Close call

Up and there comes my she cozen Angier, of Cambridge, to me to speak about her son. But though I love them, and have reason so to do, yet, Lord! to consider how cold I am to speak to her, for fear of giving her too much hopes of expecting either money or anything else from me besides my care of her son. I let her go without drinking, though that was against my will, being forced to hasten to the office, where we sat all the morning, and at noon I to Sir R. Ford’s, where Sir R. Browne (a dull but it seems upon action a hot man), and he and I met upon setting a price upon the freight of a barge sent to France to the Duchess of Orleans. And here by discourse I find them greatly crying out against the choice of Sir J. Cutler to be Treasurer for Paul’s upon condition that he give 1500l. towards it, and it seems he did give it upon condition that he might be Treasurer for the work, which they say will be worth three times as much money, and talk as if his being chosen to the office will make people backward to give, but I think him as likely a man as either of them, or better.
The business being done we parted, Sir R. Ford never inviting me to dine with him at all, and I was not sorry for it.
Home and dined. I had a letter from W. Howe that my Lord hath ordered his coach and six horses for me to-morrow, which pleases me mightily to think that my Lord should do so much, hoping thereby that his anger is a little over.
After dinner abroad with my wife by coach to Westminster, and set her at Mrs. Hunt’s while I about my business, having in our way met with Captain Ferrers luckily to speak to him about my coach, who was going in all haste thither, and I perceive the King and Duke and all the Court was going to the Duke’s playhouse to see “Henry VIII.” acted, which is said to be an admirable play. But, Lord! to see how near I was to have broken my oathe, or run the hazard of 20s. losse, so much my nature was hot to have gone thither; but I did not go, but having spoke with W. Howe and known how my Lord did do this kindly as I would have it, I did go to Westminster Hall, and there met Hawley, and walked a great while with him. Among other discourse encouraging him to pursue his love to Mrs. Lane, while God knows I had a roguish meaning in it.
Thence calling my wife home by coach, calling at several places, and to my office, where late, and so home to supper and to bed.
This day I hear for certain that my Lady Castlemaine is turned Papist, which the Queene for all do not much like, thinking that she do it not for conscience sake.
I heard to-day of a great fray lately between Sir H. Finch’s coachman, who struck with his whip a coachman of the King’s to the losse of one of his eyes; at which the people of the Exchange seeming to laugh and make sport with some words of contempt to him, my Lord Chamberlin did come from the King to shut up the ‘Change, and by the help of a justice, did it; but upon petition to the King it was opened again.

too much dull freight
will make people think like horses

I play to play
but how near I was to have broken

like the loss of words
to a shut pen


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 22 December 1663.

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