Contemplation

At the office all the morning, dined, after ‘Change, at home, and then abroad, and seeing “The Bondman” upon the posts, I consulted my oaths and find I may go safely this time without breaking it; I went thither, notwithstanding my great desire to have gone to Fleet Alley, God forgive me, again. There I saw it acted. It is true, for want of practice, they had many of them forgot their parts a little; but Betterton and my poor Ianthe outdo all the world. There is nothing more taking in the world with me than that play.
Thence to Westminster to my barber’s, and strange to think how when I find that Jervas himself did intend to bring home my periwigg, and not Jane his maid, I did desire not to have it at all, for I had a mind to have her bring it home. I also went to Mr. Blagrave’s about speaking to him for his kinswoman to come live with my wife, but they are not come to town, and so I home by coach and to my office, and then to supper and to bed.
My present posture is thus: my wife in the country and my mayde Besse with her and all quiett there. I am endeavouring to find a woman for her to my mind, and above all one that understands musique, especially singing. I am the willinger to keepe one because I am in good hopes to get 2 or 300l. per annum extraordinary by the business of the victualling of Tangier, and yet Mr. Alsopp, my chief hopes, is dead since my looking after it, and now Mr. Lanyon, I fear, is, falling sicke too. I am pretty well in health, only subject to wind upon any cold, and then immediate and great pains.
All our discourse is of a Dutch warr and I find it is likely to come to it, for they are very high and desire not to compliment us at all, as far as I hear, but to send a good fleete to Guinny to oppose us there. My Lord Sandwich newly gone to sea, and I, I think, fallen into his very good opinion again, at least he did before his going, and by his letter since, show me all manner of respect and confidence.
I am over-joyed in hopes that upon this month’s account I shall find myself worth 1000l., besides the rich present of two silver and gilt flaggons which Mr. Gauden did give me the other day.
I do now live very prettily at home, being most seriously, quietly, and neatly served by my two mayds Jane and the girle Su, with both of whom I am mightily well pleased.
My greatest trouble is the settling of Brampton Estate, that I may know what to expect, and how to be able to leave it when I die, so as to be just to my promise to my uncle Thomas and his son. The next thing is this cursed trouble my brother Tom is likely to put us to by his death, forcing us to law with his creditors, among others Dr. Tom Pepys, and that with some shame as trouble, and the last how to know in what manner as to saving or spending my father lives, lest they should run me in debt as one of my uncle’s executors, and I never the wiser nor better for it. But in all this I hope shortly to be at leisure to consider and inform myself well.

seeing without breaking
I practice for nothing more
than the present

like a sea fallen quiet
with the settling of other lives


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 28 July 1664.

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