Omen

(Lord’s day). Up betimes, and put on a black cloth suit, with white lynings under all, as the fashion is to wear, to appear under the breeches. So being ready walked to St. James’s, where I sat talking with Mr. Coventry, while he made himself ready, about several businesses of the Navy, and afterwards, the Duke being gone out, he and I walked to White Hall together over the Park, I telling him what had happened to Tom Hater, at which he seems very sorry, but tells me that if it is not made very publique, it will not be necessary to put him away at present, but give him good caution for the time to come. However, he will speak to the Duke about it and know his pleasure.
Parted with him there, and I walked back to St. James’s, and was there at mass, and was forced in the crowd to kneel down; and mass being done, to the King’s Head ordinary, whither I sent for Mr. Creed and there we dined, where many Parliament-men; and most of their talk was about the news from Scotland, that the Bishop of Galloway was besieged in his house by some women, and had like to have been outraged, but I know not how he was secured; which is bad news, and looks just as it did in the beginning of the late troubles. From thence they talked of rebellion; and I perceive they make it their great maxime to be sure to master the City of London, whatever comes of it or from it. After that to some other discourse, and, among other things, talking of the way of ordinaries, that it is very convenient, because a man knows what he hath to pay: one did wish that, among many bad, we could learn two good things of France, which were that we would not think it below the gentleman, or person of honour at a tavern, to bargain for his meat before he eats it; and next, to take no servant without certificate from some friend or gentleman of his good behaviour and abilities.
Hence with Creed into St. James’s Park, and there walked all the afternoon, and thence on foot home, and after a little while at my office walked in the garden with my wife, and so home to supper, and after prayers to bed. My brother Tom supped with me, and should have brought my aunt Ellen with him; she was not free to go abroad.

I put on a black suit
with white lining

and go out like a bad city
of whatever comes

so convenient to bargain on
so free a road


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 10 May 1663.

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