Begun again to rise betimes by 4 o’clock, and made an end of “The Adventures of Five Houres,” and it is a most excellent play.
So to my office, where a while and then about several businesses, in my way to my brother’s, where I dined (being invited) with Mr. Peter and Dean Honiwood, where Tom did give us a very pretty dinner, and we very pleasant, but not very merry, the Dean being but a weak man, though very good.
I was forced to rise, being in haste to St. James’s to attend the Duke, and left them to end their dinner; but the Duke having been a-hunting to-day, and so lately come home and gone to bed, we could not see him, and Mr. Coventry being out of the house too, we walked away to White Hall and there took coach, and I with Sir J. Minnes to the Strand May-pole; and there ‘light out of his coach, and walked to the New Theatre, which, since the King’s players are gone to the Royal one, is this day begun to be employed by the fencers to play prizes at. And here I came and saw the first prize I ever saw in my life: and it was between one Mathews, who did beat at all weapons, and one Westwicke, who was soundly cut several times both in the head and legs, that he was all over blood: and other deadly blows they did give and take in very good earnest, till Westwicke was in a most sad pickle. They fought at eight weapons, three bouts at each weapon. It was very well worth seeing, because I did till this day think that it has only been a cheat; but this being upon a private quarrel, they did it in good earnest; and I felt one of their swords, and found it to be very little, if at all blunter on the edge, than the common swords are. Strange to see what a deal of money is flung to them both upon the stage between every bout. But a woful rude rabble there was, and such noises, made my head ake all this evening. So, well pleased for once with this sight, I walked home, doing several businesses by the way. In my way calling to see Commissioner Pett, who lies sick at his daughter, a pretty woman, in Gracious Street, but is likely to be abroad again in a day or two. At home I found my wife in bed all this day of her months.
I went to see Sir Wm. Pen, who has a little pain of his gout again, but will do well. So home to supper and to bed.
This day I hear at Court of the great plot which was lately discovered in Ireland, made among the Presbyters and others, designing to cry up the Covenant, and to secure Dublin Castle and other places; and they have debauched a good part of the army there, promising them ready money. Some of the Parliament there, they say, are guilty, and some withdrawn upon it; several persons taken, and among others a son of Scott’s, that was executed here for the King’s murder.
What reason the King hath, I know not; but it seems he is doubtfull of Scotland: and this afternoon, when I was there, the Council was called extraordinary; and they were opening the letters this last post’s coming and going between Scotland and us and other places. Blessed be God, my head and hands are clear, and therefore my sleep safe. The King of France is well again.
a weak man I was forced
to play at life
the head was a sad weapon
ink has only been a cheat
words blunter on the edge than swords
are flung to a rude rabble
like an army guilty of murder
I open my hands and sleep
Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 1 June 1663.