Decline and fall

Up betimes and to my office, and there busy all the morning, among other things walked a good while up and down with Sir J. Minnes, he telling many old stories of the Navy, and of the state of the Navy at the beginning of the late troubles, and I am troubled at my heart to think, and shall hereafter cease to wonder, at the bad success of the King’s cause, when such a knave as he (if it be true what he says) had the whole management of the fleet, and the design of putting out of my Lord Warwick, and carrying the fleet to the King, wherein he failed most fatally to the King’s ruin.
Dined at home, and after dinner up to try my dance, and so to the office again, where we sat all the afternoon. In the evening Deane of Woolwich went home with me and showed me the use of a little sliding ruler, less than that I bought the other day, which is the same with that, but more portable; however I did not seem to understand or even to have seen anything of it before, but I find him an ingenious fellow, and a good servant in his place to the King.
Thence to my office busy writing letters, and then came Sir W. Warren, staying for a letter in his business by the post, and while that was writing he and I talked about merchandise, trade, and getting of money. I made it my business to enquire what way there is for a man bred like me to come to understand anything of trade. He did most discretely answer me in all things, shewing me the danger for me to meddle either in ships or merchandise of any sort or common stocks, but what I have to keep at interest, which is a good, quiett, and easy profit, and once in a little while something offers that with ready money you may make use of money to good profit. Wherein I concur much with him, and parted late with great pleasure and content in his discourse, and so home to supper and to bed. It has been this afternoon very hot and this evening also, and about 11 at night going to bed it fell a-thundering and lightening, the greatest flashes enlightening the whole body of the yard, that ever I saw in my life.

I wonder at the whole
design of ruin

evening is the same
but more portable

like a quiet pleasure
enlightening the body


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 5 May 1663.

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