Delirium

Waked about one o’clock in the morning to piss (having gone so soon over-night to bed) and then my wife being waked rung her bell, and the mayds rose and went to washing, we to sleep again till 7 o’clock, and then up, and I abroad to look out Dr. Williams, but being gone out I went to Westminster, and there seeing my Lord Sandwich’s footman knew he was come to town, and so I went in and saw him, and received a kind salute from him, but hear that my father is very ill still. Thence to Westminster Hall with Creed, and spent the morning walking there, where, it being Terme time, I met several persons, and talked with them, among others Dr. Pierce, who tells me that the Queen is in a way to be pretty well again, but that her delirium in her head continues still; that she talks idle, not by fits, but always, which in some lasts a week after so high a fever, in some more, and in some for ever; that this morning she talked mightily that she was brought to bed, and that she wondered that she should be delivered without pain and without spueing or being sicke, and that she was troubled that her boy was but an ugly boy. But the King being by, said, “No, it is a very pretty boy.” — “Nay,” says she, “if it be like you it is a fine boy indeed, and I would be very well pleased with it.”
The other day she talked mightily of Sir H. Wood’s lady’s great belly, and said if she should miscarry he would never get another, and that she never saw such a man as this Sir H. Wood in her life, and seeing of Dr. Pridgeon, she said, “Nay, Doctor, you need not scratch your head, there is hair little enough already in the place.”
But methinks it was not handsome for the weaknesses of Princes to be talked of thus.
Thence Creed and I to the King’s Head ordinary, where much and very good company, among others one very talking man, but a scholler, that would needs put in his discourse and philosophy upon every occasion, and though he did well enough, yet his readiness to speak spoilt all. Here they say that the Turkes go on apace, and that my Lord Castlehaven is going to raise 10,000 men here for to go against him; that the King of France do offer to assist the Empire upon condition that he may be their Generalissimo, and the Dolphin chosen King of the Romans: and it is said that the King of France do occasion this difference among the Christian Princes of the Empire, which gives the Turke such advantages. They say also that the King of Spayne is making all imaginable force against Portugal again.
Thence Creed and I to one or two periwigg shops about the Temple, having been very much displeased with one that we saw, a head of greasy and old woman’s haire, at Jervas’s in the morning; and there I think I shall fit myself of one very handsomely made. Thence by coach, my mind being troubled for not meeting with Dr. Williams, to St. Catharine’s to look at a Dutch ship or two for some good handsome maps, but met none, and so back to Cornhill to Moxon’s, but it being dark we staid not to see any, then to coach again, and presently spying Sir W. Batten; I ‘light and took him in and to the Globe in Fleete Streete, by appointment, where by and by he and I with our solicitor to Sir E Turner about Field’s business, and back to the Globe, and thither I sent for Dr. Williams, and he is willing to swear in my behalf against T. Trice, viz., that at T. Trice’s desire we have met to treat about our business.
Thence (I drinking no wine) after an hour’s stay Sir W. Batten and another, and he drinking, we home by coach, and so to my office and set down my Journall, and then home to supper and to bed, my washing being in a good condition over.
I did give Dr. Williams 20s. tonight, but it was after he had answered me well to what I had to ask him about this business, and it was only what I had long ago in my petty bag book allotted for him besides the bill of near 4l. which I paid him a good while since by my brother Tom for physique for my wife, without any consideration to this business that he is to do for me, as God shall save me.
Among the rest, talking of the Emperor at table to-day one young gentleman, a pretty man, and it seems a Parliament man, did say that he was a sot; for he minded nothing of the Government, but was led by the Jesuites. Several at table took him up, some for saying that he was a sot in being led by the Jesuites, are the best counsel he can take. Another commander, a Scott Collonell, who I believe had several under him, that he was a man that had thus long kept out the Turke till now, and did many other great things, and lastly Mr. Progers, one of our courtiers, who told him that it was not a thing to be said of any Soveraigne Prince, be his weaknesses what they will, to be called a sot, which methinks was very prettily said.

gone so soon I see him ill still
in that delirium

his talk like fine lace
his discourse on Peak Oil and empire

making all imaginable
as an old man’s hair

dark and light took him
by appointment

and he answered saying
that he was not his weaknesses


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 26 October 1663.

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