Risk assessment

At my office most of the morning, after I had done among my painters, and sent away Mr. Shaw and Hawly, who came to give me a visit this morning. Shaw it seems is newly re-married to a rich widow. At noon dined at home with my wife, and by and by, by my wife’s appointment came two young ladies, sisters, acquaintances of my wife’s brother’s, who are desirous to wait upon some ladies, and proffer their service to my wife. The youngest, indeed, hath a good voice, and sings very well, besides other good qualitys; but I fear hath been bred up with too great liberty for my family, and I fear greater inconveniences of expenses, and my wife’s liberty will follow, which I must study to avoid till I have a better purse; though, I confess, the gentlewoman, being pretty handsome, and singing, makes me have a good mind to her.
Anon I took them by coach and carried them to a friend’s of theirs, in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, and there I left them and I to the Temple by appointment to my cousin Roger’s chamber, where my uncle Thomas and his son Thomas met us, I having hoped that they would have agreed with me to have had [it] ended by my cozen Roger, but they will have two strangers to be for them against two others of mine, and so we parted without doing any thing till the two send me the names of their arbiters. Thence I walked home, calling a little in Paul’s Churchyard, and, I thank God, can read and never buy a book, though I have a great mind to it. So to the Dolphin Tavern near home, by appointment, and there met with Wade and Evett, and have resolved to make a new attempt upon another discovery, in which God give us better fortune than in the other, but I have great confidence that there is no cheat in these people, but that they go upon good grounds, though they have been mistaken in the place of the first.
From thence, without drinking a drop of wine, home to my office and there made an end, though late, of my collection of the prices of masts for these twelve years to this day, in order to the buying of some of Wood, and I bound it up in painted paper to lie by as a book for future use. So home and to supper and to bed, and a little before and after we were in bed we had much talk and difference between us about my wife’s having a woman, which I seemed much angry at, that she should go so far in it without consideration and my being consulted with. So to bed.

the rich fear too great a liberty
hands singing in the fields

without calling God
to make a new ground

without the price of order
bound up in a book


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 12 November 1662.

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