Good books

Up betimes and to my vyall and song book a pretty while, and so to my office, and there we sat all the morning. Among other things Sir W. Batten had a mind to cause Butler (our chief witness in the business of Field, whom we did force back from an employment going to sea to come back to attend our law sute) to be borne as a mate on the Rainbow in the Downes in compensation for his loss for our sakes. This he orders an order to be drawn by Mr. Turner for, and after Sir J. Minnes, Sir W. Batten, and Sir W. Pen had signed it, it came to me and I was going to put it up into my book, thinking to consider of it and give them my opinion upon it before I parted with it, but Sir W. Pen told me I must sign it or give it him again, for it should not go without my hand. I told him what I meant to do, whereupon Sir W. Batten was very angry, and in a great heat (which will bring out any thing which he has in his mind, and I am glad of it, though it is base in him to have a thing so long in his mind without speaking of it, though I am glad this is the worst, for if he had worse it would out as well as this some time or other) told me that I should not think as I have heretofore done, make them sign orders and not sign them myself. Which what ignorance or worse it implies is easy to judge, when he shall sign to things (and the rest of the board too as appears in this business) for company and not out of their judgment for. After some discourse I did convince them that it was not fit to have it go, and Sir W. Batten first, and then the rest, did willingly cancel all their hands and tear the order, for I told them, Butler being such a rogue as I know him, and we have all signed him to be to the Duke, it will be in his power to publish this to our great reproach, that we should take such a course as this to serve ourselves in wronging the King by putting him into a place he is no wise capable of, and that in an Admiral ship.
At noon we rose, Sir W. Batten ashamed and vexed, and so home to dinner, and after dinner walked to the old Exchange and so all along to Westminster Hall, White Hall, my Lord Sandwich’s lodgings, and going by water back to the Temple did pay my debts in several places in order to my examining my accounts tomorrow to my great content. So in the evening home, and after supper (my father at my brother’s) and merrily practising to dance, which my wife hath begun to learn this day of Mr. Pembleton, but I fear will hardly do any great good at it, because she is conceited that she do well already, though I think no such thing.
So to bed.
At Westminster Hall, this day, I buy a book lately printed and licensed by Dr. Stradling, the Bishop of London’s chaplin, being a book discovering the practices and designs of the papists, and the fears of some of our own fathers of the Protestant church heretofore of the return to Popery as it were prefacing it.
The book is a very good book; but forasmuch as it touches one of the Queenmother’s fathers confessors, the Bishop, which troubles many good men and members of Parliament, hath called it in, which I am sorry for.
Another book I bought, being a collection of many expressions of the great Presbyterian Preachers upon publique occasions, in the late times, against the King and his party, as some of Mr. Marshall, Case, Calamy, Baxter, &c., which is good reading now, to see what they then did teach, and the people believe, and what they would seem to believe now.
Lastly, I did hear that the Queen is much grieved of late at the King’s neglecting her, he having not supped once with her this quarter of a year, and almost every night with my Lady Castlemaine; who hath been with him this St. George’s feast at Windsor, and came home with him last night; and, which is more, they say is removed as to her bed from her own home to a chamber in White Hall, next to the King’s own; which I am sorry to hear, though I love her much.

a book of rain
in the book of my hand

a thing so long
it is not fit to publish

I read the book of the ear
prefacing the book of the confessor

I am sorry for the book
I am reading now

what people believe
and grieve in it


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 25 April 1663.

Leave a Reply