Prevaricator

Up and to the office, where sat all the morning. At noon by coach with Mr. Coventry to the ‘Change, where busy with several people. Great talke of the Dutch proclaiming themselves in India, Lords of the Southern Seas, and deny traffick there to all ships but their owne, upon pain of confiscation; which makes our merchants mad. Great doubt of two ships of ours, the “Greyhound” and another, very rich, coming from the Streights, for fear of the Turkes. Matters are made up between the Pope and the King of France; so that now all the doubt is, what the French will do with their armies.
Thence home, and there found Captain Grove in mourning for his wife, and Hawly, and they dined with me. After dinner, and Grove gone, Hawly and I talked of his mistress, Mrs. Lane, and I seriously advising him and inquiring his condition, and do believe that I shall bring them together.
By and by comes Mr. Moore, with whom much good discourse of my Lord, and among other things told me that my Lord is mightily altered, that is, grown very high and stately, and do not admit of any to come into his chamber to him, as heretofore, and that I must not think much of his strangeness to me, for it was the same he do to every body, and that he would not have me be solicitous in the matter, but keep off and give him now and then a visit and no more, for he says he himself do not go to him now a days but when he sends for him, nor then do not stay for him if he be not there at the hour appointed, for, says he, I do find that I can stand upon my own legs and I will not by any over submission make myself cheap to any body and contemptible, which was the doctrine of the world that I lacked most, and shall follow it. I discoursed with him about my money that my Lord hath, and the 1000l. that I stand bound with him in, to my cozen Thomas Pepys, in both which I will get myself at liberty as soon as I can; for I do not like his being angry and in debt both together to me; and besides, I do not perceive he looks after paying his debts, but runs farther and farther in.
He being gone, my wife and I did walk an houre or two above in our chamber, seriously talking of businesses. I told her my Lord owed me 700l., and shewed her the bond, and how I intended to carry myself to my Lord. She and I did cast about how to get Captain Grove for my sister, in which we are mighty earnest at present, and I think it would be a good match, and will endeavour it. So to my office a while, then home to supper and to bed.

I traffic in doubt
an altered state that I must not visit

but my own body was
the world I lacked most

like a debt run
farther and farther up


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 9 February 1663/64.

Leave a Reply