State of emergency

Up, and after shaving myself (wherein twice now, one after another, I have cut myself much, but I think it is from the bluntness of the razor) there came Mr. Deane to me and staid with me a while talking about masts, wherein he prepared me in several things against Mr. Wood, and also about Sir W. Petty’s boat, which he says must needs prove a folly, though I do not think so unless it be that the King will not have it encouraged.
At noon, by appointment, comes Mr. Hartlibb and his wife, and a little before them Messrs. Langley and Bostocke (old acquaintances of mine at Westminster, clerks), and after shewing them my house and drinking they set out by water, my wife and I with them down to Wapping on board the “Crowne,” a merchantman, Captain Floyd, a civil person. Here was Vice-Admiral Goodson, whom the more I know the more I value for a serious man and staunch. Here was Whistler the flagmaker, which vexed me, but it mattered not. Here was other sorry company and the discourse poor, so that we had no pleasure there at all, but only to see and bless God to find the difference that is now between our condition and that heretofore, when we were not only much below Hartlibb in all respects, but even these two fellows above named, of whom I am now quite ashamed that ever my education should lead me to such low company, but it is God’s goodness only, for which let him be praised.
After dinner I broke up and with my wife home, and thence to the Fleece in Cornhill, by appointment, to meet my Lord Marlborough, a serious and worthy gentleman, who, after doing our business, about the company, he and they began to talk of the state of the Dutch in India, which is like to be in a little time without any controll; for we are lost there, and the Portuguese as bad.
Thence to the Coffee-house, where good discourse, specially of Lt.-Coll. Baron touching the manners of the Turkes’ Government, among whom he lived long. So to my uncle Wight’s, where late playing at cards, and so home.

I have cut myself much
from the bluntness of the razor

here where a boat
must not drink the water

here was the flagmaker
here was the discourse of the corn

like a lost bad government
playing at cards


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 29 January 1663/64.

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