Response to Descartes

Up and to my office, and afterwards sat, where great contest with Sir W. Batten and Mr. Wood, and that doating fool Sir J. Minnes, that says whatever Sir W. Batten says, though never minding whether to the King’s profit or not. At noon to the Coffee-house, where excellent discourse with Sir W. Petty, who proposed it as a thing that is truly questionable, whether there really be any difference between waking and dreaming, that it is hard not only to tell how we know when we do a thing really or in a dream, but also to know what the difference [is] between one and the other.
Thence to the ‘Change, but having at this discourse long afterwards with Sir Thomas Chamberlin, who tells me what I heard from others, that the complaints of most Companies were yesterday presented to the Committee of Parliament against the Dutch, excepting that of the East India, which he tells me was because they would not be said to be the first and only cause of a warr with Holland, and that it is very probable, as well as most necessary, that we fall out with that people. I went to the ‘Change, and there found most people gone, and so home to dinner, and thence to Sir W. Warren’s, and with him past the whole afternoon, first looking over two ships of Captain Taylor’s and Phin. Pett’s now in building, and am resolved to learn something of the art, for I find it is not hard and very usefull, and thence to Woolwich, and after seeing Mr. Falconer, who is very ill, I to the yard, and there heard Mr. Pett tell me several things of Sir W. Batten’s ill managements, and so with Sir W. Warren walked to Greenwich, having good discourse, and thence by water, it being now moonshine and 9 or 10 o’clock at night, and landed at Wapping, and by him and his man safely brought to my door, and so he home, having spent the day with him very well. So home and eat something, and then to my office a while, and so home to prayers and to bed.

the difference between waking
and dreaming is the difference
between having a falcon
and having the moon at my door


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 2 April 1664.

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