Among royals

(Lord’s day). Lay till 9 a-bed, then up, and being trimmed by the barber, I walked towards White Hall, calling upon Mr. Moore, whom I found still very ill of his ague. I discoursed with him about my Lord’s estate against I speak with my Lord this day. Thence to the King’s Head ordinary at Charing Cross, and sent for Mr. Creed, where we dined very finely and good company, good discourse. I understand the King of France is upon consulting his divines upon the old question, what the power of the Pope is? and do intend to make war against him, unless he do right him for the wrong his Embassador received; and banish the Cardinall Imperiall, which I understand this day is not meant the Cardinall belonging or chosen by the Emperor, but the name of his family is Imperial.
Thence to walk in the Park, which we did two hours, it being a pleasant sunshine day though cold. Our discourse upon the rise of most men that we know, and observing them to be the results of chance, not policy, in any of them, particularly Sir J. Lawson’s, from his declaring against Charles Stuart in the river of Thames, and for the Rump.
Thence to my Lord, who had his ague fit last night, but is now pretty well, and I staid talking with him an hour alone in his chamber, about sundry publique and private matters. Among others, he wonders what the project should be of the Duke’s going down to Portsmouth just now with his Lady, at this time of the year: it being no way, we think, to increase his popularity, which is not great; nor yet safe to do it, for that reason, if it would have any such effect. By and by comes in my Lady Wright, and so I went away, end after talking with Captn. Ferrers, who tells me of my Lady Castlemaine’s and Sir Charles Barkeley being the great favourites at Court, and growing every day more and more; and that upon a late dispute between my Lord Chesterfield, that is the Queen’s Lord Chamberlain, and Mr. Edward Montagu, her Master of the Horse, who should have the precedence in taking the Queen’s upperhand abroad out of the house, which Mr. Montagu challenges, it was given to my Lord Chesterfield. So that I perceive he goes down the wind in honour as well as every thing else, every day. So walk to my brother’s and talked with him, who tells me that this day a messenger is come, that tells us how Collonel Honiwood, who was well yesterday at Canterbury, was flung by his horse in getting up, and broke his scull, and so is dead. So home and to the office, despatching some business, and so home to supper, and then to prayers and to bed.

the barber of the king
observing the results of chance
is alone in his private wonder

that rites at court grow every day
that the queen’s hand challenges the wind
that a skull is dead to prayers


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 25 January 1662/63.

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