In Cuba

Waked betimes and talked half an hour with my father, and so I rose and to my office, and about 9 o’clock by water from the Old Swan to White Hall and to chappell, which being most monstrous full, I could not go into my pew, but sat among the quire. Dr. Creeton, the Scotchman, preached a most admirable, good, learned, honest and most severe sermon, yet comicall, upon the words of the woman concerning the Virgin, “Blessed is the womb that bare thee (meaning Christ) and the paps that gave thee suck; and he answered, Nay; rather is he blessed that heareth the word of God, and keepeth it.”
He railed bitterly ever and anon against John Calvin, and his brood, the Presbyterians, and against the present term, now in use, of “tender consciences.” He ripped up Hugh Peters (calling him the execrable skellum), his preaching and stirring up the maids of the city to bring in their bodkins and thimbles.
Thence going out of White Hall, I met Captain Grove, who did give me a letter directed to myself from himself. I discerned money to be in it, and took it, knowing, as I found it to be, the proceed of the place I have got him to be, the taking up of vessels for Tangier. But I did not open it till I came home to my office, and there I broke it open, not looking into it till all the money was out, that I might say I saw no money in the paper, if ever I should be questioned about it. There was a piece in gold and 4l. in silver.
So home to dinner with my father and wife, and after dinner up to my tryangle, where I found that above my expectation Ashwell has very good principles of musique and can take out a lesson herself with very little pains, at which I am very glad. Thence away back again by water to Whitehall, and there to the Tangier Committee, where we find ourselves at a great stand; the establishment being but 70,000l. per annum, and the forces to be kept in the town at the least estimate that my Lord Rutherford can be got to bring it is 53,000l.. The charge of this year’s work of the Mole will be 13,000l.; besides 1000l. a-year to my Lord Peterborough as a pension, and the fortifications and contingencys, which puts us to a great stand, and so unsettled what to do therein we rose, and I to see my Lord Sandwich, whom I found merry at cards, and so by coach home, and after supper a little to my office and so home and to bed.
I find at Court that there is some bad news from Ireland of an insurrection of the Catholiques there, which puts them into an alarm.
I hear also in the City that for certain there is an embargo upon all our ships in Spayne, upon this action of my Lord Windsor’s at Cuba, which signifies little or nothing, but only he hath a mind to say that he hath done something before he comes back again.
Late tonight I sent to invite my uncle Wight and aunt with Mrs. Turner to-morrow.

the old monstrous god
of bodkin and thimble

broke open till all was out
I saw no paper question it

as silver as music
the water here

we find the town beside the fort
a contingency unsettled in sand

news here in Cuba signifies little
but to say that something comes


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 3 April 1663.

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