On the eve of travel

(Lord’s day). To church in the morning, and Mr. Mills made a pretty good sermon. It is a bitter cold frost to-day. Dined alone with my wife to-day with great content, my house being quite clean from top to bottom. In the afternoon I to the French church here in the city, and stood in the aisle all the sermon, with great delight hearing a very admirable sermon, from a very young man, upon the article in our creed, in order of catechism, upon the Resurrection. Thence home, and to visit Sir W. Pen, who continues still bed-rid. Here was Sir W. Batten and his Lady, and Mrs. Turner, and I very merry, talking of the confidence of Sir R. Ford’s new-married daughter, though she married so strangely lately, yet appears at church as brisk as can be, and takes place of her elder sister, a maid.
Thence home and to supper, and then, cold as it is, to my office, to make up my monthly accounts, and I do find that, through the fitting of my house this month, I have spent in that and kitchen 50l. this month; so that now I am worth but 660l., or thereabouts. This being done and fitted myself for the Duke to-morrow, I went home, and to prayers and to bed. This day I first did wear a muffe, being my wife’s last year’s muffe, and now I have bought her a new one, this serves me very well.
Thus ends this month; in great frost; myself and family all well, but my mind much disordered about my uncle’s law business, being now in an order of being arbitrated between us, which I wish to God it were done.
I am also somewhat uncertain what to think of my going about to take a woman-servant into my house, in the quality of a woman for my wife. My wife promises it shall cost me nothing but her meat and wages, and that it shall not be attended with any other expenses, upon which termes I admit of it; for that it will, I hope, save me money in having my wife go abroad on visits and other delights; so that I hope the best, but am resolved to alter it, if matters prove otherwise than I would have them.
Publique matters in an ill condition of discontent against the height and vanity of the Court, and their bad payments: but that which troubles most, is the Clergy, which will never content the City, which is not to be reconciled to Bishopps: the more the pity that differences must still be.
Dunkirk newly sold, and the money brought over; of which we hope to get some to pay the Navy: which by Sir J. Lawson’s having dispatched the business in the Straights, by making peace with Argier, Tunis, and Tripoli (and so his fleet will also shortly come home), will now every day grow less, and so the King’s charge be abated; which God send!

my house clean
from top to bottom

but my mind disordered
about my going

I shall visit other lights
which now every day grow less


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 30 November 1662.

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