Social climbers

Up, and to Sir W. Batten’s to bid him and Sir J. Minnes adieu, they going this day towards Portsmouth, and then to Sir W. Pen’s to see Sir J. Lawson, who I heard was there, where I found him the same plain man that he was, after all his success in the Straights, with which he is come loaded home. Thence to Sir G. Carteret, and with him in his coach to White Hall, and first I to see my Lord Sandwich (being come now from Hinchingbrooke), and after talking a little with him, he and I to the Duke’s chamber, where Mr. Coventry and he and I into the Duke’s closett and Sir J. Lawson discoursing upon business of the Navy, and particularly got his consent to the ending some difficulties in Mr. Creed’s accounts.
Thence to my Lord’s lodgings, and with Mr. Creed to the King’s Head ordinary, but people being set down, we went to two or three places; at last found some meat at a Welch cook’s at Charing Cross, and here dined and our boys.
After dinner to the ‘Change to buy some linen for my wife, and going back met our two boys. Mine had struck down Creed’s boy in the dirt, with his new suit on, and the boy taken by a gentlewoman into a house to make clean, but the poor boy was in a pitifull taking and pickle; but I basted my rogue soundly. Thence to my Lord’s lodging, and Creed to his, for his papers against the Committee. I found my Lord within, and he and I went out through the garden towards the Duke’s chamber, to sit upon the Tangier matters; but a lady called to my Lord out of my Lady Castlemaine’s lodging, telling him that the King was there and would speak with him. My Lord could not tell what to bid me say at the Committee to excuse his absence, but that he was with the King; nor would suffer me to go into the Privy Garden (which is now a through-passage, and common), but bid me to go through some other way, which I did; so that I see he is a servant of the King’s pleasures too, as well as business. So I went to the Committee, where we spent all this night attending to Sir J. Lawson’s description of Tangier and the place for the Mole, of which he brought a very pretty draught. Concerning the making of the Mole, Mr. Cholmely did also discourse very well, having had some experience in it.
Being broke up, I home by coach to Mr. Bland’s, and there discoursed about sending away of the merchant ship which hangs so long on hand for Tangier.
So to my Lady Batten’s, and sat with her awhile, Sir W. Batten being gone out of town; but I did it out of design to get some oranges for my feast to-morrow of her, which I did.
So home, and found my wife’s new gown come home, and she mightily pleased with it. But I appeared very angry that there were no more things got ready against to-morrow’s feast, and in that passion sat up long, and went discontented to bed.

I was the same plain man
with a king’s head

ordinary as meat
at a cook’s house

but my lady would not suffer me to go
into the garden

in her hand one orange
for my feast


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 12 January 1662/63.

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