Among the believers

Up (my maids rising early this morning to washing), and being ready I found Mr. Strutt the purser below with 12 bottles of sacke, and tells me (which from Sir W. Batten I had heard before) how young Jack Davis has railed against Sir W. Batten for his endeavouring to turn him out of his place, at which for the fellow’s sake, because it will likely prove his ruin, I am sorry, though I do believe he is a very arch rogue.
I took Strutt by coach with me to White Hall, where I set him down, and I to my Lord’s, but found him gone out betimes to the Wardrobe, which I am glad to see that he so attends his business, though it troubles me that my counsel to my prejudice must be the cause of it. They tell me that he goes into the country next week, and that the young ladies come up this week before the old lady. Here I hear how two men last night, justling for the wall about the New Exchange, did kill one another, each thrusting the other through; one of them of the King’s Chappell, one Cave, and the other a retayner of my Lord Generall Middleton’s.
Thence to White Hall; where, in the Duke’s chamber, the King came and stayed an hour or two laughing at Sir W. Petty, who was there about his boat; and at Gresham College in general; at which poor Petty was, I perceive, at some loss; but did argue discreetly, and bear the unreasonable follies of the King’s objections and other bystanders with great discretion; and offered to take oddes against the King’s best boates; but the King would not lay, but cried him down with words only. Gresham College he mightily laughed at, for spending time only in weighing of ayre, and doing nothing else since they sat.
Thence to Westminster Hall, and there met with diverse people, it being terme time. Among others I spoke with Mrs. Lane, of whom I doubted to hear something of the effects of our last meeting about a fortnight or three weeks ago, but to my content did not. Here I met with Mr. Pierce, who tells me of several passages at Court, among others how the King, coming the other day to his Theatre to see “The Indian Queene” (which he commends for a very fine thing), my Lady Castlemaine was in the next box before he came; and leaning over other ladies awhile to whisper to the King, she rose out of the box and went into the King’s, and set herself on the King’s right hand, between the King and the Duke of York; which, he swears, put the King himself, as well as every body else, out of countenance; and believes that she did it only to show the world that she is not out of favour yet, as was believed.
Thence with Alderman Maynell by his coach to the ‘Change, and there with several people busy, and so home to dinner, and took my wife out immediately to the King’s Theatre, it being a new month, and once a month I may go, and there saw “The Indian Queene” acted; which indeed is a most pleasant show, and beyond my expectation; the play good, but spoiled with the ryme, which breaks the sense. But above my expectation most, the eldest Marshall did do her part most excellently well as I ever heard woman in my life; but her voice not so sweet as Ianthe’s; but, however, we came home mightily contented. Here we met Mr. Pickering and his mistress, Mrs. Doll Wilde; he tells me that the business runs high between the Chancellor and my Lord Bristoll against the Parliament; and that my Lord Lauderdale and Cooper open high against the Chancellor; which I am sorry for. In my way home I ‘light and to the Coffee-house, where I heard Lt. Coll. Baron tell very good stories of his travels over the high hills in Asia above the clouds, how clear the heaven is above them, how thicke like a mist the way is through the cloud that wets like a sponge one’s clothes, the ground above the clouds all dry and parched, nothing in the world growing, it being only a dry earth, yet not so hot above as below the clouds. The stars at night most delicate bright and a fine clear blue sky, but cannot see the earth at any time through the clouds, but the clouds look like a world below you.
Thence home and to supper, being hungry, and so to the office, did business, specially about Creed, for whom I am now pretty well fitted, and so home to bed.
This day in Westminster Hall W. Bowyer told me that his father is dead lately, and died by being drowned in the river, coming over in the night; but he says he had not been drinking. He was taken with his stick in his hand and cloake over his shoulder, as ruddy as before he died. His horse was taken overnight in the water, hampered in the bridle, but they were so silly as not to look for his master till the next morning, that he was found drowned.

how likely to go to war
a country where laughing
at the poor is a fine thing
and people do not travel

how clear the heaven
above a dry earth
the most delicate blue
like a creed for the drowned


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 1 February 1663/64.

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