First blood

Up and to White Hall, and while the Duke is dressing himself I went to wait on my Lord Sandwich, whom I found not very well, and Dr. Clerke with him. He is feverish, and hath sent for Mr. Pierce to let him blood, but not being in the way he puts it off till night, but he stirs not abroad to-day. Then to the Duke, and in his closett discoursed as we use to do, and then broke up. That done, I singled out Mr. Coventry into the Matted Gallery, and there I told him the complaints I meet every day about our Treasurer’s or his people’s paying no money, but at the goldsmith’s shops, where they are forced to pay fifteen or twenty sometimes per cent. for their money, which is a most horrid shame, and that which must not be suffered. Nor is it likely that the Treasurer (at least his people) will suffer Maynell the Goldsmith to go away with 10,000l. per annum, as he do now get, by making people pay after this manner for their money.
We were interrupted by the Duke, who called Mr. Coventry aside for half an hour, walking with him in the gallery, and then in the garden, and then going away I ended my discourse with Mr. Coventry. But by the way Mr. Coventry was saying that there remained nothing now in our office to be amended but what would do of itself every day better and better, for as much as he that was slowest, Sir W. Batten, do now begin to look about him and to mind business. At which, God forgive me! I was a little moved with envy, but yet I am glad, and ought to be, though it do lessen a little my care to see that the King’s service is like to be better attended than it was heretofore.
Thence by coach to Mr. Povy’s, being invited thither by [him] came a messenger this morning from him, where really he made a most excellent and large dinner, of their variety, even to admiration, he bidding us, in a frolique, to call for what we had a mind, and he would undertake to give it us: and we did for prawns, swan, venison, after I had thought the dinner was quite done, and he did immediately produce it, which I thought great plenty, and he seems to set off his rest in this plenty and the neatness of his house, which he after dinner showed me, from room to room, so beset with delicate pictures, and above all, a piece of perspective in his closett in the low parler; his stable, where was some most delicate horses, and the very-racks painted, and mangers, with a neat leaden painted cistern, and the walls done with Dutch tiles, like my chimnies. But still, above all things, he bid me go down into his wine-cellar, where upon several shelves there stood bottles of all sorts of wine, new and old, with labells pasted upon each bottle, and in the order and plenty as I never saw books in a bookseller’s shop; and herein, I observe, he puts his highest content, and will accordingly commend all that he hath, but still they deserve to be so. Here dined with me Dr. Whore and Mr. Scawen.
Therewith him and Mr. Bland, whom we met by the way, to my Lord Chancellor’s, where the King was to meet my Lord Treasurer, &c., many great men, to settle the revenue of Tangier. I staid talking awhile there, but the King not coming I walked to my brother’s, where I met my cozen Scotts (Tom not being at home) and sent for a glass of wine for them, and having drunk we parted, and I to the Wardrobe talking with Mr. Moore about my law businesses, which I doubt will go ill for want of time for me to attend them.
So home, where I found Mrs. Lodum speaking with my wife about her kinswoman which is offered my wife to come as a woman to her.
So to the office and put things in order, and then home and to bed, it being my great comfort that every day I understand more and more the pleasure of following of business and the credit that a man gets by it, which I hope at last too will end in profit.
This day, by Dr. Clerke, I was told the occasion of my Lord Chesterfield’s going and taking his lady (my Lord Ormond’s daughter) from Court. It seems he not only hath been long jealous of the Duke of York, but did find them two talking together, though there were others in the room, and the lady by all opinions a most good, virtuous woman. He, the next day (of which the Duke was warned by somebody that saw the passion my Lord Chesterfield was in the night before), went and told the Duke how much he did apprehend himself wronged, in his picking out his lady of the whole Court to be the subject of his dishonour; which the Duke did answer with great calmness, not seeming to understand the reason of complaint, and that was all that passed but my Lord did presently pack his lady into the country in Derbyshire, near the Peake; which is become a proverb at Court, to send a man’s wife to the Devil’s arse a’ Peake, when she vexes him.
This noon I did find out Mr. Dixon at Whitehall, and discoursed with him about Mr. Wheatly’s daughter for a wife for my brother Tom, and have committed it to him to enquire the pleasure of her father and mother concerning it. I demanded 300l..

blood in the night
they say nothing about it to her

take dinner in a room beset
with delicate pictures

where horses painted
like shelves for war

pass with great calmness
into the devil’s wheat


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 19 January 1662/63.

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