Carnival

Up and to the office after I had spoke to my taylor, Langford (who came to me about some work), desiring to know whether he knew of any debts that my father did owe of his own in the City. He tells me, “No, not any.” I did on purpose try him because of what words he and his wife have said of him (as Herbert told me the other day), and further did desire him, that if he knew of any or could hear of any that he should bid them come to me, and I would pay them, for I would not that because he do not pay my brother’s debts that therefore he should be thought to deny the payment of his owne.
All the morning at the office busy. At noon to the ‘Change, among other things busy to get a little by the hire of a ship for Tangier. So home to dinner, and after dinner comes Mr. Cooke to see me; it is true he was kind to me at sea in carrying messages to and fro to my wife from sea, but I did do him kindnesses too, and therefore I matter not much to compliment or make any regard of his thinking me to slight him as I do for his folly about my brother Tom’s mistress.
After dinner and some talk with him, I to my office; there busy, till by and by Jacke Noble came to me to tell me that he had Cave in prison, and that he would give me and my father good security that neither we nor any of our family should be troubled with the child; for he could prove that he was fully satisfied for him; and that if the worst came to the worst, the parish must keep it; that Cave did bring the child to his house, but they got it carried back again, and that thereupon he put him in prison. When he saw that I would not pay him the money, nor made anything of being secured against the child, he then said that then he must go to law, not himself, but come in as a witness for Cave against us. I could have told him that he could bear witness that Cave is satisfied, or else there is no money due to himself; but I let alone any such discourse, only getting as much out of him as I could. I perceive he is a rogue, and hath inquired into everything and consulted with Dr. Pepys, and that he thinks as Dr. Pepys told him that my father if he could would not pay a farthing of the debts, and yet I made him confess that in all his lifetime he never knew my father to be asked for money twice, nay, not once, all the time he lived with him, and that for his own debts he believed he would do so still, but he meant only for those of Tom.
He said now that Randall and his wife and the midwife could prove from my brother’s own mouth that the child was his, and that Tom had told them the circumstances of time, upon November 5th at night, that he got it on her.
I offered him if he would secure my father against being forced to pay the money again I would pay him, which at first he would do, give his own security, and when I asked more than his own he told me yes he would, and those able men, subsidy men, but when we came by and by to discourse of it again he would not then do it, but said he would take his course, and joyne with Cave and release him, and so we parted.
However, this vexed me so as I could not be quiet, but took coach to go speak with Mr. Cole, but met him not within, so back, buying a table by the way, and at my office late, and then home to supper and to bed, my mind disordered about this roguish business — in every thing else, I thank God, well at ease.

if I could
I would pay the sea

carrying messages from
my other life

my other mouth told me
to take joy
and not be quiet


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 25 August 1664.

Leave a Reply