bishopps carry themselves so high, that they are never likely to gain anything upon them.

times pass
only for show
in this wonder-starved country
among levers and puppets

their music is one gear peaking
cruel and high


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 10 November 1662.

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