Sad times

So I waked by 3 o’clock, my mind being troubled, and so took occasion by making water to wake my wife, and after having lain till past 4 o’clock seemed going to rise, though I did it only to see what she would do, and so going out of the bed she took hold of me and would know what ailed me, and after many kind and some cross words I began to tax her discretion in yesterday’s business, but she quickly told me my own, knowing well enough that it was my old disease of jealousy, which I denied, but to no purpose. After an hour’s discourse, sometimes high and sometimes kind, I found very good reason to think that her freedom with him is very great and more than was convenient, but with no evil intent, and so after awhile I caressed her and parted seeming friends, but she crying in a great discontent. So I up and by water to the Temple, and thence with Commissioner Pett to St. James’s, where an hour with Mr. Coventry talking of Mr. Pett’s proceedings lately in the forest of Sherwood, and thence with Pett to my Lord Ashley, Chancellor of the Exchequer; where we met the auditors about settling the business of the accounts of persons to whom money is due before the King’s time in the Navy, and the clearing of their imprests for what little of their debts they have received. I find my Lord, as he is reported, a very ready, quick, and diligent person. Thence I to Westminster Hall, where Term and Parliament make the Hall full of people; no further news yet of the King of France, whether he be dead or not.
Here I met with my cozen Roger Pepys, and walked a good while with him, and among other discourse as a secret he hath committed to nobody but myself, and he tells me that his sister Claxton now resolving to give over the keeping of his house at Impington, he thinks it fit to marry again, and would have me, by the help of my uncle Wight or others, to look him out a widow between thirty and forty years old, without children, and with a fortune, which he will answer in any degree with a joynture fit for her fortune. A woman sober, and no high-flyer, as he calls it.
I demanded his estate. He tells me, which he says also he hath not done to any, that his estate is not full 800l. per annum, but it is 780l. per annum, of which 200l. is by the death of his last wife, which he will allot for a joynture for a wife, but the rest, which lies in Cambridgeshire, he is resolved to leave entire for his eldest son. I undertook to do what I can in it, and so I shall. He tells me that the King hath sent to them to hasten to make an end by midsummer, because of his going into the country; so they have set upon four bills to dispatch: the first of which is, he says, too devilish a severe act against conventicles; so beyond all moderation, that he is afeard it will ruin all: telling me that it is matter of the greatest grief to him in the world, that he should be put upon this trust of being a Parliament-man, because he says nothing is done, that he can see, out of any truth and sincerity, but mere envy and design.
Thence by water to Chelsey, all the way reading a little book I bought of “Improvement of Trade,” a pretty book and many things useful in it.
So walked to Little Chelsey, where I found my Lord Sandwich with Mr. Becke, the master of the house, and Mr. Creed at dinner, and I sat down with them, and very merry. After dinner (Mr. Gibbons being come in also before dinner done) to musique, they played a good Fancy, to which my Lord is fallen again, and says he cannot endure a merry tune, which is a strange turn of his humour, after he has for two or three years flung off the practice of Fancies and played only fidlers’ tunes. Then into the Great Garden up to the Banqueting House; and there by his glass we drew in the species very pretty.
Afterwards to ninepins, where I won a shilling, Creed and I playing against my Lord and Cooke. This day there was great thronging to Banstead Downs, upon a great horse-race and foot-race. I am sorry I could not go thither.
So home back as I came, to London Bridge, and so home, where I find my wife in a musty humour, and tells me before Ashwell that Pembleton had been there, and she would not have him come in unless I was there, which I was ashamed of; but however, I had rather it should be so than the other way.
So to my office, to put things in order there, and by and by comes Pembleton, and word is brought me from my wife thereof that I might come home. So I sent word that I would have her go dance, and I would come presently. So being at a great loss whether I should appear to Pembleton or no, and what would most proclaim my jealousy to him, I at last resolved to go home, and took Tom Hater with me, and staid a good while in my chamber, and there took occasion to tell him how I hear that Parliament is putting an act out against all sorts of conventicles, and did give him good counsel, not only in his own behalf, but my own, that if he did hear or know anything that could be said to my prejudice, that he would tell me, for in this wicked age (specially Sir W. Batten being so open to my reproaches, and Sir J. Minnes, for the neglect of their duty, and so will think themselves obliged to scandalize me all they can to right themselves if there shall be any inquiry into the matters of the Navy, as I doubt there will) a man ought to be prepared to answer for himself in all things that can be inquired concerning him.
After much discourse of this nature to him I sent him away, and then went up, and there we danced country dances, and single, my wife and I; and my wife paid him off for this month also, and so he is cleared.
After dancing we took him down to supper, and were very merry, and I made myself so, and kind to him as much as I could, to prevent his discourse, though I perceive to my trouble that he knows all, and may do me the disgrace to publish it as much as he can. Which I take very ill, and if too much provoked shall witness it to her. After supper and he gone we to bed.

I wake by 4:00 o’clock
to any day but my own

here a forest here a clearing
here a dead body and his imp of a fly

it is midsummer in the country of grief
nothing is done but trade

dinner for dinner
a fancy tune for a glass

and sorry for however
present a loss

I hear that Parliament is against
the scandal of nature

which if too much provoked
shall go to bed


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 27 May 1663.

4 Comments




    1. Glad you liked. (Damn, it’s only been three weeks, but I’d already completely forgotten about this one!)

      Reply

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