At a loss

Up, and by and by comes my uncle Thomas, to whom I paid 10l. for his last half year’s annuity, and did get his and his son’s hand and seal for the confirming to us Piggott’s mortgage, which was forgot to be expressed in our late agreement with him, though intended, and therefore they might have cavilled at it, if they would.
Thence abroad calling at several places upon some errands, among others to my brother Tom’s barber and had my hair cut, while his boy played on the viallin, a plain boy, but has a very good genius, and understands the book very well, but to see what a shift he made for a string of red silk was very pleasant. Thence to my Lord Crew’s. My Lord not being come home, I met and staid below with Captain Ferrers, who was come to wait upon my Lady Jemimah to St. James’s, she being one of the four ladies that hold up the mantle at the christening this afternoon of the Duke’s child (a boy).
In discourse of the ladies at Court, Captain Ferrers tells me that my Lady Castlemaine is now as great again as ever she was; and that her going away was only a fit of her own upon some slighting words of the King, so that she called for her coach at a quarter of an hour’s warning, and went to Richmond; and the King the next morning, under pretence of going a-hunting, went to see her and make friends, and never was a-hunting at all. After which she came back to Court, and commands the King as much as ever, and hath and doth what she will.
No longer ago than last night, there was a private entertainment made for the King and Queen at the Duke of Buckingham’s, and she was not invited: but being at my Lady Suffolk’s, her aunt’s (where my Lady Jemimah and Lord Sandwich dined) yesterday, she was heard to say, “Well; much good may it do them, and for all that I will be as merry as they:” and so she went home and caused a great supper to be prepared. And after the King had been with the Queen at Wallingford House, he came to my Lady Castlemaine’s, and was there all night, and my Lord Sandwich with him, which was the reason my Lord lay in town all night, which he has not done a great while before.
He tells me he believes that, as soon as the King can get a husband for Mrs. Stewart however, my Lady Castlemaine’s nose will be out of joynt; for that she comes to be in great esteem, and is more handsome than she.
I found by his words that my Lord Sandwich finds some pleasure in the country where he now is, whether he means one of the daughters of the house or no I know not, but hope the contrary, that he thinks he is very well pleased with staying there, but yet upon breaking up of the Parliament, which the King by a message to-day says shall be on Monday next, he resolves to go.
Ned Pickering, the coxcomb, notwithstanding all his hopes of my Lord’s assistance, wherein I am sorry to hear my Lord has much concerned himself, is defeated of the place he expected under the Queen.
He came hither by and by and brought some jewells for my Lady Jem. to put on, with which and her other clothes she looks passing well.
I staid and dined with my Lord Crew, who whether he was not so well pleased with me as he used to be, or that his head was full of business, as I believe it was, he hardly spoke one word to me all dinner time, we dining alone, only young Jack Crew, Sir Thomas’s son, with us.
After dinner I bade him farewell. Sir Thomas I hear has gone this morning ill to bed, so I had no mind to see him.
Thence homewards, and in the way first called at Wotton’s, the shoemaker’s, who tells me the reason of Harris’s going from Sir Wm. Davenant’s house, that he grew very proud and demanded 20l. for himself extraordinary, more than Betterton or any body else, upon every new play, and 10l. upon every revive; which with other things Sir W. Davenant would not give him, and so he swore he would never act there more, in expectation of being received in the other House; but the King will not suffer it, upon Sir W. Davenant’s desire that he would not, for then he might shut up house, and that is true. He tells me that his going is at present a great loss to the House, and that he fears he hath a stipend from the other House privately.
He tells the that the fellow grew very proud of late, the King and every body else crying him up so high, and that above Betterton, he being a more ayery man, as he is indeed. But yet Betterton, he says, they all say do act: some parts that none but himself can do.
Thence to my bookseller’s, and found my Waggoners done. The very binding cost me 14s., but they are well done, and so with a porter home with them, and so by water to Ratcliffe, and there went to speak with Cumberford the platt-maker, and there saw his manner of working, which is very fine and laborious. So down to Deptford, reading Ben Jonson’s “Devil is an asse,” and so to see Sir W. Pen, who I find walking out of doors a little, but could not stand long; but in doors and I with him, and staid a great while talking, I taking a liberty to tell him my thoughts in things of the office; that when he comes abroad again, he may know what to think of me, and to value me as he ought. Walked home as I used to do, and being weary, and after some discourse with Mr. Barrow, who came to see and take his leave of me, he being to-morrow to set out toward the Isle of Man, I went to bed.
This day I hear that the Moores have made some attaques upon the outworks of Tangier; but my Lord Tiviott; with the loss of about 200 men, did beat them off, and killed many of them.
To-morrow the King and Queen for certain go down to Tunbridge. But the King comes back again against Monday to raise the Parliament.

to whom might it call
her hair of red silk

no Christ is ever as light
as a private joy

that comes to be
more than pleasure

the country
where now is

not staying there
but breaking up

we put on other clothes
full of morning

who would not
who could not take
that loss


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 22 July 1663.

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