Shut-in

Up, and walked to my brother’s, where I find he hath continued talking idly all night, and now knows me not; which troubles me mightily. So I walked down and discoursed a great while alone with the mayde, who tells me many passages of her master’s practices, and how she concludes that he has run behind hand a great while and owes money, and has been dunned by several people, among others by one Cave, both husband and wife, but whether it was for money or something worse she knows not, but there is one Cranburne, I think she called him, in Fleete Lane with whom he hath many times been mighty private, but what their dealings have been she knows not, but believes these were naught, and then his sitting up two Saturday nights one after another when all were abed doing something to himself, which she now suspects what it was, but did not before, but tells me that he hath been a very bad husband as to spending his time, and hath often told him of it, so that upon the whole I do find he is, whether he lives or dies, a ruined man, and what trouble will befall me by it I know not.
Thence to White Hall; and in the Duke’s chamber, while he was dressing, two persons of quality that were there did tell his Royal Highness how the other night, in Holborne, about midnight, being at cards, a link-boy come by and run into the house, and told the people the house was a-falling. Upon this the whole family was frighted, concluding that the boy had said that the house was a-fire: so they left their cards above, and one would have got out of the balcone, but it was not open; the other went up to fetch down his children, that were in bed; so all got clear out of the house. And no sooner so, but the house fell down indeed, from top to bottom. It seems my Lord Southampton’s canaille did come too near their foundation, and so weakened the house, and down it came; which, in every respect, is a most extraordinary passage.
By and by into his closet and did our business with him. But I did not speed as I expected in a business about the manner of buying hemp for this year, which troubled me, but it proceeds only from my pride, that I must needs expect every thing to be ordered just as I apprehend, though it was not I think from my errour, but their not being willing to hear and consider all that I had to propose.
Being broke up I followed my Lord Sandwich and thanked him for his putting me into the Fishery, which I perceive he expected, and cried “Oh!” says he, “in the Fishery you mean. I told you I would remember you in it,” but offered no other discourse. But demanding whether he had any commands for me, methought he cried “No!” as if he had no more mind to discourse with me, which still troubles me and hath done all the day, though I think I am a fool for it, in not pursuing my resolution of going handsome in clothes and looking high, for that must do it when all is done with my Lord. Thence by coach with Sir W. Batten to the city, and his son Castle, who talks mighty highly against Captain Tayler, calling him knave, and I find that the old doating father is led and talks just as the son do, or the son as the father would have him.
‘Light and to Mr. Moxon’s, and there saw our office globes in doing, which will be very handsome but cost money. So to the Coffee-house, and there very fine discourse with Mr. Hill the merchant, a pretty, gentile, young, and sober man.
So to the ‘Change, and thence home, where my wife and I fell out about my not being willing to have her have her gowne laced, but would lay out the same money and more on a plain new one. At this she flounced away in a manner I never saw her, nor which I could ever endure. So I away to the office, though she had dressed herself to go see my Lady Sandwich. She by and by in a rage follows me, and coming to me tells me in spitefull manner like a vixen and with a look full of rancour that she would go buy a new one and lace it and make me pay for it, and then let me burn it if I would after she had done it, and so went away in a fury. This vexed me cruelly, but being very busy I had, not hand to give myself up to consult what to do in it, but anon, I suppose after she saw that I did not follow her, she came again to the office, where I made her stay, being busy with another, half an houre, and her stomach coming down we were presently friends, and so after my business being over at the office we out and by coach to my Lady Sandwich’s, with whom I left my wife, and I to White Hall, where I met Mr. Delsety, and after an hour’s discourse with him met with nobody to do other business with, but back again to my Lady, and after half an hour’s discourse with her to my brother’s, who I find in the same or worse condition. The doctors give him over and so do all that see him. He talks no sense two words together now; and I confess it made me weepe to see that he should not be able, when I asked him, to say who I was.
I went to Mrs. Turner’s, and by her discourse with my brother’s Doctor, Mr. Powell, I find that she is full now of the disease which my brother is troubled with, and talks of it mightily, which I am sorry for, there being other company, but methinks it should be for her honour to forbear talking of it, the shame of this very thing I confess troubles me as much as anything.
Back to my brother’s and took my wife, and carried her to my uncle Fenner’s and there had much private discourse with him. He tells me of the Doctor’s thoughts of my brother’s little hopes of recovery, and from that to tell me his thoughts long of my brother’s bad husbandry, and from that to say that he believes he owes a great deal of money, as to my cozen Scott I know not how much, and Dr. Thos. Pepys 30l., but that the Doctor confesses that he is paid 20l. of it, and what with that and what he owes my father and me I doubt he is in a very sad condition, that if he lives he will not be able to show his head, which will be a very great shame to me.
After this I went in to my aunt and my wife and Anthony Joyce and his wife, who were by chance there, and drank and so home, my mind and head troubled, but I hope it will over in a little time one way or other.
After doing a little at my office of business I home to supper and to bed.
From notice that my uncle Fenner did give my father the last week of my brother’s condition, my mother is coming up to towne, which also do trouble me.
The business between my Lords Chancellor and Bristoll, they say, is hushed up; and the latter gone or going, by the King’s licence, to France.

one hand owes money
to the other

night falling
on the cards of their house

their fish going
like nonsense words together
to and fro


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 14 March 1663/64.

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